I live in a house with three boys and a dog. Let’s just say there are times when I could use some air freshener.
A few things to consider before we don our Martha Stewart hats….
1. Regular air fresheners are bad for your health
“Air fresheners” include sprays, plug-ins, gels, candles, etc.
- Various harmful substances in air fresheners include allergens, potential carcinogens such as acetaldehyde or styrene, dangerous substances such as toluene and chlorbenzene, glycol ethers, phthalates and artificial musk.
- Paradichchlorobenzene (a white, solid crystal) has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals, and phenol (carbolic acid) is flammable, corrosive and very toxic.
- Air fresheners do not “purify” the surrounding air, nor do they add natural fragrances. In fact, they coat the nasal passages with an oil film (such as methoxychlor – a pesticide that accumulates in fat cells) or by releasing a nerve deadening agent, to drown out whatever smells may be deemed offensive.
- High exposures to certain kinds of phthalates can cause cancer, developmental and sex-hormone abnormalities (including decreased testosterone and sperm levels and malformed sex organs) in infants, and can affect fertility.
- Despite the [Air Freshener] industry’s size, it is minimally regulated, not having to meet any standards specific to their products. Air fresheners are not tested for a variety of chemicals, including phthalates, because the government does not require it.
- These poisons can accumulate over a period of years, so the true causes, and the true health effects are rarely discovered. The victims might suffer from a strange form of cancer, or they might have some new-age “disease” like “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”, and of course, there is the ever-more-popular “genetic disorders”…
I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
2. Essential oils are good for your health
[E]ssential oils make much more sense as air fresheners than commercial products, as they cleanse the air by altering the structure of the molecules creating smells, rather than masking the unwanted smells. When we are looking for alternatives to toxic products in our homes and in our lives, essential oils are a convenient, practical and pleasant solution. [Worwood]
Homemade Air Freshener Recipe
(Are you ready for this?)
Ingredients & Supplies
- Essential Oils: Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus (See below for additional suggestions)
- Dark glass spray bottle (2 oz)
- Cute labels (optional)
- Add 2-3 drops of each oil to clean bottles.
- Fill bottles with water.
- Insert spray tops.
- Affix labels.
Planning to use this in the bathroom?
Did you know that spraying this delightful scent directly into the toilet bowl–before adding anything stinky to said bowl–is a powerful way to combat unpleasant aromas? The oils camp out on the surface of the water, acting as an “odor barrier.”
Try it and
see smell the difference! 🙂
- 2-oz. amber glass bottles with spray tops: about $1
- Eucalyptus oil: $.06 per drop
- Lavender oil: $.08 per drop
- Peppermint oil: $.08 per drop
- Round, water-resistant labels: about $.05 each
OR Custom dishwasher safe labels: about $.35 each
Total cost, per bottle: about $1.30 OR $1.65
(And if you use recycled bottles, the cost is only $.30 per bottle)!!
Additional Scent Ideas
You really can’t go wrong here. Use whatever you like! These are a few of my favorite ideas…
- Citrus blend: wild orange, lemon, lime & grapefruit
- Calming blend: lavender, chamomile & ylang ylang
- Refreshing blend: wild orange & peppermint
What’s your favorite Room Spray scent?
Do you love essential oils? Follow my Pinterest board All Things Essential!
- Air Fresheners Create Toxic Chemical Soup (Health In Motion)
- How “Fresh” is Air Freshener? (TIME)
- How Air Fresheners Are Killing You (Healthwyze)
- The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy (Valerie Ann Worwood)
Kathleen Henderson is the Yankee behind the Homestead, where she keeps up with Mr. Native Texan, three busy boys, a large dog, an assortment of chickens and an organic garden on three beautiful acres in Northern Virginia. Yankee Homestead is where she organizes her tips, tricks and resources for a healthy life. Favorite topics include real food recipes, gluten-free living, essential oils and home remedies, all things natural and nontoxic, plus mommy musings and homeschooling resources. Find out more on the About page