Air Fresheners: A Breath of Fresh Chemicals

We all want a fresh-smelling home because that seems to suggest it’s clean and under control. Some people resort to air fresheners in aerosols, plug-in pods, and a host of other creative products—products full of chemicals. I have neighbors at my condominium who are undoubtedly hooked on the stuff; I have to hold my breath as I walk by their door. The artificial masking scents can be quite detrimental to a household, not to mention health.

Read more about chemicals and children's health

For people with asthma or other respiratory problems, these products may exacerbate the ailments and act as a catalyst for causing such problems in children. There are upwards of 3,000 chemicals that can be found in air fresheners, including petrochemicals such as propane and butane, which can spread themselves around your room and cling to everything including your carpets, upholstery, and airways.

These nasty chemical cocktails are combustible, can cause headaches, depress the nervous system, and may lead to shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing. Rather than buying these products, here are some natural, great ways to keep the house smelling fresh.

  • Open a window to circulate fresh air. It sounds simple and obvious but it works like a charm.

  • About 20 minutes before you vacuum carpets, sprinkle baking soda onto the carpets to eliminate the odors out of the carpet fibers. You can even add some dried lavender or sage to the baking soda beforehand, which will leave a fresh and natural aromatic scent.

  • If you are craving a warm scent, simmer some mulling spices in water for awhile and enjoy the scents of your own creation.

  • For the bathroom, use the simple and steadfast trick of lighting a match. It works every time and is much safer than a constant chemical concoction. Of course, be sure to safely light and flush the match.

Read more about what you can do to support toxic chemical reform

Whatever you decide to use to freshen your home, choose a more natural, chemical-free way of enhancing the scent of the place the where you live. Your health will benefit.

Image: Dave Sutherland

By Melissa Maker| October 17, 2014
Categories:  Live
Keywords:  Cleaning Green

About the Author

Melissa Maker

Melissa Maker

Melissa is passionate about making living environments cleaner and greener. She has been featured in newspapers and televisions shows. Melissa has even been featured as an expert in eco-friendly cleaning tips and techniques in interviews and speaking engagements. Melissa is the owner and operator of Clean My Space, which focuses on cleaning condo suites for busy urbanites. Melissa’s clients and staff are encouraged to use green cleaning products and techniques whenever possible and she is always researching new products and techniques to share with readers.

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