There’s nothing quite like taking a breath of fresh air when you walk outside on a nice day. But beyond what flowers and trees can naturally provide in the outdoors, many people want to freshen the air in their indoor spaces too using commercial products. Yet those products might give you more than you bargained for in terms of unwanted chemicals.
Here’s a look at what commercial air fresheners contain and more natural ways to add scent to your home.
Air Freshener Ingredients
The name of this type of product is actually misleading because air fresheners don’t actually freshen the air – they just overpower other odors in a space. Some commercially produced air fresheners contain volatile organic compounds and other harsh chemicals that work by coating the nasal passages and blocking the sense of smell. Meanwhile, some air freshener products contain phthalates, which are a group of chemicals that are also used to make plastics durable and help dissolve other materials.
Risks of Air Fresheners
Researchers have studied various air freshener products to test the potential effects of their chemical ingredients and the effect on the human body. In some studies, volatile organic compounds, such as benzene, have been linked to headaches, nausea, asthma, and neurological damage. Phthalates have been studied for their connection to reproductive and hormonal issues.
Many commercial products that you find in stores have labels that claim they are “all-natural,” but this term is unregulated, so you really don’t know what you are going to get when you spray or place the product in your home. It is also common for air fresheners to cause allergy and asthma symptoms to get worse in people who already suffer from these conditions.
Air Freshener Alternatives
It is possible to find truly “all-natural” or “eco-friendly” air fresheners from stores and online as long as you carefully read the labels to know what the products contain. It is also easy to make your own air freshener products at home as a little DIY project so that you know exactly what you are putting into your air.
One simple solution involves combining vinegar, lemon juice, and a few drops of essential oils in a spray bottle. Essential oils can be combined with baking soda in a mason jar to create an air freshener that sits out on a table in your home. Lemon, orange, mint, and lavender are great choices for essential oils to use for air fresheners. Another idea is to wrap cinnamon and cloves in a cheesecloth and boil it in water to add natural fragrance to the air. Certain types of plants, such as spider plants and aloe vera, can be situated around your home to naturally filter and freshen the air as well without adding unwanted scents.
You can find more DIY alternatives for common household products right here on the Seagate blog.