The Dangers of Air Fresheners (Plus 10 Natural Options)

by Kymberly Snyder

air freshener toxic

Indoor Air Quality

It’s quite ironic, really, that something designed to “improve” indoor air quality by making it smell better actually winds up making your home more toxic. Studies show that use of air fresheners in the home can trigger asthma and allergies, along with other breathing problems.

Because your home is a relatively closed space, adding elements that diminish air quality can harm your family and contribute to the toxic brew of chemicals that wind up trapped in your system.

Air fresheners can also harm pets, which have a faster metabolism. They may also be especially dangerous for people with pulmonary conditions such as asthma, allergies, or COPD.

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Alternatives to Air Freshener

Everyone’s home can get a little stale from time to time. If you’d like to sweeten your environment, however, you can make far healthier choices than air fresheners. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Make a pomander.

Stud an orange with whole cloves and cure it in the oven on low heat for about an hour – or place it in a paper bag somewhere cool and dry for about six weeks. Hang it with a ribbon or set in a pretty bowl to sweetly scent the area.

2. Open the windows.

Every house can benefit from a good airing out. On a day with good air quality and a slight breeze, open your windows for a few hours. Open windows on all sides of the house to create a cross breeze that gets air moving.

3. Simmer spices.

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You can simmer spices such as whole cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg on the stovetop or in a simmering pot.

4. Odor absorbers.

Use a neutral odor absorbent such as a box of baking soda in a stinky area, or sprinkle especially smelly spots (such as the garbage can) with a little vinegar and baking soda.

5. DIY Spray & Wipe.

Vinegar can remove odors from surfaces when you spray a little on and wipe it up.

6. Fragrant creativity.

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Create your own potpourri from bulk herbs, flowers, and spices and leave a little in a bowl.

7. Use essential oils.

Dab a little on a light bulb or a warmer to gently scent a room.

8. Get Zesty.

Put a little citrus peel down the garbage disposal and turn it on to de-stink your drain.

9. Vinegar Eliminator.

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Eliminate cooking odors by placing a shallow bowl of vinegar nearest the scent.

10. Cotton Balls.

Soak a cotton ball in vanilla and place it in a bowl where you want your home to smell better.

Try these natural options- and ditch the toxic, store-bought air fresheners!

Do you have any other handy natural tricks to keep your home smelling fresh?

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