Hold the toxins, please!
Ahh, home. It’s where we make good memories, good meals ... and some pretty BAD smells, from onion odors to laundry baskets brimming with damp, balled-up socks (the bane of all parents’ existence). Throw in a dog or five, and before long, our home sweet homes are smelling more like a petting zoo.
Sure, cleaning more often is the best way to fight odors. But sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. (Or, no shame in it, we’d rather binge-watch a new show). That’s why air fresheners for home are so convenient.
But is the average room air freshener actually doing more harm than good? Keep reading to find out, plus get the scoop on the latest (and safest!) natural home deodorizer trends.
What to Know About The Typical Air Freshener for Home
We’ve all seen the commercial. You know, where an impeccably dressed woman breezily sprays air freshener throughout her impeccably clean living room, then enjoys a heartwarming, if not awkward, hug with her throw pillow.
Beyond the marketing sheen, the truth is most room air fresheners get their "pleasant" scents from chemicals, usually dozens of them. (Wait, it’s not made from "sky" and "Hawaiian beach"?)
Common toxins in home air fresheners include phthalates, formaldehyde, and a smorgasbord of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
In fact, according to a household products emissions study (which included air fresheners), the average product emitted 15 VOCs, with at least one of the chemicals classified as toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal law.
Safety of Room Air Fresheners ... Why Are We in the Dark?
Only 1/4 of the population is aware that synthetic fragrance products are unhealthy. A big reason for this, beyond all that clever marketing, is we’re not getting the memo!
Only 10% of the average air freshener’s ingredients are divulged, due in large part to trade secret law. Fragrances are considered a secret formula, so the chemicals used to make up the scent remain hush-hush.
Meanwhile, we’re paying the price with headaches, allergy-like symptoms, a greater potential for asthma, and more!
Want a deeper dive? Check out 5 reasons spray air fresheners are bad for you.
Breathe Easy With These 5 Natural Home Deodorizing Solutions
You can rebel against the norm and breathe a whole lot easier by shelving toxic room air fresheners in favor of more natural solutions ...
1. Coffee, Anyone?
Coffee ... not just for drinking anymore! Because it contains nitrogen, coffee can pull out and absorb stinky odors from the air. But coffee is expensive – I only want to drink it!
Don’t worry – you can repurpose USED coffee grounds into a natural home deodorizer. You’ll want to dry them out first, though, and the easiest way to do this is in the oven.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees
- Add your grounds to a baking sheet – pile should be even and no thicker than 3 inches
- Check on your grounds and flip them every 10 minutes – grounds should be dry in 20–30 minutes total baking time
- Cool and store grounds in a mason jar or airtight plastic container
Once your grounds are dry, you can put an open container in the fridge to absorb odors, or put some grounds in bowls throughout stinky rooms, or add to a cheesecloth, mesh bag, or old pantyhose and place in stinky closets or drawers. The possibilities are endless.
2. Bowl Me Over
If you don’t mind the smell of vinegar, this is a great way to remove potent odors from a room. Just fill up some small bowls with white vinegar (a half inch in each will do) and set them throughout the room that needs deodorizing. Leave the bowls out for 24 hours and then discard or refill depending on whether the smell is still lurking.
If you love to cook, but could do without the odors, leaving a fresh bowl of vinegar in a dish on the counter will help neutralize odors each day.
3. Make Your Own Baking Soda Natural Air Freshener
If you have some free time, why not try your hand at making your own natural air freshener? All you need to do is add 2 cups of distilled water to a cleaning bottle (we love using glass ones versus plastic), then add 2 T. of baking soda and give it a shake. You can also add 20 drops of your fave essential oil to give it an extra special touch.
4. Cultivate Your Green Thumb
Growing fresh herbs in the kitchen can counteract all those potent cooking smells. (Cumin and onion, we’re talking to you!) At the same time, it can help you save money at the grocery store. Some of the best-scented herbs that you can grow right in your kitchen include:
- Lemon verbena
5. Buy a More Natural Home Deodorizer
If you love the convenience of deodorizing sprays, but you don’t want to pollute your indoor air, try Oxyfresh All-Purpose Home Deodorizer.
You won’t find hidden ingredients on the label .... only the real deal about real ingredients, like natural peppermint and spearmint essential oils.
Unlike toxic air fresheners, only Oxyfresh features the purifying power of Oxygene® to actually get rid of odor compounds versus masking them with synthetic fragrance.
It seems like magic, but it's really great science. Oyxgene® works by seeking out stinky sulfur compounds and oxidizing them on contact without producing harmful byproducts.
You can safely use it to wipe out odors anywhere in the home: stinky shoes, the closet where everyone throws their hats, the carpet where Fido likes to chill, and kitchens overcome by garlic and onion smells.
It's true freshness in every single spray without the worries of toxic chemicals!
Try any of these natural air freshener solutions (or all of them!) and start breathing easy again with air that is truly fresh and clean.