They say the home is where the heart is, but homes can have unpleasant odors from pets, mold growth, poor ventilation, dirty bathrooms, and household waste. As a result, the global air freshener market is a thriving industry that is expected to reach $27.7 billion by 2030, but many of these products are already polluting indoor air and producing toxic chemicals.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality ranks as one of the greatest threats to human health and is typically 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Home cleaning products, including air fresheners, are among the culprits in home air pollution. Let’s explore why many scented sprays, add-ons, bathroom sprays and car air fresheners are harmful to human health and the environment and how to get cleaner and safer air.
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regarding chemicals in air fresheners
There are many harmful and unsafe ingredients that are commonly found in commercial air fresheners. These are some of the most dangerous, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
You can naturally freshen indoor air
Natural air fresheners contain no synthetic chemicals, are easy to make and often inexpensive, and you can tailor them to your aromatic preferences. Natural air fresheners include baking soda, essential oils, vinegar, diffusers, food scents, and activated charcoal. For example, bags of bamboo charcoal or volcanic rock absorb odors without the use of synthetic fragrances.
Eliminate bad odors from home
One critical step to reducing or eliminating odors is to stop them at the source, rather than masking them with scented products.
Read air freshener product labels carefully
Although many product labels may advertise that they are “natural,” that does not mean that they smell clean and are free of harmful ingredients. Synthetic fragrances are often categorized as parfum, parfum, or fragrance. Because the fragrance’s formula is considered a trade secret, manufacturers are not required to disclose its ingredients, which can include any number of related chemicals, including phthalates and benzophenones, in a petroleum base. Also, beware of products that use the words “warning,” “danger,” or “poison.”
Best commercial air fresheners
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) ranks air fresheners to help shoppers choose more natural alternatives to toxic deodorants, air freshener sprays, and linen sprays. Of the air fresheners I rated, 12 products received an A grade, 33 a B, and 245 a D or F rating. Here are the top-rated air fresheners from the EWG.
These products have received an A from the EWG
These products received a B grade from the EWG
Home air fresheners
An easy and simple way to get safer air fresheners is to make your products with safe and natural ingredients. DIY air fresheners can also be economical and help you avoid packaging waste by refilling bottles you already have at home. Some of the best DIY air fresheners contain essential oils, baking soda, vinegar, and lava rock.
Diffused essential oils
Many essential oils have beneficial health properties that help relieve stress, induce sleep, rejuvenate, and promote mental clarity. Simply boil a pot of water, remove it from the heat, and add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Another option is to purchase an essential oil diffuser that allows for a slow release of essential oils.
Make home fragrance sprays
These air fresheners are easy to make using water, essential oils, alcohol, and a reused spray bottle. Prairie Homestead has some excellent recommendations on which essential oils to use, depending on the desired effect. For example, lavender and eucalyptus are soothing, while mint and citrus fruits are uplifting. So a lavender spray might be excellent for a bedroom, while a mint/citrus spray might be good for a kitchen, bathroom, or home office.
- 3/4 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol, vodka, or real vanilla extract
- 10 to 15 drops of your favorite essential oils
Use a funnel to add all ingredients directly into a spray bottle. Shake well and enjoy.
Choose safer ways to freshen your home’s air and eliminate odors
Store aisles are filled with dozens of commercial air fresheners, but many of them contain harmful chemicals. Fortunately, there are many effective strategies to reduce or stop unpleasant odors naturally and to use natural products to add scents. These simple actions help protect the environment while truly enhancing indoor air quality.