12 Safe Alternatives to Dangerous Air Fresheners

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We know you want your home to smell good, but did you know that most commercial air fresheners can contain thousands of potentially harmful chemicals? Here are some safe, natural alternatives to keep your home smelling great.

Commercial air fresheners are literally chemical cocktails waiting to release their little fragrance bombs into the environment. The air freshener industry uses over 3,000 different chemicals to make these fragrances, some of which include formaldehyde, petroleum distillates and byproducts, phenol, and more. The side effects of these chemicals can range from skin irritation, to endocrine disruption and reproductive toxicity, to cancer.

Pretty nasty, huh?

You may think the chemicals dissipate with the smell, but this isn’t true. In fact many of these chemicals can accumulate in your home over time, particularly in carpets and furniture. They can also stick to your shoes and be transported to the soil outdoors.

And of course, there’s all the waste caused by leftover packaging and dispensers. When you look at the environmental impact of air fresheners, there’s no disputing the fact that they are horrible for the environment, and not just your health.

And the kicker is, most air fresheners don’t even get rid of the offending odors – they only mask them by creating a coating in your nasal membranes!

Some manufacturers are actually starting to respond to the demand for safer products, and creating natural air fresheners that are more eco-friendly. Beware of hidden chemicals though – don’t just take the word “natural” at face value. Check the list of ingredients, and if you see a whole list of big unpronounceable words, don’t buy it. Truly natural products shouldn’t contain much more than water and essential oils.

Even better, create your own natural air fresheners at home! Here are 12 ideas for keeping the air in your home clean and fresh, without all the harmful chemicals:

– A simple one, but improving air circulation outside to inside will do wonders. Open windows when you can.

– A tablespoon of salt in a half an orange with the flesh scooped out. I’m told this is a good one for the toilet.

– 1 to 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract placed in small containers around your home

– Pot pourri made from lavender, roses or whatever scented plants and flowers you may have in your garden.

– Use baking soda to soak up acidic odors; also great for ash trays

Baking soda can also be used as a spray – one teaspoon dissolved in cup of water and then sprayed as a fine mist.

– Use vinegar to neutralize alkaline odors. Yes, vinegar is a little smelly itself to start off with, but the initial pong quickly fades.

– A couple of drops of essential oil in an atomizer/mister full of water sprayed around (bear in mind this only masks the smell rather than neutralizing it)

– A couple of drops of essential oil on a cotton ball place in inconspicuous places around a room

– Placing citrus fruit or cinnamon in a pot with water and simmer gently (rather energy resource intensive though)

– If you have extraction fans in the kitchen or toilet, ensure the screens are kept clean. If you haven’t cleaned yours for a while, try it out and I guarantee the difference will amaze you.

– Treating the cause rather than the symptom is always a preferred strategy. For example, pet bedding can create an awful stink and while it may not be viable to wash it every week, simply putting it out in the sun regularly and giving it a good shake will help. The sun is an important factor as sunlight kills some of the stink-causing bacteria.

See the full article at GreenLivingTips.com


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