There’s nothing quite as refreshing as coming home to a house that smells great. But most commercial air fresheners contain potentially dangerous ingredients. If you are the DIY type, and you want your home filled with enticing scents, a homemade air freshener might be an option. A home detox is a fun, quick and easy project – and it’s also healthy. Here are some reasons you should consider making a natural air freshener with essential oils, rather than buying a product from a store.
Why Commercial Air Fresheners Are Bad
Some of the ingredients you’ll find in many air fresheners are downright scary. They include …
These are found in not only air fresheners, but also cosmetics, deodorants, and even food packaging products. They’ve been linked to many different health issues, including developmental and behavioral problems, reproductive issues, obesity, and respiratory conditions.1 One study revealed that 12 of 14 popular air fresheners contain phthalates.2
PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil is linked to reproductive and respiratory problems. It has also been associated with skin allergies and even DNA damage.3
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified this chemical as a possible human carcinogen.4
Researchers have found that commercial air fresheners contain many other dangerous chemicals and allergens, including styrene, benzene, and formaldehyde.5
Exposure to styrene could affect your kidneys, as well as your central nervous system.6 Benzene can weaken your immune system and also reduce your body’s supply of red blood cells, leading to anemia.7 Formaldehyde is not only classified as a carcinogen, it has also been associated with respiratory problems.8
Ready to take the plunge and try your hand at making a natural home air freshener?
Making a Natural Air Freshener Using Essential Oils
Essential oils are liquids taken from plants that give them their “essence,” or their natural aroma and flavor. They’re not only used in natural air fresheners, but also in aromatherapy products and even some medicines. Many people use them to reduce anxiety and stress, for example. Some essential oils also have antibacterial properties.9
You can easily make a homemade air freshener using essential oils such as clove, eucalyptus, peppermint, sage, lavender, or wintergreen. Essential oils are available in virtually any scent you desire. And you can use these essential oils to make a variety of products:
- Mix a half cup of water with a few drops of clove, wild orange, and sandalwood extracts in a spray bottle. Spritz the mixture around the house for a great burst of lovely fragrance.
- Combine a few drops of your favorite essential oil with three cups of water and four tablespoons of white vinegar in a spray bottle. This will work great as a disinfectant in your kitchen and bathroom.10
- Soak a couple of cotton balls in a few drops of an antimicrobial essential oil, such as lemon or lavender, and put them in the canister of your vacuum cleaner. When you turn the vacuum on, the oil will instantly help freshen your entire home.11
Homemade Air Freshener Recipes
Here are some fast and easy natural homemade air freshener recipes.
Lavender Air Freshener
Mix the following in a spray bottle filled with two cups of distilled water:
- One teaspoon of baking soda
- 10 drops of chamomile essential oil
- 10 drops of lavender essential oil12
Citrus Air Freshener
Combine these ingredients in a pot filled two-thirds of the way with distilled water to give your home a distinctive citrus aroma.
- Two teaspoons of vanilla essence
- Three sprigs of rosemary
- One sliced lemon
Bring the mixture to a boil, and then turn down the heat to a simmer. Add water when you need it to keep the scent going.13
Baking Soda Air Freshener
Lots of people keep a box of baking soda in their refrigerator to neutralize smells. Here’s how to make it into a natural air freshener for your entire home. You’ll need:
- A small mason jar
- Half a cup of baking soda
- 15-25 drops of your favorite essential oil
- Cloth or paper to cover the jar (something thick enough to keep the contents in the jar, but permeable enough to allow the scents to escape)
Simply put the baking soda and essential oils in the jar and mix. Put the jar covering on top. Shake the jar whenever you want to release more scent into the room.14
One Last Word
As you can see, making a homemade air freshener using essential oils is quick and simple. Not only will it be extremely effective, you’ll also be able to breathe easier knowing you’re not filling your home with dangerous chemicals.