Make Your Own Air Fresheners
Avoid Breathing Toxic Air
Ask A Healer Green Living Series
Do You Want Chemical-laden Toxic Air or Clean, Fresh Air? You Can Choose! Learn about natural alternatives to chemical air fresheners.
by N J Howell
Cleansing Your Internal Environment
This is part four of a holistic health report on air freshener safety. In part one, we asked
are you spraying toxic air into your home?. Do you know the answer? Please read part one for a better understanding of this and other parts of the health series on air freshener safety.
Natural Ways to Freshen Your Air:
Personally, my favorite scent in a home is nothing. Just clean air. However, I also enjoy organic essential oils as natural air fresheners. Not only do they smell wonderful, most of them have natural antibacterial and/or antiviral properties. Of course, people with respiratory conditions such as asthma may also be allergic to some oils so be careful if someone in your home has a breathing disorder.
One of the most simple and effective air freshening oils is lemon. All you need is a spray bottle and a bottle of essential oil of lemon. I fill the bottle about halfway and add about 10 drops of lemon (can add more or less for personal taste) and spritz every room in the house. Also wonderful for freshening up bed comforters, the couch, living room pillows, etc. Other oils that work great as air fresheners include peppermint for a lively fresh smell and lavendar, for creating a relaxing space. Love to spritz lavendar in the bedroom and guest room, for example.
Another of my favorite natural air fresheners is fresh lemon. For refreshing the sink, I find half a lemon down the disposal does the trick. Lemon works well on that cutting board that smells of onions too.
I also call on the antibacterial properties of lemon oil whenever I have a cold or someone in my home has a cold.
I'll dab lemon oil on a small section of paper towel and then turn on the central air. I let the natural air suction pull the paper towel against the grate where the filter is and the fresh and healing scent of lemon soon fills the entire house. The healing properties of eo's goes way beyond air freshening. Explore the benefits of aromatherapy and discover more great uses for therapeutic oils.
Is your air freshener Really Natural?
Maybe you don't want to mix your own freshner blends. Why not just buy a potpourri blend at the local store? That can be fine but check the ingredients. Though it may say it's a rose or flower potpourri, that doesn't mean it doesn't have chemicals added.
For natural air fresheners that linger and last, you can create your own non-toxic potpourri of dried, fragrant flowers or herbs. Lavender and rose are great for thsese and add a subtle scent that many find inviting and nice.
You may also want to add just a drop or two of organic essential oils to your homemade potpourri, for extra scent. Just be careful to check for perfumed additives if you don't dry your own flowers and always check essential oils to be sure they are 100 percent pure oils.
You just want the scent of the flowers
so that may involve finding someone who makes their own without artificial fragrance being added. Some people don't know that flowers dried properly for potpourri can have quite potent scents and no added chemical perfumes are really needed anyway. Natural scent, though potent, is hardly ever overwhelming which, safety issues aside, chemical-laden perfumed
potpourri may be.
A good aromatherapist will be familiar with essential oils that should be avoided in cases of a pre-existing respiratory condition. Someone familiar with the properties of different essential oils may also have excellent suggestions on good combinations for natural air fresheners to fit specific environments.
For example, some essential oils are stimulating and might work well in the study while others are relaxing and would be perfect for the bath or bedroom. Looking for pure aromatherapy oils? Find
organic essential oils here
The new kids on the block, at least in my awareness, for purifying the air in a room naturally, are Moso bags. They contain a combination of toxin-eliminating substances and work along the same lines as the zeolite bags I ordered and used in my basement. Frankly, if I'd known about Moso bags then, I'd probably have tried them first.
Dead Mouse in Air Vent?
There is not much that smells worse in a home than a dead mouse. We recently had one chew into the a/c vents. There was no real option except to repair the vents and to bait for the mice to prevent further damage. We ended up with a dead mouse either under the house, near a vent or in a vent. The smell was sickening. I was also concerned about bacteria and breathing dead mouse fumes. My solution, since there was no reasonable way to find out where the mouse might be, was to drop peppermint essential oil on the the air filters several times a day. It helped with odor but also, more important to me, helped with antibacterial protection.
Respiratory Health Disclaimer: If you experience trouble breathing or other signs of respiratory distress, you should check with your doctor to rule out other conditons that could be causing the discomfort. Rather than just start using aromatherapy oils, you might also wish to consult with an aromatherapist. Even though natural air fresheners are less likely to cause an allergic reaction, some oils are more volatile than others so those with asthma may want to forego added fragrance, whether natural or chemical.