DIY Non-toxic Air Fresheners

July 2024 - Natural Home

In the pursuit of a pleasant-smelling home, many turn to chemical air fresheners to mask odours and create an inviting atmosphere. However, beneath their pleasant scents lies a hidden danger that often goes unnoticed.

Many air fresheners contain a cocktail of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals that easily evaporate into the air at room temperature. VOCs, such as formaldehyde, benzene and phthalates, can contribute to indoor air pollution and have been linked to a myriad of health issues. Not to mention that the listed ingredient “fragrance” is actually a broad term encompassing a combination of over 3,000 chemicals that companies are allowed to conceal as trade secrets. This means that we’re not sure what chemicals are used to scent products.

We do know that prolonged exposure to VOCs can lead to respiratory problems, trigger allergies and asthma attacks, and even contribute to more severe health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Furthermore, certain chemicals found in air fresheners, such as phthalates, have been associated with reproductive and developmental toxicity, posing particular risks to pregnant women, infants and young children.

These three DIY options use safe ingredients that promote wellness with each fresh scent.

1: Room Spray

  • small spray bottle
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ⅔ cup rubbing alcohol
  • 80–90% alcohol
  • 15–25 drops essential oils of your choice
  1. Combine water with alcohol.
  2. Add essential oils of your choice (more or less drops depending on how strong you want the scent).
  3. Shake the mixture before spraying.
  4. Spray as needed. The alcohol allows the water to evaporate quickly.

2: Baking Soda Odour Eater

  • small glass canning jar
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • cloth or paper slightly larger than
  • the opening of the jar
  • 15–25 drops essential oils of your choice
  1. Add baking soda and essential oils to the jar and stir together.
  2. Place the fabric or paper over the opening of the jar and secure with a rubber band or tape. This allows the scent through but prevents the contents from spilling out.
  3. Give the jar a little shake to release a bit of scent.

3: Bamboo Reed Diffuser

  • small glass bottle or bud vase
  • 5–10 bamboo kabob skewers
  • more skewers = more scent
  • ¼ cup carrier oil
  • sweet almond, safflower or jojoba oil
  • 15–25 drops essential oils of your choice
  1. Put carrier oil into the bottle or bud vase.
  2. Add essential oils.
  3. Stir the oils together with a skewer.
  4. Place the rest of the skewers in the bottle or vase.
  5. The oil travels up the skewers along with the scent. 
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