Home-Made & Natural Home Air Fresheners

I’ve always had a problem with traditional household air fresheners – glade plug-ins, fabreeze, etc. for a few different reasons. Before I knew they were toxic, I felt confused by their purpose because they would smell good for the first few minutes of entering some one’s home but within an hour I’d have a headache. These days, most people know these ‘air deodorizers’ are simply masking our home’s odors and in the process blowing phthalates and VOCs like benzene and formaldehyde chemicals throughout our house and into our bodies. Most air fresheners on the market contain levels of chemicals that are considered too high to be safe for humans and so the focus for this article is to promote hand-made air fresheners so you can trust the ingredient list. With the amount of green washing with ‘all-natural’ products on the market isn’t it nice to be in control of an ingredient list?

It is funny to learn the most effective way to removing odours from your home is opening a window. This must be why our grandparents look at us and shake their heads.  I also found an awesome stove-top recipe from the Cleaning Naked site that I love because it’s super inexpensive and the fastest way to create a completely natural room deodorizer – without any chemicals! Plus it takes less than 2 minutes to prepare and create which works well in this busy house!

Put 1/2 cup water in a small pan
Add cut up 1/2 lemon (or orange)
Add cinnamon sticks (approx. 4-8 sticks)
Bring to boil and let simmer

The aroma is amazing and you receive a rewarding scent like you’ve been baking all day. It’s the same cozy smell and the cinnamon is wonderful and warm.

Another reason I liked this natural, home made air freshener recipe is because most home-made air freshener recipes call for essential oils and they are quite expensive. I purchased my cinnamon sticks – about 20 of them for just over $1. We always have an orange (can be substituted in the recipe for the lemon) or lemon ready to go bad in the fridge…so it’s worked great for us.

For once I’ve managed a quick, short post so I wanted to add a funny story that recently happened with me and Fabreeze – just so you truly understand how much I dislike this product. My four kids and I took our dog to get groomed. While we were standing in the lobby, 2 dogs that were finished with their grooming walked into the waiting area and pooped and peed in front of where my kids were standing. My kids thought it was funny and I just moved them away from the waste. A groomer comes running out of the back room with a bottle of Fabreeze in her hand – poised and ready to shoot directly next to my head. Just like slow motion I screeched and blocked her from spraying the air freshener where me and my kids were standing. She looked at me like I was crazy (and my sons hid their faces in their hands with embarrassment) but I had no problem explaining simple facts to her. Like the fact if she’d blasted the Fabreeze anywhere need me, I would have had a headache for the entire day and because it’s so toxic I didn’t want it anywhere near my kids. I told her I preferred the smell of the poop and pee rather than being doused with chemicals. She had never heard of this before and actually thanked me for pointing it out. My sons can laugh about it now, but I know their crazy mother and her ‘toxin alerts’ are hard on them at times. I just want to point out that seeing that can pointed and ready to spray evoked such a strong reaction as a mom wanting to protect my kids. I think all parents would react this way – it’s just altering how we look at products after learning they are filled with chemicals – rather than ingredient you actually want sprayed around your home.

Related Articles:

Natural Tips to Improve Bedroom Air Quality

Protect Your Family From Phthalates In Your Home

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One Response to Home-Made & Natural Home Air Fresheners

  1. Brownesy May 25, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    I would have done exactly the same thing to protect my son. Whenever I go to my MIL’s or a friend’s house (who has kids), I turn down their air fresheners :). What I find sad is that so few people, particularly parents (that I know, anyway), seem to be aware of the harm the things they use everyday, can do. When I talk about making safer choices and using natural products, etc., many of my friends look at me like I’m a paranoid lunatic. It’s so logical to me, yet they don’t see the problem. I can’t understand why the message isn’t getting through?

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