Americans buy air fresheners as if they are going out of style. With more scents and options than ever before, including solid, plug-in, and aerosol varieties, air freshener sales have doubled since 2003. Despite warnings from environmental groups, people continue to buy air fresheners, which contain an array of chemical pollutants that threaten their health.
The National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) conducted a study in 2007 to find out the effects of inhaling these chemical aromas. Across the board, 14 different air fresheners contained chemicals that could cause developmental and reproductive problems. This study helped to highlight the dangers of phthalates, which are chemicals that are used as plastic softeners or to hold fragrances. Even though the dangers of air fresheners were brought to light, they weren’t removed from the market. The only ones that were removed were three of the ones with the highest phthalates levels.
So How Do You Freshen Your Home?
There is an incredibly simple solution to this problem. You can avoid a stale smell in your home by using all-natural, fragrant spices, herbs, and fruit. Not only do these ingredients work to eliminate odors, but they also help you keep chemicals out of your home. To get ideas for different scents to use, we have listed the most fragrant ones below.
Herbs: You can use any herb that you enjoy, but ones that are sturdier on woody twigs last longer (think rosemary and thyme). You can also use sage.
Citrus: Using other fruits is a gamble because they can go bad quickly. Citrus fruits last for a while and they are particularly fragrant, especially lemons and oranges.
Spices: Just open your spice cabinet and see which aromas entice you with their scent. You can use whole spices or ground spices, but whole spices look more aesthetically pleasing. Cinnamon sticks, star anise, or whole cloves are great options.
Pine Or Cedar Needles: If you have pine or cedar trees in your area, grab some needles or twigs and you are good to go. They make your home smell like the wilderness!
How To Make Your Scented Mixtures:
The easiest way to make your natural scent combinations is to get a pint-size glass jar and fill it with your desired ingredients. Fill it up with water just to measure and then pour everything into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the liquid is boiling, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Make sure to keep an eye on the water because you don’t want it to boil off. After simmering for about 10 minutes, remove from the heat and let it cool before transferring it back to the pint-size jar. You can add more water to fill it to the brim. Set it where you want.
Great Scent Combinations
Scent #1: Orange slices, cinnamon, & cloves. This lasts for a while and you can reheat it to intensify the aromas.
Scent #2: Lemon slices, rosemary sprigs, and alcohol-free vanilla extract. This is refreshing and perfect for the bathroom.
Scent #3: Orange slices, ginger slices, and alcohol-free almond extract. It is sweet smelling and bold!
Scent #4: Pine or cedar twigs, bay leaves, and nutmeg. This is a complex aroma and may take some getting used to, like a fine wine.
Scent #5: Lime slices, thyme sprigs, and alcohol-free vanilla extract. This is a pleasant scent and you can add mint to it to kick it up a notch.
Play around with different ingredients and see which combination you like best.