Do you ever open your drawers or closet and have to step away because of an unpleasant aroma? Your first instinct is to grab the air freshener and liberally spray it all over the culprit area. Not only do air fresheners temporarily mask the scent, but they also pollute your space with harmful chemicals. That is why it’s much safer and more effective to use the all-natural air freshener jars in this article.
The Problem With Commercial Air Fresheners
The problem with many commercial air deodorizers or air fresheners is the long list of toxins. Chemicals in these products, specifically the phthalates, and formaldehyde, can cause rashes, dizziness, headaches, and throat irritation. These chemical compounds are also known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). According to several studies, exposure to VOCs can cause adverse health effects, including loss of coordination, liver damage, and damage to the central nervous system. Researchers identified some VOCs as suspected or proven carcinogens. Long-term exposure to VOCs can also increase the risk of asthma and certain types of cancer.
Formaldehyde, for example, is a common ingredient in many household air fresheners and cleaners. You can also find it in home furnishings, household paints, and certain textiles. That makes formaldehyde very difficult to avoid, but limiting your exposure is an important first step. Unfortunately, phthalates are also problematic VOCs that are in a lot of air freshening products. Phthalates help distribute fragrances, but they also can disrupt the body’s hormone levels, which can affect your overall health and well-being.
The said reality is that products that have “all-natural” on the label can still contain VOCs. Homemade air freshening products, on the other hand, give you full control over what goes into them. We detail the ingredients for the air freshener jars below.
Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is a staple in the non-toxic cleaning world. It is mildly abrasive, eco-friendly, affordable, and great for getting rid of built-up grime. Baking soda is known for its ability to absorb and neutralize unpleasant odors. The “why” behind baking soda’s ability to do this has to do with chemistry. Most smells are acidic in nature, and baking soda works to neutralize pH levels. To put it simply, baking soda’s basic pH is perfect for neutralizing acids that cause foul odors.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil’s aroma is very relaxing and studies show that it can promote better sleep. Various studies also confirmed that lavender has a soothing effect that can reduce stress levels. Another benefit of lavender is that it has properties that may be able to repel certain insects, particularly moths, making it great for closets, dresser drawers, and line closets. You can use both dried lavender and lavender essential oil to maximize the effects of lavender, and make the scent last longer.
Similar to baking soda, eucalyptus has an ability to neutralize foul odors in the home. A simple sprig of eucalyptus is enough to create a pleasant aroma in a room. Eucalyptus essential oil is even more powerful, as it is distilled from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree. It exhibits anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, which may help combat certain chemicals in the air. Finally, eucalyptus essential oil acts as a natural decongestant when you inhale it, making it great for your home. Who doesn’t want to breathe better when they walk into a room?!
DIY Air Freshener Jars
- 2 cups baking soda
- 1/2 cup dried lavender buds
- Sprigs of eucalyptus (optional)
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- Pour the baking soda into a large bowl and add the dried lavender and optional eucalyptus leaves. Mix well to combine.
- Add in the essential oils and continue to mix before transferring the mixture into small, wide-mouth mason jars.
- Use your mason jar lid insert as a guide to trace and cut a circular piece of brown paper bag. Any type of paper will work for this step, for example, wrapping paper or card stock.
- Using a needle, poke holes into the circular pieces of paper, making sure that you do it over a carpet or towel to protect your counter or desk.
- Place the circular pieces of paper on the tops of your mason jars and screw on the lids to secure the paper. The tiny holes allow the wonderful aromas to freshen up your space.