There’s something about a fresh, crisp scent in the air that can remind us of happy times, lifting our spirits and making us feel that all is right in the world. But did you know that, in an effort to achieve this feeling, you could inadvertently be exposing yourself and your family to harmful chemicals via such scent-laden products as air fresheners, candles, dryer sheets and fabric softeners?
Scents like “Cool Morning Air,” “Cleansing Rain,” “Citrus Scent” and “Summer Breeze” may sound inviting, but the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) reports that many air fresheners commonly include such dangerous ingredients as hormone-disrupting phthalates and cancer-causing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) like benzene and formaldehyde.
When these and other chemicals in the air fresheners are released into the air, they may then be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. According to the report, “Once they enter the bloodstream, they can alter hormone levels and cause other health problems.” Scary—especially when you consider that a whopping 86% of the air fresheners tested contained phthalates alone.
Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softeners
Many people have also come to rely on dryer sheets and fabric softeners to help create a feeling of freshness. These laundry aids may help clothes feel softer and reduce static cling, but they come at a high cost when you factor in that many contain harmful ingredients like phthalates, chloroform (a neurotoxin and carcinogen) and others.
The bottom line?
It may be best to avoid artificially fragranced products like air fresheners, fabric softeners and dryer sheets. But what should you use instead?
Essential Oils—A Non-Toxic Alternative
Healthier alternatives to chemical-laden air fresheners include opening windows and/or placing several indoor plants around your home. But when you want to evoke a certain mood, there’s nothing quite like essential oils to help scent the air naturally, without the worry of toxic chemicals.
Benefits of Essential Oils
How to Use Essential Oils
Essential oils can easily be used in a variety of ways. For example:
Or add a few drops of essential oil to a pot of water on your stovetop and let it simmer on low heat. The soothing scent will soon permeate throughout your house. (Remember to keep adding water and essential oil as the water evaporates.)
You can even make your own essential-oil-and-baking-soda deodorizer to absorb odors as it also helps scent your home. Just combine 1/4 cup of baking soda with 40 drops of your favorite essential oil and mix well. Stir the mixture daily to release the oil’s scent. Use it up to 30 days, adding a few drops of essential oil if the aroma begins to fade.
Love the vacuum idea!
I never did like air fresheners, scented candles or plug-in air fresheners. I also have friends & family who are scent sensitive. My sister-in-law has asthma and it can be triggered by the plug-in air fresheners. Many reasons to use essential oils instead of the chemically laden ones!
I love essential oils. I’m so excited that Norwex offers them now!
I am going to try the baking soda and essential oils idea in my basement. Great idea!
Tammy, please let us know how it works for you!
Great article! I’m going to try the cotton balls in the vacuum idea today! 🙂
Thanks for these tips. I recently got some essential oil blends and I had no idea how to use them, until now!
Have never used essential oils and not sure what blends there are and for what.
Put a drop of essential oil in some warm water over a tea light…. the room will benefit.
I’ve used a couple of drops of lavender essential oil in my wash when anyone in my family was sick. As an anti-microbial it is very effective in killing germs and viruses. I can’t stand air fresheners and scented laundry products. The smells make me sick. Sadly there are still people out there using that stuff. We need to get the word out. That’s why I’m so thankful for Norwex.
Love essential Oils!! Love the cotton ball idea in drawers and vacuums going to try those right away
I love the vacuum idea also. And the cotton balls in the drawers. I will be trying this this weekend! I put a few drops of wild orange on my Norwex superior wet mop pad lastnight when I mopped but it was really strong so I think I will dilute it next time lol. 🙂
Good to know, thanks Angela!
I have been with Young Living Essential oils for almost 3 years now! I sometimes add a few drops of essential oils to my Dryer Balls, I diffuse daily with essential oils and make my own sprays!
We use essential oils on our dryer balls sometimes, and I also put a few drops of a citrus oil in washer loads when clothes are especially stinky. I LOVE diffusing my oils–our indoor air is cleaner, we don’t trigger asthma attacks, and I know I’m getting a healthy and beautiful smell!
I have never tried essential oils, but am excited to try
Never thought of adding to my vacuum. That exhaust smells yucky and has the potential to smell lovely!
I just added the Norwex car clips to my car, with the Purifying Oil Blend that Norwex sells, and I LOVE IT!! Now my husband wants one in his car! lol
I now use essential oils on dryer balls, in my Scentsy warmer, and in my car. I’ve always been afraid of using candles because of the chemicals in them.