Why You Should Stop Using Air Fresheners Immediately

The wide-scale availability of modern-day air fresheners has brought with it many benefits, as per The Smarter Shopper. We can mask unpleasant odors in our homes, such as those coming from dirty laundry or pet bedding and towels. They are versatile and transportable, making them easy to install in rooms that tend to accumulate an array of yucky smells, including the kitchen and bathroom. They also allow us to postpone certain cleaning chores if we don't have time by providing the illusion of cleanliness and freshness. Some air fresheners are even aesthetically pleasing, making them a decorative feature in any indoor space. And if that wasn't enough, we get to choose from a dizzying number of scents depending on our personal preferences.

Filling our homes with air fresheners may seem like a no-brainer, but Made Safe points out that there are some hidden dangers to doing so. Most air fresheners contain toxic chemicals that can be detrimental to our health. Among these chemicals is formaldehyde, which is classified as a carcinogen. You'll find toluene in the list of ingredients as well, which can be harmful to reproductive health and developing fetuses. Air fresheners also contribute to indoor air pollution by releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), phthalates, and other toxins. These chemicals cling to material surfaces in your home, including furniture and clothing. It is clear that air fresheners do more harm than good. However, there are ways you can keep your home smelling fresh without filling it with harmful toxins.

Safe alternatives to air fresheners

It is definitely not worth the risk to your health to use air fresheners, but that doesn't mean you have to give up on the idea of having a fresh-smelling house. Taste of Home offers several alternative air fresheners that are natural and easy to incorporate into your home. The first is baking soda, which can be used for various purposes, including cleaning and disguising bad odors. While baking soda won't give off its own fragrance, it will prevent unpleasant smells from taking hold. Simply add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to a spray bottle filled with water and spritz the air as needed.

If you can't get past the idea of giving up on infusing your home with specific fragrances, simply replace your air fresheners with essential oils. While a diffuser works great for this purpose, you can also place a few drops of your preferred oil on a piece of paper and leave it in an area that needs freshening up, preferably next to a vent or fan for increased air circulation. Another natural way to mask smells in your home is to purchase some aromatic plants, such as lavender, jasmine, mint, or basil. 

Proper ventilation and air filters are additional ways you can ensure adequate airflow throughout your house, as per Made Safe. That being said, if bad odors are an ongoing problem, you should ultimately try to figure out the cause of the smell and address it directly.