If you're at all like me, then you've banned commercial air fresheners in your house....
You know, the kind you can buy in the grocery store or in a department store... Where you walk down the "fabric freshener" isle and your nose gets assaulted by artificial fragrance and perfumes.
But in our house we have twin 3 year old boys and 4 cats. (How we got 4 cats is a story for another time....)
So we don't exactly have the luxury of forgoing air fresheners and fabric fresheners all together.
Why don't we just buy air freshener from the grocery store? Because the kind you buy from the store has TONS of potential toxins in it.
- PROPYLENE GLYCOL
- ETHYL ACETATE
- DIETHYLENE GLYCOL MONOETHYL ETHER
- METHYL PYRROLIDONE
These ingredients are suspected to cause cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, organ toxicity, and aggravate allergies.
And this is only a partial list! To get the full scoop, you can visit EWG's report on toxins in cleaning supplies.
...none of these ingredients are LISTED on the label.
One of the most popular air and fabric fresheners around lists its' ingredients simply as "water, alcohol, odor eliminator derived from corn, fragrance."
Why aren't these other ingredients listed? Simple. They don't have to be.
Under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, manufacturers are not required to list all ingredients of household cleaners. This is ostensibly to protect their formulations (i.e. it's a "trade secret").
But what happens when that "trade secret" can CAUSE respiratory problems and other potential short-term and long-term health problems?
Well...the simple solution: make your own DIY natural air freshener.
No artificial fragrance, no cancer causing chemicals, just baking soda, water, and essential oils.
And it works super well! (Remember: I have 3 year old boys and 4 cats.)
How to Make Your Own DIY Natural Air Freshener
First of all, let's talk ingredients.
To make this work, you will need....
- baking soda (1 tblsp)
- water (2 cups - preferably distilled, but I use tap water in a pinch)
- essential oils (10 drops will do. I like lavender + peppermint + lemon, but you can use anything you want. Go nuts!)
- a spray bottle
Dump the water, baking soda, and essential oils into a spray bottle. (You might need a funnel to avoid making a giant mess.)
Shake and spray.
A handy tip on bottles: you can pick up some metal spray bottles on Amazon, or just use empty spray bottles you have lying around the house.
Just make sure that if you use plastic spray bottles, you don't store your DIY mixture in it for more than a few weeks. Essential oils will break down plastic and release the chemicals into your solution.
An easy fix for this: make small batches and spray often. Or store your DIY natural air freshener in a glass jar to refill your bottle. Or just use a glass or a metal bottle. (Essential oils don't react with glass or metal.)