Many homeowners attempt to deodorize their houses with over-the-counter air fresheners. But how safe are commercial household deodorizers, and are there more natural options?
We all know the culprits – fish cooking in the kitchen, the cat’s litter box (or the spots that got soiled when the cat missed the box), musty odors during damp seasons. One of the first things many homeowners do to combat odors is buy spray or plug-in air fresheners, or scented candles that mask unpleasant smells with stronger scents. But these products only mask the bad smell, and usually don’t last for long. Some people are also concerned about their safety for humans and the environment, although an Environmental Protection Agency study noted only that “additional air pollutants can result when high levels of ozone from an ozone-generated air cleaner and emissions from multiple plug-in air fresheners of the type tested, interact with each other.” The EPA does not conduct safety testing of toxic chemicals in air freshener products, but according to NaturalNews.com, a test conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that “12 out of 14 popular air freshener products contained a chemical known to be harmful to the health of humans.”
When it comes to deodorizers, you can trust COIT. During our professional cleanings, we use state-of-the-art deodorizers that can permanently get rid of unwanted smells such as oil, mildew, pet smells, skunk, and smoke—and our deodorizers are nontoxic, nonflammable, non-corrosive, and ozone safe.
If you’re interested in creating some of your own air fresheners, however, Green Living Ideas offers suggestions for some more natural options:
- White vinegar removes odors naturally, both on surfaces around the home and in the air.
- Baking soda absorbs odors. You can place an open box anywhere around the home. Many people place an open box in the refrigerator to absorb food smells.
- Boiling spices like cinnamon in a little bit of water releases their fragrance into the air in a non-harmful, chemical-free way.
- Burn soy or beeswax candles, which have natural waxes that can be burned to release pleasant fragrances.
- If you’d like to create your own spray freshener, consider using essential oils diluted in water. Lemon is an especially effective air deodorizer. You can also add oils to a bowl of water, which has the added benefit of adding moisture to inside air through evaporation, or burn essential oils in an aromatherapy diffuser (safer than burning paraffin candles).
eHow.com, meanwhile, offers its own recipes for home air fresheners, including:
Bathroom Air Fresheners: A small bowl of baking soda on an upper shelf will absorb odors without adding any chemical smell. Put a few drops of essential oil on the cardboard tube inside a roll of toilet paper; it will release the scent every time the roll is turned.
Lemon Air Freshener: Dissolve half a cup of baking soda into two cups of very hot water. Add a quarter cup of lemon juice, and pour into a misting spray bottle.
Vanilla Spice Air Freshener: Place a cup of water, a cup of white vinegar, one tbsp. natural vanilla extract, one tsp. whole cloves, and one cinnamon stick in a small pot. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for two to three minutes. Allow the liquid to cool before straining out the cloves and cinnamon stick, and pouring into a spray bottle.
These are just a few ideas for deodorizing your home in natural, non-toxic ways. And remember, when it’s time to call in the professionals, you can trust COIT to use deodorizers that are safe for both your family and the environment.