There’s something about walking into a room that smells lovely, whether it’s an energizing smell or a relaxing one. We are all attracted to pleasant smells but did you know that a lot of store-bought products contain toxic chemicals you shouldn’t be breathing?
Yes, I was shocked when I discovered this! I used to buy all sorts of scented candles, gels, plug-ins, air fresheners and I was terrified to discover they could cause health issues. They can cause even more serious issues if you have small children so for a long time I just avoided anything with fragrances…
Why you should avoid scented products?
Most of the lovely smelling products are filled with toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), petroleum products, phthalates and artificial scents.
According to this post from Healthy Holistic Living:
VOCs cause the following laundry list of symptoms: eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches; loss of coordination; nausea; liver, kidney, and central nervous system damage; allergic skin reactions; dyspnea, or shortness of breath; declines in serum cholinesterase levels; emesis, or vomiting; epistaxis, or nosebleeds; fatigue, visual disorders, and memory impairment.
Phthalates are also used another dangerous ingredient used in scented products. They interfere with your hormonal system and can cause endocrine, reproductive, and developmental problems. They have also been linked to cancer. According to Healthy Child, Healthy World:
Human and animal studies have found links to birth defects, decreased sperm counts and damaged sperm, increased risk of developing behavioral problems, premature birth, and respiratory difficulties in children with bronchial obstruction (such as asthma).
Using scented products is more dangerous if you’re pregnant or have kids. “In 2013, after a study of more than 2,000 pregnant women, the International Journal of Public Health reported that women who used air fresheners in their homes were significantly more likely to have babies that suffered from wheezing and lung infections.” (Source)
Manufacturers of these products claim that they’re completely safe but they don’t list all the ingredients that they use in the products and many have been found to contain phthalates. Most of them haven’t even done studies on these products so their claims are not based on science.
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Are all scented products toxic?
No, they are not. You just have to know what to look for and read labels. Make sure you stick to natural and non-toxic products and when in doubt do a quick google search on what you’re planning to buy.
When it comes to products that remove odors, I stick to EnviroKlenz. They are non-toxic and work wonders in removing bad odors from all types of surfaces. They are my favorite product for removing stinky messes by far.
If you’re looking into buying non-toxic scented products, try Fresh Wave. The only downside is that, as of now, all of their products come in one scent.
The best way to guarantee that you’re using safe and non-toxic scented products is to make them yourself. I know it might sound complicated, but making your own scented products is extremely easy and it saves lots of money in the long run.
Check out my TV segment on Good Morning Washington where I show how easy it is to make non-toxic scented products that will leave your home smelling lovely:
Needs more detailed instructions? Find below the instructions to all the products we showcased on Good Morning Washington.
Recipes to Naturally Scent your Home:
Garbage Disposal Cleaner:
This cleaner doesn’t only clean your garage disposal but it leaves it smelling nice. You can use this cleaner as frequent as needed but I have found to need it only about once or twice a month.
Click here to learn how to make this easy garbage disposal cleaner.
Diaper pail / Trash can smell remover:
Use baking soda and essential oils to remove bad smells from your trash can or diaper pail. My favorite way is to mix 1/4 cup of baking soda and 10 drops of essential oils with a tad of water until you create a paste. Place it inside a breathable bag and put it at the bottom of your trash can or diaper pail.
You can use this same recipe to make baking soda deodorizing disks, like the ones pictured below. The only downside is that you have to wait about 24-48 hours for the mixture to get dry before you can use them.
Click here to get directions on how to make these disks and to find out other ways you can use baking soda to remove bad odors.
This is a great alternative to air fresheners! Just spray whenever you need to scent your home or after using the restroom.
To make a scented spray mix 1/2 tablespoon of vodka, 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil and 3 tablespoons of distilled water in a 2 oz spray bottle. Shake it up and spray! You can add more essential oils if you want the scent to be stronger.
This is perfect if you’re looking to replace spray air fresheners! We keep these mostly in our bathroom but they can be used anywhere in your home.
Making scented gels is a lot easier than you probably image. All you need is unflavored gelatin, a tad of salt, water and your favorite essential oils. I love that you can make these in different scents and have them in every room in your home!
I love these so much that I have one in every bedroom and even inside my refrigerator. No more stinky smells!
Click here to get the full tutorial on how to make non-toxic scented gels.
Making scented candles is also very easy. It just takes a little bit of time since you need to wait for the beeswax to melt.
Candles contain all sorts of toxic ingredients so if you opt to buy candles make sure you buy either non-GMO, 100% soy wax candles or 100% beeswax candles. Beeswax is more expensive so usually these candles cost more. However, they’re very affordable if you make them yourself.
Click here to find out why paraffin candles are so dangerous and how to make scented and unscented beeswax candles.
Other Green Resources:
This blog is filled with resources for those of you just starting your green living journey and for those of you that are already well into this journey:
- Get our e-book with 40 DIY recipes for bath and body products.
- For a compilation of all our green living posts, click here.
- For DIY natural body product recipes, click here.
- For DIY cleaning supplies, click here.
- Want to see what this blog is all about? Start here.
Have a question? Leave a comment.
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