5 Natural and Homemade Air Fresheners

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on

Many of us enjoy fresh and pleasant scents at home but have concerns about using certain commercially available “air fresheners.” Some of these products are known to contain toxins such as phthalates and VOCs like benzene and formaldehyde [1], not what most of us have in mind when we think of “fresh air.” Covering up odors with stronger smelling chemicals is a toxic cycle and those chemicals eventually get into our ecosystems.

Bad air quality at home can lead to a myriad of issues. Some very common ones include sinus infections, allergies, and general immune system problems. Keeping the air at home clean is important and making all natural and toxin-free air fresheners is a fantastic approach. It’s easy to do, can save some money, and doesn’t add pollution to the air in your home!

  • Houseplants. Indoor plants suck up the bad odors and emit good ones. Aromatic herbs such as oregano, mint, and sage are among those most often used. The fresh herbs are an added bonus.
  • Essential oils. Add 12-15 drops of pure essential oil to 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1 1/2 cups of water. Put in a spray bottle (ideally a glass one) and spray when needed. An aromatherapy diffuser will also work. Some popular essential include: Bergamot, Vanilla, Ylang-ylang, Clove, Geranium, Tea Tree, Lemon, Peppermint, Cedarwood, and Lavender. Be wary of oils that contain chemical additives.
  • Coffee. Besides being great to wake up to, coffee reduces mustiness in the air. Place a bowl of fresh grounds in areas of your home where you notice odor stagnation. You can even wrap grounds in a coffee filter and hang in musty closets.
  • Open the windows. This may not be appropriate for all environments or health conditions but this simple method is one of the best ways to freshen the air. Opening the windows brings in the natural scents of the outdoor environment, plants, and flowers.
  • Natural hot potpourri. Try this on the stove: Add 1/2 cup water to a small pan. Add about 1/2 cup of sliced lemon or oranges. Add six cinnamon sticks, a few cloves and maybe even a cardamom pod or two. Bring to boil and let simmer. The aroma is warm, relaxing, and great to use year round.

A step up in efforts to keep the air in your home fresh and odor free is to buy a high-quality air purification system. I recommend and use the Guardian Air REME+ Air Purification System. It’s easily one of the highest quality indoor air purification systems on the market today. The REME will get rid of chemicals and odors, not just mask them.

How do you clean up the air in your home? Please share your thoughts!

References (1)
  1. Natural Resources Defense Council. Protect your family from the hidden hazards in air freshners (PDF). Health Facts. 2007 September.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Aida Franco

    great post! Thanks for the great natural ideas.

  • Gwen

    One thing you left out, that I think is important is 100% pure Beeswax Candles. While burning, a beeswax candle will clean the air of odors and also cause dust particles to fall to the floor. Just make sure the candle does not have a wick with a lead core. Only burn 100% pure Beeswax Candles with pure cotton wicks.
    Burning beeswax candles has helped my daughter deal with her asthma, since the air is cleaner, so her lungs don’t have to work as hard eliminating the dust from the air.

  • Organic or Wild-Crafted White Sage is what we always use at Lucky Six Farms!!

    Like you said, the essential oil is fantastic. You can also use White Sage hydrosol to spray the room as a deodorizer, or to clean floors or surfaces. It’s safe for skin, and can be used straight from the bottle (unlike essential oils)

    Burning an incense cone or a smudge stick is a great way to eliminate strong odors – and your home will get a reputation for a good smell, because White Sage lingers in the air and smells clean and fresh. The hydrosol is good because it won’t set off your smoke alarm!!

  • sam

    That’s a very interesting point – that burning natural candles has helped improve your DD’s asthma. Two of my children suffer from asthma and although it’s been suggested to me to keep the air moist with bowls of water near a heat source, it makes a lot more sense that this would work better if the air itself is clear.

    My DS also has very bad eczema – this was helped significantly by a particular type of air steriliser which drew dust and other particles into a cylinder and incinerated them. It improved his asthma too. Only fly in the proverbial was when he dropped the air purifier and broke it! Given that it retails around £300/$450 we have not yet been able to replace it. I shall try the candles in combination with a natural oil burner and use an organic oil like basil or peppermint suited to asthma.

  • greath ideas

  • jackie

    I use Electric Vaporiser and use only Organic 100% pure essential
    Oil in my bedroom and i can smell the fragrance from my lunch room.
    I use Bergamot and Lavender helps me to relax and sickness free.
    The only thing we get sick coz of what we eat. So i avoid so many foods
    Like MSG content in it SOFT DRINK, CHIPS, PROCESS FOOD, SAUSAGES, BACON ETC. I use non toxic product and i never have a migraint for almost 3 years.

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