Dear Leah Renee,
What are some non-toxic ways to keep my house smelling fresh and clean? –Rick, Idaho
There are a range of options available to freshen your home without all the harsh, harmful, artificial ingredients and chemicals released by many candles and commercial air fresheners. We know that standing behind a car that’s blowing out exhaust and inhaling the fumes is bad for us, but there are also more subtle, common pollutants we breathe in, in the comfort of our own home that not all of us realize are harmful too.
If you are a pet owner, you know full well keeping your home smelling nice, or not smelling like the animal you have can be a challenge. One trip to the park with my pups and it’s like they haven’t had a bath in a year. Whether you are looking to help eliminate foul smells, or want use fragrances to give your home a particular aroma which can also be soothing for you, I have provided some options below! You can always combine methods too.
Essential Oils: Essential oils are extracted from botanical material (plants), a liquid that comes from the leaves, roots, stems, bark, or its flowers. Essential oils are highly concentrated and differ from perfumes and other fragrance oils because essential oils are created from nature, not artificially made with chemicals and other substances.
Essential oils do a double duty—they help to both eliminate odors and give off a nice aroma. Particular oils, such as lemon, clove, thyme, tea tree, and eucalyptus are just a few types of oils that help to combat viruses, fungus, bacteria, and germs in the air. In addition to actually cleaning the air, the oils are recognized for their ability to relieve stress, anxiety, relieve headaches, boost your mood, and help with asthma problems (known as aromatherapy). Particular oils and blends provide different beneficial qualities.
How to use these in the home? You can get an oil diffuser or create your own spray. An oil diffuser can be purchased here at Young Living, or via other websites like Amazon.com. There are different types of diffusers require different methods of use. Make sure to read the directions it comes with for proper usage. To spray around the home, fill a small glass spray bottle with distilled water and add around 25-30 drops of the essential oil of your choice.
Incense: Incense is another great alternative to otherwise toxic fragrances. It is a practical, inexpensive way to scent the home. Incense is also commonly used in meditation practices and many find it beneficial in transcending the mind into a pleasurable, maybe even euphoric state. People all over the world use this form of essence to stimulate their senses and fill their surroundings with a pleasant aroma. Just like essential oils, incense also has the ability to alleviate anxiety or depression.
It is important to take caution when purchasing incense, as some are made cheaply, using ingredients that are potentially toxic and harmful. When you purchase a reputable brand, such as myInsens, you will find they do not contain any synthetic or artificial additives. MyInsens smells wonderful and if you are looking to incorporate incense into your home, I recommend this brand. Incense is not just for hippies and Buddhists, I promise!
Potpourri: Feeling creative? You can make your own potpourri using the contents of teabags (simply cut the teabag open and use the loose leaves, whichever fragrance you prefer), dried flowers, or use cloves, orange peels, and even cinnamon sticks. Teavana has beautiful, fragrant tea blends you can customize yourself. You can make it look pretty and festive depending the dish you decide to put it in, and what color combinations depending on the tea, flowers, herbs and spices you choose. Most store bought potpourri blends are also safe.
Plants: Adding plants to your home may not give your house a particular scent, but it will help purify the air indoors. Studies have been conducted showing that certain houseplants can remove a significant amount, over 80%, of indoor air pollutants. There are three specific plants I can recommend through some research on what the most effective indoor plants are to oxygenate and purify the home. The Areca Palm, Mother-in-law’s Tongue, and the Money Plant have been to be highly effective. People who have common allergies and asthma can really benefit from introducing plants into the home.
Baking Soda: Just like plants, this method will not give your home a particular aroma, but will indeed purify the air. Baking soda helps to soak up odors, whether you sprinkle it on surfaces like the carpet or couch, in trashcans, or simply leaving the little box open in the corner of cabinets and in the fridge to help remove those unpleasant smells. This is an effective, non-toxic way to freshen your home. Extra bonus: it’s really inexpensive. We’re talking under $2!
Candles: If you still enjoy burning candles, 100% soy candles are the way to go. Conventional candles contain paraffin wax which contains petroleum that emits toxins in the air when burned. They also typically consist of synthetic dyes and artificial fragrances that are of no benefit to those inhaling them either. Unfortunately, in addition to the wax, the wicks often contain lead which also emit harmful toxins into the air. Pure Integrity Soy Candles specialize in making 100% soy candles that smell great.
You can choose from any or all of the above options and rotate them according to your mood or intent. It’s important to keep our home fresh and as free of toxins as possible, and any of these options are a great way to start!
**If you care to order off the Young Living website, choose your country and enter distributor #1097732 when checking out.