Why Air Fresheners Do Anything But

No one likes to walk into a stinky room. Bad odors are gross, which is why an entire industry of air fresheners with aromatic scents is available. But did you know that most conventional air freshener products, including plug-ins, use a whole host of unsafe chemicals to block smells?

This means that the sprays and products marketed as air “fresheners” are actually polluting your air. If you truly want fresh air, we’re all for opening the windows and ventilating.

Here’s what you need to know:

Conventional air fresheners—spray or solid—are a top source of airborne toxins. They don't actually remove odors, but cover them up with stronger, long-lasting synthetic scents often released from so-called “plug-ins.” To work, they fill the air with hazardous chemicals including phthalates, terpenes, acetone, propane, and petroleum distillates.

Safer approaches include:

  • eliminating odors at their source
  • employing natural deodorizing materials like baking soda
  • getting ample ventilation
  • using activated charcoal air filters

Rather than using synthetic sprays, try masking persistent odors with essential oil sprays. For the person who doesn’t want to give up his or her plug-in, there are versions available that contain essential oils instead of synthetic scents. Keep in mind that some essential oils are common allergens for children.

If you have kids in school and are worried about the scents they may be inhaling, please check out the solutions in our free eBook, Easy Steps to Healthy Schools & Daycares.

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