Unnatural Air Fresheners May Be Doing Toxic Damage: Here’s How To Get Rid Of Unwanted Odors Naturally
Smells and odors are inextricably linked to the deep genetic memory of our ancestors. Smell is one of the first signs that something is amiss, for instance that a potential food or water source has gone bad, or that a companions wound is serious. Earlier still, as pre-humans we might even have been able to smell if danger was approaching in the form of predators or other tribes.
Indeed, many studies have shown that smell is the last sensation we hang onto before death; it is perhaps the last thing we are aware of in this life.
So there is can be no underestimating just how important odor is to us; it is much more visceral and vital to our mental and emotional well-being than we can imagine. That’s why wily realtors bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies at houses they are showing; the odors subconsciously connect in our minds with memories of happy childhood moments and a sense of being safe at home.
And it is also why there is so much money to be made in the business of freshening the air around us. The problem is–as with most things we industrialize–the companies who make air fresheners embrace the use of chemicals that are known to be dangerous. Air freshener sprays often contain phthalates, a toxic chemical no longer used in baby products, but which is almost certainly cancer-causing.
Other products to avoid are scented candles and reed diffusers, sadly enough. Scented candles have been founds to give off toluene, benzene and other carcinogens when they are burned, and reed diffusers are made with dipropylene glycol, and ingredient found in anti-freeze.
So here are a few ideas for getting a clean, fresh-smelling home without resorting to nasty chemicals.
• Baking – Steal the idea of the cynical real estate agent and use for good! If you are having friends over and you want a fresh-smelling home, bake a batch cookies or brownies. You’ll have a great scent all day plus something to serve your guests.
• Fruit is your friend – Fruit juice is an effective cleaner. When combined with baking soda, it can help to remove soap scum and limescale from your shower. And if your garbage disposal gets to smelling funky, toss a few pieces of lemon or lime in there.
• Boil cinnamon – Easy, cheap, and effective as a room deodorizer, all it takes is a few cinnamon sticks and some water. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for a few minutes, and your home will smell great.
• DIY air freshener – This is so easy and so much cheaper than toxic store-bought sprays that it is truly amazing that more people don’t use this idea. You just need to mix some lime juice with a little baking soda and water, and you’ve got a great-smelling, non-toxic air freshener that naturally neutralized odors.