Opening the window and letting a nice breeze into your room to freshen up the space is joyful, but sometimes we all like to add something more to clear the air. We can agree that we all love some calming scents to spruce up the room. Even though the conventional room fresheners smell just fine, they contain chemicals and toxins that might not be good for your health in the long term.
It can be quite a task to find a sustainable, toxin-free alternative. We did quite a bit of research and narrowed down the ones with the most natural, toxic-free ingredients, and some that are even biodegradable and zero waste.
Why choose an eco-friendly air freshener alternative?
We are bombarded by air fresheners every day - in public places, cars, and even homes. If you look online, you will find different varieties that serve different preferences. This serves as a major threat to our health. Researchers have found that the chemicals in air fresheners can cause cancer, neurotoxicity, and cause endocrine disruption. It is fair to note that the majority of the common headaches are caused by exposure to harmful fragrances.
The term “air fresheners” also seems to be somewhat misleading. It doesn’t necessarily improve the quality of the air by removing impurities. Even though some air purifiers claim to do that, there is no proven data or information to verify the facts. Most of us are familiar with the usual pollution outside. But do you know that air inside our homes has more toxins? Common home products like air fresheners, personal care products, and furniture also contribute to indoor pollution.
On a positive note, you have much more control over the quality of the air inside your home. One simple action you can take is switching over conventional air fresheners with healthier ones.
There are techniques to absorb unpleasant scents rather than disguising them with other, stronger aromas or eliminating your sense of smell. For decades, sodium carbonate (sometimes known as baking soda) has been used as an odor sponge with no known side effects. Specific forms of charcoal products can also be used to remove undesirable smells from indoor air.
Our current world, of course, is far more poisonous than the one in which previous generations evolved. This is especially true inside, where the combination of airtight houses and hazardous agents (such as cleaning chemicals and off-gassing furniture and carpets) poses a serious health danger, especially given how much time we spend inside.
However, returning to commercial air fresheners... The good news is that there are restrictions on what can and cannot be placed inside them. The bad news is that these regulations have several flaws, the most glaring of which is the term "trade secrets." This permits firms to refuse to list all of the components in an air freshener, making it difficult to figure out what they are.
We've done the legwork for you, so keep reading to find out which natural air fresheners are safe and effective.
The best sustainable/eco-friendly air freshener alternatives
- Fragrance-free cleaning
- Reusable and long-lasting
- It is effective in different areas.
Breathe Green Charcoal Canvas is a small pouch that contains 100% activated bamboo charcoal. It is a natural method to remove impurities and bad odors from your space without changing the fragrance of the air or making it overwhelming.
It just takes a few minutes until you notice a significant reduction in any unpleasant scents. The process of filtration is quite simple. The bamboo charcoal filters particles that can cause allergies. It also reduces the moisture contents in the room and reduces the microbes present in the air.
One of the biggest advantages of this method is that it is quite durable. Maintenance and usage are also simple and easy. All you have to do is keep the charcoal bags out in the sun for an hour every month to keep them activated. Another key advantage is that it is an effective air purifier with fragrance-free air cleaning.
Buy here: Amazon
- Organic air freshener
- Aromatherapy for stress and anxiety
- Natural ingredients
In case you are looking for an air freshener with a calming and comfortable scent, this can be a good alternative. This spray helps you to relieve stress after a long day of work. The air freshener is formulated with a unique and effective blend of essential oils and some effective herbal ingredients that work well to relieve stress. It is ideal to create a relaxing scent that can help you sleep and cure insomnia without any toxic chemicals!
The scent is extremely relaxing with a soothing musk and fresh coconut fragrances. It is enriched with essential oils which makes it safe for kids as well. Moreover, the product’s packaging is made from recycled plastic which makes it an altogether environmentally friendly alternative.
Buy here: Amazon
- Natural ingredients
- Responsibly manufactured
- A close sustainable alternative to conventional air fresheners
The Botanica range by Air Wick is a close switch to conventional air fresheners. Even though it is created by a company that also produces synthetic air fresheners, it is one of the most effective air fresheners, while being natural and eco-friendly, thanks to the unique combination of the flavors and scents used.
The oils used in this range are sustainably sourced and harvested locally. The best part is that these air fresheners don’t contain any kind of dyes, phthalates and are also cruelty-free. It is efficient enough to be used for up to 60 days per refill. It doesn’t contain any excess ingredients and helps you have a sensory experience with naturally infused fragrances. The main diffuser can be recycled again and again and works easily.
Buy here: Amazon
- Safer scents
- Healthy for planet
- Nature powered innovation
The best thing about this air freshener is that besides being environmentally friendly, it is also strategically formulated and has carefully selected ingredients and fragrances that complement each other. The scent of this particular flavor is so cheering and bright that we had to add this to the list.
The ingredients are sourced from ethical sources and also the container is made from stainless steel with a plastic spray cap, which is all recycled and repurposed. Many customers select this option because it offers fragrance and style, while also being toxin-free and environmentally friendly.
Buy here: Amazon
- Safer Choice Certification from the EPA
- Plant-based ingredients
- More use
This odor remover is manufactured with all-natural components and claims to eliminate rather than mask smells in the air. The lid of the 7-ounce jar has a cut-out design that allows the gel to do its thing, so it's designed to be used as a display piece. The container, on the other hand, isn't appealing. We'd want it to be a bit more aesthetically attractive than brown plastic if it's supposed to be décor.
It's a different scenario with the larger refill container. The top of the container features a hinged door that allows you to pour out the gel as needed. The gel itself is transparent and strewn with irregular pieces. They have a faint fresh odor and are mushy and a bit moist to the touch (though the scent fades over time). Water and plant oils, such as natural extracts of lime, pine needle, aniseed, clove, and cedarwood, are used to make the gel. It has been designated as a Safer Choice product by the US Environmental Protection Agency. You can also check their spray here.
Buy here: Amazon
- Aroma Diffuser Sticks
- Value pack
It's worth remembering that the reeds' substance is almost as essential as the fragrance itself when it comes to the strength or power of the aroma emitted by a reed diffuser. Rattan wood or synthetic polyamide are used to make the sticks. Because the latter allows for greater evaporation, it is commonly employed in alcohol-free formulations.
Consumers seeking a natural, consistent balance in the intensity of their home scent may choose reed diffusers. Unlike perfumes, which emit their fragrance only when they're lighted, the aroma of a reed diffuser should last as long as there's substance remaining in the container. A 100 ml reed diffuser will usually last about a month.
Buy here: Amazon
Things to keep in mind before choosing an eco friendly and toxin-free air freshener
But before I get started on the list, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Clean, fresh air is healthier and smells better than anything else. So, if feasible, attempt to ventilate your home by opening windows and using a fan to circulate the air. Did you know that indoor air might be much worse than the outdoor air in terms of pollution? It may sound absurd, but it is true!
Synthetic scents aren't just in air fresheners; they're also in cleaning goods, laundry products, and bath and body care items. So, although replacing your air fresheners is a good start, you should also consider switching to fragrance-free versions of your other goods.
Do you recall how intense our sense of smell is? It may take some time to retrain your senses to comprehend and appreciate the more natural and non-toxic air freshener choices, depending on how long you've been using such products (for some of us, generations!).
Most candles have a flaw.
The issue isn't whether they're perfumed or not; it's the chemicals used to manufacture them. When paraffin wax, a petroleum waste, is burned, it produces black soot as well as hazardous compounds including benzene and toluene. These compounds are recognized carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) and can worsen asthma and cancer symptoms.
And, as if that weren't enough, scented candles (which, according to reports, produce more soot than unscented candles) are also manufactured using synthetic aroma oils and chemicals. When these oils are burned, even more, hazardous particles are released into the air.
Isn't it possible to use wax melts? Or how about those gels? Or…?
I'm sure there's no shortage of ingenious and ground-breaking air freshener items on the market nowadays. I'm sure there are some things I've never heard of!
But here's the thing:
You must err on the side of caution. Whatever the latest air freshener promises to be, do some research before taking their marketing claims to face value. Let me know if you're considering a certain product in the comments, and I'll do my best to steer you correctly so you can make the best decision for your family.
Ingredients to look out for
What's the Deal with Ordinary Air Fresheners?
A typical air freshener will almost certainly include at least one of the following dangerous chemicals:
Phthalates. Phthalates are often found in synthetic perfumes, and most of us are aware that they are harmful, having been linked to early puberty, autism, obesity, and birth abnormalities. On the label, you won't find the word "phthalate"; instead, you'll see "fragrance" or "parfum."
- PEG-40. This polymer is somewhat harmful to human health, according to the Environmental Working Group.
- 1,4-DCB has been proven to induce kidney and testicular cancer in rats, therefore it is likely to be a human carcinogen. In humans, it has also been linked to decreased lung function and an increase in asthma rates.
Air fresheners may potentially include noxious compounds that aren't listed on the label. The concentration of VOCs in the air after using 74 air freshening products was evaluated in a 2007 study. More than 350 distinct chemicals and allergens were found, including (but not limited to!) benzene, formaldehyde, styrene, and phthalates, according to the researchers.
The Bottom Line
We all appreciate having a pleasant odor in our homes, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, we must be more aware of the products we bring into our homes. Because the pleasant fragrance isn't worth the potential health risks associated with some of these common air fresheners. Thankfully, non-toxic air fresheners are plenty; all you have to do now is select the ones that work best for you.