I am allergic to scents. I can’t wear perfume, I have to use unscented laundry detergent and fabric softener and I can immediately feel a sneeze coming on if I walk into a home filled with those god-awful fragrance plug-ins.
The worst of these scented products by far is Febreze. I’m sure you’ve seen the advertisements – we are inundated with them daily. Spray it in the air with your young kids standing right beside you. Plug it into an outlet in every room of your house. Spray your teenage son’s entire room with it to “wash” the room, instead of making him clean it. Hell, if your car smells like french fries (god forbid) then plug one into your venting system.
Another insane ad I remember, from about 10 years ago, was for Lysol spray. The narrative was a kid taking his teddy bear with him everywhere, so therefore, who knows what kind of horrible bacteria it contained. When he got home, instead of his mother throwing it into the wash, she sprayed Lysol all over it. Then they showed him cuddling with it as he slept. I’m not a parent, but that ad freaked me out every time I saw it.
Air Fresheners Contain More Than 87 Poisonous Chemicals
But I digress. I truly believe that if it was up to Proctor And Gamble, every inch of your home would be covered by the more than 87 chemicals contained in their Febreze products.
As I sprayed Febreeze air freshener in my small bathroom one morning a few years ago, I noticed that as it fell through the air, I could actually see the particles in it. When it hit the floor, it left a sticky substance there. That’s when I stopped using it.
This got me thinking – what is this air freshener doing to my lungs?
Here is just a sample of some of the worst chemicals in these products:
- Formaldehyde – this can cause watery eyes, burning nose and asthma attacks.
- Petroleum Distillates – these can lead to respiratory problems and chemical pneumonia.
- Paradichlorobenzene – this chemical can cause skin lesions, liver damage and changes to the blood.
- Aerosol Propellants – these can contribute to chronic health issues, an increased cancer risk and breathing problems.
If you want to get rid of unseemly odors in your home, a much safer way is to open a window for a few minutes. Years ago, when it was too cold outside to open the windows, I used to freshen the air in my apartment by simmering a pot of cinnamon sticks, cloves and nutmeg on my stove. I would sometimes add fruit and other sweet spices to the mixture and my place would smell amazing!
There Are Many Different Alternatives To Chemical Scents
How do you think our ancestors used to eliminate odours? Many of them used incense (which I love, but I’m not promoting it here because it’s probably not the safest either) and other more natural products, like baking soda and vinegar. They sure didn’t have access to a bunch of chemical sprays to do it.
Don’t get me wrong, as much as I don’t like these scented sprays, I’m not saying spraying air freshener in your home once in a while is going to kill you, but I do think there are some good alternatives to it that are much healthier and likely cheaper.
Instead of spraying Febreze all over your clothing and blankets, how about cleaning them in a washing machine? Another alternative to odours and bacteria is an air purifier fan with a HEPA filter. The HEPA will remove airborne allergens like dust, pollen, mold, viruses and bacteria and the carbon gets rid of chemicals and odours.
I’d have to say the toughest odours to deal with in a home are bathroom odours. And when you live with your brother, you are dealing with some of the worst odours on the planet. I’ll give you an example. Typically, after he uses the toilet, he will tell me to use a level four containment suit the next time I have to relieve myself. Or he’ll say: “If you want to know what a construction site port-a-potty that’s been sitting in the sun for 12 hours smells like, you should head into the bathroom.”
Instead of masking his excruciating stench with aerosols, I ask him to use a drop of V.I.Poo, Just A Drop or Poo-Pourri before he goes. It doesn’t completely abolish the reek (what on earth could?) but it actually does a better job than Febreze. As an added bonus, I’m not breathing in a bunch of toxic chemicals the next time I walk into my bathroom.