Masked by their pleasant aroma, candles, air fresheners, plug-ins and potpourri type products are one of the worst offenders when it comes to dangerous chemicals and your health. The alternative does not need to be a scent-free home. There are plenty of healthy options that will make your home smell delicious, while not damaging your health and hormones.
Why? Most candles, air fresheners and other scented home items are made synthetically using dangerous phthalates that release xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens cause dangerous levels of estrogen in the body and have been proven to cause breast cancer and other cancers, hormonal imbalances in men and women such as low testosterone in men and menopause symptoms, PMS and infertility in women, anxiety, birth defects and neurological damage in babies and hyperactivity in children. The fragrances can also cause chronic headaches (I instantly get a headache when I enter a home with these fragrances). Xenoestrogens are also known to cause weight gain, due to the unnatural amount of estrogen it causes in the body. Xenoestrogens in home fragrances can cause more damage than when used in other products (BPA cans, scented lotions, etc.) because your body is being exposed to it nearly 24 hours a day. Many workplaces have banned the use of candles and perfumes because of the health effects it has on employees. Anxiety, headaches and hormonal disorders have been shown to improve drastically when these items are removed from the home.
Swapping Frugally: There are many ways to have a pleasant smelling home without using dangerous chemicals.
- I buy oil warmer plug in kits, dump the chemical oil that it comes with, clean it out and add 100% pure essential oils (avoid fragrance oils, these are unnatural) and then plug it in. It lasts quite awhile and makes the home smell AMAZING. Some scents that I like are Peppermint (great for Christmas time), Lemon, Lavender, Orange and Patchouli. Buying these on Amazon (follow the links), will save you by using their Subscribe and Save program (for more on Subscribe and Save, see the bottom of this post here).
- These essential oils are also great to use on fragrance lamp rings. Just put the lamp ring on any frequently used lamp, add a few drops of essential oil and the heat of the lamp will cause the scented oil to fill the home.
- Homemade air freshener sprays can be made by adding a few drops of any essential oil to a mixture of purified water and a dash of alcohol. Spray in the air throughout the home and on pillowcases and couches.
- A few drops of essential oil added to the toilet or a running shower or bath will add fragrance to the bathroom for a day or more.
- Sprinkle baking soda mixed with lavendar oil on the mattress, wait an hour, then vacuum, for a germ free mattress and clean smelling bedroom.
- Buy beeswax candles scented only with essential oils (can be found at most health food stores)
- Use an oil burner with essential oils
- Add a drop or two of an essential oil to towels drying in the dryer
- Heating cinnamon and orange peels on the stove top adds a pleasant aroma to the home.
- Or, kill two birds with one stone and cook homemade applesauce in the crockpot or stewed apples and cinnamon on the stove, for an aroma that will last for hours.
- Homemade potpourri is easy to make by using cinnamon sticks, dried flower petals and essential oils.
- Grinding orange peels in the garbage disposal will add a natural scent to the kitchen.
What are some ways you keep your home smelling fresh, naturally?
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