Air fresheners are insanely popular in our homes and extensively used in offices, cars and public spaces. The smell is irresistible, the product is widely available, customizable and often rechargeable. It sounds like a sustainable option to freshen up spaces, right?
The problem is that most air fresheners contain hazardous chemicals such benzene and formaldehyde. When these chemicals are breathe in or are absorbed through our skin can be really dangerous for our health. In fact, studies have shown how these chemicals could be linked to cancer and reproductive diseases. (Clearing The Air,Hidden Hazards of Air Fresheners, 2007).
Why then spending money on something that could potential harm our health? Nature offers us a wide range of options to make all-natural, eco-friendly, non-toxic air fresheners.
Keep reading to discover more!
Create your own air freshener using dried spices, tea and flowers
One of my favourite methods to create a nice scent in your home, is by using dried tea leaves or flowers together with herbs and spices. The right combination will create a pleasant smell, as well as a very eye-catching composition to decorate your home.
Start by choosing the flavours and smells you like, and try to pair them. Here is a list of common spices, flowers and herbs combinations I use in my compositions that smell absolutely delicious. You can then decide to store them in different containers, or to mix them together. As always, I recommend a good old mason jar or an hermetic jar.
Here are some combinations I have made for my own air fresheners:
Mint Leaves and Lemon Peel
Rosemary Leaves and Lavander Flowers
Cinnamon bars and Orange Peel
Cloves and Jasmine Flowers
Other than the basics scents listed above, you can really experiment drawing your inspiration from huge range of different scents. For example, in the below composition you can see: herbal tea lavender, chamomile, linden flower, hibiscus, rooibos, and Japanese green tea.
If you choose to store your creation using an hermetic jar, remember to keep it open to let the scent out, while the lid can be stylishly kept on the side. Remember to fill the jar not only with complementary scents, but also with contrasting colors that are in harmony with the palette in the rest of the room.
Another great way to create your air freshener is to mix rice with your chosen scented items, and then add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice. The rice will absorb the scent of the flowers, herbs, and the essential oils will give the mix the right “kick” to make it last longer. Below is an example of a Chamomile Flowers, Mint Leaves in Rice with Cardamom Essential Oil Air Freshener:
Use felt to create a zero-waste air freshener
Felt is an absorbent material that can be used to make a sustinable zero-waste air freshener.
Simply buy a set of felt leaves or felt balls, and put a small amount of an essential oil of your choice (I usually put 4 drops per piece). Leave the felt in your drawers, or punch a little hole at the top of the felt. This will allow you to insert a thread through the opening and hang the felt wherever you need it: in your home or in your car. For more options, check out the selection of felt leaves on Etsy.
Tip: add a drop of olive oil if you want to make the scent last longer. Use a glass drop pipette to avoid extra oil spilling!
If you intend to use the air freshener in your car, I would recommend the Stainless Steel Locket by RoyAroma: simply attach the clip to your car’s vent, and refill it by adding a few drops of essential oils every now and then (you can keep your oils in your car’s drawer handy).
Use Essential Oils for Air Purification and Scent
Essential oils are great to purify air in your home. There are two other methods I use to create my own essential oil air purifier: you can create an essential oil diffuser or make your own air freshener spray.
Essential Oil Diffuser
To prepare your own essential oil diffuser you will need:
- A glass bottle: the mouth should not be too wide to prevent the oils to evaporate too quickly: I used Feel Fragrance Glass Diffuser Bottles
- 20-25 drops of an essential oil of your choice: I love lavander but Essens Oils offers a good selection so you can experiment you favourite
- 1/2 cup of a natural base oil. My favourites are Sky Organics sweet almond oil or Majestic Pure fractionated coconut oil
- A pack of rattan diffuser reeds: I used Breath Me TM Natural Rattan Reed Replacements Stick for Room Fragrance Diffusers
The glass bottle can be roughly between 3 to 6 ounces, and 3 to 6 inches high. You can get this online or re-use an old diffuser bottle, or even an empty small size liquor bottle would do the trick.
I use a natural base oil because I prefer to avoid using any alcohol. I prefer to use “thinner” oils such as coconut or almond oil because they can soak the reeds more easily
Alcohol is optional, but I have read some recipes claiming that reeds will absorb the oils faster. If you want to avoid alcohol, you can add a little bit of vodka instead.
Essential Oil Room Spray
In order to prepare your own air freshener spray yo’ll need the following items:
- An amber spray bottle: I used 1790’s 16 Oz Amber Spray Glass Bottle
- 1/2 cup of distilled water: I usually use this rose distilled water as it has a very subtle “clean” and fresh smell
- 1 tbsp of which hazel: this is softer alternative as it is alcohol free but it still helps the oils to blend together with the water
- 1/2 cup of baking soda: the baking soda will get rid of any odours without covering up your chosen scent
- About 20 drops of an essential oil of your choice: I think lavender has a very soft and relaxing scent but also vanilla is one of my favourites.
You can spray this essential oil formula not only to purify, clean and disinfect the air, but also to give your bed linen or clothes a nice scent of freshness. Simply spray a small mist cloud in the mornings to start off fresh and carry the scent with you throughout your day. My favourite is my home-made vanilla linen spray, I simply cannot start my day without it!
Remember that it is always best to store essential oils in a dark amber or cobalt blue glass bottle to protect them from losing their properties when in contact with UV rays.
To learn more about how to safely store your home-made cleaning products, check out my post here.
What’s your favourite method to purify your home using your own non-toxic air freshener? Share your ideas in the comment section below!