Monday, February 3, 2014

Why Air Fresheners are Terrible (warning! disturbing pics) and Alternatives to Them


Here is a photo of a poor cat that tipped over one of those reed diffusers and the liquid spilled on it.  Here is the story.
"OK, folks . . . this picture is going to be a bit disturbing, but I think the word needs to get out there. This is our "office kitty," Dewey. He knocked over a cinnamon reed diffuser (you know, those things with liquid and s...ticks in them make the room smell good). He was washed up quickly, and we thought he was OK. Turns out he was NOT.

Dewey has chemical burns over a good portion of his belly and hind legs from the liquid in the reed diffuser. He spent five days at the vet having his wounds debrided. They had to put him under anesthesia to do this, because it would have been too painful otherwise. This is what some of his wounds look like after he was treated at the vet -- there is more on his belly and on his other leg, and this actually looks GOOD compared to what it looked like when he was taken to the vet. The burns did not show up for about a week or two, and we thought he was OK and was just "stained" from the liquid. That was not the case. Dewey will be OK, in time. BUT, what if this had been a CHILD? What if those chemicals had spilled on a child's face or in their eyes? You wouldn't think the "stuff" in a reed diffuser would cause such horrific burns, but obviously this one did.

THIS is NOT a joke. PLEASE share this with your friends. I would HATE to have something like this happen to a child. It's bad enough it happened to an animal. If you have children or animals, GET RID OF YOUR REED DIFFUSERS!"
I have been long against standard air fresheners.  They are full of chemicals that are not just questionable, but downright toxic to your and your families health!  Here is a list of the chemicals in standard air fresheners such as Glade, Reed Diffusers, Car Air Fresheners, and More.  Go HERE to see more on the effects of air fresheners.
Some of the harmful ingredients or chemical by-products of commercial air fresheners and their negative effects on health include:
  • Phthalates -  Hormone-disrupting chemicals which can effect brain, nervous and immune system development, reproduction, mental processing and metabolism, and birth defects
  • Formaldehyde – Cancer-causing according to the EPA
  • Acetone, Propane - Flammable irritant of eyes and throat, W
  • Ethanol – Can cause birth defects
  • Isobutane/Butane – Allergen and irritant
  • Benzene – Carcinogen which should have zero exposure according to the WHO
  • VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) – Known allergen
  • Xylene – Linked to nausea and “sick building syndrome” as well as kidney and liver damage
  • Naphthalene – Suspected carcinogen linked to blood, kidney and liver problems
  • Methoxychlor (pesticide) – Reproductive disorder, estrogenic effect, leukemia, depression, diarrhea, damage to liver, kidney, and heart, and – by chronic exposure – growth retardation
  • Paradichclorobenzene – Shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals
  • Phenol – Flammable, corrosive and extremely toxic
So to make your house or car smell better you are exposing yourself and your family on a daily basis to chemicals that can ruin your health.  And remember that since these are petro based they never really break down.  They float in the air and settle into your furniture and carpet and just sit there, slowly accumulating as you use them over the years.

But before you panic and freak out there is really good news.   There are tons of ways for you to keep your house smelling clean and fresh without the use of this toxic trash.

I have been using essential oils in a nebulizer or candle warmer for years.  My son is very allergic to synthetic chemicals so we have had to find other ways to clear the air in our home.

My personal favorite is the diffuser type like you see above since it diffuses the straight essential oils  into the air without heating them up, thus destroying the health giving aspects of the oils.  Now a days they are even pretty inexpensive!  And the one above called a  
BriteLeafs 2-in-1 Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser even changes color and you can add your own essential oil blends to personalize the scent and even treat certain conditions of your family members.   And essential oils are really not that pricey when compared with standard air fresheners.  In fact they can be much cheaper!
And look at this cool one!  I love the wood look and its only $34.95 and is called the Mammoth Serenity Aromatherapy Diffuser.
Or look at this other color changer!
EiioX Aroma Atomizer Air Humidifier Ultrasonic Purifier Diffuser Seven LED Color Changing is pretty cool, there are so many really affordable essential oil diffusers on the market right now and great ways to purchase essential oils that are healthy.
My fave essential oils to use for the house is the citrus family for general cleansing of the bad smells like Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, or Lemongrass.  I also love Balsam fir, and pine scents because I find them uplifting and it helps stinky smells so much.  For when my family is sick I always use the Thieves blend in the air because it helps control germs.  Cinnamon, cloves, and citrus mixed together makes a spicy scent like baking breads.
There are even essential oil diffusers for your car!  This one is from Aura Cacia, which also has very high quality essential oils.

I certainly recommend to everyone I know that they should be using essential oils and NOT air fresheners for their homes and cars.

Disclaimer: This post containes affiliate links.  If you purchase an item by clicking on it I may receive a small commission, but that does not affect your price at all.  This is not a paid post, I was not provided with any products for this post.  This is my honest opinion.


  1. Oh my gosh! That is awful, and I had no idea they could do this! Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Oh goodness! I got one for Christmas. it has been knocked over a lot. next time, into the garbage! Thanks so much for joining the party at Oil me up Wed. I hope you will come back next week!

  3. I looked at the diffusers, you have links looks like the EiioX (with the pattern on them) is possibly the same as the BriteLeafs 2-in-1 Ultrasonic, which is currently out of stock....?

    I don't yet have a diffuser...from what I can tell, a pot of water on the stove, just isn't as good as a diffuser. If I was to invest in 1 diffuser, which one do you recommend? or What do I need to keep in mind, as I look at these online? Thank You!

    1. Hi WiJoyMom,

      I am no expert, my diffuser is really old, one of the first ones they made and kind of ugly so I'm thinking of getting one of these cool new ones. I would say look for one that you can adjust the flow on so you can have more or less being pumped out. Also make sure its one that doesn't heat the oils if you want them for medicinal use, like cleansing the air when people are sick. You can use the ones that heat the oil up for simply fragrancing your home, if that's all you want don't buy the most expensive essential oils that are medical grade. I just buy those kind at the health food store or online on vitacost. The medical grade that are super high quality are very expensive! My favorite high grade oils are Aura Cacia. They are still not to pricy but very high quality.

  4. The wooden donut-looking dispenser looks pretty cool! Thanks for sharing the information!


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