With husbands, kids and pets, you might feel like it’s impossible to keep your house clean and your air and furniture smelling fresh. You probably find yourself washing throw blankets and pillows constantly to rid them of common odors. But what do you do with the things you can’t toss in the wash? Have you resorted to using common air and fabric fresheners, like Febreze or even Lysol? While these items might act as a quick fix to common household odor problems, they are probably doing your family more harm than good. Read on to find out why and how, with three simple ingredients, you can eliminate odor in your house naturally and safely.

What You Shouldn’t Be Using:

Lysol Disinfectant Spray

You’ve probably seen the most recent Lysol Disinfectant Spray commercials on TV where they boast its safe use on furniture, pet blankets and even bedding. But one quick trip to the Environmental Working Group’s: Guide To Healthy Cleaning website will have you cringing at the level of toxicity in its ingredients.

Six of its 12 ingredients scored D’s and F’s for high health risk concerns. Some of those concerns range from allergies, respiratory and skin irritants to DNA damage and cancer. And the company is saying it’s OK to spray it on your sheets before you crawl into bed at night? We don’t think so. And neither does the EWG.

Febreze

Another more common air and fabric freshener, Febreze, has concerns as well. While Febreze Fabric Refresher is made specifically for the use on upholstery, furniture, blankets and bedding, 4 of its main ingredients scored D’s and F’s on the EWG’s ranking system.

It’s also important to mention that both Lysol and Febreze list “fragrance” as an ingredient. The International Fragrance Association lists 3,163 stock chemical ingredients that can be used under the generic term “fragrance.” Of all of those, the EWG has found about 1 in every 20 to be highly hazardous.

Why would you want to expose your family to toxins just to keep your upholstery smelling fresh?

What You Should Be Using:

We’ve found a simple and effective DIY recipe that will disinfect and deodorize your home without compromising the health of your family.

What You’ll Need:

Simply mix these ingredients together and add your favorite essential oils for scent. You can replace the vinegar with vodka or witch hazel if necessary. (Note: Using alcohol on any fabric or upholstery can possibly make it flammable.) The baking soda, vinegar (or vodka or witch hazel) will act as an antibacterial, killing odors from your fabrics. The optional essential oils will leave your home smelling naturally beautiful, without artificial fragrances.

You should always test your solutions on an inconspicuous part of your upholstery when using essential oils to make sure they don’t leave marks. Also, some essential oils are toxic to pets. If you have cats or dogs, you might want to omit essential oils from your mixture.
For more great cleaning tips, check out Spring Cleaning With Essential Oils

Photo credit: With A Red Bird On My Shoulder
Sources: EWG’s Guide To Healthy Cleaning, EWG’s Not So Sexy: The Health Risks Of Secret Chemicals In Fragrance

 

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