Scented candles can make a house smell great, but at what cost? Candles can contain compounds linked to cancer, but you don’t need carcinogens to have a great-smelling home. Try these healthy room deodorizers instead!
Instead of artificial fragrances, the scents below use essential oils and food ingredients to make your house smell great. There are ideas that run the gamut from simple to complex, so there’s truly something for everyone on this list.
WHERE’S THE INCENSE?
When I was in college, incense was my go-to for making my dorm room smell good — don’t tell the R.A.! I loved the smell of burning nag champa sticks, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who turned to incense when I wanted to make my room smell nice in a hurry.
Unfortunately, it turns out that incense is bad news for our health. And — let’s be honest — it’s not that surprising, is it? Incense creates smoke, and that smoke is linked to airway cancers, just like cigarette smoke.
Does that mean that burning the occasional stick of incense will give you cancer? Probably not. The study that examined incense and health found that long-term exposure is the problem. If you want to get nostalgic for your college days once in awhile, go for it. Just don’t burn incense every day.
HEALTHIER ROOM DEODORIZERS
Before we get to the list of healthy room deodorizers, it’s important to note that not all candles are created equal. Some companies make candles without petroleum products or chemical fragrances, and these are fine to use. This list of healthy candle options is worth a look!
1. DIY essential oil spray
In a one-ounce spray bottle, add 20-40 drops of your favorite essential oil, then top off with rubbing alcohol or grain alcohol. Spritz as needed. This spray may smell like alcohol at first, but when that fades, you’re left with oily goodness.
2. Homemade potpourri
Dried citrus peels, herbs and flower petals are a simple, natural way to make your house smell lovely. Some store-bought potpourri blends contain chemical fragrance, so making your own is the way to go! In the video above, essential oil give the potpourri a healthy boost.
3. Stovetop herbal simmers
This is a quick way to infuse your home with a lovely scent. In a pot on the stove, combine a mix of citrus peels, herbs and spices of your choice. Cover with water, and simmer on low. When the water is almost gone, turn off the stove, and enjoy the lovely scent! If you need a starting point, 5 Orange Potatoes has a recipe for a spring simmer that smells lovely
5. Baking soda room deodorizer
My family uses this easy room deodorizer in our bathroom. It couldn’t be simpler, and it lasts a long time. Just mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with 20-30 drops of essential oil, and set it out in a pretty bowl. When the scent starts to fade, refresh with more essential oils.
6. Essential oil diffuser
We have essential oil diffusers in several rooms, and we use them almost every day. A diffuser works by combining essential oils and water. The water is heated, and the steam diffuses the scent throughout the house. Right now, we are using a one-to-one tea tree and lavender blend, which smells nice and has antiseptic properties. Perfect for cold and flu season.
This article originally appeared on Care2.com.