10 Natural Alternatives to Air Fresheners

Air fresheners are toxic. That’s the bottom line. Even when they are labeled “natural” or “fragrance free” they can have thousands of chemical compounds, several which are known carcinogens or hormone disruptors. Often instead of freshening air, the chemicals are actually just coating our nasal passages and numbing our sense of smell.

These air fresheners can aggravate asthma symptoms and are a common source of headaches. You can decrease the toxic burden on your family by choosing more natural ways to freshen the air in your home or office.

10 Natural Ways to Freshen Up Your Space

Take out the trash.

It sounds so simple, but before you do anything else, make sure the garbage has been taken out and the trash bin is clean. Put a lid on any bin or hamper that is designed to store the smellies until it’s time to empty the trash or do the laundry.

Open a window.

We seal ourselves in to keep in the cool air-conditioned air in the summer and to keep ourselves warm in the winter. Sometimes the shoulder seasons get skipped, so opening the windows gets skipped, too. But the freshest air is outside (most of the time). Opening a window can change the air circulation and move out stagnant air. Voila! Fresh air in!

Get a plant.

There are several kinds of plants that not only freshen air, but also purify it! They make good company–better than some people 😉 A quick internet search will give you some plants that you can bring home to help you breathe easy.

Simmer a scent.

Cinnamon, orange rind, apple peels, cloves are popular simmer scents. Just add a little water to your ingredient and put in on low heat and you have a pleasant smell for hours. You can also try different herbs: rosemary, sage, lemongrass, and more to pair with the season or your mood.

Make a pomander.

I had never seen this, but apparently it is as old medieval times–an orange studded with cloves. You can arrange the cloves and make this a decoration to sit or hang anywhere you like. Check it out: https://homequicks.com/safe-alternatives-to-air-fresheners.


You don’t need an excuse or have to be sorry, just get some flowers to brighten and freshen the space. Pick the color and type you like. Treat yourself to some natural beauty that will make you want to stop and smell the roses (or gardenias, or whatever you pick!)

Make a natural deodorizer.

Put some baking soda in a mason jar (you only need about a half a cup) and add 15-20 drops of the essential oil of your choice. Shake the jar to mix the oil and baking soda. You can open the jar and allow the mix to freshen up a small room. You can shake the jar when it stops releasing the fragrance. You can also sprinkle the mix on the carpet and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before your vacuum.

Get a natural air purifying bag.

This is basically bamboo charcoal that pulls odors and moisture from the air. Best used for smaller spaces rather than large rooms, but seemingly effective as far as the product reviews go.

Make your own air freshener spray.

Get a spray bottle, glass if you are willing, add distilled water and essential oils. Proportions will vary based on the size of the bottle you use. Get creative and blend the essential oils. There are lots of resources out there for essential oils and the properties and benefits that each oil offers.

Essential oil diffuser.

This one seems a no-brainer. Essential oils have a wealth of benefits to offer and they can make a room smell great! You can use a single essential oil or a combination. The key is getting the right diffuser. Make sure you choose one that is “cool-mist” so that there is no heat to damage the oils. Then, choose your essential oil (individual or blend), add water and voila! All natural air perfume for you!
A fresh home is easy to create naturally. There is no need for harsh chemicals to make your house smell nice. You can protect your health (and your family and pets’ health) by choosing a natural alternative to chemical air fresheners.

Looking for other natural alternatives for your home? Check out our blog on Natural Alternatives to Pest Control.

Have other ideas that we didn’t list? Tell us!

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