Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fumigating Your Home!

I was reading one of my all time favourite blogs today (Something Ivory) and the writer, Kate Harvey, was talking about choosing natural scents instead of synthetic sprays, gels and blahhhs. And that made me want to explore this subject more.

I have hated, yes, HATED synthetic scents for years now. Of course, since I've only lived so long, it wasn't too, too long ago that I actually had fun waltzing around bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, foyers, you name it, leaving behind a trail of aerosol spray behind me. At least I think I loved it for two valid reasons! One, because it smelled cool. Two, because the sprays made cool whooshing sounds and the gels were fun to squish!!

Yippee, holiday scents to make your home smell like Grandma's!

But now, ugh! Don't you dare bring that stuff near me. Why?

Well, there is the simple reason that artificial (and something real, too!) scents irritate my throat and eyes and make me sneeze (good bye favourite perfumes)! But it's also about how dangerous these sprays really are! And I'm not just talking about the flammability factor here.

But...before I get into all of that, I'd love to share some Febreze ads with you!

Here is one I find extremely creepy (like, nightmare-inducing creepy!):

And here is one that makes me cringe and wanna run away, each and every time:

(The uploader's comment was scary too:
"If Febreze can block out the smell of stinky hockey gear in the backseat of a car in the middle of the Texas heat, then there's nothing it can't do." ...Yeah...nothing beats having your esophagus being burnt out!!

I'm sure I sound like I'm overreacting a bit but...come on! One does not even need to do research to realize that it is soooo NOT natural for a little bit of spray to mask, no, overpower the heavy, nasty odour of fish and garbage and hockey gear and whatever else Febreze likes to throw into their commercials.

But, I like to be thorough. So, I researched a little bit...

-I found this lovely little report card (from the EPA!) evaluating the toxicity of Febreze and guess what? It got an "F"! 

-Also thanks to the EPA, here are the lovely ingredients of Febreze: 
  • Silicon compounds (step away from the baby!)
  • Ethanol amine (goodbye nervous system!)
  • Benzisothiazolinone (*itch-itch*)
  • And, naturally (haha!), the inexplicable "Febreze Propriety Odour Eliminator" (the mystery meat of fragrances!)
-Oh, right! I don't wanna just pick on Febreze (the only reason I focused on them is because they tout themselves as the best spray ever and that it, supposedly, masks any scent you throw at it!) so, thanks some nice doctors, here's a lovely chart of hazardous sprays you may be harbouring in your closet:

-Did you notice the baby in the first Febreze commercial? Well, mommy dearest is presumed to have happily sprayed her Febreze right around her baby. Sadly, she may not be aware of just how damaging that little bout of house-keeping could be for her family, especially the baby! I found an article warning mothers about cleaning products (yes, this includes air fresheners): 

"In 2008, researchers at Bristol University found that children whose pregnant mothers used lots of cleaning products...were 41 per cent more likely to suffer wheezing and asthma by the age of seven."

Oh, I hope I didn't scare you...Actually, I really, really hope I did and I hope that we'll all stop using air fresheners! But, hey, that doesn't mean we have to have our cars and homes stink, either! Here are some happy alternatives and tips to keep your environment smelling divine:

-Use delicious and totally non-toxic essential oils (which, by the way, can be used in a bazillion different ways!) to impress all your guests and to unwind after long days! Here are some of Kate Harvey's tempting ideas:

Making your own spray by mixing water and some drops of lavender oil (classic air freshener, minus the evil fumes). The best part? It is TOTALLY safe to spray right onto sheets, pillows and towels! Mmm, heavenly...

Freshen an entire room by dropping a little essential oil into a small bowl of boiling water.

Liven up your dresser drawers by dropping some of your favourite oil on a cotton ball before tucking it into the drawers.

Make a simple lemon air freshener (another classic!) by mixing water and a few drops of lemon oil in a spray bottle.

Add a bit of lemon oil to your dishwasher during the wash cycle for a little scent-boost! (Hello holidays!)

A popular method I've read about a lot of times is to just add a couple drops of your favourite essential oil to help you relax at the end of your day (DIY aromatherapy!)

And an interesting one is to put a cotton ball (with a few drops of essential oil on it) in your vacuum bag so that the scent will release as you do the chore! 

-If all else fails, I guess desperate times call for desperate measures (come on, this blog is based on honesty!) and you can break out that one, secret, spray you keep for emergencies (which can be no less than a boss dropping into your office or a dinner with the in-laws, right??). But do try and use a low-phatalate spray please!

So, have fun ditching toxic sprays and gels and what-not, and exploring the amazing range of essential oils out there! 

Happy Sniffing,

Sabbie :)