Most air fresheners off the store shelves today contain up to 3,000 toxic chemicals. These chemicals are said to have several negative effects to one's health including hormone disruption, irritation of the skin, lungs and mucous membranes, damage to organs such as the kidneys and the liver as well as the reproductive system, dizziness, headaches, and the list goes on. (Good information with some science + citations here and here.)
Put it this way, if there's a TV commercial for the room spray you're using right now, it's probably not great for your health. It's helpful to know there are other options out there that can produce similar results with no health risk.
I started off using Aura Cacia sprays, which are great - but making my own is so much more fun. At one time I had a delicious ginger + spearmint combination that I kept in my purse. I used it in the car for an instant pick-me-up between clients at work and it was great as a face + neck spray following a sweaty yoga practice.
Making your own spray is easy. Here's what you'll need:
- An empty spray bottle - a 4 oz. bottle is ideal
- Distilled water (you can use tap water, but I have always had a better final product with distilled.)
- Essential oils of choice
- Optional: pure glycerin, to help mix the oils and preserve the spray (Note: I have read success stories of using an ounce or so of vodka to help combine the oil + water and preserve the product. I like to use the spray for my face and I have a feeling getting vodka in your eyes is unpleasant.)
Here are the steps:
1. Measure out enough water to fill your spray bottle about 85-90% of the way.
2. If you're using glycerin, add a small drop (seriously - a quick squeeze and that's it) of it to the water.
3. Add your essential oils.
4. Screw the lid on, gently shake it up. That's it!
To get you started, here are some essential oil combinations that I like, measured out for a 4 oz. bottle.
10 drops of lemon essential oil
8 drops of basil essential oil
10 drops of spearmint essential oil
8-10 drops of rosemary essential oil
10-15 drops of lavender essential oil