Air Fresheners CLEAN LIVING

The Dirty Truth about Air Fresheners and Candles

If you’re like most people you love a good scent.  Smells are kind of like music, when you hear a song it reminds you of a place, a person or experience.  They can take you back and propel you forward.  I only wish all smells were created equal.  Sadly they aren’t.

Let’s start with the first culprit: Air Fresheners 

These small little guys carry a powerful punch…or should I say toxic punch!  Yes, these are toxic and filled with synthetic fragrances.  Just take a walk down the nearest air freshener aisle at the store and you nearly get hit with about a thousand different scents…not to mention a headache later.  I’m not going to go into why they’re bad, toxic, horrible for children, those with allergies and every human…you can read all the scary details here:

MSN-Something Rotten in the Air

The second culprit: Candles  

Now I was never really into air fresheners but I love candles!  They remind me of growing up and bring a sense of comfort.  Unfortunately, candles can be toxic as well.  Until recently most candle wicks contained lead and lead is not a pretty chemical.  When breathed in lead can cause a host of problems.   Now many companies have switched over and use cotton wicks instead of lead.  Make sure the label says 100% cotton wick.  If you’re unsure of a candle, simply rub the wick on a piece of white paper and see it if leaves a mark like soot would.  If it does, then it contains lead. Another issue with candles is what they’re made of.  Most candles are usually made out of paraffin.  Unfortunately, paraffin is a by-product of petroleum and is toxic. It too can cause a host of problems when inhaled. For more info. on the effects of paraffin wax:

Green America

Ok now that we’ve covered the scary details, let me introduce you to the alternatives.

For air fresheners:  Aromatherapy is amazing and easy.  Just grab your favorite essential oil and an oil burner and you’ve got a great non-toxic scent.  Also, if you prefer not to use electric burners  just use a soy or beeswax candle to heat the oil.  Here’s an example of both:


For Candles:   Always buy 100% soy candles and 100% beeswax candles.  Both of these waxes are healthy alternatives to paraffin wax.  Plus, soy candles burn up to three times longer than paraffin and beeswax burn up to two times longer than soy.  This is great news especially because soy and beeswax tend to be a bit heftier on the wallet.  Here are a couple brands I really like:

Big Dipper Wax Works These can also be found at Whole Foods.  Enlightenment is my favorite, a perfect combination of bergamot and mint.

Target This is a great place for soy candles.  Just make sure when buying them that the candle is made of 100% soy and not a blend of paraffin and soy.  I’ve noticed some companies will label their candle soy but then on the bottom its says a “soy blend.”  Don’t be fooled!

*Also with any candle you want to make sure the scent is from essential oils and not synthetic.  Again, look for candles that say scented with essential oils.

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  • Reply
    ample pantry
    September 14, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Undeniably believe that which you stated.
    Your favorite reason seemed to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of.

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  • Reply
    September 16, 2014 at 11:54 am

    every thing have benefits and negative and we should be careful when we used this product’
    include air freshener so i prefer homemade air freshener
    Very useful
    Thank you for this excellent

  • Reply
    October 2, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both educatyive andd amusing, and let me tell you,
    you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that too few men andd women are speaking intelligently about.
    I am very happy that I found this in my search for something conncerning this.

  • Reply
    Estelle Mcdonald
    November 12, 2015 at 6:05 am

    I love candles sooo much! I can`t believe they could be toxic. Thank you for sharing sooo interesting information. I am trying to live eco-friendly life. Probably I will get rid of all my candles! Best regards!

    • Reply
      November 13, 2015 at 12:33 am

      Hi Estelle! Thanks for reading! Yes, there are so many toxins lurking about in our homes. Time to clean up and just make them yourself!:)

  • Reply
    February 24, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Hi Suzi,
    I stumbled onto your blog today and wanted to thank you for what you’re doing! The more people who are educated about “Going Green”, the more dollars can be spent at businesses that provide healthier and safer products for our families.
    I used to think that “Going Green” was about something like a hippy type movement. That is until I recently became aware companies in the U.S. are Legally allowed by the FDA (the agency that regulates cosmetics etc) to use ingredients like parabens, formaldehyde, sulfates, and many other toxic chemicals, in their products. Even worse, these companies don’t always disclose this information to the consumer. It’s shocking how highly unregulated this industry is still to this day. It makes me absolutely sick thinking about how many chemicals we put on our body in one day; it takes just 26 seconds for those same chemicals in your personal care products to enter your bloodstream! The same way you look at food labels, you should do the same for your beauty and personal care products.
    As I became more informed over the past two months, I learned about a new company which is working to demand Congress change our laws. Believe it or not the U.S has NOT passed a federal law to regulate the ingredients used in personal care products since 1938! This company has a List of over 1,500 ingredients which will Never be included in their products, but more importantly, they will always include the ingredients they Do use. Their products are natural, irritant free for sensitive skin, Nut-free, Gluten-Free and vegan friendly. I have severe eczema on my face and skin and absolutely love how their products feel and smell on my skin. My husband just became a consultant for this company and we would love to share some of their products with you and also get your unbiased feedback.
    Anyway, thank you again!
    (I don’t know if you want me to share the name of the company and/or link to it on your blog yet so I’ll wait until you email or advise me to.)

    • Reply
      February 24, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Hi Kelly, I’m guessing it’s beauty counter? 🙂 I know that they do a lot better than most companies, however they’re standards still aren’t as strict as mine. I only promote products I actually would use and love. You’re probably the 100th person that’s asked me about them too…haha! That’s awesome you educated yourself on what being green really is!

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