Indoor Air: Eliminating Odors & Germs in the Home

While it’s nearly impossible to affect the majority of environmental toxins found in our air, water, and food supply, it’s easy to control what we bring into our homes. Unfortunately, many of our homes are just as polluted as the outdoors. Yet by recognizing the potential problems and making lifestyle changes that address them, you can create a safe, nontoxic haven in your home.

Believe it or not, indoor air can be even more polluted than outdoor air, even in the largest industrialized cities. This is very important to recognize because we spend as much as 90% of our time indoors.

Indoor air is dangerous for two primary reasons: pollutants and poor ventilation. Indoor air pollution can come from home heating and cooling systems, tobacco and cigarette smoke, building material out-gassing, asbestos, mold from water damage, furniture made from processed woods, household cleaners, personal care products, and air fresheners, as well as from outdoor sources, that can become trapped indoors. Many times the air is not significantly affected by many one of these sources, but when multiple sources are added together, their individual affects can be multiplied and we can become sick.

About Air Purifiers

  • Ozone air purifiers: These release ozone into the air to remove chemical fumes, odors, and bacteria. They are not effective for removing particles or allergens from the air, and they are not safe to run while you are in the room because ozone gas can be toxic. If you use this type of purifier, turn it off about two hours before reentering the room.
  • Carbon air purifiers: These use activated carbon as an air filter. The carbon is able to remove odors and capture smaller particles than HEPA filters, but the carbon needs to be replaced regularly, which can be messy.
  • Ionic air purifiers: these work by negatively charging air particles, which then attract positively charged pollutants. When the two combine, dust is created. An unwanted side effect reported with ionizers is that they can produce ozone, so they are best turned off when people or pets are in the room.
  • Other air-purifying features can include an ultraviolet light to kill airborne bacteria, and some air purifiers come with a combination of functions to enhance their air-cleaning ability.
  • The E.L Foust Company has made air purifiers since 1974, its designs are created for people with environmental illnesses, allergies, or asthma.

Household Cleaning

Detergents, cleaning solvents, and indoor fragrances sound like good ideas because marketers have worked long and hard to get you interested in buying them. But the bottom line is that many are quite toxic and can affect your health. Besides being loaded with chemicals, many household cleaners are labeled as “antibacterial,” which is just a sugar-coated term for describing the active ingredient, pesticides. I’ve even found that many of the all-natural and natural cleaners containing essential oils are full of chemicals too; why? Because, they say, the consumer demands that their product be inexpensive and so they use cheap ingredients to make them. I personally have found that the natural cleaning products simply require too much product to be used to get the job done, or they’re not terribly effective. It was these two reasons 30 years ago that I set out on my quest to find better solutions.

What I Clean With

I stumbled upon a book 30 years ago on aromatherapy that provided me with what would become not only a way to get expensive, ineffective and toxic cleaning products out of my home. I was delighted to discover essential oils and simple recipes to make myself with essential oils and common kitchen ingredients. After making my own cleaners and air fresheners for decades I decided to have an essential oil home-business, I have found these essential oils to be the extremely high quality.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes for household cleaning;

Disinfect, Deodorize and Clean Spray

This all-purpose spray that I make is far better than anything available on store shelves! One of the largest benefits I discovered is that not only did it clean well and smell great but it helped us maintain wellness.

You’ll need:

  • 32oz. spray bottle (I prefer the Hudson brand, they cost a bit more but last for years)
  • 25-35 (total) drops of essential oil. The combination I like best includes: Cedarwood, Thyme, Orange, Spearmint, Ylang Ylang and a drop of Patchouli.
  • Water

Fill spray bottle with water and add essential oils, shake and spray surfaces, wipe clean.

Tips: To keep the essential oils suspended in the water, shake every so often. After cleaning everything I give surfaces (sinks, tub, toilet) a spritz and let it air-dry to kill even more odors and germs.

I have used this spray to clean: sinks, countertops, toilets, tubs/showers, floors, windows, and my car interior; I LOVE it, leaves everything smelling amazing!

Aromatherapy Soft Scrub Cleaner

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups Baking Soda
  • 15-20 drops (total) essential oil (I prefer the Young Living brand because they are pure and unadulterated). Some good choices would be: Thieves, Citrus Fresh, Purification, or a combination of the oils I use in the spray recipe above.

Put baking soda into a plastic or glass bowl (that you will later put a lid on), add drops of essential oil, stir really well.

To use: sprinkle some of the baking soda mixture into sinks, tub or toilet bowl, with a wet cloth or sponge scrub (use a toilet brush for the toilet bowl), rinse. Afterwards I like to spritz these surfaces with the spray above (optional).

A Healthy, Good for You Air Freshener Recipe

Provided you use pure essential oils in your recipes you will never have to be concerned with slowly poisoning yourself or your family with hazardous chemical laden air fresheners again!

In a 14oz. spray bottle filled with water, add a total of 20 drops of essential oil.

In center of room give a couple of sprays to freshen the air.

Essential Oil Suggestions to Make an Air Freshener:

  • Use any combination of essential oils in my spray cleaner above, or for specific needs…
  • Calming Spray, try: Lavender, or Peace & Calming or Gentle Baby essential oil blends.
  • Uplifting Spray, try: Citrus Fresh or a combination of Orange and Peppermint in equal portions.
  • Disinfecting Spray, try: Citrus Fresh, Thieves or Purification essential oil blends.
  • Romantic, try: the blend Sensation.
Diffusing Essential Oils
This is perhaps the most common practice for deodorizing indoor air and assisting in getting rid of germs.
Diffuse 15-30 minutes a day, 1-3 times a day; for fresher and cleaner indoor air.
Tip: You will want to use a cold-air diffuser as this type puts more essential oil into the air than other types of diffusers. You certainly never want to use a diffuser that disperses your essential oil by means of heat as these ruin the beneficial properties of your essential oil.

Transparency & Appreciation: I want all of my readers to know that I do provide links on this blog to other businesses that sell products that I use and love, I will never post a link to anything that is inconsistent with my ideology.
When you do click on a link to a business that I have referred you to and you make a purchase, I will earn a small commission – the price to you though is always their regular price, or in some instances a special offer price.
When you do make a purchase you are showing me that you support my efforts in creating this blog for everyone to enjoy and learn from… I am very grateful to those who have chosen to read what I have written, and my referrals.
Thank you very much!

Regarding Health and Wellness – This site does not provide medical advice. I am not a doctor or health advisor. My purpose is to share experiences and information as I seek to improve the health of my family through a real food and natural lifestyle. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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