Everyone knows that keeping windows and doors open in the home is usually the best way to keep it smelling fresh and keeping the air healthy (unless you live at the side of a busy road). The thing is, it’s not always practical: it may be very cold in winter and in summer, it can be very hot, members of the family may suffer from hayfever and it’s very inviting for insects.
Many people turn to artificial air fresheners, scented candles and the like. However, many are merely masking odours from cooking, pets, cigarette smoke or any other odours that may be being generated within the home. Coupled with this, many household cleaning products, as well as personal care products are heavily perfumed. With modern, well insulated homes, that’s quite a concoction of chemicals that can be trapped in the home, ready for you to breathe in.
There is growing concern of the possible health impacts, as outlined by the BBC.
Is there a danger from scented products? – BBC News article
Are perfumed products bad for me? – BBC Two Programme: ‘Trust me I’m a doctor’.
Obviously, no-one wants a ‘smelly’ home, so what are the options when it’s not practical to keep windows open?
- Consider putting house-plants known to improve air quality in each room (see the links above for details)
- Use less aerosol products eg switch your anti-perspirant to a stick or roller ball one
- Put a bowl of bicarbonate of soda in each room to absorb odours and replace monthly as its effectiveness diminishes
- Tackle odours at source eg use bicarbonate of soda to deodorise carpets. Use white vinegar to clean pet or baby spills/accidents
- Use traditional ‘perfume-free’ cleaning products like Soda Crystals, White Vinegar and Bicarbonate of Soda.