Healthy Home Tips – Safer ways to Freshen your Air is this month’s Healthy Home Story.  Today’s Healthy Home Blog is all about why swapping out your candles and indoor air fresheners for healthier and safer options.

Fresh Fall Air is one of my favorite things of this time of year here in Minnesota.  The time when we are able to open our windows and let the breeze in.  Fresh, healthy air is one thing many of us may take for granted.  And many of may be thinking that we are breathing in healthy air when in reality there are things that we should not be breathing in.

The Problem with Air Fresheners and Candles

Air Fresheners come in a few different forms from solid to gel to plug in to spray.  The problem with them is that their ingredients contain elements like butane, propane, and ethanol.  They also release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s).  VOC’s are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. They have been shown to have many health concerns including asthma particularly in children.

Air Fresheners also use phthalates.  Phthalates which are also found in many plastics, aerosol sprays, paints and cosmetics.  Phthalates are known to be disruptive in our bodies including the male hormone testosterone and reproductive abnormalities.

Other problems with air fresheners are also that they contain formaldehyde.  Formaldehyde is a well-known human carcinogen that has been linked to cancer.

Scented candles are another cause for concern.  Most candles made from paraffin was which is a petroleum byproduct.  Petroleum waste is chemically bleached and deodorized and then made into was.  When it is burned it releases…you guessed it VOC’s into the air.  Many candles also contain synthetic fragrances and dyes as well as formaldehyde and petroleum.

Lastly, wicks on the candles have become a nuisance.   Most candles have a cored wick which is cotton that is wrapped around a metal support.  The metal used to be made from Lead but after it was shown that that could cause lead poisoning they started to use zinc and tin. The problem with this is that they are then heavy metals that can be traced into the air and can still release small amounts of lead.

Safer Ways to Freshen your Air

After all of this you may be wondering if there are any safe alternatives out there for freshening your air and there are.

The first one which is a favorite here in the LiLu Office is a diffuser with essential oils.  Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants. There are different ways that essential oils are produced.  Distillation or cold pressing are a few different ways.  The ways that oils are made are essential to being safe.

A few of our favorite companies are Young Living and Do Terra.

Here are a few of our favorite oils and blends.  They have many benefits ranging from health to the mind.


The second choice are candles that are made free of paraffin wax, dyes, lead, animal by products and synthetic frangrances.  Here are three brands we love and trust.