Tuesday, August 14, 2012

7 Healthy Bathroom Air Fresheners

Everybody poops, so we keep a box of matches by the toilet.
Lots of people find that lighting and burning a match for a few minutes covers up post poop stench. I don't fully understand the science behind it but the [skeptics] website suggests the sulfur dioxide created by lighting a match is working the magic. They write:
In the initial burst of combustion products there is therefore a lot of sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide is an extremely pungent substance, to which the smell receptors are extremely sensitive. But it also has a very efficient numbing effect on the sense of smell. You can smell a minute amount of sulfur dioxide, but when you have done so, you will not smell anything else for a while.

A little Zum Mist goes a long way. Hence, I've had this bottle forever.
Aromatherapy mist is a great choice if you'd like to cover funks with a more pleasant smell. Just be sure to choose one without fragrances or other synthetic ingredients. I love Zum Mist Aromatherapy Room and Body Spray. It smells lovely and more importantly it has only four ingredients- purified water, pure essential oils, aloe and vegetable glycerin- all of which are safe. You can make your own simple room spray by mixing 1 cup of water with 5 drops of your favorite essential oil or oils in a mist bottle.

Richard gifted me this gorgeous Laurel Leaf & Olive scented Lucia soy candle for Xmas!
Naturally scented candles are also a nice choice. I like to keep one burning in the bathroom whenever I have a party. It not only keeps the rooms smelling warm and fresh but the glow helps guests find the light switch. Avoid toxic paraffin candles. Beeswax candles are the healthiest choice, followed by soy wax candles. Choose candles with cotton or wood wicks. You won't find these kinds of candles in the dollar store but the value difference is huge.

Juniper Ridge Incense. Image from GravelandGold.com
I like incense but when I pass incense vendors of the street and the smell of it makes my stomach turn. According to Mountain Rose Herbs website, "Mass manufactured incense blends contain synthetic fragrances, chemical binders, and petroleum by-products that often have negative impacts on our health and harmony. This is exacerbated as we burn these combustibles in our homes and breathe them in." That explains it. Not all incense is created equally! Juniper Ridge has great incense sticks made from 100% wild harvested herbs, woods, and sap. They're made without fragrance. Mountain Rose Herbs sells burnable bundles of plants like sage and mugwort.

Indoor lavender plant. Image from Gardeners.com
Once in a while someone gives me flowers. I try not to hog them all for my desk and put some of the bunch in the bathroom. I am grateful every time I enter my bathroom. I think a fragrant lavender or rosemary plant would be nice in there too.

An open box of baking soda behind the toilet can help absorb offensive odors. The fridge-n-freezer pack would work too without the risk of spilling.

My bathroom window stays open pretty much all the time.
If you have a window in your bathroom, keep it open and enjoy the fresh air.

To learn why it's better to choose natural alternatives to commercial air fresheners, check out this fact sheet from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning 

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