Could your pleasant smelling home actually be toxic?
One thing I’ve always loved is to have a nice smelling home. From plugin air fresheners, to sprays, fabric refreshers, incense and smelly candles, over the years I’ve used the lot. Before embarking on my healthy living mission over the past seven or so years, I never used to question the safety of such products. I assumed there were tight regulations in place and companies would only use the most natural safest ingredients they could. I thought there was someone somewhere checking all this and that toxic cancer causing chemicals would not be allowed.
Since becoming more interested in a plant based diet and eco-friendly living, I have sadly learnt this is not the case. There are numerous conventional products lining the shelves of our supermarkets that are packed full of harmful ingredients. Even if links to cancer, respiratory problems and if other major health concerns have been found, many of these terrible chemicals are still used.
Why? I can only assume because they are the cheapest option available and the people at the top of these huge organisations care more about their profit margins than the health of the public.
Many plugin air fresheners (that have previously been touted as being better than an aerosol version) contain phthalates. You may have noticed packaging specifically saying products now don’t contain these, such as beauty products, and there’s a good reason why they shouldn’t be included. These phthalates are endocrine disruptors. That means they mimic hormones in your body and prevent the real hormones from doing their job resulting in birth abnormalities, infertility, possibly cancer and air borne phthalates (such as those in air freshener) can cause asthma and respiratory problems.
Formaldehyde is another ingredient that is found is many air fresheners which is a well known carcinogen. I don’t know about you, but once I started searching the ingredients in regular air fresheners I stopped using them immediately!
Even scented candles can be toxic if they’re not vegetable based. Most commercial candles are petroleum/paraffin based candles which release toxic chemicals into the air which we then breathe in. I saw headlines earlier this year suggesting scented candles are as bad as passive smoking! More immediate effects of petroleum-based candles include respiratory problems, asthma attacks, migraines and common allergies. Luckily there are alternatives so you can still enjoy scented candles and make your home smell lovely with natural plant based waxes and even beeswax candles.
Or, read on to discover how you can scent your home with pure natural essential oils.
Utama Spice Essential Oil Nebulizer Diffuser
Since having children I’ve wanted to create the healthiest home environment possible. We use natural cleaning products as much as possible and I stopped using toxic air fresheners and plugins. I was always concerned the plugins scratched my throat and even before researching I started to become concerned about what I was breathing in. I was, however, still using reed diffusers and scented candles up until very recently. I hadn’t thought about candles not being natural or reed diffusers, I just assumed they were all natural. I should have known better of course, as they’re not. Many are made with synthetic fragrances and toxic chemicals. There are natural versions available and we have now made the switch to these instead when we purchase these types of items.
Luckily there are many alternatives for scenting your home with natural toxic-free products. I was recently given the opportunity to review an essential oil nebulizer, which is not something I had ever heard of before. I’ve seen other essential oil diffusers and this is pretty similar and a type of diffuser, but it ‘nebulizes’ the essential oil, which is to reduce it to a fine spray without using heat, water or plastic to do so. This releases the pure essential oil into the home to naturally scent it and to provide its many aromatherapy benefits.
A beautifully unique essential oil diffuser
The nebulizer diffuser itself is a beautiful piece of equipment. It has a natural handmade wooden base and spherical hand blown glass for the top. It’s very unique and a perfect little piece of unusual home décor. Much nicer than a plastic plugin! The glass is beautifully shaped and so precious. I am terrified my children are going to break it. Thankfully the glass pieces are also sold separately on the Utama Spice website as replacements, so all will not be lost if there is an accident.
Utama Spice makes their entire line of natural aromatherapy and beauty products from their base in Bali, Indonesia. They have a passion for creating no-nasties products that are 100% pure and natural:
‘We focus on applying traditional herbal knowledge to create products that not only enhance your skin's natural beauty but also inspire you with the raw power of nature. We do this by using only 100% pure natural ingredients.’
They currently ship from the US and Asia so I was expecting a long wait for my package, but it arrived surprisingly fast. The plug is US style so I purchased a convertor for less than £3 from eBay. It can alternatively be connected to a USB.
I’ve used the nebulizer a few times over the past week and I love it already! I didn’t have any essential oils at home, but they sent me a bottle of fennel oil from Indonesia. They also sell essential oils on their website. I can’t wait to try some different blends in the diffuser and learn more about which oils to use at different times of the day. Pick me up oils in the morning, energising oils in the afternoon and relaxing blends for the evening. The best thing about scenting a home using essential oils is their aromatherapy benefits. Not only are they making the home smell wonderful in a natural way, but they have psychological and physical well-being benefits. In our hectic family home I’ll also be trying some calming and stress-reducing blends!
The diffuser fills the air with the essential oil scent very quickly. It also has a light whilst switched on and makes a gentle whirring sound. It can be positioned in the home as an attractive night light for the evenings. The light does stay on after the diffuser has finished, so just remember to switch it off. The diffuser will run for two hours, and then the light stays on, but the diffusing stops. A small dial to the front turns the diffuser on and changes the mist intensity.
With its small delicate design, Utama Spice recommends this diffuser be used in a personal space such as on a desk or nightstand. It does fill the room with aroma, so it’s really perfect for any room. We have a hexagonal table in the corner of our living-dining room with a very cool Zanzibar house plant so it was the perfect addition to this stand. It’s small and unobtrusive so sits perfectly there in our minimalist dining space.
Here's their website if you want to learn more: https://utamaspice.com/
Here's a great video explaining how to use it if you do purchase one:
You may also enjoy