A few years ago, during a regular trip to the supermarket, I picked up a few “plug-in” air fresheners with lavender-scented pods. The packaging was attractive and being in a rush, I was convinced and hastily threw them into the cart. However, about an hour after I had plugged them into the walls of my home, I knew I had made a mistake. Within that short period of time, I developed an aggressive allergic reaction that would last the next 48 hours. 

From this experience, I was taught an important lesson of being a homeowner: avoid using chemical air fresheners. While they may smell great, they are essentially tainting your breathable air with toxic particles called phthalates, which can cause allergic symptoms and asthma. Instead, I’ve compiled a list of various natural alternatives I’ve been using to keep my house smelling fresh and clean.

Essential Oils

Without question, essential oils are my favorite air fresheners to use on a daily basis. With so many natural scents to choose from, it’s so simple to swap different oils depending on your mood. Also, there are also a myriad of different devices and tools you can use to spread these amazing scents around the house.

One of my favorite ways to apply my essential oils is by using an oil diffuser, like the URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser. With most coming with programmable settings, using an oil diffuser is a great way to keep your room or house smelling great without having to monitor the device. Simply add water and a few drops of your favorite essential oils and the diffuser will do the rest! 

Another great way to freshen your house with essential oils is by making a simple spray. Just take any sized spray bottle, fill with water and add a teaspoon of salt and 15-30 drops of your desired essential oil, depending on the size of your bottle. A few sprays to any room will leave it smelling great within seconds! 


While most people think of old grandmas when they see potpourri, it can actually be a very effective natural and non-toxic air freshener! To make your own potpourri at home, take a baking sheet and cover it with parchment paper. While your oven is preheating to 200 degrees, take this time to individually remove petals from your flower heads. While the most common flowers to use are roses, I have also seen geraniums and lilies used to create a wonderful scent.

Place your flower petals on your sheet and bake for about 2 hours, or until your petals are completely dry, as leaving them with moisture can result in mold. Once your flowers have dried to brittleness, place them in your vase. While additional drops of essential oils are optional, always make sure to add a fixture, like orris root powder, to keep your potpourri smelling fragrant for weeks. 

Naturally Scented Candles

As long as they are not chemically scented, candles can be a relaxing way to keep an area smelling great! Naturally scented candles can be easily purchased online or at your local health-food store. However, if you have the time and a double boiler handy, you can also consider making your own essential oil-scented candles at home (a topic for another article). Not only is it fun and easy, but you’ll be able to make the beautiful hand-crafted gifts for any occasion!