The smell of drying laundry...Chai-Vanilla infusion in the air...lemon pine polished surfaces.
So fresh and so clean!! I love fresh scents as much as the next person with a working nose. But I have never been able to take it for granted that something that makes a nice smell is perhaps still SOMETHING. And if it is something, where does it go?
Is your couch populated with a thriving colony of Febreezes? You know, the little microscopic Febreeze organisms that pull out their tiny buckets and mops and wash away all unfreshness from household cloth surfaces. Or perhaps your carpet fibers contain a thick coating of Glades that settled in populous villages after finishing their magical freshening of your air. The rug by now must be a melting pot of different cultures of aerosol spray bits that retired after their work "cleaning" the air in your home.
After you wipe that window with a spattering of windex, just where do you think that residue goes? Or the dust spray? The sink cleaner? The fresh scent from your dryer sheets?
And don't forget about the colonies of cleansing, scenting, and moisturizing magic you spread all over your body. Lotion, soap, perfume, hair gels and sprays....I suppose you get the idea.
It's the Febreeze television commercials that bother me the most. Air not so fresh? Spritz, spritz, spritz...all better now! Their own advertisements prove the point that this accomplishes nothing; blindfold some folks in a building that is about to be condemned for its filth, and after some Febreeze in the air, it just smells delightful!
This stuff doesn't clean anything. The freshness is merely a mask that smells nice for a bit. And anything that you can smell is a SOMETHING.
So, where does it go? It goes onto your skin, your child's skin, into their mouth, into your pet's mouth, or it simply lingers on surfaces to slowly be inhaled day after day.
And contrary to assumption, these chemical cleaners, air fresheners, and etc are not made of fairy dust and unicorn wishes. They are a frightening soup of synthetic chemicals just waiting to be absorbed through your skin, ingested by your mouth, and inhaled into your lungs right through those nostrils celebrating how fresh and delightfully clean your air now is.....is not.
Next time you spritz a spray, plug in an air freshener, or wipe a counter with something, at least stop and think about what you are doing. That this is a SOMETHING, and it would be wise to know what that something is before you paint your home with it. Consider instead turning to natural cleansers. You can buy these in most markets, but can more easily and even more "naturally" make your own. A bucket of vinegar, some baking soda, and a couple of lemons is a good place to start. For further reference, see Non-toxic Home Cleaning & Care.
And to freshen your air, try opening the windows for a bit. It just might add some years to your life as a bonus.