Many of us grew up using air freshener sprays, gels, and plug-ins in our homes. What we didn’t know then (but are learning now) is that many air fresheners use carcinogens, chemicals that can aggravate asthma, and affect reproductive development.
Independent lab testing of spray, gel, and plug-in air fresheners confirmed the presence of phthalates (hormone-disrupting chemicals that could be a health risk to babies and young children) in 85% of products tested—including those marked “all natural.” None of the products had these chemicals listed on their labels. (source)
“But wait!” you say. “The ingredient list on my air freshener bottle says, ‘Contains water, alcohol, odor eliminator derived from corn, fragrance.’ Why aren’t all those chemicals listed?”
For one single reason–they don’t have to be.
Under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, manufacturers are not required to list all ingredients of household cleaners. This is ostensibly to protect their formulations—which is odd, because bread has all the ingredients listed and there’s no lack of healthy competition there…but I digress.
Why Diffuse Essential Oils?
Pure, high-quality essential oils contain no fillers, artificial ingredients, pesticides, or other contaminants. That’s why they are my choice for freshening the air and providing other health benefits. We have a diffuser in nearly every room of our home!
Types of Diffusers
There are two main types of essential oil diffusers: ultrasonic and nebulizing. The primary difference is that ultrasonic diffusers use water, and nebulizing diffusers do not.
Ultrasonic diffusers agitate water and essential oils at millions of vibrations per second. This converts the water into a fine mist and converts the oil into micro-particles that are released into the air. The water and essential oil mist is so fine that if you hold your hand over the diffuser, your hand doesn’t get wet.
Nebulizing diffusers pressurize air and draw oils through a special nozzle. This breaks the oils down into minute particles and disperses them into the air. These diffusers don’t use water, but can use an entire bottle of oil quickly if diffuser settings are not correct.
Here are some important pros and cons for each type.
|Cost||Less expensive||More expensive|
My Favorite Diffusers
GreenAir Spa Vapor 2.0: covers 400 square feet with settings for 1, 2, or 3 hours; auto shut-off. This is my favorite, for price and scent output. $29.99
Serene Living Amber: covers 1,000 square feet with settings for 1, 2, or 5 hours; white dimming lights. This would be elegant in a formal living room. $49.99
Creature Comforts: covers 400 square feet and runs for 8 hours; available in frog, duck, cat, or pig. The kids love this one! $39.99
Theralizer: covers 1,000 square feet and runs 2 minutes on/1 minute off for 2 hours. $49.99
AromaAce: covers 500 square feet and runs continuously; custom settings for mist output, run time, pause time. $129.00
Other Types of Diffusers
Ultrasonic and nebulizing diffusers are the most popular and most effective. You may see less expensive options, such as heat diffusers or evaporative diffusers. I don’t recommend these for a few reasons:
- Both of them use heat to disperse the oils, which destroys the oils’ therapeutic properties.
- The evaporative diffusers use electricity to push air through a scented pad, and you can easily scent the air without electricity by using a homemade felt air freshener.
Note: Don’t burn essential oils in a wax burner or other contraption! While they’ll still smell good, you won’t get any therapeutic benefit–which is a waste of good oils.
After You Get Your Diffuser
Check out my book with more than 100 diffuser recipes for your home, health, and family.
How do I get Started with Essential Oils?
Good question–you’re in the right place! I can hook you up–and I usually have sweet deals for folks who join my team. Click here for all the details.