It seems like a good idea at the time: your home is up for sale so why not help it put on its best face by spritzing it up with a few squirts from a can of air freshener. Or better yet, use a wall plug-in version so that the fresh aroma is there all the time.
But there’s a serious drawback to this idea: a growing number of people — myself included — have developed nasty allergies and reactions to these artificial scents, so much so that when we walk into a home (or even a Realtor’s car that uses one) and catch a whiff, we need to immediately hightail it and get out.
Air fresheners and other home fragrances can trigger migraines, nausea, dizziness, rashes, asthma attacks and other respiratory issues, thanks to the volatile organic compounds they contain. All those nasty compounds can even cause Cancer.
This is why many doctors’ offices and other work spaces post warnings about not wearing scented products in the vicinity.
Even overly scented flowers can be an issue for some.
So, what do you do to ensure you have a fresh-smelling home ready for sale?
Open your windows and let in Mother Nature rather than choosing artificial options, including products labelled organic or green, says the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
If that’s not a viable option because it’s -20 C outside, you can try natural options such as baking soda, which can be easily made into a spray freshener or an oil diffuser, or vinegar.
There are also several house plants that help clean your air. They’re not instant air fresheners, per se, but they do filter much out of the air to help keep it clean.
And if you have an open house coming up, you can always turn to food. The lingering aroma of fresh made cookies or cinnamon that has just baked in the oven can create an enticing feeling — just don’t overdo it and make it too strong.
Remember, you’re trying to present your home so that everyone coming through it can picture it as their home. Don’t force a large number of them to turn away because they can’t handle the (fake) smell.
Here's is a list of the Best Natural Air Fresheners for Asthma and Allergy Sufferers.