You are here: Home > Cleaning Blog > Air Freshening Alternatives For Comfort And Health

Air Freshening Alternatives For Comfort And Health

Public restrooms will inevitably accumulate foul odors. While this is perfectly natural, most people find this to be very uncomfortable and it can sometimes really ruin your day. Unfortunately, the most common air freshening options can be impractical in many settings, and some can even pose health risks to those using them in a confined space.
The most accessible and ubiquitous of air freshening system is the simple spray can. They are very convenient for homes or in office settings where the visitors the bathrooms are generally responsible, trusted adults. Unfortunately, in places like restaurants and convenience stores leaving out a can of air freshener out for public use usually just leads to abuse and theft. Installing an automatic air freshener, which sprays a burst of fresh scent out at predetermined intervals, can sometimes mitigate this abuse potential. These systems can sometimes be expensive or inconvenient to install, and are also likely to be subject to vandalism.

As if these factors weren't obnoxious enough, recent research has shown that these spray air fresheners represent a health risk, especially in the enclosed environments where they are most frequently needed. Fragrance sprays and odor neutralizers sometimes contain a number of chemicals known to cause respiratory problems, as well as potential carcinogens.

There are potential alternatives that can be just as effective as these dangerous chemical sprays, even for use in commercial restrooms. One option that doubles as a decorative addition is to place some houseplants around the bathroom. They need not be heavily scented flowers or herbs, although these will be extra effective, as many biological contaminants that create foul bathroom odors are absorbed by plants as they respire. Aloe Vera plants are known to filter out benzene and formaldehyde, while spider plants and their relatives are especially good at filtering out carbon compounds like carbon monoxide. This may not be an appropriate addition in all settings as plants offer an outlet for vandalism.

For a more active air freshening effect, there are a number of companies that offer enzymatic air fresheners that kill the airborne bacteria responsible for the offensive odors and do not include synthetic fragrances. Oil diffusers can also be hidden discretely or placed decoratively around restrooms to overpower foul odors. Including heavily scented, naturally derived soaps in dispensers can also help to mask odors whenever a patron washes their hands.