Purify your home with aromadiffusion of essential oils
Published: 1 December, 2022 - Updated: 13 October, 2023 | 5'
Clean and purify the air at home
Air quality is a fundamental factor for the well-being of our body, especially our respiratory system.
In indoor spaces, whether it’s your home or your workplace, it’s convenient to improve the air quality. There are several ways to achieve this, and one of them is through aromatherapy with essential oils.
The aroma of essential oils can be the defining factor for the first olfactory impression of those who visit our home or workplace.
With the help of pharmacist and essential oil specialist Mª Esther Garcia de la Cruz, and the responsible for the Scientific Information area at MARNYS, Maria Mercedes Sanchez, we discover which essential oils and aromas can help us clean and purify the air at home.
How to purify the indoor environment?
There are three recommendations to purify and clean the air in our homes: creating green spaces with plants, regularly ventilating the rooms, and using essential oils through aromatherapy diffusion.
Plants that benefit indoor air quality
“Plants are the natural biofilters of our environment, as they not only provide pleasant aromas but also promote an atmosphere with more oxygen to breathe, explains Maria Mercedes Sanchez.
This benefit of plants on indoor air quality is known thanks to a study by NASA that analyzed the filtering effect of plants in closed environments such as aircraft cabins. “It was found that plants purified the atmosphere from unsuitable volatile compounds. This was called phytoremediation,” adds Sanchez.
However, to achieve the desired effect, the right plant needs to be selected. Additionally, the positive effect on air quality will vary depending on the room where the plant is placed.
For example, as Maria Mercedes Sanchez suggests, “in the kitchen, aromatic plants like mint, thyme, or rosemary create an environment free from odors; in the bathroom, lavender or basil are very useful for purifying the air. In other rooms, like the living room, both geraniums and citronella and dwarf citruses promote pleasant smells and a sense of cleanliness and well-being”.
How to properly ventilate the rooms
In addition to the effect of plants, it’s very important to ventilate the rooms to maintain a purified home. This is a healthy practice that should be done regularly as it allows the air to be renewed through natural or mechanical means.
Apart from keeping the rooms clean from dust, ventilation is best when done with natural air and can be achieved through three main actions:
- Create cross breezes indoors by opening doors and windows, which purifies the air as it circulates.
- Repeat this procedure 3 or 4 times a day, for 4 to 15 minutes depending on the season, to help remove humidity, bad odors, suspended particles, etc.
- Always ventilate the used rooms. In the case of the kitchen, before and after cooking, in the bathroom, always leave the window open – or the door if you don’t have a window – after using it. Also, open the windows in the bedrooms for a while every morning.
How to purify the air with essential oil diffusion
In addition to the previous recommendations, another important method is the use of aromatherapy diffusion.
As pharmacist and essential oil specialist Mª Esther Garcia de la Cruz explains: “Aromatherapy diffusion is beneficial as it creates an atmosphere of “purity and well-being”. Essential oils not only refresh the air but also purify it, instead of just masking bad odors. This makes them especially useful to rid ourselves of that “stuffy air,” eliminating unpleasant smells and suspended particles”.
To neutralize unwanted odors and purify the air from microbes, we can use essential oils through their diffusion in the rooms.
How to use aroma diffusers at home?
One of the methods for dispersing the aroma of essential oils is through diffusers.
“Aroma diffusers are efficient because they release all the different-sized molecules at the same time. Unlike heat vaporizers, which burn residues when the essential oil is depleted”, says Garcia de la Cruz.
The diffusers create a mist and disperse it into the air, using various techniques (such as ultrasonic), to evenly and economically release all the molecule sizes contained in the essential oils into the environment.
Can aromatherapy be used near pregnant women, babies, and pets?
When using an aroma diffuser, it is essential to carefully read the user manual of the diffuser in question. It is also very important to know the correct way to use an essential oil diffuser, especially if we are going to use it near babies, young children, pets, or vulnerable individuals. For example, ““essential oils with strong smells like camphor, cinnamon, clove, or eucalyptus are not recommended to be used in the presence of children”, explains the responsible of the Scientific Information area at MARNYS, Maria Mercedes Sánchez.
Types of essential oils to deodorize and purify the environment
As we mentioned, essential oils are useful to provide “green spaces”, favoring good air quality.
Depending on their intended use, each essential oil brings properties that can promote a “light” atmosphere, pleasant smells, or simply create a refreshing ambiance in the rooms where we are.
Essential oils to purify heavy atmospheres
Heavy atmospheres are characterized by countless particles suspended in the air that can be of organic nature (e.g., microbes) or inorganic nature (e.g., free radicals).
As Maria Mercedes Sánchez explains: ““the volatile compounds of essential oils such as limonene, linalool, eugenol, among others, have been shown to have a purifying effect on these substances, refreshing the environment and creating a sensation of clean air”.
Additionally, ““essential oils from tea tree, rosemary, and clove are perfect for maintaining good air quality”, adds Mª Esther García de la Cruz.
Essential oils that act as home air fresheners
Enjoying the smell of a pleasant ambiance evokes positive sensations in our brain. That’s why it is important to provide our rooms with these olfactory stimuli, which invite rest, relaxation, or energy to carry out our tasks.
“Essential oils such as geranium, spearmint, or sweet orange are ideal for creating this type of atmosphere“, clarifies García de la Cruz.
Citrus aromas to eliminate bad odors
What we call a bad smell occurs when various substances come into contact, either contained in water or solids, and are decomposed by microbes. This decomposition releases volatile particles into the environment that we perceive as an unpleasant odor.
“Essential oils have proven to be efficient air fresheners because they neutralize these substances in the environment, providing not only the sensation of a “good smell”, but also helping to purify the surrounding atmosphere“, says Maria Mercedes Sánchez.
As Mª Esther García de la Cruz concludes, “the combination of bergamot, lemon, and lavender essential oils is perfect for refreshing and maintaining a pleasant smell in the room where they are dispersed“.
- Deshinta, S. B. et al. The Potency of Antioxidant Perfume of Essential Oils to Reduce Free Radical Content in Air. The 2nd International Conference on Chemistry and Material Science (IC2MS). IOP Conf. Series: Materials Science and Engineering 833 (2020) 012007.
- Lawless, J. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. HarperCollins Publishers, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-57324-614-9.
- Su, H-J. et al. The effects of evaporating essential oils on indoor air quality. Atmospheric Environment 41 (2007) 1230–1236.
- Whiley, H. et al. Antifungal properties of essential oils for improvement of indoor air quality: a review. Rev Environ Health 2018; 33(1): 63–76.
- Worwood, V. A. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. New World Library, 2016. ISBN 978-1-57731-139-3.
Content developed by the specialists of the Scientific Information area at MARNYS with the collaboration of the pharmacist and essential oils specialist Mª Esther García de la Cruz.
About the specialist
Ms. Maria Esther García de la Cruz holds a degree in Pharmacy, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology from the Complutense University of Madrid and is a specialist in essential oils.