Columbia, SC (WLTX) - We all want our homes to smell good, but one local do-it-yourself home fragrance trend is raising questions.
A local appliance repairman called News 19 and said he's noticed more homeowners boiling the cleaning product Fabuloso on the stove to make their house smell fresh.
The caller wanted us to investigate if there are health hazards related to this do-it-yourself aroma — we asked the experts.
Fabuloso is an all-purpose cleaner known for its fresh scents like lavender, citrus or ocean breeze.
Some use it for more than just cleaning their bathroom or kitchen. They boil it on the stove to make their home smell nice and clean.
Jill Michels, managing director of the Palmetto Poison Center, says boiling cleaning products on the stove isn't a good idea.
"Cleaning products have chemicals in them that aren't meant to be boiled," Michels said. "When you boil them, they're vaporized into the air and it could cause a lot of irritation for people. Especially people with breathing problems like asthma and COPD."
Michels says taking a cleaning product out of its original container can also be dangerous.
"Especially if it's in some type of food container, another person in the household is not gonna know that," she said. "Especially with liquids like cleaners and Fabuloso, it looks like Kool-Aid or juice and someone's gonna think they can drink it...We have plenty of calls where people are cleaning out their water bottles with bleach. Someone doesn't know the bleach is in the water bottle, it looks just like water and they drink it."
If cleaning products like Fabuloso are ingested, they could cause an upset stomach or a burning sensation in your esophagus.
A quick look at the Fabuloso Safety Data Sheet on the company's website, it says Fabuloso is not a hazardous substance or mixture and it has no hazardous ingredients.
Under the section titled "First Aid Measures," it says, if the product is inhaled, you should "move to fresh air in case of accidental inhalation of dust or fumes from overheating or combustion."
Bottom line, experts don't recommend using a chemical or cleaner for anything other than its intended use.
So we can verify that boiling Fabuloso and similar cleaning products on the stove can be hazardous to your health.
GoodHousekeeping.com says you can still use the stove to help make your home smell good. Instead of cleaning products, simmer water in a small sauce pan and add citrus slices and herbs, like lavender or mint.
You can also make your own fragrances inside a mason jar using simmering water and cinnamon sticks or dried apples. Other options include clipping a deodorizer to vents, placing plants like geraniums, jasmine, gardenias or eucalyptus in your home, or placing candles around the house.
Don't forget to also check your garbage disposal.
If you feel you've ingested dangerous chemicals or cleaning products, call the Palmetto Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 — they're open 24/7.