Walmart Recalls Better Homes & Gardens Aromatherapy Room Spray as CDC Investigates 2 Deaths

Some bottles may be contaminated with a rare, deadly bacteria. Consumers should take special care when handling the product.

Recalled room sprays
Recalled Better Homes and Gardens Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray With Gemstones, sold by Walmart
Source: CPSC

Walmart has recalled about 3,900 bottles of Better Homes & Gardens-branded Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones because of the possible presence of a rare and deadly bacteria, according to an announcement from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The products have been linked to two illnesses and two deaths, one of which was a child. The cases occurred in Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, and Texas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that it tested the product from the home of the Georgia patient and found it contained the bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei, which causes melioidosis, or Whitmore’s disease, an illness that is uncommon in the U.S. And, the CDC says, the genetic strain of the bacteria from that bottle matches the strain of the bacteria found in all four victims.

More on Product Safety

“CPSC worked with Walmart to get a recall into place within days of learning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the dangerous bacteria found in a bottle of the room spray and the possible connection to deaths and illness,” new CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric said in a statement.

“We’re glad to see action by the CPSC and Walmart while the CDC continues to get to the bottom of this,” adds William Wallace, manager of safety policy at Consumer Reports. “This is a serious hazard. Anyone who has this room spray should immediately stop using it and follow the recall’s instructions on how to safely return it to Walmart.”

Because of the serious risk, the CDC said that consumers should “not throw away or dispose of the bottle.” Instead, consumers should double bag the bottle in a clean, clear zip-top resealable bag, and place it in a small cardboard box. Then return the bagged and boxed product to Walmart.

The Details

Products recalled: Better Homes & Gardens-branded Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray With Gemstones in six scents:

• Lavender & Chamomile (84140411420)

• Lemon & Mandarin (84140411421)

• Lavender (84140411422)

• Peppermint (84140411423)

• Lime & Eucalyptus (84140411424)

• Sandalwood & Vanilla (84140411425)

Sold at: About 55 Walmart stores nationwide and online at walmart.com from February 2021 through October 2021 for about $4.

The problem: The products could be contaminated with a rare and dangerous bacteria.

The fix: Because of the risk, consumers should immediately stop using the product and carefully follow these steps. 

  • Do not open the bottle. Do not attempt to throw away or dispose of the bottle.
  • Double bag the bottle in clean, clear zip-top resealable bags and place in a small cardboard box. 
  • Return the bagged and boxed product to a Walmart store.
  • Wash sheets or linens that the product may have been sprayed on using normal laundry detergent and dry completely in a hot dryer. Bleach can be used if desired.
  • Wipe down counters and surfaces that might have been exposed to the spray with an undiluted disinfectant cleaner.
  • Minimize handling of the product and wash hands thoroughly after touching the bottle or linens. If wearing gloves, wash your hands thoroughly after removing the gloves.
  • If you have used the product within the past 21 days and experience fever or other symptoms of melioidosis (including pain, swelling, an abscess, chest or stomach pain, cough, headache, joint pain, and disorientation), seek medical care and tell your doctor about the product exposure. Your doctor may recommend that you get antibiotics (post-exposure prophylaxis) to prevent infection.

Customers will also receive a $20 Walmart gift card when they return the product.

How to contact the manufacturer: Contact Walmart by phone at 800-925-6278 or go to its recall page for more information. 

To report a dangerous product or product-related injury, go to SaferProducts.gov.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to incorporate new information from the CDC. It was first published on October 22, 2021.


Rachel Rabkin Peachman

I'm a science journalist turned investigative reporter on CR's Special Projects team. My job is to shed light on issues affecting people's health, safety, and well-being. I've dug deep into problems such as dangerous doctors, deadly children's products, and contamination in our food supply. Got a tip? Follow me on Twitter (@RachelPeachman).