Love the dulcet scent of pine which makes you feel like you’re going in the woods, or the delicate fragrance of vanilla and orange blossom which transforms your house into a bakery/orchid? Just like you, I have always enjoyed the ease with which an air freshener can mask the odor of dog and old sock. But recently, it has occurred to me that all air fresheners are just chemical concoctions which we use to mask our already unsanitary indoor atmosphere.
The problem with air fresheners is that they don’t freshen air
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) listing on Febreze “Air Effects” contains a whopping 87 chemical some of which cause allergic reactions, are carcinogenic and cause cancer, even if they are sweet smelling. We aren’t singling out Fabreze and they are no worse than other air freshener companies. Check out the EWG rap sheets for your Febreze products here.
Vodka with a twist
Wait… what? Actually vodka is a great way to clean and freshen your air. The alcohol in vodka actually kills germs as it cleans. Mix one cup of water and two tablespoons of non-flavored vodka in a spray bottle and spritz the hell out of bad odors. Add a couple of drops of essential oil if you want to add a nice fragrance.
If you have just enjoyed an orange, drop the peels into a pot of hot water and simmer gently on the stove to infuse your home with a delicious citrus smell. This is an especially great idea if your indoor air is a little dry. You can also use this recipe:
What you need:
- small pot filled 2/3 with water
- 2 tsp. vanilla essence
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 1 lemon (sliced)
Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to a very gentle simmer. You can keep this going for up to two days, adding water as required for a lovely fresh spring scented home.
Baking Soda Air Freshener
Baking soda does a great job of soaking up bad smells. You can sprinkle it on your carpets, put some in your fridge and throw some in the bottom of your garbage bin. You can also add some essential oils so that it absorbs bad smells and releases good ones into your home.
What you need:
- small Mason jar
- ½ cup baking soda
- 10 drops essential oil of your choice
- gift wrap
Pour the baking soda into the jar and drip the essential oil over it. Place the Mason jar screw top onto the gift wrap and trace around it. Cut out the circle and poke holes in it with the pin. Cover the jar with the gift wrap circle and screw on the top.
Soothing Lavender Air Freshener
This recipe combines lavender and chamomile which both boast calming properties. They disinfect while soothing the soul. This is a great freshener to use if you are sending the family off to sleep or to elevate mood. If you are planning an all-night rave, this is not the air freshener for you; opt for the citrus freshener instead.
What you need:
- 2 cups distilled water
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 10 drops essential lavender oil
- 10 drops essential chamomile oil
- spray bottle
Mix ingredients together in the spray bottle and sprits your blues away.
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I have never liked the perfume-y smell of dryer sheets as I walk by a house, and have never used them. Great suggestions for no chemical odor busters. Cinnamon simmering on the stove also gives a wonderful homey smell.
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