July 17th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Confession time: When I was in college, I used to buy off-the-shelf carpet deodorizers with artificial lavender or tropical scents.
Before becoming eco-savvy, I never suspected these carpet “fresheners” were hazardous—or that I was breathing in a nasty dose of their residues as I vacuumed.
Read their labels today, and you’ll find unhealthful ingredients you don’t want to inhale. And newer versions, available as quick-dry foams, have propellants that contain propane and n-butane.
To avoid chemical exposure, go the do-it-yourself natural/organic route, which also turns out to be less expensive. Today’s DIY carpet deodorizer recipe calls for only two nontoxic ingredients:
- Baking soda, which absorbs odors
- 100% pure natural/organic essential oils for customizable fragrances
As with Wednesday’s recipe for DIY Natural/Organic Carpet Cleaner, the aromatherapy experts at Aura Cacia recommend using deodorizing essential oils like bergamot (a refreshing citrus), coriander seed (like bergamot, with a woody nuance) or lavandin (a cross between true lavender and spike lavender).
DIY Natural/Organic Carpet Deodorizer
- 1 cup baking soda
- 18 drops essential oil
- Mix ingredients.
- Sprinkle on carpet, and allow powder to sit for 10 minutes.
- Vacuum normally.
Read More:DIY Natural/Organic Carpet Deodorizer
September 19th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
We’ve talked about different ways to soften fabrics when you wash and dry your clothes (plant-derived dryer sheets), as well as products to avoid (toxic, beef fat-infused dryer sheets and laundry balls).
I’ve also reported on ways to green your washing machine, the importance of ENERGY STAR-rated washers and eco-friendly dryers.
Today, I’ll conclude this series with a look at two of the most low-tech, yet effective, ways to soften fabrics:
- Organic distilled white vinegar
- Baking soda
According to Deirdre Imus (yes, she’s Don’s wife), author of Green This! Volume One: Greening Your Cleaning:
Distilled white vinegar, preferably organic, is the best and healthiest softener. Just put a tablespoon in the rinse cycle, as you would any of the toxic fabric softeners. (Don’t overdo it—you don’t want your clothes to smell like vinegar!) Your clothes will come out soft every time.
In lieu of vinegar, add 1/4 cup of baking soda to the wash cycle, she says.
If you want your clothes to smell nice, add a few drops of your favorite organic essential oil to your washer’s rinse cycle, notes Imus, founder and president of the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. As an alternative, place a few drops on a washcloth, and toss it into the dryer with your clothes.
Also by Deirdre Imus
Read More:Drying with Deirdre