If you suffer from allergy, asthma, or other sensitivities, then you already know that commercial air fresheners – which are loaded with artificial chemicals no matter what natural-sounding scent they boast – can be harmful (and even toxic) to the eyes, skin, throat, and lungs. And they don’t even really get the job done! Instead of eliminating odors, they often mask them by coating your nasal passages with oils to diminish your sense of smell.
Luckily, there are a whole host of alternatives that are safer for you. The good news is they’re not only super-easy, but you probably already have the ingredients for many of them around your home.
Baking Soda – This common cooking ingredient is a natural odor-absorber. Simply pop open a box, and place it in an inconspicuous area. You can also place small amounts in saucers and leave them throughout the house. But if you have pets in the house, be aware that ingesting a large quantity of baking soda can cause electrolyte abnormalities, which can lead to serious health issues.
House Plants – According to a study done by NASA, some plants can remove up to 87% of toxic indoor air in just 24 hours. Not too shabby! So find a plant that is pretty, easy to maintain, and does well with minimal sunlight. If you have pets or children, make sure to select a plant that is not toxic.
Vinegar– A great way to combat nasty smells, particularly those in your kitchen. Simply boil one tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of water on your stove. When you’re done, your kitchen will smell nice, and your pot will be sanitized. You can also fill small cups about half way and place them around your home. I recommend finding ways to add them to your décor, so there’s no need to hide them. The good news is vinegar is perfectly safe for children and pets. Plus, they’re unlikely to be a fan of the taste, so they’ll leave it alone.
Essential Oils – These liquids, which are pressed from herbs and plants, are very natural, and there are many ways to use them. Put a few drops in a bowl. Fill a spray bottle with water and 20 drops of your favorite scent. Add a few drops to a cotton ball and hide it behind a vase or picture frame. You can even add it to those saucers of vinegar or baking soda!
Organic Candles – Beeswax candles give off a scent of honey as they clean the air, and soy candles scented with essential oils burn cleaner than paraffin candles and don’t use artificial fragrances.
Fresh Air – The cheapest, easiest, and one of the most effective means for odor elimination. Leave your windows and doors open for 15 minutes or so early in the morning or in the evening, when you’re less likely to let in too much heat.
Photo Credit - emiemihuimei