This time of year it can be difficult to keep your home smelling fresh. There’s that peach you forgot about on the counter that is now a breeding ground for fruit flies (yuck!), the bucket for the compost bin that just got a little too ripe, the kitty litter that needs attending to, or the pile of sweaty laundry from your Labor Day camping trip. It’s a struggle; but that doesn't mean we want to do away with composting, fresh produce, cats or camping trips! Instead, here are some strategies to combat those unpleasant odors with all-natural home fragrance solutions.
Of course, the best approach is to keep things clean, the trash emptied, the compost bucket attended to and the laundry done. But let’s face it, life sometimes gets in the way of our cleaning plans, and what the heck do you do when you come home from work to a house that is just downright stinky? First, one does need to attack the cause, but what’s next when your home is still less than fresh? Try one of of these quick fixes.
1. Scented Candles
Image: Soap For Your Soul
Always keep some naturally fragrant candles on hand to light when your home (and you) needs a little aromatherapy. Of course, you don’t want to use just any candles. Many store bought candles include questionable ingredients, so do a little research for companies that sell candles using pure essential oils and other naturally occurring olfactory agents. Etsy is a great resource. You can always make your own too, like these diy beeswax candles from The Sweetest Occasion.
2. Rooms Sprays
Image: Juniper Ridge
For some odor emergencies, a candle might just take too long, like when you realize your home stinks and your mother-in-law in walking up the driveway. That’s when room sprays come in handy for some instant bad smell eradication. Again, as with candles, you do need to be cautious to not use just any room sprays--some of them contain really horrible chemicals. Juniper Ridge has some rather amazing room sprays. (They call them Cabin Sprays.) Each scent is made from organic sugar cane alcohol and 100 percent all-natural fragrances made from tree pitch, plant sap/juice and steam-distilled essential oils.
3. Vinegar Cleaner
When cleaning is in order to get rid of that offending odor, consider using a mixture of vinegar and essential oils. Vinegar is an effective general cleaner, and while the research is a little murky, it is touted as being as effective as bleach for germ-killing. When vinegar dries, it is odorless, but when mixed with essential oils and used as a floor or counter cleaner, the fresh smells of the essential oils are left behind. Just fill up a spray bottle with white vinegar and add 10-20 drops of the essential oil of your choice.
4. Homemade Diffusers
And while on the topic of essential oils, you can use them to make your own oil diffuser. A diffuser is a fantastic way to combat odors from pets and the musty air-conditioning in the home. And because they are always at work, they keep odors way down. Here’s a great DIY tutorial for making your own reed diffuser.
Top image: ginnerobot