Air fresheners like Glade Plug Ins and Febreeze have millions of marketing dollars behind them, but do we really need to spray chemicals all over our homes to keep the air fresh?
A recent report revealed just how toxic those cans of freshener really are. They contain harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and "fragrance" and are linked to breast cancer and birth defects. Instead of spraying dangerous toxins all over your home, you can freshen the air naturally!
1. Essential Oils
Rather than rely on artificial air freshener, try scenting your room with all natural essential oils. You can put a few drops on a rag or cotton ball or get fancy with an oil burner. I have to say, I love our oil burner! We put about a couple of tablespoons of water in the top along with a 10-15 drops of oil, then light a tea light underneath. It diffuses the smell through the whole house, and it smells amazing!
For dark areas that get a little musty, try hanging a sachet of herbs. You can find a handmade one on Etsy or whip up your very own. To make a sachet, just purchase or make a small drawstring bag out of thin fabric, fill with dried herbs like lavender and sage, and hang! When the herbs start to lose their power, just dump them in the compost and replace them.
3. House Plants
When things smell funky in the house, why not focus on actually cleaning the air instead of just masking the odor? Try adding a few house plants to create fresh, healthy air in your home.
You can also plant things that smell nice. I remember as a kid that my pops planted night blooming jasmine outside the living room window. On cool Florida evenings, we'd open the window and let the smell waft in. It was so nice!
4. Air it Out
For temporary smells like cooking odors, you can go with the old fashioned open window. If things are really stinky, turn up the fan to air things out. Now that spring is finally here, you can open those windows and air out the whole house!
Airing out the house is great, and some fresh air can do wonders for things you can't wash like rugs and cushions. Keep an eye on the weather report, and when it's going to be nice out stick those things out on the porch or patio to get them some air. You can also beat rugs and cushions to get out some of the dust and pet hair that causes them to smell musty. Grab a tennis racket, or just beat the offending cushion or rug against the steps or railing. Just make certain that there's nothing on the surfaces outside that will stain your housewares!
5. Use the Oven
This is a trick that real estate agents sometimes use, and it smells amazing. Stick a shallow baking pan full of water in the oven with some sliced apples tossed with cinnamon. Turn the oven onto a low heat, around 200-225, and let it simmer. The whole house will smell like pie!
Do you guys have any tips for natural air freshener? I'd love to hear them in the comments!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Ada Be