Between ramp season being in full swing and most of us spending much more time at home than usual, the time has come to step up our DIY air freshener methods.
There are lots of ways to make rooms smell great, without running to the store for commercial plug-in fresheners, gels, sprays, wax melts or other scent releasers. In addition to costing money, most synthetic air fresheners are loaded with possibly harmful chemicals, which can mix with ozone in the air and create secondary toxins.
Testing by the Environmental Working Group found over 450 chemicals in air fresheners and multipurpose cleaning sprays, many of which compounds are linked to asthma, developmental and reproductive harm, or cancer.
There are easy, healthy and effective ways to freshen air with ingredients you probably already have on hand.
If outdoor space is available, take advantage of the warm sun and breeze to freshen curtains, upholstery and any other fabric décor by hanging them out on a nice day.
Baking soda works as a powerful odor absorber. Simply place a small bowl or open jar of baking soda in the room (or car, fridge, etc) you want to freshen for a couple days.
If you’re craving a bit more scent, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to the baking soda. But be modest with the amount — essential oils are powerful, and can have negative effects on people and pets.
A few drops of essential oils can also brighten the air via wax warmers and room sprays. To use with a wax warmer, put a spoonful of coconut oil into the warmer along with a few drop of essential oils, and plug in or light the candle.
To make a scented room spray you’ll need;
-A spray bottle
-Vodka or rubbing alcohol
If using a four-ounce spray bottle, use two tablespoons of alcohol, add oils and swirl to combine. Add water to fill the bottle. Shake well before use. Pleasant oil combinations include;
-Peppermint, rosemary and lemon
-Ylang Ylang and geranium
-Tangerine and black pepper
To make a freshening spray without essential oil, add vanilla extract to alcohol and water. You can also infuse herbs and plants into the water before mixing it with alcohol (for preservation) for fragrance with less potency. Simply soaking fragrant herbs in alcohol can infuse the liquid with a sweet scent.
Simmer pots are effective in scenting a room (or whole house) without the use of essential oils. For a warm and cozy smell, and some heat and humidity on a chilly day, add orange peel, apple pieces (cores work well), vanilla extract and a cinnamon sticks to a pot of water. Bring to a boil, and then allow to simmer for as long as you’d like — simply add more water if the pot gets low.
To make 14 small wax melts, melt one ounce of beeswax with half a cup plus two tablespoons coconut oil, and pour into moulds. Silicone moulds work well, as do mini cupcake liners.
Natural scents can be added with spices and herbs or essential oils. Spices like cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla and cloves provide a chai tea scent. Vanilla with lavender or other scented flowers works well for floral fragrances, and coffee beans and grounds can give your whole house a jolt of aroma.
For even less hassle, simply put a beeswax or other unscented candle into a bowl or jar of scented materials, such as coffee beans or a floating candle on citrus slices with water (add citronella oil and basil leaves for a lovely bug repellent candle).
For a particularly fun air freshener, slice a lemon lengthwise, scoop out the pulp, place a candle wick into the center, pour melted bees wax with dried lavender and a few drops of lavender essential oil in; light and enjoy.
By Aldona Bird