If you want to fight bad odors in your home, throw out the synthetic, toxic chemical sprays. Exposure to toxins called VOCs from synthetic sprays, air fresheners and scented candles can cause a wide array of health issues, from mild irritation to possible links with cancer. Do you want to find a natural way to freshen your home? Follow the tips below to combat common smelly odors naturally without resorting to harmful chemicals.
Open the Windows
Sometimes the simplest remedy is the most effective. If your house or car has an unpleasant smell, allowing for some fresh air circulation can quickly get rid of the problem. A cross breeze from open windows circulates fresh air so that smells can quickly dissipate. In case of strong smells, such as burnt popcorn or cigarette smoke, you may need to open a window and turn on an oscillating fan to air our your home.
Stop the Source
Opening the windows can only go so far if you don’t identify the source of the smell. Experts say the key to odor removal is removing the source. Natural fresheners can only temporarily mask strong foul odors, especially if the problem has anything to do with faulty plumbing, mildew, mold, or dead animals caught under the house or in the chimney. Follow this guide to determine where foul odors are coming from and how to combat the problem.
Houses get a lot of heavy traffic, from people, pets and pests. It’s to be expected that your home will smell funky on occasion if it’s not kept regularly cleaned. One natural way to keep bad smells under control is to use pure essential oils, which can be diffused throughout your home with reeds, oil burners or a homemade spritz. Essential oils not only smell good, they can have positive effects on your mood, too. Oils like bergamot, sage, sandalwood and rose have calming effects. Oils that relieve stress and tension are cedarwood, lavender, geranium and neroli. If you want a scent that will energize and refresh you, try peppermint, lemon or clove. Many essential oil remedy recipes, such as this one, combine an essential oil, vinegar and water to freshen rooms.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
White distilled vinegar and baking soda are traditional home remedies for bad odors. For carpets that have been stained by pets, sprinkle equal parts vinegar and water to neutralize the bad-smelling ammonia from pet urine. You can also sprinkle baking soda on carpets, let it sit for an hour as it absorbs odor and moisture, then vacuum the baking soda and bad odor away. Smelly shoes and refrigerators often get baking soda treatment. To prevent shoes from smelling, sprinkle baking soda in them at night and simply shake out the shoes in the morning when you’re ready to put them on. Stick an opened box of baking soda in your refrigerator and freezer to absorb bad smells for up to three months.
If you’ve got sick children in your home, their bedrooms and bathrooms can easily turn odorous. One easy way to keep rooms fresh is to put a bouquet of fragrant flowers like freesia by a window or bedside. Not only are freesia flowers a visual delight, they have a light, citrus scent which can freshen a room. Some pleasant smelling flowers should be used with caution, as a sick person may become irritated by the heavy smells of mums, lilies or carnations. Roses are a perennial favorite to keep in a room with their distinctive floral aroma that’s light enough to perfume a room without an overpowering, headache-inducing smell.
Do you use other Natural Air Fresheners? Let us know in the comments!