If there’s one home care product that falls consistently on my least favorite list, it has to be air fresheners. Most do nothing more than add a scent to the air, usually created by some chemicals that if you really thought about it, you wouldn’t be spraying in the air you breathe.
They’re usually unhealthy, minimally to poorly effective, and frankly there are better ways to handle the smells that build up inside a home. For people with conditions such as asthma, it can be vital to avoid many of the usual commercial air fresheners.
Remove the Source
You won’t always be able to do this, but if you can get the source of the smell out of your home, that’s the best way to get the smell to dissipate. That could be taking out the trash, cleaning the cat litter, and so forth.
Open the Windows
Weather permitting, opening the windows is the simplest way to make a home smell fresh. It lets the air circulate. The smells floating in the air in your home have a way to get out rather than continuing to build up.
It’s important to open your windows in your home when you can. Indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air, especially if you use a lot of conventional cleaning supplies.
Use Natural Air Fresheners
Natural air fresheners may not work as quickly as the ones you buy at the store and spray around, but they’re better for you and I think they smell better.
Baking soda is a classic odor absorber. Place bowls of it out where smells are an issue. Sprinkle it on carpets that are having odor problems and let it sit for a little or even overnight before vacuuming it up. It doesn’t have a pretty scent, but that’s not the point of using baking soda.
Vinegar isn’t a favorite scent for most people, but it does help to control odors. Put a bowl of it out or spray it into the air. As it dissipates, the vinegar smell and the problem smell will go away. Add in a drop or two of a favorite essential oil if you want to cover the vinegar smell right from the start.
Different herbs can help make a room smell nice too. Sprigs of rosemary or lavender are good choices, especially if you grow them fresh yourself. If not, dried versions smell good as well.
Boiling herbs and spices works also. Many people like the scent of cinnamon boiled in water. Boiling a sliced lemon or lemon juice is another good smell. Vanilla, orange, peppermint, cloves and nutmeg also smell good when boiled.
Your favorite essential oils can be used on their own to make a room smell good. Drop a little on a cotton ball and place it in the room. You can use a drop each from a couple different types of essential oils if you like.
Growing plants indoors also helps with air quality. Different plants clean air in different ways, but they’re generally good at what they do. Don’t overwater any plants or you may have scent issues relating to standing water or overly wet soil.