Ever walk into someone’s house and find you are nearly knocked over by some very unpleasant odor? They may not even notice that musty odor that emanates from their basement or the crawlspace beneath their house but you surely do! I, for one do not ever want that house to be mine! When we first moved to the country and into this 30 year old house, it had been vacant for over a year.
The crawlspace beneath the home had that very musty and suspicious odor of dampness and we worried about plumbing issues first thing. But after an inspection it was determined to simply be typical dampness that is found in the soil around here. After attacking the smells with nearly every chemical that is sold legally we asked our elderly neighbor what to do and she told us to think natural. She told us to use the basics and steer clear of those harsh chemicals because they only add to the problem and are unhealthy for us, our kids, and even the dog and cats who live with us. So I made a list and went to the store to buy the natural ingredients our dear neighbor recommended. After all, she’s 87 and still pretty healthy so must be doing something right.
Think natural and what smells good
I love the scent of lemons, fresh cut and steeping in my cup of tea. The aroma is also a natural odor killer as it masks and obliterates smells you do not want in your home. When it comes to commercial air fresheners or room deodorizers you have many choices but basically all of them are potentially harmful to you and the environment! Such ingredients as dichlorobenzene, Para dichlorobenzene, ethanol, formaldehyde, and phthalates can be especially harmful because they can cause damage to lungs, liver, kidneys. They create headaches, nausea, fatigue, irritation to the throat, and breathing difficulty especially for those who have asthma. To be able to eliminate those chemicals from our home and use safe “natural” ingredients is a very good thing for us, our children, future children, and the environment overall.
Natural ingredients are easy to find – simple (and cheaper) to use
Read the labels! Learn what is bad for you because the warnings are almost never read. You can create your own safe homemade air fresheners and room deodorizers quite easily and for far less than those chemical laden “nationally distributed” room fresheners. Lemons, oranges, cinnamon, vanilla, honey, cloves, and apple cider are among the most popular “scents” in use and they can be found in their au natural state quite easily… and best of all they cost far less than those commercially manufactured chemical concoctions!
1) Citrus Scented room freshener
2 orange peels (or substitute with lemon peels)
Add ingredients to small sauce pan, fill the pan half full with water, simmer on stove burner. Allow to permeate your home by slowly simmering, adding a bit of water as needed. Or put some into a spray bottle or atomizer and simply squirt around in each room you wish to add a lovely citrusy scent.
2) Sage is a powerhouse deodorizer
If you love the aroma of sage (think stuffing in the Thanksgiving turkey) try using a dry branch of it by crushing and sprinkling it onto a candle (3” wide or larger works best). Light the candle and as the hot wax spreads out over the candle’s top surface it will warm and give off a delicious scent!
3) Easy duplicate of an expensive deodorizer
There’s a certain expensive room and cloth deodorizer that is easy to duplicate. All it takes is 2 cups baking soda mixed with 2 cups of your favorite fabric softener, then add 4 cups of warm water. Pour ingredients into a spray bottle and spritz throughout your home. You can add some favorite essential oil to the mix if you wish.
4) The fault may lie in your carpeting
If the entire room smells musty and won’t go away it may be older carpeting that’s at fault. Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the entire rug, leave it alone for a few hours, then simply vacuum it clean. Odors should be gone entirely.
5) Vinegar and baking soda old faithfuls of the cleansing world
Combine white vinegar with baking soda and spray onto almost any surface safely and effectively. Works especially good on urine odors (cats and dogs). You can leave some vinegar in a bowl or dish to cleanse the room of odors you don’t want.
6) Favorite scents like lavender cinnamon and vanilla are essential oils
Essential oils are what makes plants and flowers smell like they do and they seem to have therapeutic properties. They can be found in their natural state (vanilla beans, sticks of cinnamon bark) or bottled and ready to use (just be sure to read the ingredients to insure that essential oil is all you get). Whether you prefer the pleasant aroma of lavender or vanilla you can add a few drops to a spray bottle, add water, then spray your stinky problems away!
7) Save that leftover in the bottom of the vodka bottle
A friend of mine is a long time beautician who often works with wigs made from synthetic hair. Clients hate it if they smell like an old used floor mop so she came upon a sure fire remedy for deodorizing them. Add one part vodka to one part water then spray it generously on the “hair”. Let it dry and there will be no alcohol smell, just a clean fresh wig. No problem with wigs? Try one ounce of vodka mixed with 5 ounces water and ½ tsp cinnamon oil, then spray where it’s needed most.
Whatever you prefer is so much cheaper to make and far safer to breathe than those risky chemical compounds they try to convince us are safe for our babies, pets, and ourselves.
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