Everyone likes to keep their home smelling as fresh and as pleasant as possible. Just one look at the housewares aisle at your local grocery store will tell you that. There you will find all kinds of different products designed to make your home smell fresher. Sprays, gels, oils, candles there are dozens of these chemical concoctions to choose from.
If you are in the process of selling your Waterloo Region home and have would be homebuyers showing up all the time to take a look – sometimes even unexpectedly – you are probably spending more time, and money, in that section of the store as you know a smelly home is simply a no-no. But you may want to consider changing things up and looking for natural alternatives instead.
The Problem with Commercial Home Air Fresheners
There are some major problems with all of these artificial home air fresheners. The first is the cost. The average spray can of air freshener costs at least a couple of dollars and if you opt for some of the fancier options they cost even more. Worse still they do not last long and in many cases, the smell is not even that wonderful anyway. Does a mountain breeze really smell like a rather overpowering blend of maybe floral, maybe citrus and maybe rather cheap perfume? Not any mountain breeze we have ever smelled anyway.
Often, these products also fill the air inside your home with all kinds of chemicals. Indoor air is already often more polluted than the air outside, thanks mainly to the way modern homes are constructed, so adding to the problem is not a very good idea. Some people are also very sensitive to the ingredients commonly used in commercial air fresheners and they can trigger quite a nasty allergic reaction, not something that would endear you to a visiting home shopper at all.
Natural Alternatives to Freshen and Scent Your Home
If you are going to kick the commercial air freshener habit then how are you going to keep your home smelling nice? There are actually quite a few ways you can make use of inexpensive natural tricks to not only eliminate bad odors from your home but add some lovely, but non-allergenic and chemical free, fragrance as well. Here are just a few ideas:
A Simple Box of Baking Soda Works Wonders
Baking soda is pretty amazing stuff when it comes to eliminating odors. If you put an open box in your refrigerator and your freezer it will absorb bad odors and keep everything smelling fine. Add it to a cat litter box and it will absorb all those unpleasant kitty smells too without hurting your feline friends ( a biggie, as pet odors can be a real dealbreaker in the home selling process.)
You can also use baking soda to make a great free standing room air freshener. All you need is a glass jar with a screw top lid (mason jars often look the nicest), a cup or so or baking soda and a few drops of a fragrant essential oil (your local health food store will have lots to choose from)
Add the baking soda to the jar together with a few drops of oil and then replace the lid and use a screwdriver (carefully) to make ‘airholes’ in the lid to let the fragrance out and also allow the baking soda to absorb bad odors. You can make the jar look even nicer if you glue some colored craft paper to the lid or add a few inexpensive embellishments from the craft store to the jar itself.
Vodka as an Air Cleaner
Seriously. Ethyl alcohol, which is found in plentiful amounts in vodka, is also the main ingredient in most of those commercial air fresheners. ‘Cleaning ‘your air with vodka allows you to get rid of musty odors without filling the air (or your lungs) with added chemicals. Vodka leaves no odor as it dries, so you can spray it straight into your air as is, or add 20 to 30 drops of your favorite essential oils for a pleasant scent. And if you finish off by taking a little shot yourself, well, no one will know…
Using Lemons and Limes to Freshen Your Home
The smell of fresh lemon, fresh lime or even fresh orange – the real smell, not the chemically created one a can of store-bought ‘citrus’ air freshener creates – is wonderfully refreshing.
To make an easy, safe lemon and lime scented air freshening spray boil the rind of one lemon, one lime, a splash of vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon together. Once the mixture has cooled remove the rinds, add the infused water to a spray bottle and spritz it into the air for a quick burst of fragrance. And when you’ve finished with that rind if you put in the garbage disposal it will give off one final fragrant burst as well.
These are just a few ideas for natural air fresheners, there are many more. By making your own air fresheners not only will you save money but that quality of the air in your home will be safer and more pleasant for everyone in it to breathe as well.