Back in 2015, we shared a little blog on the downsides of air fresheners and highlighted some eco-friendly alternatives that you can make yourself. Now we’ve got a slightly bigger audience and with this blog still ringing true, we wanted to share a slightly updated version with you once again – so enjoy!
There’s a bit of a nasty smell when it comes to air fresheners. Did you know that every time you plug in, turn up, spray or diffuse the air around you, you’re actually pumping the air full of chemicals that do more harm than good? And rather than eliminating odours, you’re only masking them with chemicals which often include phthalates, considered to be harmful to the skin. When you turn off the ‘fresheners’ the odours return, and so the cycle continues. Before you know it, you’re dependent upon chemicals.
So why not stop using air fresheners and try the tricks below instead?
How to freshen the air naturally and more effectively
You don’t need to use artificial air fresheners to freshen the air around you. If you want to freshen an enclosed space, you certainly don’t want to use chemicals. Here are some tricks to try instead:
- Clean the things that are making the smells. Might sound obvious, but all too often in a busy world, we tend to overlook the simple solutions. Sometimes odours are created by the little things around us that need some love and attention. So do the laundry, clean the oven, air out the sofa cushions and scrub the carpet. It will make a world of difference.
- Deodorise the air naturally. Leave a bowl of white vinegar out in the room overnight- you’ll be amazed at the difference in the morning. You can also make an on the spot deodoriser with one teaspoon white vinegar, one teaspoon bicarbonate of soda and two cups of water. Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle and use when needed.
- Use bicarbonate of soda by itself to remove odours and to clean carpets. This is wonderful stuff! Leave a bowl of it in the fridge to absorb nasty smells. Add to the bottom of your rubbish bin. Sprinkle onto your carpet before you hoover.
- Purify the air with plants. Mother Nature knows what she’s doing. Some house plants are wonderful for filling rooms with natural scents and cleaning the air while they’re at it. Fill your house with plants such as yucca, spider plants, Fuschia, Gardenier, Gerbera daisies and African violets.
- Open a window. Sounds more than simple, but when was the last time you opened the window to let in the fresh air? Try it.
- Make your own air freshener. Here are three of our favourite methods…
The Orange one
Cut an orange in half, and remove the pulp (save that for your juice!). Then fill the empty orange half with salt. Voila! Freshens your room in no time.
It’s easy to make your own steaming pot of beautifully smelling potpourri to lightly fragrance your home if you have guests coming over. All you need is one orange, sliced (or the peel of one orange), one lemon, sliced (or peel of one lemon), two to three cinnamon sticks, four cups of water.
Place all the ingredients in a pot, and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down very low, and keep warm (just make sure you check on the water level now and then). That’s it. The smell will permeate your home and keep the air naturally fresh too.
The bicarb and essential oil one
If you want a natural air freshener that you can place in different rooms, try this one. All you need is a small glass jar, bicarbonate of soda, a few drops of essential oil (of your choice- peppermint, lavender or orange oils are particularly nice), and foil.
Fill the glass jar about a quarter full with bicarbonate of soda. Then add around eight drops of your oil. Cover the top of the jar with foil and poke a few holes in it to release the smell. To refresh the scent, give the jar a small shake now and then. That’s it!