The sense of smell is strongly linked to memories and emotions. Even if your grandmother’s house never smelled like fresh-baked apple pie, surely such a fragrance would add warmth and comfort to your own home. Or the smell of freshly laundered linen drying in the sun would be a lovely scent to return home to in the evenings…or maybe not.
Air fresheners rely on certain chemical agents that, when atomized and inhaled, are capable of blocking our smell receptors, hindering our ability to detect odor. Other air fresheners coat our nasal passages with an oily film, and many still just cover up the original odor with better-smelling scents.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most store-bought air fresheners consist of formaldehyde, petrochemicals, p-dichlorobenzene and aerosol pollutants. The agency’s “Indoor Guide to Air Quality” also notes that air fresheners “release pollutants more or less continuously.”
Despite advertisements that constantly tell us otherwise, a clean home really shouldn’t smell like anything. Below are some natural tips to rid your home of any malodors and add some pleasing scents without harming your health.
Open windows daily to let some fresh air into your home. This will make everything smell cleaner and fresher.
Eliminate odors in your home by preventing dampness and installing extraction fans to remove moisture from kitchens and bathrooms.
Vinegar, baking soda and fresh lemon are inexpensive but effective deodorizers for a fresh, natural smell.
Remove any unwanted odors by bringing 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup of white vinegar to boil and letting it simmer for 30 minutes.
Boil ground coffee (1 cup of water and 2 tablespoon of coffee) on the stove and let the rich aroma of coffee infuse your home. Alternatively, you can simmer cinnamon sticks in a pot of water for a warm, spicy smell.
If you prefer to use candles to add a nice scent to your home, choose those that are made from pure beeswax and pure essential oils.
Plants and greenery provide natural scents, purify the air, and add oxygen to your home. Check out this list of ten powerful houseplants that help filter pollutants.
How do you keep your home smelling fresh without chemicals?