Air freshener in a can, candle or plug in are so convenient but, unfortunately, also full of lots of nasty chemicals. If you or someone in your house has allergies then air fresheners are probably off the cards as they aggravate conditions like asthma and eczema. You have probably also noticed that the majority of these products that promise to banish odours are quite often just a cover up rather than a fix and are also quite expensive. Not to mention that a lot of the time, these sprays do not smell anything like the fragrance they promise.
Fortunately, at Stay At Home Mum, we love a good homemade remedy, so we have tracked down the best ones for an all-natural, chemical free solution to your smelly toilet, teenager’s room, the lingering smell of last nights dinner or that gross foot odour coming from the wardrobe.
Vodka room spray
Ethly alcohol, found in vodka and other similar spirits, is the main ingredient in most commercial air fresheners, so it makes the perfect spritz for the air. Vodka dries without leaving any residual odour and will get the musty, dirty smell out of the air in your home. Mix 1 part vodka to 3 parts water in a spray bottle and for a nice added scent, mix 20-30 drops of your favourite essential oil.
You can use fresh or used coffee grounds for this, but for the sake of avoiding wastage we suggest utilising used grounds; you just need to let them dry out a little first. Once they are fairly dry, place them in a bowl and put it anywhere you have a musty smell to get rid of. If rubbish bin odour is your issue, put coffee grounds at the bottom of each new bag to absorb the dirty bin smell. This is great for wardrobes too, just wrap the grounds in an old stocking and hang it up.
Some indoor plants make great air purifiers. Palm trees (just small ones of course) are perfect for this and are very easy to take care of. Some other good ones are ferns, peace lily and dracaena. All of these plants remove formaldehyde from the air, which is emitted in small amounts by a variety of household building products and furniture. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and has been linked with cancer in humans. It also aggravates symptoms for asthma sufferers.
This is an oldie but a goodie and so easy to make yourself. The pictures show an orange, but it should work with any citrus fruit. Simply stab holes all over the orange, poke cloves into the holes and that’s it! Hang it somewhere or, to increase its potency, place it somewhere warm. This should last for weeks, months even as they should slowly dry out if in a dry enough climate. In damper climates you may find they mould a bit and have to be thrown away.
Fresh Herbal bouquet
To fill your home with the aromas of fruits, spices, herbs and other luscious food smells try filling a small saucepan with water and bring it to the boil, then let it simmer away for hours on end (attended only) topping up the water every so often to avoid the contents burning. Try one of the following mixes or make your own and fill your home with beautiful scents that you love.
- 4 sprigs of rosemary, 1 sliced lemon and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- 1 sliced orange, 5 cinnamon sticks and 2 tblsp cloves
- 2 sliced limes, 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 1 tsp peppermint oil/extract
- 5 x ¼ inch slices of ginger, 1 tblsp almond oil/extract and 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 sliced orange and a tblsp of almond oil/extract
What smells are you fighting against at home and what do you do to combat them?