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The Irony of Fresh Air
Why do people use air fresheners? To purify the air! In reality, chemical-based products do not purify; they pollute. While conventional air fresheners are very effective at masking odors with synthetic fragrances, giving the impression of a clean, fresh smelling area, they in fact are sources of indoor air pollution.
Toxins are emitted into the air. They can then be inhaled, potentially irritating the lungs and entering the bloodstream. They may fight bacteria, but so too do the inherent anti-bacterial properties of essential oils. Knowing how to make an all-natural air freshener is the eco-friendly, health-conscious, and inexpensive solution to purchasing conventional products.
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There are many ways to utilize eco-friendly ingredients to freshen a room. These are some of the basic components of an all-natural air freshener:
- Baking soda acts to neutralize strong odors.
- Vinegar, once the acid smell dissipates, also eliminates bad odors.
- Essential oils are the distilled concentrated essences of plants. They are not only beautifully aromatic, but they also impart their specific medicinal properties when inhaled.
- Whole spices, such as cinnamon, cardamon, and cloves fill a space with rich, warming aromas.
- Dried and fresh flowers also give off a fresh, natural scent.
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Recipes for Fresh and Fragrant Air
With an understanding of how to use natural ingredients, non-toxic air freshening is a matter of creative dispersal.
To eliminate odors:
- One-half cup of baking soda
- One-fourth cup of white vinegar
- Warm distilled water
Fill a plastic spray bottle with the ingredients. Spray on carpets, furniture, and into the air to neutralize pungent smells from food, pets, smoke, and garbage.
For a calming, aromatic mist:
- Two tablespoons baking soda
- Ten drops of lavender essential oil
- Ten drops of sandalwood essential oil
- Warm distilled water
Add all ingredients to a spray bottle and disperse around the house. Any scents can be used. For a clean smell, try eucalyptus and pine, for uplifting, mandarin with lime, for an invigorating air freshener, rosemary and thyme, and to ease tension, ylang ylang and jasmine.
For a warming natural air freshener, perfect for cold rainy days and chasing away the scent of your dinner:
- One cinnamon stick
- Ten whole cloves (approximately)
- Five or six cardamon pods
- Sprinkle of nutmeg (freshly grated or the powder is fine as well)
- One red delicious apple, sliced
- Two cups water
Add all ingredients to a saucepan and simmer on a very low heat. Be sure to turn off the stove after an hour. This air freshening stew can be stored in the refrigerator and used a second time.
For an aesthetically pleasing, delicate air perfume:
Fill a glass bowl with hot water. Add any fragrant flower petals, such as rose, lavender, or chamomile. Add twelve drops of essential oil of choice. Place in the center of a room.
Knowing how to make an all-natural air freshener is a wonderful way to replace bad odors with pleasing ones, without the use of chemicals. The simplest way however to have clean, fresh air is an open window! Take measures to reduce unwanted smells and then enhance your home with non-toxic, homemade fresheners.
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"Non-Toxic Home Cleaning." (EarthEasy) <http://www.eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_solutions.htm>
Balch, Phyllis, CNC. "Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition." (The Penguin Group, 2006).
photo by: Tallkev (CC/flickr) <http://www.flickr.com/photos/tallkev/4049740389/>
photo by: Geisha Boy 500 (CC/flickr) <http://www.flickr.com/photos/geishaboy500/4304681224/>