• Maeve Binchy, Quentins

  • Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

  • Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles

  • Sophie Kinsella, The Undomestic Goddess
Homemade Air Fresheners for Household Odors

Homemade Air Fresheners for Household Odors

Most commercial air fresheners do not freshen the air at all. Instead, they mask one odor with another, coat your nasal passages with an undetectable oil film, or diminish your sense of smell with a nerve deadening agent. For a safer alternative, you may wish to consider an alternative method:

Ventilation - Open windows or doors in the house for at least a short period every day. This will also help to reduce toxic fumes that may be building up indoors.

Cinnamon and Cloves - Boil these spices for a fragrant smell. For ease of cleaning, make a cheesecloth bag to contain these spices, and boil the cheesecloth bag. An excellent alternative when entertaining is to steep spiced tea or cider.

Potpourri - Buy or make your own potpourri from your favorite herbs and spices. Place the potpourri in a small basket or jar or in small sachet bags.

Oil of Wintergreen - Dampen cotton balls with oil of wintergreen and place out of sight but where air will touch them.

Vinegar - Distribute partially filled saucers of vinegar around the room or boil 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in 1 cup of water to eliminate unpleasant cooking odors.

Vanilla - Place pure vanilla on a cotton ball in a small saucer. Place the saucer in the car or refrigerator to remove odors. It is renowned to remove even skunk odors. Keep the cotton ball out of reach of children; vanilla has a high alcohol content.

Baking Soda - Place a partially filled saucer of baking soda on the refrigerator shelf. Replace every two months and when you do, pour the contents of the used box down the drain to remove odors and keep the drain clean. Baking soda can also be used to deodorize bottles by filling them with undiluted baking soda and allowing the bottles to soak overnight. Then wash as usual.

Borax - Empty the garbage frequently and clean the can as needed. To inhibit growth of odor-producing molds and bacteria, sprinkle 1/2 cup Borax in the bottom of the garbage can.

Vinegar or Celery Stalk - To avoid or remove onion odors from your hands, rub white vinegar on your hands before and after slicing. Rubbing hands with the end of a celery stalk will also remove the odor.

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