It’s time to blow the stink off of winter and freshen your home naturally.
With our ever more efficient and tightly closed homes, the air inside can get really stale through the colder months. Even in the heat of summer, damp and mildew can cause an interesting odour to take over, to say nothing of cooking smells and teenagers.
Freshen your home naturally
First and foremost, get some air
Even in the middle of winter, a milder day presents a great opportunity to open up the windows. Even for a mere twenty minutes and focusing on bedrooms and shared spaces, like the living room, you can really blow a breath of fresh air through the entire house.
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Essential oils in all the right places
Adding a few drops of your favourite essential oil in strategic places around your home can make a big difference! Try putting some in your vacuum cleaner filter, or in your forced air floor filters. The scent will warm up with the air flow and spread around naturally. Some essential oils are known to not just add a scent but in fact detoxify the air. Examples?
When life hands you lemon peels… keep them!
A few peels in the fridge, the veggie drawer and cheese drawer in particular, can really amp up the clean scent you’re looking for in your refrigerator. Lemon peel and lemon essential oil, mixed with some baking soda can be placed throughout your home. Just fill little jars and pierce the lids to allow the scented mixture to do its job! Also? A handful of peels in the garbage disposal does wonders for the less than fresh scent that can be coming out of there!
Keep those coffee grounds for more than compost
It’s a well known fact that used coffee grounds have a great, natural deodorizing effect! You can put them in stinky shoes, your refrigerator or freezer (this is particularly effective for deodorizing a freezer after a power failure left you with spoiled food smells), your outdoor garbage can, or keep some handy to rinse your hands with after you’ve been cutting up garlic or onions! Best of all, if you’ve got kids, barf is a fact of life and dried used coffee grounds are the perfect way to soak up the mess AND deodorize your carpet, all in the bargain!
Musty clothes no more
It never occurs to some of us to clean the washer. After all, it’s washing clothes on a regular basis: surely, it’s already clean, right? Wrong. Even the most hardworking of machines will eventually get some build up of soap scum and skin flakes.
For a good spring clean of a top loading machine, fill it with hot water and add two cups of white vinegar. Let that stand for fifteen minutes and then scrub the insides, drain and refill with hot water again and add two cups of baking soda. Scrub it again and then drain. Just be sure not to mix the vinegar and baking soda in your washer or you could have an epic fourth grade science experiment right in your own home! For a front loading machine, run two hot water cycles: the first with vinegar and the second with baking soda. You can give it a scrub inside in between cycles too. And the rest of the time? Make sure you leave the lid open on the machine between uses so that it can dry out.
Deodorize your carpets and furniture
If you have kids, or pets, you’ve got odours in the carpets and plush furniture. No need to get out that store bought spray to ‘wash the room’ though. All you need is some natural deodorizer and a little elbow grease!
- Carpets — I’ve got ALL my favourite hacks listed here, but if you’re dealing specifically with odours? Add ten drops of essential oil to two cups of baking powder, sprinkle it over the carpet and wait for it to dry, then vacuum it all up!
- Furniture — Make your own home deodorizer spray, with all natural ingredients. Just keep a spray bottle of it handy for when you need to give your living space a little spritz and a boost.
- Mattresses — You can use the same baking powder / essential oil combo from the carpet, on your mattress. Just sprinkle, let it dry and vacuum it up. Another option, for a year round fresh scent, is to put dryer sheets under the fitted sheet. It will help keep a light scent going all the time. Just avoid placing them near where your head is, so it isn’t too strong!
These are just a handful of ways that you can freshen and deodorize your home – do you have any tried and true favourites that you can share?