The number of home fragrance products available today is staggering. There are scented candles, potpourri, scented sprays, oil diffusers, incense and plug-in room deodorizers. But before shelling out for products that contain a host of potentially harmful toxins and chemicals, consider making your own air fresheners. A few drops of highly-concentrated essential oils can add a lovely dose of natural fragrance to your home.
Making your own air fresheners using essential oils is a money-saving way to add pleasant, fresh scents to your home while reducing your exposure to unwanted chemicals. Plus, you can completely tailor the scents to your preferences or your needs. If you haven’t used essential oils before, don’t be afraid to jump in.
Essential oils are a highly-concentrated and fragrant liquid extracted from plants and can provide a range of theraputic and health benefits. Look for essential oils at health and natural foods stores or online. Don’t let the price tag scare you off — just a few drops of essential oil goes a very long way — and those tiny bottles will most likely end up lasting you years.
Here are some common essential oils and their benefits:
- Lavender: improves sleep quality and calms the nervous system
- Basil: helps relieve headaches
- Rosemary: stimulates the mind and improves memory
- Clary sage: calms the nervous system
- Clove oil: helps relieve nasal congestion and also contains aphrodisiac qualities
- Lemon: acts as a natural antidepressant and calms anxiety
- Orange: refreshes and relaxes
Homemade oil diffusers
Oil diffusers are a great way to infuse your home with a continuous and subtle scent, while avoiding the potential danger of a flame from a candle. The cost of many these packaged diffusers is unfortunately not as pleasant, however, and they often contain unnatural ingredients that we don’t necessarily want diffused around the house along with the scent.
To skip the unwanted ingredients and the expense, try making your own oil diffuser using an essential oil of your choosing. Or, experiment with combining oils for a highly-personalized scent — just be sure to test out the combination by adding a drop or two of each of the oils to a cotton ball to make sure the blend is appealing to you.
You will need:
- A small, clean jar. A container with a wide base and a small opening works best, as they discourage evaporation.
- Reeds. A lot of health stores and candle shops carry reeds. They are also available for purchase online.
- Mineral oil. Available in grocery and drug stores. Mineral oil is less viscous than vegetable oil and is better at carrying the scent up the reeds.
- Vodka. Plain, unflavored, nondiluted vodka. The vodka helps thin out the oil so that it will move more easily up the reeds.
- Essential oil(s). A few suggested oil combinations are lavender and lemon, orange and cinnamon, and basil and peppermint.
How to assemble your oil diffuser:
- Pour one-quarter cup mineral oil and two tablespoons vodka into a measuring cup and stir well to combine the liquids.
- Add in one and one-half tablespoons of essential oil (the ratio should be about one part essential oil to four parts mineral oil and vodka).
- Stir well and pour the oil mixture into your container. Insert as many reeds as will fit into the opening.
- Flip the reeds every few days to optimize the scent diffusion.
Homemade air freshening spray
When your home needs a instant refresh, nothing is quicker and easier than a spritz of air freshener. Try making a couple of your own personalized sprays — use a combination of lemon and basil oils for the spray used in the living areas of the home and lavender for the bedroom.
You will need:
- A clean, empty spray bottle
- Vodka (unflavored and nondiluted)
- Essential oil
How to make your air freshening spray:
- Pour one cup of water into a clean, reusable spray bottle.
- Add in two tablespoons of vodka and about 20 drops of essential oils (keep in mind that some essential oils are stronger than others, so start off conservatively when adding the oil).
- Screw on the top and shake well to combine the mixture.
9 NATURAL AIR FRESHENERS
Vinegar is one of the most effective and inexpensive air fresheners around. Just pour distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle and attack the problem areas head on. The vinegar scent may be overpowering at first, but as it evaporates, it’ll take the offensive odors with it.
2. Ground Coffee
To use coffee grounds as an air freshener, let them dry out (an important step to avoid mold) before transferring to a bowl or wrapping in an old stocking that you’ll place in an area that you want to freshen. If you’re not a coffee drinker, visit your nearby coffee joint and ask if you can take some of their used grounds off their hands.
There are many recipes to make all-natural, homemade potpourri, but try this video recipe for “green” potpourri. All you’ll need is a brown bag, dried flowers (passion, hibiscus), orris root, orange peel, juniper berries, sandalwood, and orange-scented essential oil. You can find all these organic ingredients in a natural herb store.
The reason vodka makes such a great freshener is because it contains ethyl alcohol — the main ingredient in store-bought, chemical-laden fresheners — and when it dries, it leaves no odor. You can, however, enhance the smell of the vodka freshener with an essential oil — about 25 drops will do.
5. Citrus and Spices
Bring a pot of orange or lemon rinds and peels to a boil, add in a few cinnamon sticks and/or cloves, and enjoy the fresh, festive fall-like scent it sends through your home. While this freshener will begin to work immediately from the stove, there’s no reason you can’t bottle it for later use.
6. Essential Oils
Essential oils are an important part of several of these natural air fresheners in order to give the base a more pleasant scent. But outside of vodka and potpourri, you can add essential oils to just about anything — such as a homemade candle, perhaps — that will help facilitate easier breathing wherever you are.
7. Baking Soda and Essential Oils
Baking soda and essential oils are perfect to put in a small jar to make a natural air freshener for two reasons:
- It’s small, unassuming, and aesthetically pleasing.
- It’s perfect for gifting.
8. The Great Outdoors
Nature is Earth’s air freshener — which is something we often overlook. When there’s a foul odor permeating your abode, open the window — or several — and let the cool breeze travel through your home while pushing out any offensive stenches.
To remove seafood smells for your hands, it’s recommend to rub them with lemons. Likewise, when your garbage disposal starts to stink, throw a few lemon slices down the hole and run the blades for a burst of citrusy freshness. When you want to deodorize your home, dissolve one-eighth of a cup of baking soda in two cups hot water and a half-cup of lemon juice for an instant air freshener.
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