Sweet Smelling Interiors Without Air Freshners

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flower candles

Once it came to light how many home cleaning products leave dangerous and harmful chemicals behind, many households decided to go green with their cleaning routine. However, fewer families know that air freshener sprays, plug-ins, and candles also contain problematic chemicals.

Smell, of all the senses, relates strongest to the memory. Luckily, numerous natural solutions exist to make your home full of happy associations. Save money and still spread warm and inviting aromas through your home with these toxin-free alternatives.

Simmer scents for every season

Creating a pleasant atmosphere in any home often starts at the design level. With these simmered scent recipes, you can add decoration and delicious nose-candy in any room. Simply simmer water and different fruits and herbs. Then pour the infused water, ingredients and all, into clear vases. Best of all, you can make a variety of seasonal scents with cupboard stable herbs and seasonings.

Citrus, such as lemons or oranges, last longest of the fruits and create the perfect fresh summer room freshener. Pair orange with cinnamon, anise, allspice, or cloves for fall. Vanilla and rosemary perfectly complement lemon in the summer. In winter, grate nutmeg, add pine twigs, and top it off with bay leaves for a cabin feel.

Dry-it-yourself potpourri

If you pride yourself in your garden, bring the harvest inside. Dry the herbs and flowers for do-it-yourself potpourri. Whether using the “hang-and-dry” method or book pressing, drying is simple preservation. Try curling whole stalks of dried herbs into wreaths to display in your living room or above a fireplace.

Purify with potted plants

Potted plants like palm trees, lilies, and orchids not only aesthetically brighten a room, but also naturally freshen the air by absorbing odors.  For more detail on this point, check out this article that talks about growing and caring for aromatic plants, including some suggestions on which ones to seek out.

Naturally neutralize carpet odors

Cleaning wood or tile without harsh chemicals proves relatively easy and cheap with many affordable, effective steamers available, but carpet steaming generally requires calling an outside service. Odors strongly cling to carpet fibers, and vacuuming doesn’t always satisfy; yet store brand carpet cleaners contain residuals that can irritate children’s and pets’ eyes, lungs, and skin.

Rather, use this cheap, natural carpet deodorizer for a cleaner carpet, fragrant space, and kid/pet-friendly nap surface. Simply add half a cup each of baking soda and borax. Then mix in approximately a teaspoon of an essential oil and stir for zero clumps. Put the powder in a canister with a dispenser and sprinkle occasionally on carpets, letting it sit for around 20 minutes before vacuuming per usual. The powder actually helps the vacuum grab debris and afterward a fresh, inviting scent fills the room.

Electric extracts

Finally, try this simple nose-tickling trick: when your lights are off and have cooled completely, dab almond or vanilla extract on the bulb. When lit again, the extract heats, floating the scent through the room.

All of the senses count

Who said you could only go “out” and smell the roses? Scent in your interiors affects your experience there, and the experience of your guests, too. So, investing in some of these ideas, and thinking about smell in general, is a great way to transform a space.


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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.