The other day I met up with some friends and family for a women’s breakfast. One of the things that came up in conversation was unwanted odour in our homes and how was the best way to get rid of it. Many of the suggestions were made involved the usual off the self local shop sort of air fresheners.
But this got me thinking a lot of people buy these off the self air fresheners even though instead of breaking down or neutralising odours they just simply mask the odour you are trying to get rid off. Not only that they are made with toxic chemicals which create indoor air pollution. So what chemicals are these air fresheners made of and what harm are we putting our bodies through just to mask a odour?
- Phthalates – known to cause cancer, hormonal abnormalities, birth defect and reproductive problems. (a study by National Resource Defence Council found that at least 12 of the 14 common household air fresheners contain Phthalates but do not list Phthalates as an ingredient.)
- 14 Dichlorobenzene – link to being harmful to the lungs
- Terpene (when exposed to the air creates Formaldehyde) – Which is linked to cancer.
To me all these chemicals mixed together and sprayed into the air of my home is like a ticking health bomb waiting to go off.
So what are the alternatives? I personally use a simple mixture of 1 part white vinegar mixed with 5 parts water in a spray bottle but there are lots of different natural air fresheners you can make by just using a few ingredients from your kitchen or bathroom cupboard.
- Open your window and let the fresh air in is the most effective way to get rid of odours.
- Set a small bowl of baking soda in each room and the baking soda will soak up those bad odours.
- Fill a spray bottle with 1 part vodka, 5 parts water and 1/4 tsp lavender. (or any essential oil scent you like) Shake the mixture well and spray the odour away.
- Dissolve 2 tbs of baking soda in 2 cups of warm water with 8 tbs of lemon juice. Pour into a spray bottle, shake well and spray.
- Sprinkle baking soda over stale carpets, leave for a few minutes and then vacuum as normal.
What are your favourite natural ways to get rid of those unwanted odours?