Ever get a smell in your house that you just aren’t sure where it is coming from? If you’re like me, with a sensitive nose, then smells make you get on a cleaning rampage trying to clean any possible source. Well, sometimes you just can’t find it, or you don’t have time to clean like a maniac. So in those cases, you need a little something to deal with the smell.
The standard “air freshener spray” that everyone I know uses is febreeze. I did use febreeze a lot in my college dorm days. It can be helpful for getting rid of odors. Unfortunately, it comes with a big downside. Toxicity.
Let’s just start out by mentioning that it has artificial fragrances, meaning that it could contain any number of chemicals that don’t need to be disclosed, but it also has plenty of other non-natural nasties. It has propellants, hydrogenated oils, and lots of other unpronounceable words including Polyacrylate and Cyclodextrin. Febreeze can cause any number of problems ranging from skin irritation to nervous system effects. Better to just avoid it.
It’s even easier to whip up this air freshener than to make a trip to the store. So there’s really no downside to making it yourself. And it only costs $1.92 to make one batch.
(If you want to check out how a product is for your health and the environment, I recommend the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning)
All the ingredients contribute to the deodorizing power:
- Witch hazel: Sanitizes, natural solvent, gentler than other alcohol based cleaners, evaporates easily
- Baking soda: Neutralizes odors/ deodorizes
- Antibacterial essential oils: Essential oils can be great for killing bacteria that cause odors. In my mix I used lavender, lemon, lemongrass, and cinnamon bark oils because they are all antibacterial and they smell nice. Other great anti-bacterial oils include tea tree, geranium, oregano, eucalyptus, and thyme, among others.
And it really couldn’t be any easier to make
This stuff is pretty great. No guilt and just lovely smells. The cinnamon is the strongest scent of the oils I used, and so it always smells heavenly cinnamon fresh when I spray it. It’s nice to have around, especially with our hedgehog Falafel. I can imagine with kids there are just some smells that you need a quick fix for.
All the ingredients are beneficial, non-toxic, and easy to find. You can get witch hazel at any drug store and essential oils from health food stores. If you want a high quality witch hazel (which makes a difference) you are probably better off getting it from a health food store, or from a reliable seller online.
So spray- and enjoy the fresh smells, with no fear of damaging your health or the environment.