Make a Great Smelling Natural Deodorizer for Your Home
Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Eng, Lynn, Melissa Rae
Houses absorb all kinds of smells and odors as the people who live in them go about the business of daily living. Most people want to get rid of these accumulated unpleasant odors, and a good number will resort to purchasing commercial deodorizers to accomplish this. Unfortunately, many people are sensitive or allergic to synthetic fragrances, and there's often no ingredient lists on these products. If you have been thinking of purchasing commercial air fresheners, read on before rushing to the store, and you may not even have to step out of your house to make safe and great-smelling natural deodorizers.
A natural deodorizer for your home isn't very useful if you don't remove the source of the smell. Perfumes and fragrances can only do so much; they cannot remove the smell of cat litter or the musty smell of a carpet that did not dry properly. This means you'll need to clean up your house and air it out before you can fully benefit from natural deodorizers.
Clean Your House
Unpleasant odors can result from things like cooking, cigarette smoke, pets, cat litter boxes, mold, dust, trash that needs to be taken out, and debris that's tracked inside on your shoes or your pet's paws. These things can build up on surfaces like carpets, drapes, upholstery, and elsewhere in your home. They accumulate over time, which means you'll need to clean your home thoroughly to get rid of the biggest sources of odors. Only then will you be able to enjoy the full effects of natural deodorizers. If your home has problems with mold or mildew, use a dehumidifier, and make use of exhaust fans when showering, bathing, or cooking to get rid of excess moisture. Open the blinds and Windows, and let some sun and fresh air in.
Deodorizing the Carpets
Carpets usually comprise an extremely large area in the house, and their texture makes them a veritable sponge for all sorts of smells. Aside from deep-cleaning your carpets a few times a year with a carpet cleaner, you'll need to vacuum frequently and freshen it up with a homemade, non-toxic carpet powder.
- 1In a half-gallon plastic bag, mix together 1 cup of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of your favorite essential oil. You can use any scent, such as cinnamon, orange, lavender, lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus, or a combination of scents.Advertisement
- 2Shake the bag well until the baking soda has evenly absorbed all of the oil.Advertisement
- 3Sprinkle the baking soda all over the carpet, and leave it overnight. You can sprinkle the baking soda by hand, or you can use a cake sifter for a finer, more even distribution.
- 4Vacuum the carpet the next day. Repeat the process if some of the smell still lingers.
Deodorizing the Kitchen
The kitchen accumulates cooking smells on a regular basis. Aside from wiping the surfaces and taking care of the dishes after each meal, there are a few things you can do to get rid of odors that have permeated the kitchen. Take out the trash frequently, especially if you do not have a garbage disposal. When you throw food waste into the trash, wrap it well with newspaper or plastic bags from the store.
- 1Squeeze the juice from a few lemons, and pour it into a spray bottle.
- 2Simmer some lemon or orange peels in water on the stove to make your entire house smell good. You can add other things to the pot or use something else, such as basil, lemongrass, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, a piece of ginger, a tablespoon of vanilla extract, or another sliced citrus fruit. Make sure to keep an eye on the pot, and add water as needed to prevent the mixture from burning in the pot. You can save the mixture in a jar in the fridge, and keep using it for about a week or until it breaks down or loses its fragrance.
- 3Spray all of the surfaces in your kitchen with the lemon juice mixture, including your appliances and sink.
- 4Wipe the surfaces with a clean rag.
- 5Clean out your trash can. The next time you take out the trash, check the trash can for any odors. If it smells, you should take it outside or into the bathtub, and wash it out with the disinfecting cleaner of your choice. Make sure to wear gloves and use a long-handled brush to scrub it out. Clean both the inside and outside, as well as the lid. Dry it thoroughly, and wipe the inside of the trash can with a cloth dampened with vanilla extract.
Upholstered furniture can easily absorb odors from things like food, spilled drinks, and pets who have turned your furniture into their own. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do on a regular basis to minimize or eliminate odors in your furniture.
- 1Sprinkle the furniture liberally with baking soda, and allow it to sit overnight to absorb odors. You can mix a cup of baking soda with a teaspoon of essential oils in a plastic bag to create a pleasant scent.
- 2Vacuum the furniture thoroughly with a brush attachment. Repeat this process weekly, or as often as needed to keep it clean and smelling fresh.
- 3Make your own fabric refreshing spray with a 1/4 cup vodka or rubbing alcohol, 3/4 cup of water, and 10 to 20 drops of essential oils. You can use any scents you like. Mix it up in a spray bottle, and lightly mist your furniture, pillows, drapes, carpets, or anything else that you need to freshen up.
Making DIY Deodorizers
There are many types of great smelling natural deodorizers at home, and the best thing to do would be to choose a scent you like and make sure all the materials are easy to gather. Here are some options for you to try.
No matter the time of year, you can make potpourri out of any plant material that's abundant in your area. During warmer seasons, you'll likely want to gather fresh flowers. You may also want to check with your local florist to see if they'll give you their old or discarded flowers for free. If it's the fall, you can find an abundance of materials in nature. Choose which type of potpourri you want, and you can add things like spices, dried fruits, and essential oils to the mixture. You can display your homemade potpourri in decorative bowls, or you can simmer it in water on the stove to add a delightful, personalized scent to your entire home.
- 1Gather flowers such as roses, hydrangeas, carnations, peonies, or any other flowers that you desire. Just make sure that they're safe to keep around your pets, if you have any. Dry the flowers by hanging them upside down in a cool, dry place. You can also remove all of the petals and put them in a basket to dry. If you use the basket method, turn the petals at least once a day until they're dry, but not too dry. The petals are done when they are slightly brittle, but not so brittle that they break when held tight.
- 2Gather plant material such as pine cones, pretty leaves, tree bark, or acorns for a fall-inspired potpourri.
- 3You can add dried fruits such as apples, oranges, or lemons to the potpourri. To make dried fruit slices, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice an apple, orange, or lemon into very thin slices, and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Dry the fruit slices in the oven for about 2 hours, checking periodically and adjusting your oven as necessary to keep them from browning.
- 4Prepare a cotton ball and wrap it up in raffia or muslin, and fasten it with a ribbon. Sprinkle this ball with the fragrance or essential oil of your choice, such as vanilla, cinnamon, orange, lemon, or any other scent you choose. Put the cotton ball at the bottom of a transparent decorative jar.
- 5Fill the jar loosely with the potpourri components you choose, and sprinkle with a few more drops of the essential oil you have chosen. Seal the jar for 24 hours.
- 6Display the potpourri in an open container. Keep the rest of the potpourri in a sealed jar for a few weeks. You can add more essential oils to the cotton ball to refresh it, if necessary.
Citrus peels are extremely fragrant, and their antibacterial properties make them great for use in the kitchen. Next time you have lemons in your kitchen, make sure to save the peels for many different uses.
- 1Deodorize your garbage disposal unit with citrus peels a few times a month. Throw lemon, orange, grapefruit, or lime peels in your garbage disposal, turn on the cold water, and run the garbage disposal. You can also combine different citrus peels.
- 2Clean your microwave with citrus peel. Place citrus peels or the leftover halves of squeezed lemons or limes in a microwave-safe bowl, and add a bit of water to cover. Microwave the bowl for a few minutes until the water boils. Leave the microwave door shut for 5 minutes to allow the steam to condense inside the microwave. Remove the bowl and wipe out your microwave with a cloth or sponge. This will clean and deodorize your microwave.
- 3Wrap lemon or orange peels in a decorative raffia bag, and place it in a basket on your coffee table.
Pomanders combine the bright scent of fresh oranges with the warm,comforting scent of cloves. These natural deodorizers make a great decoration, and you can display them in a basket, or attach a ribbon and hang them wherever you want to add a pleasant scent. Pomanders are also great for keeping away moths, so it's a good idea to hang one in your closet.
- 1Pick a good-sized orange with a firm texture. Valencia oranges work quite well for this purpose. You can also use a lemon, but oranges make a more traditional choice because of their shape.
- 2Take some cloves and stick them into the orange until you cover the whole orange. You can also arrange the cloves into a decorative pattern.
- 3Place the pomander in a basket with other fruits, or make several pomanders and put them in a decorative bowl in the dining room or living room.
Natural Odor Absorbers
Aside from adding pleasant fragrances from your home, you can use natural deodorizers in specific places to absorb any unpleasant odors. Place a few shallow bowls filled with vinegar throughout your home if it's filled with smoke or cooking odors. The vinegar will eventually absorb the odors. You can also place bowls filled with coffee grounds or baking soda in the back of your fridge or freezer. You will need to replace it every few months.