Why choose natural air fresheners?
Air fresheners are widely available in stores, which prompts the question - why would you go through the hassle of making your own? There are a few good reasons why that seemingly extra work is worth it. First and foremost, natural fresheners are much cheaper than store-bought alternatives. Second, instead of masking unpleasant smells, natural fresheners actually remove the odors and clean your home.
And lastly, natural air fresheners are safe for you, your family, your pets, and the environment. This, unfortunately, cannot be said about commercial air fresheners, which emit potentially hazardous air pollutants that can worsen the air quality in your home. Even so-called green and organic air fresheners can emit hazardous air pollutants. Many of the ingredients in these store-bought fresheners are not disclosed by manufacturers. And even those that are listed often fall under the category of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which have been associated with adverse health effects.
A 2016 study states the following about commercial air fresheners: “From an indoor air quality perspective, air fresheners have been indicated as a primary source of volatile organic compounds within buildings. From a health perspective, air fresheners have been associated with adverse effects, such as migraine headaches, asthma attacks, mucosal symptoms, infant illness, and breathing difficulties.”
Given the potential harm of commercial air fresheners and all the benefits of homemade ones, it’s about time we show you how to make 3 simple and natural home fresheners using a staple ingredient you already have at home - white vinegar.
DIY Air Freshener
White vinegar contains between 5 and 8 percent acetic acid, which is a mild acid capable of neutralizing odors. It works best at getting rid of alkaline odors, such as fishy smells, pet smells, sweat, etc. Vinegar is also a mild antimicrobial agent, so it will help clean and remove musty smells as well.
Using vinegar as an air freshener couldn’t be easier - just find a misting spray bottle, some white vinegar, or water. You want the spray bottle to create a mist fine enough to remove odor-causing particles in the air. The finer, the better. Just fill the bottle with 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water, and mist it around the room. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell - it will dissipate after 10-15 minutes.
The best thing about using vinegar as an air freshener is that it simply removes odors without making your home smell of artificial fragrance. To add a pleasant smell to your room, you can add a few drops of essential oil. Our personal favorites are lemon, peppermint, and lavender essential oil.
Lastly, if you don’t have a spray bottle on hand, people report that placing a bowl of vinegar in a room overnight is also helpful, just don’t forget to close all doors and windows. It may not work as well as the spray bottle method, but it will be able to remove some odors in a pinch.
How to Use Vinegar to Freshen Up Fabrics and Other Surfaces
Vinegar can also be used to remove odors from hard, wipeable surfaces, as well as carpers, sofas, and curtains. In order to remove unpleasant fridge smells, for example, or clean the smelly corner where your keep your pet’s litterbox, simply soak a sponge or cloth in white vinegar and wipe the area down thoroughly. Let the area dry completely for at least half an hour and repeat the process if needed until all unpleasant smells are gone.
As for refreshing fabrics, simply fill any empty spray bottle with white vinegar and a few drops of essential oil of choice, and lightly mist the fabric with the mixture. Wait for the carpet, sofa, or whichever surface you’ve treated to dry completely before using. Et voila, you have a clean and fresh-smelling home, all without using any harsh chemicals or potentially harmful air pollutants.
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