Tuesday’s Resourceful Little Idea
Homemade Natural Air Fresheners
I really love it when my house smells all clean and fresh, with no lingering cooking smells (my pet hate), but really struggle to open the windows for very long when it’s cold outside. Added to that, our kitchen is really just a little nook in the corner of the living room, with no window or extractor fan, and no door to close between the kitchen and rest of the flat. So every time I cook, the smell impregnates the whole flat, which is lovely if it’s a cake in the oven, but no so pleasant if it’s fish curry. Well, it smells great when it’s cooking, but two hours later when the odour is still lingering I get a bit upset. So I have come up with a number of resourceful ways of eliminating cooking odours and making the flat smell nice. I doubt any of these ideas are actually new, and indeed a quick google search confirmed that others have come up with similar solutions for home-made natural air fresheners, but I still want to share them here, with all my lovely readers.
My five all time favourite home-made air fresheners:
1. Simmering a small pot of citrus peel and cinnamon in water for a few hours. This fills the house with the lovely warming smell of cinnamon, and takes me back to my childhood. Other spices like cloves, star anise and lavender also work. This is a very quick method of filling your house with a nice smell. I have heard that this method works just as well using a bowl of the mixture in a microwave, but I don’t have a microwave so have never tried it myself.
2. A few twigs of rosemary placed in a very low oven will give off a subtle scent, and if combined with half a lemon also placed in the oven will act as an odour eliminator.
3. Essential oils. I do love essential oils. They are not cheap, but one small bottle will last a very long time so in the long run I recon it’s pretty economical. I either put a few drops into a pan of simmering water or drip a few drops onto the tops of the radiators when they are on. This infuses the house with a lovely natural smell.
4. Ok, this one is not technically natural, but I buy the little bottles of fragrance oil from the Body Shop and either burn them (diluted with water) in the candle oil burners you can get (but remember to blow it out before all the water evaporates or you get a horrible burnt oil smell), or drip a few drops onto the tops of the radiators when they are on. I don’t do this very often though because actually the highly perfumed smell can be overpowering. My favourite fragrance from the Body Shop is Dewberry, which is really hard to find (a relic of the 80s I suspect).
5. Another one that is not technically natural, but that will clean burnt on food of your pans while making your house smell nice is a little sprinkling of washing powder in the offending pan filled with simmering water. I like this as it makes the flat smell of clean laundry.
I often put a small pan of simmering water with one of the above added to it on after we’ve finished eating in order to get rid of the cooking smells. Combine that with opening the windows (briefly) and most of the time the house doesn’t have any lingering cooking smells in it.
Distilled white vinegar is also an excellent odour eater, I use this a lot when cleaning my sink and drains (combined with baking soda), but it doesn’t actually fragrance the house, so I won’t go into it too much here.