Keeping your home smelling pleasant and fresh doesn't have to require purchasing a collection of pricey scented candles or air fresheners. With a few simple household items, such as fruit, vinegar and spices, you can create your own home scents for a fraction of the cost. Experiment with different scents and methods to find the one that you like best.
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Citrus and Vanilla
Citrus is a powerful deodoriser -- and can help you feel more energised. Cut a lemon or lime into quarters and toss them into the garbage disposal. Run the disposal for a minute or two to grind up the lemon and deodorise the disposal; the scent of the fruit will also freshen the kitchen for a little while. Pure vanilla extract also removes odours and creates a comforting scent. Soak several cotton balls in vanilla, and place them in small bowls around the room.
The smell of cinnamon and cloves often conjures up memories of the holidays and home. To fill your home with the aroma of delicious baked goods without actually baking the treats, fill a saucepan halfway with water, add some cinnamon sticks, cloves and a few drops of vanilla and simmer on the stove. Keep a close watch on the pan so that the water doesn't boil down.
Homemade Room Spray
Create your own organic room sprays with essential oils. Not only does a homemade spray contain fewer chemicals than commercially available air fresheners, but you can control the scent and adjust it to your liking. Mix 1 cup of water, 1 cup of vodka (the cheap stuff is fine) and 15 to 20 drops of your favourite essential oil, such as lavender, cinnamon, orange or clove. Try mixing different oils to create a scent that appeals to you. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and use it whenever the air needs a boost of freshness.
The combination of vinegar and water is a powerful deodoriser, effective for removing smoke and food odours from your home. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water, and place bowls of the mixture in each room that smells bad for several hours. The vinegar will absorb the odours and make the air smell fresh again. This method is especially effective for removing burnt food smells or the odours from cooking fish, onions or boiled eggs.
Keep a Clean House
The easiest way to keep your house smelling fresh is to keep it clean. Don't let the garbage pile up, clean the cat's litter box every day and keep the dirty laundry in a hamper with a lid. Clean up spills promptly, and toss that fruit that's moulding in the basket on the counter. Sprinkling baking soda on the carpet before you vacuum helps absorb stubborn smells in the fibres, and a box in the fridge keeps that space smelling fresh, too. Spend some time each week cleaning the surfaces in your home, and you can prevent unpleasant odours from starting in the first place.
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