Stress Less Parenting

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Make your own air-freshener

When foul smells take over your home, the first thing you reach for might be a chemical air-freshner from the store. You don’t have to spend your hard-earned cash to keep your house smelling nice – not to mention that something unnatural could induce allergies.

It’s possible to freshen up a room with crafty odor-fighting tricks. It’s safe to say that we can rely on Mother Nature to provide aromatic relief. As compiled from apartmenttherapy.com, organicgardening.com, Huffington Post, and Reader’s Digest, battle the stenches that life wafts your way by opting for these bad-smell busters.

Coffee: Cut the smell of winter mustiness with dried coffee beans or used grounds. To use coffee grounds as an air freshener, let them dry out first — an imperative step to avoid any mold, before transferring to a bowl or wrapping in an old piece of cloth that you’ll place in an area that you want to freshen. If you want to get more creative, pour one layer of baking soda to the bottom of a container. Then add a layer of coffee beans right on top. Family and guests will never know what hit them with this organic, refreshing scent. Even non-coffee lovers love the smell of rich coffee, so there you have it.

Citrus: Bring a pot of orange or lemon rinds and peels to a boil, add in a few cloves, and enjoy the fresh, festive fall-like scent that permeates through your home. While this freshener will begin to work immediately from the stove, there’s no reason you can’t bottle it for later use. If you’d like to kick up summertime in winter season, use a bit of grapefruit zest, a dash of lemon zest and eucalyptus essential oils. Place both of those ingredients in with your baking soda in a container together for a summery, refreshing scent that’ll soak up any pungent smells in any space.

Spices: Instead of using commercial air fresheners that bring on allergies, simply toss a handful of whole cloves and two to three cinnamon sticks in a pot of water and keep it simmering on the stove for half an hour. Or place a teaspoon or two of the ground spices on a cookie sheet and place it in an oven at 200°F with the door partly open for 30 minutes. Either way, your house will naturally smell spicy-good for at least two days.

Vinegar: There are always times when guests are on their way and you must take immediate action to diminish icky odors. That’s when you befriend vinegar. To remove cooking smells, place a shallow bowl about three-quarters full of white or cider vinegar in the room where the scent is strongest. Use several bowls if the smell permeates your entire home. The odors should disappear almost immediately.

Vanilla: Grab a glass container, poke holes in its metal or plastic top and add some baking soda. Drop a couple of vanilla pods or its crushed powder or vanilla extract if the natural herb isn’t available, into the jar and add just a bit of ginger zest. If you want to prepare a spray, boil two glasses of water and add half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder and about seven drops of vanilla extract. Let it boil for a minute and then turn the heat down. Remove and bottle it up once the concoction gets to room temperature. It’ll be refreshing and will smell delicious.

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