Everyone loves entering a home that smells of warm spices, fresh citrus fruits, or fragrant flowers, yet many synthetic home fragrance sprays and sticks are contributing to indoor pollution and potentially harming human health. As stated by the Environmental Protection Agency, the indoor air quality in a typical American home can be up to five times worse than it is outside. Toxic cleaning products, pressed wood furniture, and artificial fragrances all do their share to fill our indoor spaces with a chemical cocktail we could easily do without. If you want to clear the air while ensuring your family still enjoys the fragrances you associate with cleanliness, comfort, and home, read on to discover a few natural alternatives.
Natural Candles with Essential Oils
Candles are not only famed for their romantic flickering flames, but also for their pleasant fragrances. They have been revered since ancient times, with history indicating that the first candles were invented by the ancient Egyptians. Their initial purpose was to light the way and although they were originally wickless, by the time of the ancient Romans, they bore their characteristic wick and were made of rolled papyrus in melted tallow or beeswax. Today, most commercial candles contain paraffin—a material which emits compounds like benzene and toluene when burned. While the amount of chemicals emitted is small, it still contributes to the total toxin levels in a home. To embrace the natural goodness of candles, turn back to ancient Rome for inspiration and opt for beeswax or soy candles instead. To ensure they fill your home with a pleasant smell, opt for those infused with essential oils like orange, lavender, jasmine, and other beautiful fragrances. Make sure the oil used is therapeutic grade rather than synthetics.
Investing in an Essential Oil Diffuser
When guests are coming or when your mid needs a lift (or a little relaxation), use an oil diffusing machine, which will fill your space with the fragrance of essential oils. Scientific studies have shown that lavender has a relaxing effect. Citrus scents on the other hand (think bergamot, orange, or lemon) have a revitalizing effect. When you have a cold, use a blend of oils like eucalyptus and frankincense. Clove essential oil, meanwhile, is famed for killing bacteria , and it has a beautiful Christmassy scent.
Your kitchen is the perfect place to grow herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, and mint, all of which emit a pleasant fragrance. All these herbs are surprisingly easy to grow, and they look attractive when placed in designer pots. If you have a kitchen island, they look great in one corner. The countertop is another perfect spot for them. Your herbs will need light, a little water (don’t soak them!), and patient harvesting. Try to take no more than a quarter of your plants, so they have time to grow back.
Liven Up Your Linen
A great way to improve the smell of your bedroom and soft furnishings it to make your own linen spray. There are many DIY spray recipes to choose from, most of which blend distilled water, a preservative like witch hazel or vodka, and an essential oil like jasmine or lavender. Spray your sheets, draperies, and upholstered furniture, and you will definitely get a few complements from guests the next time they visit you.
Ventilate Your Home Frequently
Stale odors can be swept away in an instant through regular ventilation.Try to open as many windows and doors as possible to encourage good air flow, unless you are allergic to pollen and outdoor levels are dangerous. Use fans to move stale and virus-ridden air from inside your home to outside, using a window exhaust fan if possible. When the weather is too cold or hot and you cannot open all the windows and doors, filter your indoor air. Set your HVAC system’s fan to ‘on’ instead of auto, so the fan will run even if you are not using the system’s heating or cooling functions. Change your filter every three months or as recommended by a maintenance professional, and have your HVAC system cleaned or inspected by a professional every year. Finally, consider investing in a HEPA filter. The latter is extremely efficient at trapping particles as small as 0.3 microns. This means that they can trap the particles that people exhale when they are talking, coughing, sneezing, or breathing.
Filling your home with the pleasant scent of natural fragrances can help make home life more appealing. Instead of using commercial synthetic products, turn to nature to nurture you and your family. Top ideas include natural candles, essential oils, and kitchen herbs. Prioritize ventilation and consider investing in a HEPA filter. You can also create your own spray for freshening up the scent of linen and soft furnishings. For something really special, place a few apple slices in a pan and barely cover them with water. Heat the pan for a few minutes and enjoy the beautiful scent that emerges! You can also boil a few cinnamon sticks for two minutes and turn the heat to low until your home is overtaken by its warm, spicy scent.