Freshen the air in your home
Air fresheners smell great, but they only mask odors. To really rid the air of smells in your home, open the windows and let the fresh air in. Bring in houseplants, keep things clean, remove smelly shoes and empty trash daily. If you enjoy scents, you can combine a few drops of essential oil and water in a spray bottle and use as a room mist. Simmer natural items such as apple and citrus peels, cinnamon or fresh mint leaves and water in a slow cooker or on the stovetop, or soak a cotton ball with vanilla or essential oil.
The following suggestions can help freshen the air, too:
Clean and deodorize the microwave:
Microwaves get dirty and smelly. They can be a pain to keep clean if you don’t clean them immediately after splatters or spills. To clean your microwave with ease, simply combine a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 cup water (or 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar and 1/2 cup water) in a microwave-safe bowl. Add a wooden spoon to the bowl to prevent super-heating. Cook on high for three to five minutes or until steam condenses. Wipe down the interior of the microwave with a cloth. If any smell remains, repeat the lemon and water procedure, but add a couple of cloves to the mixture.
Dilute and spray on counters or floors. Peppermint scent makes the kitchen smell fresh.
Use dried citrus peels or dried herb bundles for added scent. Make the bundles using dry herbs and natural materials, such as rosemary, lavender, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and eucalyptus. You can add raspberry canes and pine cones to various dried herbs, too. Cut them to about 10 inches and bundle them together (with the stems facing the center of the bundle) using raffia. Place them in the fireplace as fire starter, or add them to a smoldering fire for fragrance.
Pour baking soda and vinegar into your garbage disposal. Cover the drain and let it sit for five minutes. Flush it with boiling water. Afterward, grind ice cubes, salt and citrus peels to give it a fresh scent.
Try coffee grounds:
Set coffee grounds (either unused or used and dried) in a bowl or Dixie cup in an inconspicuous area to add scent and absorb bad smells. Putting them in a sachet works best, but you can use a section of nylon pantyhose, too. If you don’t want to use coffee grounds, you can use baking soda and a few drops of essential oil instead. Place in a mason jar and cover the mouth of the jar with tulle, using the jar ring to hold it on.
Hang a cedar block. Use crumpled newspaper or baking soda inside shoes, or pour kitty litter into a spare sock and place it in the shoes. Put the shoes outside periodically to air out.
Use soap bars:
Open up a few cakes of bath soap and put them in your drawers to add scent. Dryer sheets or free perfume samples from magazines will work, as well. Both can help your bathroom smell nice, too.
In your vacuum:
If you have a central vacuum system, put several drops of essential oil on a cotton ball and put it in the vacuum receptacle to fill a room with essential oil scent.
Sprinkle borax into your trash can to prevent it from smelling, or toss a dryer sheet into the bottom. Speaking of dryer sheets, put a sheet in a linen closet, a suitcase when traveling, sneakers, the trunk of your car, at the bottom of your clothes hamper, in your vacuum bag, tucked inside a toilet paper roll or around the holder, etc., to keep odors at bay.
Borax is a good product to use on pet “accidents” and spilled milk on carpets. Blot the spill with a cloth. Pour borax onto it and let it absorb and deodorize, then vacuum. Test an inconspicuous area of your carpet beforehand. For simple carpet deodorizing, combine 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup baking soda in a bowl. Add 20 drops of essential oil and stir. Transfer powder to an empty Parmesan cheese container. Shake the powder onto your carpet. Vacuum after 15 minutes.
photo by smart goat http://www.flickr.com/photos/mabray/142413896/sizes/z/in/photostream/