Freshen up your Air Freshener

9 Sep

It puts a smile on my face when my house smells as clean as it truly is! All of that scrubbing and vacuuming should pay off at some point, right? Isn’t it funny to watch those countless air freshener commercials that always feature a mother running around her home attempting to eliminate any smells her teenage son and dog left behind? How about this? Throw your kid in the shower, give your dog a bath, and open a window. Wouldn’t getting to the root of the smelly issue solve the problem? And then, at last, when the stinkiness is gone, you’d have a quick moment to throw together a homemade reed diffuser. Ahh…

I think air quality in the home is important, so we open the windows to get plenty of fresh air, have plants in most rooms as a natural purifier, and we avoid the use of chemical cleaners that can damage air quality.

One of the things I especially avoid in our house is the use of commercial air fresheners. Unfortunately, they just don’t live up to what their name implies. The National Resources Defense Council recently found in testing 14 different types of commonly used air fresheners, that 12 of them contained chemicals called phthalates. This chemical has been found to disrupt hormones and can be especially dangerous to young children and unborn babies. Some studies link phthalates to cancer and fertility problems. There are no regulations on the types of chemicals added to these products and companies don’t even have to indicate on the label that the product contains phthalates. Purchasing products that promote an “all-natural” or “unscented” formula just doesn’t cut it. Those air fresheners contained phthalates too.

But when you want some fragrance in your home, making your own reed diffuser with essential oils is the perfect way to lightly scent the air in a natural way.

Here is what you need:

  • A vase
  • Pretty, smooth stones (your choice of color)
  • Reeds (you can find these at most craft stores)
  • Your favorite essential oil (I used lavender)
  • Carrier oil (like safflower oil)
  • Vodka

Mix up about 15 drops of the essential oil with 4 – 8 oz of the carrier oil (this doesn’t need to be precise). Add a splash of vodka (about 1 tsp), stir, and pour into the vase. You can add your stones before or after you pour the oil mixture into the vase. I waited to see how high the oil would be in the vase and then added the stones to about the same height. Stick those reeds in and you are ready to rock. If you have youngsters in the home, be sure to keep this out of their reach.

I also tried another variation on the oil mixture by just mixing the essential oil and vodka. I read that the scent that it gave off would be more intense, but it would also evaporate more rapidly. I put this one in the bathroom where I wouldn’t mind a stronger scent!

Be brave and try different essential oil combinations! What is your favorite essential oil scent?



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6 Responses to “Freshen up your Air Freshener”

  1. Veryncer September 27, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    I read a few topics. I respect your work and added blog to favorites.

  2. Kelly September 10, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    you are so creative :) love it!!

  3. Susan September 10, 2010 at 7:35 am #

    I have a very special house guest arriving today!
    May have to freshen things up!
    Great recipe.

  4. Deb September 9, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    Very interesting idea Laura. Those sprays in public restrooms can take your breath away. Just curious though, what is the purpose of the vodka in your recipe? This would be a great idea for homemade Christmas gifts too!

    • Laura September 9, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

      I read that it thins out the oil mixture a bit to allow it to travel up the reeds faster. Rather than using water, the vodka won’t mold if it’s sitting in the vase.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

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    [...] initial thought was, “if your sheets don’t smell good, just wash them.” It’s like (toxic) air fresheners. If you need to mask smells in your home, it means there is something stinky going on somewhere [...]

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