BAKING SODA + ESSENTIAL OILS
Make your own odour-busting powder with baking soda, which eliminates the molecules in the air that cause bad smells.
Mix one cup of baking soda with 15 to 20 drops of your favourite essential oil. Sprinkle the scented baking soda over your upholstery, carpet, mattress and soft furnishings. Let it sit for 20 minutes, then vacuum it. Store powder in an airtight container.
You can also pour some onto a plate and leave it where there may be strong odours. This is best used in small spaces, the refrigerator, the bathroom or the closet.
Long prized for its ability to adsorb smells, activated charcoal (charcoal that’s been heat-treated, creating small pores that increase surface area, for better adsorption) is added to many odour-removing products. On its own, pure charcoal is non- toxic and can last up to six months.
Look for activated charcoal, which is usually sold in sticks.
Buy those that come in a bag, as they can easily stain. Otherwise, wrap them before use. Place them all around the house where there is high humidity or bad odours, such as in closets, drawers and where you keep your shoes!
VINEGAR + ESSENTIAL OILS
If you’re dealing with humidity and musty odours, you’ll need to eliminate the root cause – mould and fungus. Vinegar is a powerful antimicrobial agent – it kills bacteria, mould and fungus. Essential oils have powerful cleansing properties of their own. Tea tree oil, lavender, thyme and cinnamon are great for preventing mould and fungus.
Fill a spray bottle with one cup of plain distilled white vinegar. Add 20 drops of essential oil. Spray directly onto affected areas. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then wipe away. Repeat until the smell is gone. However, do not use vinegar on stone surfaces such as marble or granite.
VODKA + ESSENTIAL OILS
If guests are coming over and you need a quick fix, alcohol can help the scent of essential oils last longer.
Fill a spray bottle with 1⁄4 cup of plain vodka and 1⁄4 cup of water. Add 10 to 20 drops of essential oil. Something bright and fresh, such as bergamot, lemon or grapefruit, is a great choice to combat stale odours.
Candles will add a lovely fragrance to your home, but stay away from paraffin and scented candles. These will only fill your home with toxins and chemicals. Beeswax candles have a natural honey scent and emit negative ions when they burn, which help to purify the air.