|Photo credit: Susan Bewly @ Budget Earth|
In my mind, there are two types of natural air fresheners - ones based on bringing out the essences in herbs, and those released by burning candles. While I love candles, sometimes they aren't the best for dealing with obnoxious scents, especially ones caused by pets - cats and fire can be a recipe for disaster! For these tough-to-eliminate smells, I make my own homemade air freshener using common fruits and herbs found in just about any kitchen.
Unlike many other recipes, the homemade air freshener recipe I have below is very malleable - you can change out some of the herbs and seasonings without bad effects. For example, if I want my kitchen to have more of a fall scent, I will mix in some whole cloves or all spice in the mixture. While it may sound complicated at first glance, this recipe is very easy to make, and extremely cost effective depending on your choice of herbs. As a special treat, I sometimes put a used vanilla bean or pure vanilla extract into the mix. This can make the recipe a bit more expensive but is very worth it if you enjoy your whole house having a very soft, vanilla scent.
Homemade Air Freshener
- 2-3 Whole Lemons or Limes
- 3-4 Sprigs Rosemary
- 5-6 Mint Leaves can substitute 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 6 Whole Cloves
- 5 Cups Water
- Pour the water in your preferred sauce pan and bring to a boil.
- As you are waiting for the water to come to a boil, cut up the limes or lemons. Squeeze the juice and seeds into the water. Instead of discarding the skin, put in the pot as well.
- Once the mixture has come to a boil, set to a simmer and put in the other seasonings into the pot. Let simmer for half hour to two hours. The scent will become stronger as water evaporates from the pan.
If you would like a stronger scent that will go throughout your house, I highly recommend using fresh herbs over dried herbs. These herbs have much more natural essence stored in their leaves, and are much cheaper than using dried herbs. For people who do not have access to fresh herbs due to the season, feel free to use dried rosemary, basil, and other pleasant smelling herbs, though you may need a bit more of them.
Added for guest author: You can keep this going for several days just by adding more water when it gets low.
My spin: I plan on putting a pot on my wood stove to get the scent without having to use my stove and electricity!
This is a guest post written by Susan Bewley, head writer at Budget Earth. For more natural living ideas and green product reviews, free to check out their site!