We are accustomed to strong smells. Scents such as bleach and ammonia signify "clean", says a 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il. Likewise, we use numerous other artificial chemicals to make the house smell "cleaner" and more inviting. But a recent study showed that individuals who used air freshener sprays four times a week or more had twice as many incidences of physician-diagnosed asthma. Additionally, the National Resources Defense Council, released a statement stating that many commonly used air fresheners contained chemicals proved to affect normal hormonal and reproductive functions. Instead of spraying chemicals, consider some of these alternatives to enhance the smell of your home:
* Consider Baking. Home-baked goods smell great. Realtors ofter use this tactic when they are setting up on open house. Homebaked items such as breads, cookies, cakes, brownies, or pies make the house smell wonderful.
* Boil spices that you like. If you do not want baked goods around the house, you can achieve a similar affect by using some of the same ingredients. Any spice that appeals to you can be boiled. Cinnamon and nutmeg work particularly well, but any spice will work. You can also boil fruit peels, such as lemon and orange rinds, for a fresh, clean smell.
* Dip cotton balls into pure extracts. Pure extracts, such as vanilla and peppermint in small quantities, provide baked goods with tremendous flavors. Their smells are strong as well. You can pour a small amount of your favorite extracts into a bowl and place it on the kitchen counter to help eliminate cooking odors. As an alternative, you can dip a cotton ball into a small amount of your favorite extract and place it in a jar with a vented lid. This will create long-lasting fragrance in the room.
* Use essential oils. In addition to pure extracts, essential oils make nice air fresheners. A little bit of essential oil can make a big difference. Make your own countertop air freshener by placing some essential oil on a cotton ball and putting it in a clean, recycled glass jar. Use a knife to put slits or holes in the lid. You can purchase small containers of essential oils at drugstores, health food stores or online stores, says a 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il. All of the above suggestions are in The Complete Guide to Eco-Friendly House Cleaning by Anne B. Kocsis.