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air freshener

Who doesn’t love to enter a room and smell a fresh, clean scent?

After all –  odors from cooking, smells from our wonderful pets and kids, and just “life” emit odors in our homes, and we’re always looking for ways to eliminate these odors.  Air fresheners have become very popular.  You can buy just about any kind, plug-ins, sprays and gels.  But, are air fresheners dangerous to use?

A commercially produced air freshener, although nice smelling, can pose serious health risks.  I used to love my scented plug-in.  It was easy to use, smelled fantastic, and gave me this “clean and tidy” feeling.   Then, I realized that every time I plugged it in, my daughter complained of headaches and a sore throat.   Even I had to admit that I would get occasional headaches and fogginess.  After research, I learned that these air fresheners can be highly toxic!  What a bummer because I loved them.

You might be surprised to learn that quite a few air fresheners contain carcinogens and known toxins.  Many fresheners can aggravate asthma and even affect reproductive development, posing health risks to babies and young children!!   Frequent use can increase earaches and diarrhea in babies and headaches and depression in grownups.  Even car air fresheners can cause problems.   A plug-in air freshener can contain more than 15 different volatile ingredients, with more than one-third classified as toxic under our  federal laws. Even air fresheners called “organic,” “green,” “all natural” or with “essential oils” give off hazardous chemicals.

So now you can see why I had to come up with another solution for my home – something that would smell fantastic, be healthy, and would do the job.  Since I am a self-proclaimed honey fanatic, I looked to my obsession – honey    What could I make with honey that would work?  I was browsing through my local craft store one day, and I saw a bin of beautiful wine corks.   I was drawn to their simplicity and organic look.   So, I grabbed about 20 of them and took them home, not knowing exactly what I wanted to do with them.   But, I knew I’d find a use for them.  And I did.

I started experimenting like a mad scientist until I created these wine corks scented with honey.  These corks, infused with honey, vanilla, and cinnamon were just what I was looking for.  They were beautiful and smelled amazing.   I feel these are the best air fresheners, hands down, and can outshine the most popular ones on the store shelf.   I was excited to put them around the house – on the kitchen counter, in my bathroom and  bedrooms – just about anywhere.  Because they are simple in appearance, all I need is a nice basket or earthly looking dish to display them.

I even discovered that simple wooden balls (You can buy these at your local craft store too.) work equally as well for this project –  especially in the kitchen or dining room.   Everyone who enters my home comment on my marvelous homemade air fresheners.  You’ll love them too!  Here’s the recipe – so you will know how to make your own air fresheners.

Honey Infused Natural Air Freshener

About 12 wine corks or small wooden (real wood) balls

8 drops vanilla, lemon or almond  extract (or any essential oil you love)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup of honey

1.   Put all the ingredients in a large resealable plastic bag and mix thoroughly.

2.  Add the balls or corks and make sure they are coated completely.  Leave for 2 hours so that the balls soak up the mixture.

3.  Remove them from the bag and wipe the excess mixture away.   They are now ready to use.

Keep in mind that this is what I like, but you can use whatever “tickles your fancy”.    If you like mint instead of lemon or almond, use mint leaves instead, or how about omitting the cinnamon and extracts, and using lavender essential oil with the honey for your bath or bedroom.   In other words, experiment until you find the freshener you love, and you will have a custom-made freshener.  How cool is that!

Put them in a decorative bowl for a very nice, clean smelling presentation.  You can use these balls or corks just about anywhere.   Why not pop a few in the glove compartment of your vehicle for a nice car freshener, too.

If the scent starts to fade, simply repeat the above process as much as you want.  These air fresheners are economical and an environmentally good choice!

Now, here’s a few other tips in the quest for a fresher smelling home.    First of all, get rid of the cause of the odors around your home, secondly, use simple ingredients, such as vinegar, to clean up areas and keep it sweet smelling.  Also, do not forget to ventilate, ventilate, ventilate.  The air in our home is twice as bad as the air outside, so don’t forget to open those windows.  And lastly, if there are no allergies in the home, buy a nice houseplant because plants help with air quality.

So there you have the answer to the question, “Are air fresheners dangerous?”. And I’m happy to have shared a solution to that problem 🙂

So, what homemade air fresheners do you enjoy making for your home? What is the best air freshener you have ever used?   Leave a comment below.

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