5 Ways to Naturally Eliminate Odors in Your Home

by | Updated: December 4th, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

Whether the stink is from a burnt casserole, an old sponge or a dog with bathroom confusion, sometimes you just need to clear the air. Unfortunately, many of the products we use when the air is skunky can be pretty funky themselves—and they may also be harmful to your health.

5 Ways to Naturally Eliminate Odors in Your Home

Synthetic fragrances pervade our homes, appearing in everything from dish soap and laundry detergent to candles and air fresheners. “The problem is, they don’t ‘freshen’ our air at all,” says Sara Snow, green living expert and author of Sara Snow’s Fresh Living.“Instead they can make us feel quite sick—often without our being able to put a finger on the hidden culprit.”

Chemical fragrances are often identified on product labels as perfume, parfum or fragrance. These monikers can be used for hundreds of different chemicals, many of which have been identified as neurotoxins and allergens that can trigger responses such as asthma attacks, headaches, rashes or stuffy noses.

In addition, many synthetic fragrances contain phthalates, hormone disruptors that have been linked development and fertility complications.

Get the stink out

Fortunately, the air freshener problem is an easy one to solve. First, eliminate products with synthetic fragrances or perfumes and choose naturally scented or unscented products whenever possible.

Next, think about specific odors you want to attack, and use the best tools to neutralize them. Certain smells, such as smoke, are acidic and can be removed with an alkaline product such as baking soda. Alkaline odors, including the scent of fish, eggs, or even cooked greens, need to be neutralized with something acidic such as lemon juice or vinegar.

Here are some additional natural ways you can infuse your home with fresh, good-for-you scents.

  • Open windows if the weather allows. Fresh air alone may be enough to clear out unpleasant smells.
  • Sprinkle carpets with baking soda or dried tea leaves to remove lingering odors, then vacuum it up.
  • Bring in the greenery. Plants such as gerbera daisies, English ivy, bamboo palm and chrysanthemums will help to remove indoor air pollutants, and the flowering ones provide a nice scent.
  • Combine botanicals (lemon slices; eucalyptus essential oil; or a combination of cloves, cinnamon, ginger and orange peel) and simmer gently in water for 10 minutes. Let the pot sit and the scent waft into the air.
  • Vinegar helps neutralize cooking odors, including odors from fish or eggs. Just let a small dish of vinegar sit on your countertop until the odor is gone.

Turning to nature is your best bet when trying to combat odors in your home. Fresh air, plants, herbs and essential oils not only freshen the air and your living space, but also offer numerous health and wellness benefits, making your home and your body happy at the same time.