Freshen Up Your Home,

The Progress-Index - At Home - - News - FAM­ILY FEA­TURES

Homes trap all kinds of smells - last night’s salmon din­ner, dirty gym clothes in the laun­dry bas­ket, the cat’s lit­ter box and more. When it comes to en­sur­ing the home looks, feels and smells clean, 64 per­cent of home­own­ers have even gone to ex­treme mea­sures to rid their homes of pun­gent odors, such as re­plac­ing a rug or car­pet (34 per­cent), pur­chas­ing a new trash can (26 per­cent) or re­plac­ing a couch or an­other piece of fur­ni­ture (17 per­cent), ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey com­mis­sioned by Fil­trete Fil­ters from 3M.

But if you’ve be­come ac­cus­tomed to the scents of your own home, how can you re­ally know if it’s odor free? Healthy liv­ing ex­pert, Build­ing Bi­ol­o­gist and au­thor Lisa Beres shares these sim­ple so­lu­tions to nat­u­rally cre­ate and main­tain a fresh home:

Kitchen re­frig­er­a­tor: Re­move foul odors and stains from left­overs in the fridge by clean­ing the draw­ers and shelves with a home­made clean­ing so­lu­tion. Sim­ply add a few drops of nat­u­ral dish soap to a bowl of bak­ing soda and stir un­til it cre­ates a thick paste. Also, store an open box of bak­ing soda inside the fridge to help elim­i­nate odors be­fore they start. Re­place it with a fresh box at least ev­ery three months.

Can­dles and air fresh­en­ers: Store-bought air fresh­en­ers can con­tain syn­thetic chem­i­cals, such as formalde­hyde, which can ir­ri­tate eyes, skin and throats, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency. In­stead, cre­ate your own air fresh­ener by com­bin­ing 10 drops of an es­sen­tial oil - such as laven­der or eu­ca­lyp­tus - with two cups of wa­ter.

Pests and re­pel­lants: Pesky ants and other in­sects can make their way into your kitchen pantry when they’re on a mis­sion to find food, but dous­ing them and your kitchen’s sur­faces in toxic re­pel­lent isn’t a healthy so­lu­tion for the home or the fam­ily. In­stead, set a line of cof­fee grounds, le­mon juice, cin­na­mon or cayenne pep­per around doors and win­dows to cre­ate an ef­fec­tive bar­rier they won’t cross.

Cook­ing: Help pre­vent un­ap­peal­ing cook­ing odors, such as fish, from spread­ing and lin­ger­ing throughout the home by up­grad­ing to the Fil­trete Odor Re­duc­tion Fil­ter. It helps re­move odors and gases from the air pass­ing through the fil­ter and helps keep the home fresh for fam­i­lies and house­guests. Syn­thetic air fresh­en­ers, can­dles and in­cense only pro­vide tem­po­rary re­lief from odors by mask­ing them in one par­tic­u­lar room but will do noth­ing to re­move the odors from the en­tire home.

Damp tow­els: Wet tow­els from a shower, a trip to the gym or a day at the pool can be a breed­ing ground for mildew to de­velop if they sit too long with­out dry­ing. To rid tow­els of the mildew smell, first wash them once in hot wa­ter with a cup or two of white vine­gar. Then wash them again with a nat­u­ral or eco-friendly laun­dry de­ter­gent. Fi­nally, dry the tow­els in the dryer on high heat. To avoid mildew and as­so­ci­ated smells in the fu­ture, hang tow­els up right away to en­sure they dry thor­oughly.

FAM­ILY FEA­TURES PHOTO

Store-bought air fresh­en­ers can con­tain syn­thetic chem­i­cals, such as formalde­hyde, which can ir­ri­tate eyes, skin and throats, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency.

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