Freshen without fragrance

Freshen without fragrance

We often think of the air in our home as being clean. Or at least, being cleaner than outside. This is especially true if living in an urban area. However, this is not necessarily the case. Our homes can be a source of a variety of chemical contaminants that contribute to indoor air pollution. Air fresheners and other scented products such as candles are some of them.

No fear! There are easy ways to freshen the home without them. The first and most obvious is to keep it clean. Simply trying to mask uncleanliness will never work. (Read about my preferred cleaning products here). Here are a few simple options.

Open windows

Seriously, when’s the last time you opened the windows in your house? You need oxygen!

There seems to be a fear of pollen and humidity that keeps many people from welcoming the outside. We were born to roam the earth, to explore on our legs, to build with our hands, and to grow with our vision. Many people spend more than 95% of their time indoors, but humans are fully capable of living outside. Don’t be afraid to open the windows when the air feels stale or when you’re cooking a potent dish.

Sometimes A/C is a concern for opening the windows. The more time I spend without A/C, the more my body adjusts. We’ve lived for centuries without A/C, and in most climates, it isn’t truly necessary. I find A/C to be uncomfortably cold and dry. The lowest I ever turned it down was 78 degrees. Workplaces actually feel like a dungeon to me because of the closed windows and freezing air. I feel the most relaxed with an earthly, breeze on my face, not a mechanical fan.

If you need A/C, then you need it. Still, make a point to air out your house every once in a while. Your guests will appreciate it!

Baking soda

I leave open containers of baking soda or charcoal in my fridge to absorb odors. I tear off the top and put it in the back of my refrigerator and freezer. I replace it every couple of months to keep my fridge smelling fresh.

I also do the same in the corners of my apartment—I have an open container behind my couch and behind my nightstand. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to absorb extra odors and leave the air feeling light. When my shoes begin to smell offensive, I sprinkle it in the soles, let it sit overnight, and shake it out in the morning. It works wonders.

Salt lamps

Himalayan salt lamps are supposed clean air by emitting negative irons. Keep in mind that the salt needs to be heated, so a salt lamp with an LED bulb won’t be very effective. I’ve always been skeptical as to how effective these are, but at the very least, they’re pleasing to look at and emit a warm glow. Their red-orange light is easy on the eyes, and I can sleep with mine on.

As an unintended benefit, salt lamps balance out unhealthy blue light. Blue light comes from electronic devices including TVs and smartphones, and it interferes with our ability to sleep. Turn on the salt lamps and turn down the overhead lights to facilitate the transition towards bedtime. Your eyes will be drooping in no time.