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 80% of their time indoors, but we 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 it isn’t necessary for reasonably warm climates, i.e. not the desert. I find A/C to be uncomfortably cold and dry. The lowest I ever turned it down was 78 degrees. Workplaces feel like a dungeon to me because of the closed windows and freezing air. I feel the most relaxed with a breeze on my face, not a mechanical fan.

Baking soda

I leave open containers of baking soda in my fridge to absorb odors (baking soda is often cheaper at most grocery stores). I tear off the top and set it in the back corners 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 also 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 effective. I’ve always been skeptical as to how effective these are, but at the very least, they are pleasing to look at and emit a warm glow. The red-orange light that they emit is easy on the eyes, and I can sleep with mine on. Blue light interferes with our ability to sleep, and salt lamps can facilitate the transition towards bedtime by outputting less blue and white light.