With the mounting concerns about indoor air pollution, what safe options do consumers have to eliminate odors? Since keeping everyone safe is a universal responsibility (not just the parents), we all need to work together to reduce indoor air pollution. Follow these 12 hacks to create a safer, more pleasant-smelling home:
1. Conduct a home audit
Go through your every closet in your home that houses cleaning or air freshening products. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, cannot find a list of ingredients, or see serious warnings against accidental ingesting — safely dispose of the product. Lock all your cleaning products up to prevent young children and pets from accessing them.
2. Post an emergency list
If you have cleaning products that you cannot part with, but which may be harmful, post a list of emergency contacts and phone numbers. If products have instructions for what to do in case of accidental ingestion, post these on the list as well.
If you want to replace dangerous products with healthy ones, spend time researching online. Contact your physician, pediatrician, church group for recommendations for healthy products people you know use. Review CDC.gov and other government websites to learn more about the dangers of various products. Contact your local hospital, fire department/emergency medical technician, parent and pet parent groups for local first aid training, lists of safe household products and other resources.
4. Hang it outside
If you have sweaty clothes from sports, hang them outside until the odor dissipates naturally before bringing in to wash. Empty the kitchen trashcan regularly or keep a larger one in the garage and for smelly refuse until trash day. Put an open box of baking soda in your trash.
5. Open up
The best air freshener is fresh air. Open windows. Even in the heart of winter, open a few windows to let out the natural smells. Also, if you do this, some of the germs in the house may go outside and keep you healthier. Even though it is not summer, use the ceiling fan to move air around.
6. Steam clean
If your home’s furniture, carpet, and drapes have a moldy, smoky smell, consider having them steam cleaned. Many commercial cleaning companies like Chem Dry offer steam cleaning with environmentally friendly cleaning products.
7. Use ozone
If you have smoky, musty smells regularly, consider purchasing an ozone generator. This device will permanently remove these stubborn smells.
8. White vinegar
This household staple removes odors in the air and on surfaces to make a more pleasant home.
9. Baking soda
This absorbs odors anywhere. Simply keep an open box anywhere you want to eliminate smells. Just keep out of reach of children and pets. You can also dissolve a half a cup of baking soda into two cups of hot water. Add one quarter cup of lemon juice and pour into a spray bottle to create a healthy air freshener.
10. Burn candles
Burn soy or beeswax candles that release natural waxes and release pleasing aromas. Do not leave burning unattended, and keep out of reach of young children and pets.
11. Essential oils
These can provide a wide variety of uses and effects.
12. Natural product companies
Consider using safe, non-toxic products. We’ve used Melaleuca products for years. We have been very satisfied with their safety, quality and effectiveness and I’d be happy to share our story.
There are many other companies offering safe products so you can easily research online to find non-toxic products for your home.
Reen Waterman is a freelance writer and newspaper columnist with his weekly column “About the House.” He writes and co-hosts a daily radio program heard in 91 countries at www.YourRefreshedLife.com. An avid outdoorsman, Waterman is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the American Writers and Artists Institute.
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