With everyone spending a lot of time cooped up inside, we've found some ways to bring some natural freshness into your home.
Since we've all become a lot more acquainted with our own homes over the last few weeks, there's no doubt that we've also started to notice the things we're not so fond of, and smell can be a particularly distracting one.
From lingering cooking smells in the kitchen to musty odours in a bedroom, unpleasant scents in your home are never welcome, but there are plenty of natural ways to freshen things up.
These natural oils that are extracted from plants are a great way to add a whole range of scents to your home. An essential oil diffuser is a simple way to do this, or there are also a number of other ways you can do this, such as adding a few drops to a saucepan of simmering water, putting a little in a spray bottle with some water and spritzing it in a room, or putting a few drops on cotton wool or a fabric scrap and putting it in a drawer.
As there are so many essential oils to choose from, it's also fun to experiment with a few different ones to find your favourites. You can also tailor them to different rooms, such as citrus scents for the kitchen and bathroom, or relaxing jasmine or lavender in the bedroom. Try Irish brand The Nature of Things as a good place to start.
As well as essential oils, simmering anything fragrant in a pan of water will waft pleasant aromas around your home. Try used lemons or oranges, cinnamon sticks, or eucalyptus leaves, or hardwood herbs like rosemary or thyme.
Bicarbonate of soda
Most people have a tub of bicarbonate of soda in their cupboard, and it can easily be bought in supermarkets. Although used in baking, it is also a great way to eliminate a whole host of different odours in your home. A few spoonfuls down the plughole followed by hot water will deal with drain smells, while a sprinkle into smelly shoes will freshen them up. You can also sprinkle it onto a musty carpet, leaving for 15 minutes, before hoovering it off again to get rid of unwanted smells.
Hang eucalyptus in your shower
If you want to naturally keep your bathroom smelling fresh, tie some eucalyptus branches to your shower head. You don't want them to be directly under the water flow, just close to it. The steam from your warm shower will release the essential oils in the leaves, leaving a fresh scent.
Air out fabrics
Soft surfaces like duvets, carpets, curtains and cushions can all absorb smells. You can hang them outside on a good day to air them out, or check the care label to see how they can be cleaned. Some can be machine washed, while others might need something more specialist.
Charcoal is a natural way to keep odours at bay, as it absorbs smells and excess moisture. They are also an environmentally friendly solution, as they can be reused for up to two years, and can be refreshed by placing them in direct sunlight. This one is available from MrGreenEcoSolutions on Etsy, €7.01.
Featured image: The Nature of Things
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