I had a pretty serious odor dilemma that I needed to attack with a green clean. In the earliest stages of crisis management after a fire broke out in our apartment building, top priority became preserving the things in our home (which thankfully stood intact though much of the building had burned around it) from additional damage. Though a lot of folks had called for the quick-fix Febreeze to eliminate the suffocating smokey smell, something told me that spraying chemicals on top of toxic fumes from the fire wasn’t the way to go to make our mattress more safe to sleep on or our sofa snug again.
Since we’re on the subject of chemicals, beware of the “homemade Febreeze” recipes that circulate. Simply adding a bit of the liquid fabric softener available in the laundry aisle at the grocery store isn’t really a D.I.Y. fix or a homespun solution. That stuff is also laden with unnatural compounds and while I won’t debate its use in your laundry here, the bigger point is that it’s definitely not made to be ingested in the air via a fine mist. Agreed?
The reason I’m calling this a Pinspiration rather than citing a specific blog is because there are so many variations in the measurements. But the basic materials are a combination of baking soda, white vinegar, and an essential oil of your choice. The proportion that I found effective was two cups of warm water, one tablespoon of vinegar, one teaspoon of baking soda, and about ten drops of essential oil — however I get the feeling that the formula can be played with to suit the occasion. I happened to have a leftover little vial of Cherry Blossom Oil I ordered for a few bucks on Etsy last year, and that particular scent was really lovely without being perfumey.
I poured the water into my spray bottle and used the measuring cup to let the chemical reaction take place when I added the baking soda to the vinegar. Once it fizzed and did its Science Fair volcano thing, I poured it into the warm water, then added the essential oil drops directly into the bottle.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how fresh our place smells when we visit to pack. To enter through the charred remains of the building and come into a sunny-smelling home is indeed a much-needed small pleasure. I’m confident that our furniture will be the one place that the memory of the fire does not linger and I’ll definitely use this easy odor neutralizer solution again. –Casandra Armour