Thursday, September 27, 2012

Natural Home Air Freshener

My husband detests the smell of artificial air fresheners.  One trick I have learned instead is to put a pot of yummy smells on the stove and let it boil for a while to spread through the house.  Of course, this sometimes solicits the questions about what is baking...  My favorite combination is citrus and "warm" spices.  I usually can scrounge up an orange or lemon a little past its peak that would be tossed anyways.  I cut it into thick slices or wedges, add some vanilla, a few cinnamon sticks, some ground nutmeg and some whole cloves in a small pot.  You could use the ground versions too, they just don't tend to last as long - this is a freshener you can leave in a small pot on the back of the stove and reheat for several days.  Fill your pot about 1/2 full of water and heat to a full boil.  Let it continue to boil for 5-10 minutes until the smell is strong and spreads through the house.  Turn off the burner and just let it sit.  You can also scoop a bit into small glass containers while its still hot and place it in other rooms like a corner of the bathroom counter.  The next day, dump all the smaller containers back into the pot and reheat.  Add more water if its getting too low.  You can do this for 3-4 days or until it starts losing its smell.  This can go straight to the compose pile when you are finished.  This is a great way to use old spices that are no longer good enough to cook with and citrus fruit that is on the downhill side.  It also helps add a bit of moisture back into the air in the house when its winter and things are closed up and the furnace is running a lot.  Great to do right before guests come over or after cooking fish.

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