Making Chemical-Free Air Freshener
Homemade Air Freshener Scents
Vanilla Lemon Spice - This air freshener should be safe for allergy and asthma sufferers. It also seems to clear the sinuses, which could be good during cold or allergy season. Of course, always check with your doctor first. For this air freshener, you will need 2 fresh lemons (sliced), 1 tbsp natural vanilla extract, and 1 tbsp allspice.
Almond Apple Pie - For this air freshener, you will need 2 freshly diced apples, 2 tbsp freshly ground cinnamon, 2 tsp natural almond extract, and ¼ cup brown sugar. This version seems to be safe for allergy and asthma sufferers.
Christmas Joy - For this air freshener, you will need 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 fresh sprigs from a pine tree, and 3 pine cones. If you have pine allergies, you'll want to try the "Fresh Winter" instructions instead.
Spring Lilac - For this air freshener, you will need 3 or 4 lilac bunches, which are fairly easy to find in the spring time. However, you'll have to hand pick them from your yard or a friend or neighbor's yard unless you want to purchase a blooming bush. Lilacs are generally not sold pre-cut in florist shops, as they wilt quickly. If you are allergic to these flowers, you may instead want to try a different scent. These are very strong.
Fall Frolic - For this air freshener, you'll need a sandwich bag full of dried leaves and small twigs. You'll also need 1 tbsp of ground cinnamon or 2 fresh cinnamon sticks. If you have tree allergies or asthma triggers, you'll want to shy away from this one and try another.
Coconut Breeze - For this air freshener, you'll need 1 tbsp almond extract, 1 tbsp of vanilla extract, and 1 can of coconut milk. This version does not seem to bother asthma and allergy sufferers.
Orange Spice - For this air freshener, you'll need 2 oranges (sliced), 1 tbsp cinnamon (or 2 cinnamon sticks), 1 tbsp of natural vanilla extract, and a few dried leaves and broken twigs. Asthma and allergy sufferers can forgo the leaves and twigs. This version still provides a nice scent without them.
Natural Living - For this air freshener, you'll need some dried leaves, a few broken twigs, and 1 tbsp of vanilla extract. For asthma and allergy sufferers, simply use 2 tbsp of vanilla extract and don't use the leaves and twigs. Some may even be able to tolerate using wood chips instead.
Fresh Winter - For this air freshener, you'll need 1 package of 12 peppermint candy canes or an equivalent amount of another peppermint candy. You'll also need 1 tbsp natural vanilla extract and 1 tbsp ground cinnamon. To make a hot chocolate smell, add 1 tbsp chocolate liqueur (viable substitutions = 1pkg hot cocoa mix or 2 tbsp cocoa powder). This scent seems to be safe for asthma and allergy sufferers and often clears chest congestion, as well as the sinuses.
Natural Wood - For this air freshener, you'll only need wood chips. These can generally be found in the gardening supply section of many stores in the form of mulch. Craft supply stores sometimes sell wood scraps in bulk as well. Pick those woods that are highly fragrant, such as cedar. Also be sure you are picking thin, rather than heavy, woods because you want them to be floating at the surface of your water, not sinking. Put enough in your saucepan to cover the top area and still be floating. Some asthma and allergy sufferers may want to skip this scent.
Instructions For Making and Using the Homemade Air Freshener Scents
These are boiling/simmering air fresheners that will scent a fairly large area, oftentimes an entire house. However, these are not meant for ceramic burners. They are done over the stove. Fill a 2 quart pitcher full with water and 2 tbsp vinegar. Then, check to be sure you have all ingredients for your desired scent (listed below). Lastly, proceed with the following instructions.
Combine your ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan. Pour in the vinegar/water mixture. Bring this to a boil. Once it has been boiling long enough to melt any candy or other ingredients that will dissolve, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and let it simmer. Keep an eye on the pot to be sure there is enough water. You may have to refill the water every once in a while. This should last you all day if you continue to add water as needed. Be sure not to let the water get too low or your air freshener will burn and it will no longer smell very pretty.
Also, be sure you are not standing directly over the pan or the steam from these air fresheners, as they can be pretty strong. Inhaling them in this way could be dangerous.
*Note: Always ask your doctor before using these, as the aromas that will travel through your house might be naturally inhaled into your body. While they are naturally chemical-free, they still emit vapors into the air. The author is not responsible for any action that occurs as a result of your use or misuse of these air fresheners. Always use your own discretion, as well as the advice of your physician before proceeding.
**I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network