Make Your Own: Air Fresheners

Most commercial air fresheners do not freshen the air at all.   Instead, they mask one odor with another, coat your nasal passages with an undetectable oil film, or diminish your sense of smell with a nerve-deadening agent.

If you enjoy scenting your house,  there are some ways to do so naturally:

  1. Put a cotton ball with a couple of drops of essential oil of your choice in your vacuum cleaner bag.
  2. Wrap cinnamon and cloves or other fragrant spices in cheesecloth, tie shut and simmer in a small sauce pan on your stove. This works very well for those of us with woodstoves.
  3. Make homemade potpourri.
  4. Burn incense.  You can buy this or make your own.
  5. Use hydrosols, distillates  or aromatherapy sprays.

Making a distillate for household use doesn’t have required a still.    I have experimented with fresh and dried and oddly enough I have found that ground dried herbs tend to make more aromatic distillates.   Any aromatic herb known for its volatile oils is a good candidate for distillation. Mints, roses, lavender, orange peels are some of my favorite choices.   Conifer needles like pine and spruce work so well for this.

Directions for making a distillate:

In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, place a small inverted bowl; I have a glass nesting bowl set that works well for this. Stainless steel works, too.

Place your choice of aromatic herbs around the inverted bowl and add water until the bowl is just covered.

Set a larger bowl right side up on the inverted bowl. Place the lid to the soup pot on it in an inverted fashion. I like to throw some ice on the top as well.

The steam from the boiling herbs will collect on the underside of the inverted lid and run into the large bowl.

Bring to a boil and then simmer over low heat, for as long as you like until the water in the pot boils down and most of it is collected in the larger bowl.

Published by Stephany Riley Hoffelt

If you want to read more about me, it's on the website

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