Did you know that according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) most store-bought air fresheners contain formaldehyde, petrochemicals, p-dichlorobenzene and aerosol pollutants. There seems to be some kind of connection between air fresheners and Asthma problems. It is also thought that air fresheners containing these chemicals can accelerate respiratory diseases and reduce lung capacity. The EPA has not advised against purchasing these air fresheners, but suggests using them with care. If you have concerns about the health risks associated with these products, why not try a natural air freshening alternative.
If you have a musty basement or smelly closet, a tray of natural clay cat litter may be helpful. The main ingredient in cat litter is a natural occurring mineral that absorbs odors and moisture from the air. If you prefer an alternative to cat litter, try diatomaceous earth which you can purchase at a garden supply store. Place it in a bowl or other open container in foul smelling areas. Placing fresh or used (dried) coffee grounds in a bowl or stocking will help to cut the odor of winter mustiness.
Fill your home with subtle scents and refresh the air by simmering some sweet smelling ingredients in a little water on your stove. Try to keep your supply list simple and use items found at the grocery store or even in the yard. Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges make very fragrant scented waters. Herbs such as rosemary and thyme are good choices as well. Pine or cedar twigs and needles collected from the yard will give off a fresh, natural fragrance. Almond and vanilla extract and spices like cinnamon and cloves when simmered together add a wonderful fragrance to the air without the dangerous chemicals.