Life as MOM contributor Janel offers tips and tricks to deodorizing a home the all-natural way.
This past summer, my family was “homeless.” We house-sat for various friends and acquaintances for 8 weeks in California and then spent a few weeks visiting family and driving across the country back to Virginia.
Meanwhile, all of our worldly possessions were stored in our friends’ garage. In Virginia. During the summer. Although we are so very thankful for our friends’ generosity in taking care of our things, we were not so thankful for the humidity of a wet, Virginian summer.
Storage in a humid garage = musty (and sometimes moldy) possessions.
As an added “bonus,” the car we left parked outside had a bit of a leak and water got into the trunk. Yeah, the car’s smell was downright revolting upon our return. So, we had quite a task before us to clean and deodorize our belongings.
Baking soda has become my friend. We literally dumped 2 pounds of baking soda onto the carpets in our car to help deodorize it. It was cheap and it made such a difference!
Since then, I’ve discovered that baking soda also becomes a great air freshener or carpet deodorizer when combined with some essential oils. Best of all, it’s all-natural (no nasty chemicals!) and you can change up the scents depending on your mood or the season. For Fall or Winter, try cinnamon or peppermint essential oil. For spring, lavender would be nice. For summer or year-round, a blend of citrus oils is amazing. In fact, it’s my favorite at the moment — 2 drops lime essential oil, 2 drops lemon essential oil and 6 drops sweet orange oil. The smell just makes me happy!
All-Natural Home or Car Air Freshener
Makes one jar of air freshener that you can place in a room, closet, or even under the passenger seat of your car
- canning jar with lid – I prefer the short, wide-mouth Ball Jars as they will provide a greater surface area. They also will slip easily under a passenger seat for an out-of-sight car air freshener.
- 1/2 cup baking soda (or more if using a larger jar)
- 10 – 20 drops of essential oil of your choice
- Place the baking soda in the canning jar and add the essential oil(s) of your choice. Place the lid on the jar and shake until the oil and been distributed throughout the baking soda.
- Cut a piece of cheesecloth large enough to cover the jar opening — I used a double layer. You can use the jar lid as a template — just cut it slightly larger than your marked circle.
- Place cheesecloth on top of the jar opening and screw the lid in place.
- Put your jar wherever you want to enjoy its lovely aroma!
All-Natural Carpet Deodorizer
Makes enough carpet deodorizer for about a 5 x 8 area
- canning jar with lid
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 10 or more drops of your favorite essential oil
- Place the baking soda in the canning jar and add the essential oil of your choice. Place the lid on the jar and shake until the oil and been distributed throughout the baking soda.
- Shake the carpet deodorizer liberally over the carpet or rug. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes – I left mine on overnight for our VERY musty-smelling area rug.
- Vacuum up the deodorizer. If you’ve got a really stubborn smell, repeat the process.
–Janel is a stay-at-home mom of two daughters and a “law school wife” in Virginia. Raised in a budget-conscious and DIY-minded family, she blogs about motherhood, crafts, and living on a law school budget at Life with Lucie and Ella.