Monday, December 07, 2009

Natural Air Freshener/Neutralizer

In the post below I share about a dangerous malfunction in “green” light bulbs. With this malfunction various toxins as well as odors permeated our house.

This also occurred with a very stupid act that I recently did. As with many stupid acts, the stupid person did not realize the stupidity of his action until after he performed it.

I washed a spill from a pair of sweat pants. So as to be able to wear them without the cold wet spot that I created, I decided to dry the pants in the microwave. I have seen others do this and I have successfully dried items in this manner before. However, I kept heating the pants over and over because the moisture evaporated very slowly on this occasion. What I did not realize was that the areas that were folded over and more densely compacted were overheating. Those areas actually burned.

Not good!

I ruined my pants and I filled the house with that smell.

I pulled out the bottle of Febreze. After spraying the entire house twice, the smell remained. While spraying I also noticed the scent of perfume. I read the list of ingredients to learn that indeed the claim of removing and neutralizing odors was not honest as perfumes also are added to mask the smells.

I began wondering what ingredients the company could be using that would neutralize odors. As I pondered this, I wondered what things actually do neutralize odors.

Activated carbon is one effective neutralizing agent. But this is not something that I want to spray throughout the house.

Another agent is baking soda. “Aha! Let’s give it try!”

I poured a tablespoon or two of baking soda into this spray bottle and then filled it with filtered water. I set the nozzle to the finest setting and began misting the household air. I was amazed at the effectiveness. I sprayed throughout the house twice, and I sprayed the mist in the area of the furnace’s return duct to be sure to get it circulated throughout the ducts as well.

The odors were almost entirely eliminated.

I performed this ceremony after the lightbulb incident with the same effect, but with only one misting of the household air this time.

The one drawback is that the spray does leave a white residue that must be dusted and vacuumed (eventually). The powder is so fine that it is not easily noticed. My wife, who ordinarily detects such things immediately has not mentioned it yet. But she is such a proficient housekeeper that she will likely dust and vacuum it away before she has a chance to notice it.

The point is that it works. And it is 100% natural with no harmful side effects. Baking soda ordinarily will not damage fabrics or alter their coloration. Additionally, it truly does absorb the odor causing chemicals and toxins so that they can be completely removed by vacuuming.

I’m sure that I am not the first to make this discovery, but it is a delight to me to have this natural and very effective odor neutralizer available.

Perhaps some others will benefit from it as well.

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