Eliminating Odors the Healthy (and Cheap) Way!

I was inspired to write this blog post in response to community questions. “How do I get the smell out of soccer goalie gloves? cleats? How do I help my parents get rid of the toxic air fresheners they use to cover dog smell? How do I freshen the carpet my son crawls and sits on? How do I freshen the air quickly?”

At my Acupuncturist yesterday I saw the “Real Simple” magazine and I was curious to flip through to read the article, “Secrets to a Good Selling Home.” I wanted to see if they were choosing safe REAL ways to deodorize or if they were going to suggest burning candles. What I read gave me HOPE that the tide has shifted and as a SOCIETY we are ready to embrace natural and healthy instead of advertising and fake scents! Did you know that products like Glade plug ins and Febreeze add chemicals to your air? If you have an odor problem, go to the source! Thank you to Real Simple for your article and for reiterating that, “clean does’t have a scent.”

5 Tips for Eliminating Odors in a Natural and Healthy Way!

  1. Good Ventilation is Key. Open Windows to allow fresh air in. During our hot and humid North Carolina summers this isn’t always possible but any opportunity I get I let fresh air in. We also have an ERV unit.

  2. Baking Soda is cheap and effective at eliminating odors. I use a mason jar with a shaker lid. Sprinkle on carpets and put in laundry. You can even add a few drops of essential oil and shake in the jar.

  3. Stinky soccer and lacrosse gloves - Put (cheap) vodka in a spray bottle. Vodka eliminates odors. It is the alcohol content that does the work. I suggest not diluting for this purpose, although you can try with 1/2 water as well. You can also put in newspapers or a cotton cloth to absorb extra dampness after use.

  4. Air freshener - First open windows when you can. Second spray the air with 1/2 vodka and 1/2 water.

  5. Vinegar also absorbs odors. I use it to soak my clothes when new, in my wash to get out perfumes from scented spaces, to clean my dishwasher, and washing machine.

Kudos to “Real Simple” Magazine for their article, “Secrets to a Great Smelling Home”. The article shared true, cost-effective, and HEALTHY advice also sensitivities to scents and chemicals!

Kudos to “Real Simple” Magazine for their article, “Secrets to a Great Smelling Home”. The article shared true, cost-effective, and HEALTHY advice also sensitivities to scents and chemicals!

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Reusable spray bottles are great, or purchase a glass one!

Reusable spray bottles are great, or purchase a glass one!

...and Ecothriver begins! Living Scent Free with MCS

I am so very excited for this site to be up and running! It is a work in progress, as life is :)  Yesterday we celebrated Christmas and I am enjoying some down time while my in laws are enjoying my children. A major reason I need some extra down time today and some detoxing is from the fragrances of holiday get togethers. We have a fragrance free home, however I have decided not to become a hermit, and that involves sometimes saturating my nose with other people's fragrance choices. Let me start by saying that I think most people have no idea how toxic the "smells" of fragrance are. They get dressed, and spritz their perfume or cologne with no thought that it may make someone else feel ill, trigger an asthma attack, or cause someone to need to rinse their nose with a Neti pot to get the fragrance out. This also applies to scented lotions, hand sanitizer, soaps, fabric softener, scented detergents, shampoos, etc.  Don't get me started on Febreze, Glade Plug ins, or scented candles! Those products release chemicals into the air through their fragrance. They are all terrible air polluters. 

Last week I walked into the bathroom at my children's school and literally almost passed out from a plug-in emitting vanilla fragrance in the air. It took my energy for the day. I contacted the school and it has since been removed (it was actually a fire hazard.) I wish more people would realize the unnecessary chemicals we are exposing our children too! There is a movement across our country and Canada to move towards a scent free policy in schools, churches, hospitals, workplaces, and other public buildings. It is my hope that this trend continues to spread! 

You can check the toxicity of your products at the Environmental Working Group Database at www.ewg.org.

 

If you find it very difficult to have scent free air, a suggestion that may work is essential oils. You can diffuse essential oils throughout your home and even use scents such as lavender as a perfume. Oils are not safe for everyone, for example I react to certain oils.  Local, small batch organic oils are best. Be sure to see what works for you. Some people with MCS can not tolerate any essential oils. I have some favorites such as Peppermint and Lavender that work well for me. 

Here is some info if you would like to read more about the dangers of fragrances:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3018511/

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/toxic-perfumes-and-colognes/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/09/business/maker-of-glade-to-disclose-chemical-details.html?_r=0

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/scented-laundry-products-release-carcinogens-study-finds/