The best bathroom deodorizers are the ones you make yourself, because you know what's in them. Heavily scented store-bought air fresheners contain a lot of chemicals and are probably exactly what you don't want to use in your home, especially since figuring out the chemicals on the label takes a chemical degree or a heavy Chemistry textbook; some of the chemicals may have adverse effects on children and the elderly. All you need are small bottles of pure essential oils -- read the label -- available at most health food stores, vitamin shops or online, as oils sold at discount stores may not be as pure as you need.
Cedar Chip Potpourri
Make your own potpourri by starting with a bag of cedar chips -- already naturally aromatic -- that you can get inexpensively at the local discount or home improvement store. Place the chips in a plastic bag and add a few drops of lemon, citrus or lavender oil to the mixture. Shake the bag to mix the essential oils in with the cedar. You can put them in a decorative bowl atop the back of the toilet, on a shelf, or on the bathroom vanity; alternatively, place the scented mix in cheesecloth and tie it with a ribbon to make sachets. If you have dried rose petals or other flowers from the garden, mix those in to make the homemade potpourri more colorful.
Many people buy the small bottles of scented plug-ins that act as a diffuser with a small bit of electricity to spread the scent in the room. The problem with these deodorizers is that they too have chemicals. Wash out an empty one with hot soapy water and rinse it clean. Fill the plug-in with distilled water -- to avoid hard water scaly buildup -- and add three to five drops of your favorite essential oil fragrance. Plug it into the wall, and it emits fragrances into the air.
Scented Toilet Paper
The toilet paper may smell as if it is scented, but it's not -- add a few drops of essential oil to the inside cardboard tube to create "scented" paper. The scents disperse subtly into the air every time you use the paper. The toilet paper tube becomes an air freshener when you add the drops to a new roll every time you change it.
Miniature Canning Jars
The tiny canning jars usually used for jellies -- no more than 3 inches tall, with wide, large mouths -- become attractive deodorizers when you fill them with a baking soda mixture combined with three to five drops of your essential oils. If you don't want the bathroom to smell like cheap perfume, eucalyptus, chamomile or cypress essential oils bring the fresh smell of the outdoors into the bathroom. Use a drill to add small holes to the canning lid or create a colorful circular cutout with holes from card stock paper available at the local office supply store. A bright colorful ribbon makes the jar attractive so you can set it anywhere in the bathroom.
If your bathroom constantly has a bad smell, check the base of the toilet, as it may need resealing. Since the toilet has the P-trap built inside it, the waste hookup beneath the toilet is a straight pipe that leads to the drain-waste-and-vent system. When the caulked seal around the base of the toilet no longer creates a seal between the toilet base and the floor, smelly fumes from the sewer or septic tank can leak out the bottom of the toilet into the bathroom. Remove the old caulk and lay a new caulk line that creates a thorough seal between the toilet base and the floor. This should take care of smelly bathroom problems unless you have a plumbing problem that requires a professional.
- Care2: 6 Clever and Safe DIY Bathroom Deodorizers
- Michigan State University Extension: Homemade Cleaners
- Photo Credit fotohunter/iStock/Getty Images
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