Air freshening is more than just lighting a candle, spraying Febreze or plugging in a scent. For a truly fresh-smelling home, you need to take a triple-pronged plan of action consisting of destroying the odor and any leftover stench, carefully considering what impression you want the scent of your home to give off and choosing the best way to disperse that scent in a manner that is neither overpowering nor imperceptible.
Destroying Lingering Odors
Odors generally have a cause. Destroy the cause, and you will destroy the stench. Therefore, before purchasing any air fresheners, it is important to clean your space thoroughly. For odors that linger after the clean up, the first thing to do is open your windows and air out your space. Next either spray an aerosol that claims to kill bacteria in the air, or use a home odor removal method. For odors emanating from carpeting or fabrics, sprinkle baking soda, rub it in a little and let it sit for a while overnight, if possible. Then vacuum it up. From more enclosed spaces, place some regular charcoal briquettes around, especially near wherever the odor is the strongest. For general spaces, pour about 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar or cider vinegar in each of several bowls around the space. Let them sit overnight, and then remove.
Selecting a New Scent
Different scents create different moods, just as different colors of paint do the same. Choose a scent that matches the space it will occupy. You may like the scent of pine, but would you want your kitchen to smell of pine? Choosing a scent for the home goes beyond just choosing a scent that you like. Citrus scents tend to invigorate a space. Lavender tends to promote a sense of relaxation. Cinnamon and vanilla scents, or any that fall into the baking spectrum, promote feelings of comfort.
Choosing a Dispersal Method
The method of dispersal for your home fragrance is just as important as the fragrance itself. Numerous methods are available from plug-ins to candles to incense sticks. If you decide to use a pre-mixed dispersal method, such as with candles, buy the smallest size first. Although you may like the scent in the store, be aware that it will smell different in your home and that you may not like it after all. You can mix your own scent with essential oils or fragrance oils. Mix 1 cup of distilled water with roughly 10 drops of fragrance oil in a spray bottle with a fine mist setting. Shake to stir.
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