> posted by   on June 3rd 2012

Healthy home odour-free

Homeowners go to great lengths to ensure their home looks, feels and smells clean. But if you’ve become accustomed to the scents of your own home, how can you really know if it’s odour-free? Homes trap all kinds of smells — last night’s salmon dinner, dirty gym clothes in the laundry basket, the cat’s litter box and more — but now you can stop odours from lingering.

Healthy home expert, Building Biologist and author Lisa Beres* shares simple solutions to naturally create and maintain a fresh home:

 illustration choice by 360Inspiration

Kitchen refrigerator
Forgotten leftovers can cause a foul odour in your fridge. Clean the fridge drawers and shelves by adding a few drops of natural dish soap to a bowl of baking soda and stir until it creates a thick paste. This will remove odors as well as stains left behind from food. Also store an open box of baking soda inside the fridge to help eliminate odours before they start, and replace it with a fresh box at least every three months.

Above: 2X Lunch Box by Black+Blum

Pests and repellents
Pesky ants and other insects can make their way into your kitchen pantry when they’re on a mission to find food, but dousing them and your kitchen’s surfaces in toxic repellent isn’t a healthy solution for the home or the family. Instead, set a line of coffee grinds, lemon juice, cinnamon or cayenne pepper around doors and windows to create an effective barrier they won’t cross.

Above: Velocita coffee, designed by Voice

Above: Spider farm by Thomas Maincent


Prevent unappealing cooking odours, such as fish, from spreading and lingering throughout the entire home by upgrading to the Filtrete Odor Reduction Filter. It traps odours and gases from the air passing through the filter and helps keep the home fresh for families and houseguests. Synthetic air fresheners, candles and incense only provide temporary relief from odours by masking them in one particular room but will do nothing to remove the odours from the entire home.

Above: New Logica System Olmo Tattile by Valcucine

Above: Concept Kitchen project by Naber, designed by Kilian Schindler


Damp towels
Wet towels from a shower, a trip to the gym or a day at the pool can be a breeding ground for mildew to develop if they sit too long without drying. To rid towels of the mildew smell, first wash them once in hot water with a cup or two of white vinegar. Then wash them again with a natural or eco-friendly laundry detergent. Finally, dry the towels in the dryer on high heat. To avoid mildew and associated smells in the future, hang towels up right away to ensure they dry thoroughly.

Above: styling by Lo Bjurulf

Above: Usuals collection by van eijk & van der lubbe

Pet odors
Furry companions are considered family members to many 72 percent of American households today own either a dog or a cat2. Reduce the unpleasant smell of pet dander by bathing and grooming your pet weekly and establishing pet-free zones in the home, such as the bedroom.

Above: Chaffinch House designed by Vadim Kibardin for Kibardin Design

Above: Chimère Paris, designed by Bloom Room


Candles and air fresheners
Instead of trying to mask the odours with store-bought air fresheners, create your own air freshener by combining 10 drops of an essential oil — such as lavender or eucalyptus — with two cups of water. Many air fresheners may sway you with the scents of fresh cut grass, warm vanilla or tropical fruits, but they can contain synthetic chemicals, such as formaldehyde, which can irritate eyes, skin and throats.

Above: DRIP Maple Syrup, designed by Superficial

Above: Replenish bottle


*About Lisa Beres
Lisa Beres is a healthy home expert, Building Biologist and recognised consultant in the green movement. With her husband Ron, she is the co-founder of RonandLisa.com. She is also the author of the children’s book MY BODY MY HOUSE and co-author of Just GREEN It!, Learn to Create a Healthy Home and The 9 to 5 Greened: 10 Steps to a Healthy Office.


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