Some of the most common questions household care experts receive are about air fresheners. Air fresheners are designed to make the home smell fresh and clean either by providing a competing scent to bad odors, by introducing an element into the air that eliminates bad odors, or both.
Creating Your Own Air Freshener
Creating your own air fresheners at home can be as simple as gathering together ingredients that have fragrances you enjoy and placing them strategically around the house. These ingredients can include dried herbs and spices such as cinnamon, flowers such as lavender, fruits such as dried orange peel, and even wood shavings such as cedar chips. Most ingredients for creating your own potpourri-style air freshener are available at craft stores.
You can also purchase fragrance oils that can be used for a variety of applications. These oils can be found online, in craft stores and generally in health food stores where alternative medicines are sold. They are available in an almost endless range of scents and can also be combined with one another and with other ingredients to create custom scents.
Scenting Your Furnace Filter
A popular way to spread fragrance throughout the home is to use air fresheners designed to attach to the filters of the furnace or central heating and air unit. These air fresheners can be purchased at home and garden stores and superstores, but they can also be easily made at home using the same fragrance ingredients that work for other applications.
Most furnace filter air fresheners are simply scented pads or bags of potpourri attached to the metal screen on the outside of the filter. When applying a filter air freshener, remember to only apply it to a fresh filter and to attach it to the outside of the outflow filter if your system uses two.
If your favorite fragrance is in an oil form, simply apply a few drops to a folded square of an absorbent fabric--muslin works well, and even bandage gauze works--and use safety pins to attach the fabric to the screen of the furnace filter. Some people even recommend applying a few drops of fragrance oil directly to the filter itself. The method you use will depend on how strong you want your fragrance to be and how often your furnace blows. You will have to experiment to find your desired level of fragrance.
If the source of your scent is solid potpourri, you can use the same sort of fabric stapled or sewn together into a bag and then pinned to the filter as long as the potpourri is not too heavy for the filter screen. If your solid ingredients are not too small for its holes, cheesecloth is also a good option for creating a bag, since it will allow the most fragrance to blow through. Cheesecloth can also be hung on the filter screen with either safety pins or strong paper clips through the holes in the fabric.
Stephannie Hibbard is a High School and College English teacher and freelance writer. She has a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in English and a Master of Arts in Teaching. She has been involved in a number of published articles, websites, and studies and has served professionally as a copy editor for a local newspaper.