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Apr 04.11

DIY Air Fresheners

Posted In: LUSH Life >> Tips and Tricks

The easiest way to freshen the air is to simply use LUSH products.

However, we do like a good crafty project or two. These are three simple, quick projects to keep any room smelling fresh. You’ll need about five minutes, and a few basic supplies for each. It’s a great regular task to include kids in, when supervised by responsible adults. Safe handling and proper care of essential oils will protect both yourself as well as the precious material. As they are highly valuable, and often low-yielding in origin, they can be pricey. Consult an Herbalist or a respected local purveyor for advice on specific ingredients. Or, start at the grocery section for a few basics you can easily extract essence from--without breaking the bank. Three simple recipes to keep your nose happy at home:

Simmering Spices

Create a healthy mist full of detoxifying and blood-warming essential oils. This is perfect for before guests arrive, as a welcome that will warm them from the inside out. Feel free to experiment and add your own special mix or play up the proportions of a favorite ingredient.

Materials Needed: Pot, 2 cups of water, oranges, whole spices such as cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, peppercorns, and star anise.

1. Bring 2 cups of water to a gentle boil on the stove. While that’s on, slice oranges into rounds about a quarter-inch thick. In a bowl, mix the spices together. Start with a tablespoon of each spice, but play with the proportions as you like.

2. When water boils, add in the freshly sliced oranges and other spices, and turn heat to simmer.

3. Keep on low heat for 20-30 minutes, making sure water does not fully evaporate. The steam will carry the oils into the air and infuse throughout your home.

Room Spray

100ml black bottles for LUSH toners are easily repurposed as containers for air-freshening spritzes. Use your spray in the home, office, or any space needing a dose. Essential oils carry all kinds of therapeutic properties when infused through the air. Care should be used when selecting and handling the oils, as well as proper storage ensured. This is a fun project for children, but don't forget to supervise when handling the precious essential oils. For an alternative, instead of liquid oils, use citrus rinds and other flowering herbs from the garden. Mint, lavender, rosemary, juniper, geranium leaf--anything that leaves a pleasant aroma on the skin after touching in the garden should work. These batches are fun to make, but should be changed much more frequently than any made with essential oils.

Materials Needed: Funnel, small spray bottle, essential oils of your choosing or other plant material.

1. Start with a clean, empty spray bottle.

2. Make sure the work surface is sturdy. Use a funnel to fill the bottle with distilled water, or freshly boiled water.

3. Using a dropper vial, carefully count off drops of essential oils while adding to the water.

4. If using flowering herbs, rip up into bits small enough to fit into the bottle neck. Let ingredients infuse into water for 20 minutes.

5. Gently shake, or roll the bottle between palms, to disperse the oils all through the liquid.

6. Label and keep in the fridge, or away from heat and direct light. Make fresh batches frequently.

Black Pot Air Freshener

Repurpose your empty LUSH black pots to spare the air. This is a simple, easy, and effective way to control odors in likely spots - near laundry, litter boxes, or shoes. This is a non-toxic alternative for areas commonly bustling with kids and animals. Older kids can easily make these and monitor their freshness factor themselves, giving a sense of pride and esteem in their own olfactory space!

Materials needed: Clean, empty LUSH black pot, or other container; citrus rinds or flowering herbs like lavender, mint or rosemary. For an optional cover, drill holes into a black pot’s lids, or use cheesecloth secured with a rubber band. Feel free to artistically label and decorate your container, too!

1. Pour baking soda into your container, filling ¾ of the way (about one cup measured into a blackpot.)

2. For citrus fruit, grate, zest, or peel the rind into small pieces. Enjoy the left-over fruit as a snack or compost it. If using herbs, remove leaves and flowers from larger stems that can then be composted. There’s no reason you can’t combine material--lemon peel and lavender flowers pair beautifully together, for instance!

3. Add fresh material to the baking soda, mixing throughout or arranged on top. Place the container in closets, around waste baskets, or near litter boxes--anywhere that could use freshening up. If you want a covered container, which is convenient if you have explorers afoot with tiny hands or paws, use cheesecloth secured over the top with a rubber band, or drill some small holes into the black pot’s top.

4. Check every week or two. Peel fresh rinds to replace old ones, as needed. Herbs should be good for about a month, but replace as often as you like. Baking Soda should be changed every 2-3 months.