Sunday, February 16, 2014

All-Natural Room Freshener - DIY Tutorial

This winter has been a long one, and we're spending more time inside than we normally do because of the dangerously-cold windchills. To uplift our spirits, I've been trying a variety of all-natural room fresheners.

One of the pins I found recently on Pinterest led to One More Moore for a simmering room freshener.

All-natural room freshener that we made.

One More Moore said that about ten years ago at Williams Sonoma they used to simmer a "concoction on the stove that made the whole store smell amazing."

Fresh rosemary sprigs in the crock pot.

To make the mixture, you need:
- a small stockpot filled about 2/3 full with water
- 1 lemon, sliced
- a few sprigs of rosemary
- 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla (I used 2 teaspoons)

Lemon slices ready to be added to the water.

Let it simmer all day long, adding water as needed. You can use the same mix for about 2 days. After that, it no longer smells as fresh.

Vanilla and cinnamon are the last two ingredients 
to add the mixture.

Because propane costs are so high (in Minnesota, propane prices recently have averaged $4.67 per gallon, with the highest price at $5.90 a gallon and the lowest at $3.11 a gallon), I decided to use the crock pot since that uses electricity instead of propane.

The main thing to remember is if you use a stove or crock pot is that unless you bring the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer, you will be waiting for quite a while for the aroma to fill the house.

This was what happened in our case since we used the crock pot. For about the first hour there was very little scent. After that, the kitchen smelled very pleasant with the scent of citrus mixed with rosemary and vanilla.

It is not an overpowering scent. Rather, it freshens one room (the kitchen) well, but doesn't extend much beyond that.

Would I do this again? Perhaps during the summer when I have fresh rosemary growing in the garden and the price of lemons aren't as high.  It has been nice to smell something spring-like as I look out onto a yard and pasture filled with drifts of snow.


As I read through the comments that were left on One More Moore, readers suggested some other combinations which may be interesting to try in the future:

=> 1-3 small cans of pineapple juice depending on the size of the pot, some sliced apples, a few orange peels, 2-3 cinnamon sticks, and about 10 whole cloves.

=> Use cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, orange, lemon, and vanilla in various combinations.

I may try some of these other ideas as a way to freshen up the house for the remaining month or so of winter. (I'm hoping it doesn't last longer than that!)


On another pin that led to Riches to Rags by Dori, it was suggested to put two caps full (not 2 cups) of vanilla extract in a coffee cup or oven proof dish place it in the oven at 300 degrees for one hour. The website said, "Within twenty minutes the whole house smells fantastic!"

I did this after baking biscuits one morning and wasn't that impressed. The kitchen smelled nice for a short while, but it certainly didn't make the entire house smell like vanilla. Making cookies with vanilla extract would have resulted in a much stronger scent.

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