(Clean Smelling) Home for the Holidays!

(Clean Smelling) Home for the Holidays!

You want your home to smell clean every day of the year. But there’s something about a home during the holiday: maybe it’s the scent of a freshly-baked pie, the soft smoke of a fireplace, or a pine garland on the hearth. Home fragrance companies now offer a huge variety of sprays and candles that can give your home a semblance of that warm, holiday smell…but is it safe? Will it irritate friends and family members who are sensitive to artificial fragrances? Will your home smell more like chemicals instead of the real thing?

The problem is, scented candles often come with unwanted side effects. Be on the lookout for candles made of paraffin, which is a petroleum byproduct. The soot it produces when burned is carcinogenic and can cause respiratory distress, making conditions worse for those who suffer with allergies, asthma or lung issues.

Oftentimes, the fragrances used in candles and sprays contain synthetic oils, which release microscopic particles into the air that can cause health problems when inhaled. If you do enjoy burning candles for the light and atmosphere, you’ll want to make sure they’re either 100% pure beeswax or 100% vegetable based.

Most people use candles not just for ambiance, but to “freshen” the air in their homes — especially around the holidays when company will be coming over. Investing in a high-quality air purifier like the Beyond Guardian Air features better-than-HEPA filtration and ionization, and harnesses the power of  ActivePure Technology to destroy up to 99% of contaminants in the air and on surfaces.

But if you want to give your home that cozy, holiday scent without turning to artificial fragrances, there are so many easy ways to maintain that year-round freshness and keep your air breathable while still softly scenting your surroundings the natural way! Turn to Mother Nature for some of the truest, safest ways to make your home smell wonderful during the holiday season. Here are some of our favorite ideas:

Holiday Cheer

Place pot with 4 cups of water on the stove. In the pot place:

  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
  • 4 bay leaves
  • ½ cup cranberries
  • 2 T whole cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 T vanilla

Simmer over very low heat. As water begins to evaporate, add more to the pot. A small portion of this liquid may also be put into a ceramic fondue pot with a tealight underneath.

Home for the Holidays

  • 5 cups of apple cider
  • Half of a nutmeg, grated
  • 1 t whole cloves
  • 1 T pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Mix ingredients together and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, and simmer for 2 – 4 hours. If mixture begins to run low on liquid, add more cider as needed.

Winter Wonderland Potpourri

  • Dried orange slices (available for purchase or can be dried in oven by cooking at 280 degrees for 4 hours)
  • Small pine cones
  • 4 whole cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
  • Half-dozen pieces of star anise
  • Add few drops of vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in ceramic bowl and mix together.

The Cozy Home

Simmer together:

  • 2 C water
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2-3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 t of vanilla

Sweet Citrus Ginger

Simmer together:

  • Orange slices
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Freshly grated ginger
  • 2-3 drops of almond extract

Keep an occasional eye on your pot to ensure it’s always filled with water to prevent mixture from burning.

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