Make your home smell fresh and chemical free with these DIY natural cleaners, air fresheners and scent makers.

Whether it’s kids, pets or simply having to close the house up more during cooler winter months, your home can get stuffy. Keeping it clean and fresh doesn’t mean you have to buy or use expensive, chemical-laden cleaners and air fresheners. Try these ideas for a more natural and sweet-smelling home.

Clean with baking soda and vinegar. You can’t beat these two kitchen staples for cleaning. Instead of scrubbing your sink with bleach-filled cleanser, sprinkle it with baking soda, and spray it with a mixture of vinegar and water. After it foams for a few minutes, use a washcloth, sponge or nonabrasive pad to scrape away stains. Apply again to tough areas. You can use a spray bottle filled with about a teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of dishwashing soap and 2 tablespoons of vinegar filled with warm water as your all-purpose household cleaner.

Add some essential oil. Add lemon essential oil to your all-purpose cleaner to give it a fresh, clean scent. Or use essential oil to make your own deodorizing spray. Label another spray bottle and fill it with distilled water, a teaspoon of baking soda and a dozen drops of essential oil. A favorite is lavender, but you can use lemon, orange, jasmine, rose or eucalyptus. If your spouse or family has preferences, choose a citrus oil for the kitchen area and another fragrance for living, bedroom or bath areas.

Back to the vinegar. It might not smell fresh, but the acid in vinegar works on hard water deposits. You can soak a clean rag in vinegar and place it over a faucet with hard-water stains or deposits for a few minutes to break down the deposits. Vinegar won’t leave a film on floors or countertops.

Use only two ingredients. You’ve used baking soda in your refrigerator to absorb odors. Pour some into a decorative jar; poke a few holes in the lid and decorate the jar to match the room. Add a few drops of essential oil to give your room deodorizer a pleasant fragrance.

Borax powder scours and cleans clothes. Add borax to laundry to whiten and freshen. Just adding to regular or environmentally-friendly detergent can help soften water and improve cleaning. Or use a recipe to make your own homemade detergent with borax and other ingredients. The natural powder is said to work great on stains in carpets and fabrics.

Simmer savories for a sweet-smelling home. Make your own simmering potpourri using items you have in your cabinets. Simply placing hot apple cider and cinnamon sticks in a crock pot and tipping the lid can fill your home with cozy winter scents. Or simmer a pot on the stove that adds a touch of vanilla and almond extract to the cinnamon. If you don’t have essential oils handy, simmer some peppermint extract, or even better, fresh mint on the stove. Or lightly ground rose petals, and add a few drops of rose essential oil to make a fresh dry potpourri. Fill it with small pine cones, rose hips or other attractive dried collectibles from your garden.

Make your own scented candle. Using wax flakes and essential oils, you can make scented candles in small glass jars or mason jars. Or add lavender buds to make your own lavender-scented candles for a fresh and calming scent to fill any room of your home.

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