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A simple air freshener

It’s possible that I’m the only person on the planet who hasn’t done this much until recently, but just in case some of you are in the dark, I’m going to share. 😉

I’m not an enormous fan of plug-in air freshening devices, mainly because they aren’t free and because they do create some unnecessary trash. It’s not that I visit someone’s house and recoil in horror when I see a plug-in, it’s just that I can’t usually bring myself to buy any for my own home.

I do like scented candles, but of course, the ones with non-cheesy scents* don’t come cheap.

*I’m sure you know the ones…the fruit-scented candles that smell like children’s lip gloss, and the pine-scented candles that make your house smell like Pine-Sol.

Even if you don’t normally use air-fresheners, if you’ve made fish for lunch and are then having people over to your house, you might be desperate for some sort of air-freshener.

Not that I would know about that.


If you, like me, appreciate a spice/orange scented smell, this will fill the bill for you. It’s super easy, and as a bonus, it squeezes a little more use out of something that’s headed to the compost.

All you need is citrus peels (I’ve used orange, clementine, and tangerine with no discernible difference in the aroma), cinnamon stocks, and whole cloves.

Just deposit them in a pot (I like to break my cinnamon stick first), add enough water to cover the ingredients, and bring it all to a low simmer.

Once you’ve brought the water to a simmer, you can turn your burner down to a very low heat setting, and you’ll still get a lovely scent. It smells a lot like Russian tea to me…orangey and spicy.

Just be sure not to let all the water boil out, or you’ll have a scorched mess on your hands (fortunately, I’m not speaking from experience, though I’ve certainly scorched other things!)

Once you’re done using the orange peels and spices, you can drain the water and put the solids in your compost pile. No waste!

As far as ingredients go, the orange peels are free, assuming you eat oranges in the winter. The cloves and cinnamon can be more pricey, but check your grocery store to see if they have an ethnic foods or bulk foods section. Weis has an international foods aisle, and I can buy all sorts of spices there for far less than in the regular spice aisle. You can keep an eye out at this time of year for sales on whole spices as well, since they’re considered to be a holiday ingredient.

You can also save your cinnamon stick and cloves to use in the next batch, as I highly doubt they exhaust their entire aromatic capabilities in just one day.

Now that I’ve written this post, I’m wondering if there are any other good spice/peel combinations. If you know of one, leave a comment!


Today’s 365 post: Curling ribbon is harder than it looks.

Joshua’s 365 post: Joshua didn’t get a post up, so I’m hijacking his blog today.


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Friday 22nd of May 2015

Since it's summer now, I make lots of fresh lemonade! I use the leftover lemon rinds, just throw then in the crockpot fill with water and let simmer on low all night. Sometimes I throw in strawberry tops, or old blueberries that are about to go bad. I also like lemon peel mixed with lavender oil. The possibilities are endless!

carla fraser

Sunday 21st of September 2014

thanks but im looking for a orange, vanilla essence, mint leaf and sea salt air freshner


Wednesday 11th of July 2012

I'm way behind the curve on this one, but I'm always looking for new "receipes" for smell-goods at home.

One of my faves is sliced lemon (with a little bit of the peel zested in), vanilla extract, and a few sprigs of rosemary. simmered on low on the stove. smells amazing!


Friday 23rd of December 2011

We leave a pyrex simmering on the woodstove all winter. Moisture for the air and scents for the stale house. I only replace the peels and cinnamon every few weeks, or when the water isn't replaced soon eonough and the whole mess has burnt to the bottom.


Wednesday 21st of December 2011

Paula Deen made this on her show. Aunt Peggy's Potpourri Recipe courtesy Paula Deen (

.Prep Time:10 min Inactive Prep Time:-- Cook Time:1 hr 0 minLevel: EasyServes: varies.Ingredients Sliced apples Sliced lemons Sliced oranges Water Bay leaves Whole cloves Cinnamon sticks Directions In a slow-cooker, combine fruit to preferences of smell. Cover in water. Top with bay leaves, whole cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Leave slow-cooker on low.


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