Fun, easy, natural, homemade ways to freshen the air indoors!
Indoor air quality is becoming more of an issue as people are spending more and more time indoors. Most of us have seen reports on common dangerous household pollutants such as deadly molds, lead from paints, asbestos, and many others. What many people are not aware of are the dangerous chemicals we are willingly bringing into our homes and using in the form of air fresheners! Many commercial air fresheners use chemicals that have detrimental side effects such as agents that deaden your sense of smell, oils that coat your nasal passages, chemicals that can be damaging to skin and eyes, and ingredients that can be very poisonous if accidentally ingested. In addition to being potentially dangerous, many commercial air fresheners don't actually freshen the air, they just mask one odor with another! So, what are we to do if we want a pleasant smelling indoor environment? Try a more natural approach!
The very best way to make indoor air smell good is to maintain a clean environment. Remove the source of any offensive odors instead of just trying to cover up a bad smell with a good one. Cleanliness goes a long way in maintaining a pleasant and healthy environment. Plain white vinegar can be purchased for very little and is an excellent stain and odor fighter, as well as an air freshener. White vinegar can be diluted in a bucket of water and used to mop floors that are moldy, mildewy, have a pet odor, or any other offensive odor. The same solution of vinegar and water can also be used on carpets. Be sure to do a small "test spot" on any surface you are going to clean to make sure it will not be damaged by the vinegar.
The absolute easiest and cheapest way to truely freshen indoor air is to open up widows and doors and allow outside air into your home. Not only will the fresh air smell good, it will help remove any toxic air that might have been building up in your home.
A wide assortment of air fresheners can be found hiding in your kitchen cabinets. Many of the herbs and spices we cook with also make wonderful air fresheners (such as cinnamon, clove, ginger, rosemary, basil, etc.). Try boiling your favorites alone or combined. Scented extracts (such as vanilla, almond, etc.) can also be used. Try dabbing some onto cotton balls and then placing the cotton balls throughout your home. Another kitchen staple renowned for removing odors is baking soda. An open box of baking soda placed in a room will help eliminate odors, especially musty mildew odors. A cup of vinegar can also be used in the same fashion to help remove smells. Simply fill several small bowls with vinegar and place in the area of the offensive smell.
Potpourri is a fun and versatile home air freshener. It can be homemade using dried flowers, herbs, and scented oil or purchased pre-made. Potpourri can be placed in pretty containers throughout the home, in sachets and tucked into closets and drawers. Or even boiled in simmer pots* for an extra strong scent.
Scented oils alone also make wonderful air fresheners. They come in a wide variety of scents and potencies. Oils can be dabbed onto cotton balls, or placed into special porous containers made to hold oils and dissipate their scent. Oils can also be added to boiling water to enhance their scent, or used in simmer pots*.
Be creative when looking for ways to pleasantly scent the air in you home. Even something as simple as a loaf of baking bread could be considered an air freshener if you like the smell. Cut flowers, opening the windows to the smell of a freshly mowed lawn, cutting lemons and placing them out in the open for a fresh blast of citrus scent are all fun, natural, simple ways to make your home smell good!
* A simmer pot is a small kettle shaped pot with an enclosed heating element on the bottom of the pot. It plugs into a standard wall outlet and heats the contents in the pot to enhance their aromas.
A leather jacket is an expensive item of clothing. You can fix yours if it gets a tear or hole in it.
It's a fact: the longer you own a leather jacket, the softer and more comfortable it is to wear. So when you get a tear, cut, burn, or other type of damage to it, you want to repair it quickly. Then, you can continue to wear your leather jacket for a long time to come. The fastest, easiest way to repair your jacket is to purchase a liquid leather repair kit. These kits are fairly inexpensive, and they are readily available via the Internet, as well as in many department stores. Make sure that you follow the manufacturer's instructions for using the kit. Basically, you use the kit in this way:
The kit includes different - colored liquid adhesives. The adhesives are designed to cover the tear or rip. The first step is to choose or mix together the appropriate color(s) to match the color of your leather jacket. Here is a valuable tip that the instructions won't tell you: place a hot pad holder behind the spot in the leather that needs to be repaired. You will find out why this helps later in the article.
The second step is to use the spatula that is included in the kit to spread the adhesive around the damaged spot. Make sure that you spread the adhesive evenly without leaving high or thick spots. Smooth and blend the adhesive so that it looks like the rest of the leather jacket.
The third step is to choose a textured grain paper from the kit. Compare each paper with your jacket so you can choose the best match. The grain paper will form a grain in the adhesive so that it matches the rest of the jacket. Then, place the appropriate paper flatly over the repaired area.
The next step in the instructions is to use the heat applicator included in the kit to heat the paper and the colored liquid adhesive. The heat is the key in making the adhesive bond securely to the jacket. Here's another valuable tip: the hot pad holder that you placed behind the damaged spot will help to hold the heat. You can try to use the applicator by moving it around the paper for several minutes. If, however, it doesn't work the first time, try it once or twice more. If it still doesn't work, if it doesn't produce enough heat to bond the adhesive, try using an iron set on low heat. Carefully run just the tip of the iron over the paper, not the entire iron plate. After the colored liquid adhesive is bonded to the jacket, let the repair cool completely before you put the jacket on.
There is another method you can use to repair a leather jacket, but it is more difficult to do. You can actually patch the damaged leather in basically the same way you would patch a pair of jeans.
You need to remove any rough edges that are around the tear or cut. If the damage is a burn, you will need to cut the entire burn out of the leather jacket.
The next step is to find a leather patch that is the same color and the same grain as the jacket. (This will probably be difficult to do, but not impossible. Be sure to check the Internet if you can't find a leather patch locally.) You will need to cut the patch so that it fits exactly in the cut out area. Next, lay the patch onto a piece of linen that best matches the color of the leather jacket; cut the linen out an inch bigger than the leather patch.
Finally, use a good quality clear adhesive to glue the leather patch into the cut out area of the jacket. Then, glue the linen patch over the leather patch. Place the repair under a heavy book and let it set until the glue dries completely.
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