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Tip of the week: How to neutralize odors the natural way

Open a window, simmer lemon slices, evaporate vinegar, and more

Open a window. Always try the simplest solution first: “Fresh air alone can eradicate many unpleasant smells,” and it sure beats masking odors with a commercial air freshener, which can contain toxic chemicals.

Simmer lemon slices. Stubborn odors are most easily addressed once you’ve determined the source. To chase away sulfuric smells or strong odors from cooking fish, put a handful of cloves and a half dozen lemon slices in water, then simmer for 10 minutes.

Evaporate vinegar. Vinegar has the power to neutralize alkaline smells, including fish aromas and cigarette smoke. Put half an inch in a deep dish and set it out until the offending odor dissipates.

Display eucalyptus. Sprigs of eucalyptus will freshen a stale, musty room. To speed the process, simmer the leaves in water for 10 minutes.

Spike an orange or two. Create a pomander by studding an orange with whole cloves set close together and evenly spaced. Set in a musty closet or drawer; it’ll sweeten the air for up to a year.

Open a box of baking soda. The old refrigerator trick works anywhere in the house because baking soda absorbs both acid and alkaline smells.

Source: Martha Stewart Living

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