Freshen up your home — with items from your pantry


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To help keep your home feeling and smelling fresh, healthy living expert, building biologist and author Lisa Beres shares these tips — many of which can be completed with ingredients you have in your pantry.

Kitchen refrigerator

Remove food odors and stains by cleaning fridge drawers and shelves with a thick paste created by adding a few drops of natural dish soap to a bowl of baking soda.

Pests and repellants

Get rid of ants and other insects by setting a line of coffee grinds, lemon juice, cinnamon or cayenne pepper around doors and windows to create a barrier they won't cross.

Damp towels

Rid towels of mildew by first washing them once in hot water with a cup or two of white vinegar, then washing them again with a natural or eco-friendly laundry detergent and, finally, drying them on high heat.

Pet odors

Reduce the unpleasant smell of pet dander by bathing and grooming your pet weekly and establishing pet-free zones in the home, such as the bedroom.

Candles and air fresheners

Create your own air freshener by combining 10 drops of an essential oil — such as lavender or eucalyptus — with two cups of water.

Lisa Beres is the author of the children's book "My Body My House" and co-author of "Just GREEN It!, Learn to Create a Healthy Home" and "The 9 to 5 Greened: 10 Steps to a Healthy Office."

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