Sunday, May 24, 2009

Welcome to the 42nd Weekly Edition of Homemaker Monday: Ambience, Odor Neutralizing and a Tot Tip!

Welcome to...

Thank you for joining us! If you're new to this carnival and would like to enter your post, please check HERE for the rules and regs. (By the way, if you have been featured on Homemaker Monday in the past, your name is on my left sidebar. Check it out!)

YOURS: This week's "YOURS" goes to Jen over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam (do you not just LOVE that name?) for her inspiration on creating ambience. Jen's post features how she creates ambience during family dinners by using candlelight, and it just so happens that she and her family turn off the overhead lights and eat by candlelight every time they get together. I just thought that was fascinating. Even with lots of kids around, you CAN have ambience. Just look...

This is absolutely lovely. For more gorgeous photos and to get the low-down on using candles in tablescaping, check out Jen's entire post HERE. You're going to love it and the rest of her blog!

And now for the "how I applied it to my life" feature...

(Warning: The following segment contains poop discussions.)

Last week I shared a YouTube video with you that Tiffany over at The Crafty Homemaker linked up to Homemaker Monday. It showed how to make your own cleaning supplies at home out of everyday ingredients. The tip I specifically enjoyed was that one can place a bowl of vinegar in a room plagued by odors and it supposedly neutralizes the smell. I had to try it in one of my bathrooms that continually smells funky, even immediately after it's cleaned, and here's my report:

The bathroom to which I am referring is the main guest bathroom directly down the hallway off the living room...

We all need our guest bathrooms to smell clean and fresh, but somewhere, somehow, there must not have been a seam sealed correctly because there is always the faint aroma of raw sewage. The only way to alleviate the smell is to either keep the door open at all times, as there are no windows (which is not an option with the twins), or to keep the fan running all the time. The latter option becomes the solution of choice, but in our efforts to save electricity, I cringe every time I walk by and realize that fan is on when, in reality, there must be a better option.

Enter the the YouTube-vinegar idea to which I was introduced last week. The lady said that all you had to do was to set a bowl of vinegar in a room and the odors would be neutralized. I did just that. I placed a small metal bowl on the bottom of the wrought-iron sink stand shown above, turned off the fan...and waited.

The first day there was a very strong aroma of vinegar, but the slight sewer smell was gone. The reaction from the 14-year-old girl who used the guest bathroom was one of shock and chagrin at the harsh vinegar smell. I told her it was better that poop and she said it wasn't and said yes it was and walked away.

That evening, I walked by the bathroom to check out the scent and realized that it smelled slightly off, somewhat like sewer again and was puzzled. The mystery was solved quickly, however, when I looked into the toilet and realized that one of the sweet children had forgotten to flush the toilet again. In normal circumstances, the stench would have been immediately repulsive and unbearable, but with the vinegar bowl, it was only slightly noticeable. I was amazed!

The next day I held a luncheon birthday party and thought it would be best to have some kind of pleasant odor, so I opted for a pomegranate-scented reed vase. After a few hours, the scent became one of pomegranate mingled with vinegar. Not completely unpleasant, but not especially pleasant either. Still, better than the raw sewage smell, so I accepted it without moving the vinegar bowl. I was willing to sacrifice my hostess status for this blog report. Sometimes we just have to make sacrifices like that.

The conclusion: Using a bowl of vinegar in an odiferous place in order to minimize odors absolutely works. However, the room, depending on how small it is, could smell like vinegar. What I plan on doing is leaving the bowl in the bathroom to see if, over time, the vinegar smell will dissipate, but will still neutralize odors. I'll let you know.

MINE: My tip this week is a simple one. One would think I would have learned this many years ago, but I only recently discovered it in my efforts to increase the level of sanity in my household.

If you have a baby or babies who make a mess while eating...

...I find that it is easier to wipe their hands first, and THEN their faces, instead of vice versa. The reasoning behind this is that we all know how much babies hate to have their faces wiped clean. To me, it is much easier to do their hands first, then their faces, instead of doing their faces first, listening to the screaming commence and then trying to clean their hands while the incessant screaming continues. Just a tip most of you have probably figured out, but some of you, if resemble me, may not have. Good luck!

OURS: Okay, now it's your turn. Let's see what all of you wonderful homemakers have to share with us today. Feel free to browse your archives and enter any old posts you may have which you deem appropriate. Thank you for playing along and have a Happy Homemaker Monday!

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Hoosier Homemade said...

I have a bathroom like that too. I missed that link, thanks for sharing!
Thanks for hosting!

Lydia said...

I linked I hope I did it right. Vinegar does work for somethings. I dad would leave little bowls around after a visit from his parents who smoked.
the smoke smell would be gone in a few days.

Christine said...

I am interested in the outcome of this. In our new house, the boys' room smells like CAT - and that's very gross to me. We had the carpets cleaned but it didn't help. I'd love it if vinegar was the solution.

Homemaker Barbi said...

I clean with vinegar, and my daughter hates the smell too!

A better solution is setting either crushed charcoal or baking soda (or both) in shallow layers in containers in the room. A vase or even small plastic bowl would work.

Both baking soda and charcoal have adsorbent properties (NOT absorbent) to bind the chemicals to themselves, eliminating odors to a great degree.

This is why people use open boxes of baking soda in their refrigerators to prevent smells and charcoal filters to purify water.

I use baking soda for my stench old bathroom, especially in the closet to absorb the hamper smells, and it works like a dream. The key is to have several shallow containers placed around the room, instead of just 1.

Let me know if you try it and how it works for you compared to the vinegar test!

Danelle Ice / Homemaker Barbi

Melinda said...

Cool Tip. We have a puppy now so I wonder if this will work with pet odors? I guess I can give it a try. Thanks