A 30-Second Organic Air Freshener… Made From Trash

updated May 6, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

We’ve all heard of the old real-estate trick of sticking a cookie dough log in the oven and waiting for it to magically sell your house (or burn it down). But this process seems wasteful of food, or at its very best—when you stuff down your over-baked cookie deodorizer—disrespectful to the privilege and pleasure of eating. Here’s a way to freshen your home with garbage, yes, garbage.

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Okay, I don’t mean garbage in the sense of your used Charmin roll; but the method does make use of already discarded food parts. And you’ll feel smugly proud of your upcycling self for so easily turning lemons into lemon-scented air.

What You Need


2 (or more) pieces of leftover, inedible fruit parts – e.g. apple core, orange peel
1 sprinkle ground, sweet-smelling spice – e.g. cinnamon, nutmeg, dried vanilla powder
Oil spray
6-inch piece of wax paper, tin foil or small, oven-safe ramekin


1. Enjoy delicious apple or other fruit of choice. I highly recommend pink ladies right now.

2. Take inedible waste- apple core, orange rind, banana peel- and put on piece of foil or wax paper- folding up edges of paper to make a little well that will keep the waste from leaking out.

3. Spice and Oil: Sprinkle with cinnamon, or other fragrant spice. You can feel free to go crazy here (vanilla extract, cardamom, etc). But remember you’re feeding your nose not your mouth, so keep it simple. And quickness is key: This isn’t Martha Stewart’s 2 weeks potpourri primer. Then liberally mist oil spray to prevent burning.

4. Put in 200 degree Fahrenheit oven until you smell the lovely and all-natural apple/orange/[insert your fruit here] pie-like fragrance. Keep on warm as long as you desire full force of scent. The smell will last for a couple hours even after you turn off oven; just don’t open the door.

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(Images: Laurie Siegel)