One Green Thing: Tips for improving the air quality

By Jan Herbert
Rockford Park District

Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.”

Every room in your home has the potential for its “own set of smells.” Most are unpleasant, but some rather ordinary items can take care of many of them!


In the kitchen:

1. Use it to wipe down the refrigerator shelves and walls. Also good for deep cleaning and sanitizing of cutting boards.

2. My husband objects to the mere smell of broccoli — but a bowl of vinegar set on the counter handles it.

3. (Someone sent me another idea for vinegar, but I’m waiting for berry season to try it!)

In the bathroom:

Full-strength vinegar is an excellent cleaner for the toilet. Use about one cup and allow it to sit for a few minutes before scrubbing as usual. Also works for mildew.


Nearly everyone has a “smell” in the basement at one time or another. While “activated charcoal” (the kind at the pet store) is usually recommended, there are those who say charcoal briquettes will do a great job. Use some kind of containers that you already have lying around and pile a few pieces into each. Spread around and replace as needed.


Can tame the odor on smelling clothing waiting to be laundered. Just sprinkle it on and let it sit until you are ready to wash.

If a smell persists in your home and you have a pet, you better start looking to see if your favorite pooch or kitty has brought something home to share and that is hidden from your normal view! Cats are notorious for this!

For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at

From the Jan. 2-8, 2013, issue

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