A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Moments

a-picture-is-worth-1000-moments

Pick up your cell phone and scroll through the pictures. You’ll find your pets, your kids, your selfies, your friends, your family, more selfies, some incredulous screen shots of “I can’t believe its.” What if you could relive each of those moments through scent? Capturing moments through scent has always been our passion, and now we’ve teamed up with Bryan Maes of Inspiration Studios to enliven our fragrances with gorgeous photography. We invite you to take a journey through beautiful moments and read the stories of our main candle collection.

after-the-rain-candle

After the Rain – “Aroma Spa” Scented Soy Candle

 It is only through the struggles of life that we can find and appreciate the beauty. Even through the darkest, stormiest of days – after the rain, there is the hope of a beautiful rainbow.

beach-bumming-candle

Beach Bumming – “Sun, Sand, and Sea Mist” Scented Soy Candle

We all long for the lazy days of lounging on a beautiful beach. The smell of salt, our feet in the sand, and the essence of sunscreen all mix together to remind us to just take a moment to relax and be a beach bum.

its-5-oclock-somewhere-candle

It’s 5:00 Somewhere – “Pina Colada Scented” Soy Candle

You’re working late. You’re making final edits, crunching numbers, grading papers, saving lives, changing diapers, whatever you do. You look up at your clock and realize it’s not even time to take lunch yet. The good news – It’s 5:00 Somewhere! This candle is a reminder that you always deserve a moment for you.

summer-break-candle

Summer Break – “Ocean Mist” Scented Soy Candle

Born from the joyous moment of the last day of school, when it’s just you up against your choice of time, summer break is the moment of pure freedom. Whether it means  going for a run through a park, or finding yourself gazing across the waters at the lighthouse, summer break is purely and simply free from responsibility.

unstressed-candle

Unstressed – “Lavender & Chamomile” Scented Soy Candle

The pressures of life can be overwhelming. The greatest authors of our time have always taught us to return to nature to find our peace and calm. Walking through fields of lavender and chamomile, we imagine a moment of absolute soothing and relaxation, a moment where we can truly unwind and become unstressed.

weekend-getaway-candle

Weekend Getaway – “Lavender & Sandalwood” Scented Soy Candle

There is nothing simultaneously more exciting and relaxing than a weekend getaway. Combining the moments of fun on the Tilt-a-Whirl with the soothing fragrances of lavender and sandalwood, the moment when you finally have a chance to be absolutely carefree and whisk away into a land of adventure.


Every moment deserves its own story and we’re always open to hearing yours. Please share a perfect moment below, and hey, you may just become our next candle or soap!

Artisan Entrepreneur of the Year 2016

artisan-entrepreneur-of-the-year-2016

When I opened up my little online shop just 18 short months ago, I never imagined what we would grow into. What began as a hobby and a dream sparked into a full-time business. With no background in business, I studied and learned from the entrepreneurs before me and combined with a will and drive to succeed, I turned Bath Body Candle Moments into a local brand.

Running a business, especially from the ground up, without any knowledge base, is incredibly challenging. I went through some major pitfalls. Yes, I lost money and time, but I gained knowledge and wisdom by listening. Instead of quitting, I chose to evolve.

 

IBN-AOF-2016-Winners.png
CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE SITE

 

I could never have received the honor of Artisan Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 without these major shifts:

  • Studying from brilliant entrepreneurs who offered meaningful, insightful, invaluable feedback – Donna Marie Johnson of Indie Business Network
  • Investing in a website designer who was knowledgeable and a visionary – Dean Pagliaro of eCommerceDean.
  • Investing in product photography with a talented photographer with an eye for branding – Bryan Maes of Inspiration Studios.
  • Being coachable and learning how to blog – Donna DeRosa of Donna DeRosa Coaching

Above all, I am humbled by my customers. My customers who not only show me such love and gratitude but who go above and beyond by sharing my products and sharing our story.

The categories I was honored in are: artisan products, community engagement and customer service, inspired storytelling, and website user experience.

I chose to make the products we offer because I know the value of the little moments of living add up to a life – a life worth living. I knew I could make something that would benefit and save the lives of animals instead of testing on them or using them as experiments. I learned how blogging about our business and offering up my knowledge to the world could help make someone else’s life better. What I didn’t realize was how many of you were watching and listening.

There are no better words to show my gratitude for your vote of confidence than simply thank you.

Thank you for believing in me, in my vision, in my artwork. Thank you for sharing in my mistakes, celebrating my joys, and sticking with me through it all. Thank you for your dedication to a cruelty-free and empty-shelter world. Thank you for giving me purpose. 

kristen-fusaro-pizzopresident-2

Best Selling Trends from the Last 12 Months

Best Selling Trends from the Last 12 Months

One of the most common questions I receive from customers is: “What are your best selling items?” This answer is both easy and complicated because of the nature of our business; we make a lot of Limited Edition products to keep things interesting in our store, so the answer depends on the time of year and the audience.

For some fun, we’re going to break down the trends from the last 12 months!

Best Selling Soap – Women
1. Balance – Lemongrass & Lavender Essential Oil
2. Beach Bumming – Sun, Sand, Sea Mist
3. Moonlight – Rose

Best Selling Soap – Men
1. Balance – Lemongrass & Lavender Essential Oil
2. Black Tie Affair – Black Velvet Peppercorn
3. Mocha Coffee Break – Coffee

Best Selling Bath Bomb
1. Midnight in Paris – Lavender & Chocolate

Most Requested Wholesale and Private Label Item
1. Bath Bombs – We private labeled bath bombs for 4 companies, and wholesaled to 3 companies. In the last 12 months, we’ve made nearly 2500 bath bombs! (Just in case you were wondering, that’s approximately 700 pounds of baking soda.)

Best Debuted Items
1. Don’t Bug Me Natural Bug Deterrent – We sold over 200 bottles in three months!
2. Evanescence Supreme Luxury Facial Serum – Once we announced the product, we had 15 pre-sold in the first three minutes. Since then, we had even considered closing this product down to limit our offerings and we received over 20 emails or messages asking us not to and sold 10 more in the first day. We sold over 25 samples, and have been asked to private label for a famous indie skincare brand.

Best Selling Holiday Products
1. Snow Day! Bath Bombs – Hand-painted to look like snowmen.
2. Trick or Treat! Bath Bombs – Hand-painted to look like jack-o-lanterns.
3. Wrapping Gifts Soap – Scented in Peppermint

Greatest Loyalty
1. Face the Day Sugar Face Scrub – Once people switch to Face the Day, they never go back to their old facial products. (Just read the reviews!)
2. Butter Me Up Face & Body Butter – People who buy Butter Me Up come back and almost always buy more for their friends and family…then,  of course, more for themselves!

Best Selling Candles
1. Unstressed – Lavender & Chamomile
2. Summer Break – Ocean Mist
3. After the Rain – Aroma Spa

Top Two Best Selling Items by Quantity (Overall)
1. Midnight in Paris Bath Bomb
2. Sneak a Smooch Lip Moisturizer

kristen-fusaro-pizzopresident-2

Hacks for Candle Lovers

hacks-for-candle-lovers

You might be thinking – What kind of hacks could there be for candles? Don’t you just light it and make sure you don’t burn the house down? While candle safety is of the utmost importance, this list is for candle lovers who know there’s always a better way to do everything.

Tip #1 – Get yourself a beautifully fragrant soy candle!

  • Trimming your wick to 1/4 inch between burns will reduce the size of your flame which will make your candle burn more slowly and last longer.
  • Trimming your candle wick to 1/4 inch between burns will reduce soot and wick “mushrooming,” creating a cleaner burn.
  • Candles will burn longer and drip less if placed in a freezer for an hour before burning.
  • Don’t burn your fingers trying to light a candle that is hard-to-reach, instead, light up a piece of spaghetti and use it to light the candle.
  • If your candle starts to make a “tunnel” (middle is lower than sides), use a hairdryer to heat the side wax until the candle is even.
  • Need more light from your candle? Place the candle next to a mirror to reflect double the light.
  • If it feels like the candle is losing some of its fragrance, wait until the candle is cool and use a plastic spoon to scrape off a thin layer of wax from the top.
  • Reuse your Bath, Body, Candle Moments candle jar by scraping out the wick at the bottom. After a thorough and sanitized washing (1 part bleach to 5 parts water and absolutely no residue), the glass can be used as a drinking glass, a mini-planter, a pen/pencil holder, and more.
  • To clean up spilled soy wax, use a hairdryer to make the wax liquid again, then use a cleaning wipe to wipe it right off.
  • Extinguish a candle with a snuffer for hardly any smoke. No snuffer? Use a pot cover.
  • Feeling stressed? Watching the flame of a candle and breathing in the fragrance for 15 minutes can calm your mind and relieve tension.

Have any other tips or tricks for candle lovers? We can’t wait to hear it!

kristen-fusaro-pizzopresident-2

 

Give Your Home a Fresh Start: Part Two, Small Changes that Matter

Give Your Home a Fresh Start: Part Two, Small Changes that Matter

In the first of this two-part series for Giving Your Home a Fresh Start, we discussed the power of de-cluttering your home. Once all the steps in part one have been completed, the goal is to change whatever is happening in your home atmosphere that makes you feel disconnected to moments of zen and relaxation.

I’m sure we would all love a huge budget to do some major interior design work, but this is unrealistic for many of us. The good news is that even if we feel bored with our current decor, we don’t need to spring for thousands of dollars; the key is to make small changes in our environment which create a large impact.

  • Get new window blinds. So this one can be a little costly, depending on the type of blinds, but what a difference it makes! Quality blinds will offer you the ability to both let in sunlight and block it out, simultaneously bringing in brightness and creating privacy to make you feel safe. This was one of the first changes I made when I bought my first home. When I bought the house, I swore I would never fight with another window string again – such a small thing, one we often dismiss, but one of complete frustration for me. I would often just leave the shades in whatever state they were in to avoid the ever-incorrigible-window string. The purchase of the cordless window blind changed the entire feel of every room.
  • Invest in a piece of art. The right piece of art in a room can completely change your perception of it, so this task is not to be taken lightly, though it is one small task. You should envision what you love before you seek the piece and avoid impulse-buys. I like to look at it almost like getting a tattoo (ok, clearly, not as permanent, but if you’re spending a few hundred dollars on a piece, you want to love it for years to come) – think about it for a few months, imagine what it will do, and keep looking. Don’t settle.  For me, it was this beautiful brass tree that now sits in my dining room. I always knew I wanted a 3D tree of life on the wall, but I couldn’t find what I wanted… I actually received it as a gift several months after moving in, but it was precisely what I had imagined.
61mnjvgf5l-_sl1024_
Tree of Life Wall Decor
  • Add candles to empty spaces.  If you have a lot of empty space on shelves, bathroom counter-tops, end-tables, or mantelpieces, a few quality candles can create the feeling of coziness and comfort. Depending on the fragrances you choose, you could recreate moments of relaxation, joy, or even holidays. No matter the time of year, I always have a Trimming the Tree and Beach Bumming candle ready-to-burn in my home; I just love the sense that I can bring Christmas or the beach into my house whenever I want.
  • Get a diffuser for your room of respite. Diffusers are beautiful and inexpensive way to make any room into a moment you’re hoping for. With so many aromatherapy blends available on the market, a few drops of a blend in a diffuser can create a moment of peace, serenity, uplifting, energy, or whatever you need. My personal favorite is the GreenAir Serene Living Blue Glass Floor Standing Essential Oil Diffuser and Mister for Aromatherapy (pictured below). Everyone who comes into my house falls absolutely in love with it, and truly, for $39.99, it has made all the difference.
718nh7eyg6l-_sy679_
Get this diffuser on Amazon!
  • Get throw-pillows and couch blankets. Especially to make your living room or den feel cozy, some new throw-pillows can both create a sense of comfort, but also add style and warmth. The key to choosing the right throw-pillow is to off-set the color of your couch; you want opposing colors of the same temperature. (Check out this article by DecorLove on how to choose the right color scheme.) Couch blankets are terrific for both practicality and aesthetics. Again, the right color can add a lovely pop and make you feel at home, but the blanket should also be cuddly, so when you want to just lounge around you have something to snuggle into.
  • Buy yourself that small appliance! There is always one small appliance you’ve been pining over, maybe it’s a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer or a Keurig Coffee Pot – whatever it is, spend the money to bring that joy into your life. Most likely, that appliance is going to make some aspect of your life easier, and to give you those moments, the money is worth the investment to bring big changes into our happiness.
  • Make a photo-tree of your loved ones. In the digital age, we rarely get photos printed anymore, but there is something classic and warm about a printed photo hanging on the wall or on a bookshelf. The photo tree allows you to add many photos, so you can show off your friends, families, and pets all in one place – better yet, it’s a great way to cherish and capture those moments of joy. It makes a space more personal, changing the atmosphere from house to home.
  • Add some plants. Plants not only serve to freshen up a space, but they actually make your air cleaner. I love potted bamboo plantsEdit – 1. they’re virtually impossible to kill, 2. they are mysticized with bringing good fortune, 3. they are small enough to fit in any space. A beautiful potted plant creates the sense of energy and life, awakening the atmosphere of a home.

I would love to hear your tips on small changes to make for a fresh, happier home!

kristen-fusaro-pizzopresident-2

 

There’s a Pyromaniac in All of Us: Why We Love Fire

There's a Pyromaniac in All of Us: Why We Love Fire

I had an amazing conversation today with one of my friends and customers, Diane Federico. She told me a story about a time she took a winter trip up to Vermont and was sitting by a massive outdoor fire, a “hearth,” as she called it, at a local restaurant. She felt peace, she felt relaxed, she felt an overwhelming calm.

A waitress, and local of the town, came by her and asked if she was interested in some trivia. Of course, who doesn’t love intriguing facts? She explained that watching a fire for 15 minutes has the equivalent relaxing benefits as 90 minutes of yoga!

As a chandler, I had to research this tidbit of information, and it turns out, it’s completely true.  An article published on November 11, 2014 by Evolutionary Psychology explains:

Fires involve flickering light, crackling sounds, warmth, and a distinctive smell. For early humans, fire likely extended the day, provided heat, helped with hunting, warded off predators and insects, illuminated dark places, and facilitated cooking.

In early humanity, fire meant there was light at night – the ability to see your loved ones. It meant food, it meant warmth, it meant survivalFire was communal, and it built camaraderie, as everyone would have to work together to gather around the fire to reap its benefits, just as we all love sitting by a campfire and roasting marshmallows.

In ancient Greek mythology, Prometheus (meaning forethought), the Titan who sided with Zeus in the great war, gave humanity fire in the attempts to help protect humanity from all the benefits awarded to animals by his brother, Epimetheus (meaning after-thought). Epimetheus was charged with distributing “gifts” amongst the beings of Earth, and after giving flight to birds, fins to fish, speed, strength, and agility to mammals, there was nothing left for humanity. So, Prometheus gave us fire. He paid the punishment by Zeus, who wanted to keep the power of fire for the gods, but never regretted his actions.

In our modern society, we can easily access heat and cooking gas, but the natural need to be near fire is instilled in our DNA. According to the same Evolutionary Psychology journal, in a study of 226 adults, it was found that watching, listening to, and smelling fire for 15 minutes decreased blood pressure by five points, and the longer people watched, the more their blood pressures dropped.

It’s safe to say that humans will always gravitate to fire, as we love our campfires, fireplaces, and candles. So grab your favorite candle, and watch it glow. If you want even greater calming, try our holiday limited-edition Fireside Chats candle, which not only gives you the beautiful glimmer of firelight, but smells just like a wood-burning fireplace!

Fireside Chats Crackling Fireplace Candle
Buy Fireside Chats Limited Edition Soy Candle Now!

 

What does your soy candle say about you?

What does your soy candle say about you?

We like to imagine our candles sitting on your coffee table, sparking a memory with its glowing light and beautiful fragrance, like an old friend.  Candles are as personal as the people who buy them. When we craft candles, we aim to match the scent with the moment they were crafted to represent. Between the moment and the scent combination, you have a defined character for you and your candle.

The scent you choose to fill your home, apartment, workspace, or to give as a gift, explains a lot about your personality. We’re going to list our top candles and explain what that choice is saying about you.
BP8A9620-EditAfter the Rain Candle
Scent: Aroma Spa

You’re smart, creative, and witty. People love being around you because you see the world from such a critical and humorous perspective. You have a unique twist, and a special artistic ability. You don’t mind being different, and you just laugh at people who pass judgement.

Beach Bumming soy candle sun sand and sea scented

Beach Bumming Candle
Scent: Sun, Sand, and Sea

You’re focused, driven, organized, ambitious, but you have a whimsical side and yearning for freedom from your responsibilities. While you thrive on deadlines and make lists to stay calm, you secretly wish you could just throw all caution to the wind and forget about life for awhile.

It's 5:00 Somewhere soy candle scented in pina colada

It’s 5:00 Somewhere Candle
Scent: Pina Colada

There’s no party until you’re there. You are sociable, with a great sense of humor. You don’t mind being slightly off-color and you believe the world would be a much better place if everybody just relaxed a bit. You can definitely be responsible, and you’ll do what you have to do, eventually.

No Place Like Home Soy Candle Scented in Warm Vanilla

No Place Like Home Candle
Scent: Warm Vanilla

You are kind, generous, and benevolent. Your nurturing nature makes you a good friend to many. You are the first person people will call when they need advice, because you offer it with your full attention and without any judgement. You fill your life with gratitude, and never forget a birthday.

Summer Break Soy Candle Scented in Ocean Mist

Summer Break Soy Candle
Scent: Ocean Mist

You are meticulous with your work and your grooming. You know everything is better when it’s in order, but you don’t dismiss people who aren’t like you, you want to guide them. You make an excellent mentor, teacher, and leader because you take life’s experiences as lessons and use it to help others. Your clean and tidy nature makes you attractive to others.

Unstressed Soy Candle Scented in Lavender and Chamomile

Unstressed Candle
Scent: Lavender and Chamomile

You are always working, whether mentally or physically; even at rest, your mind never stops. You have lots of brilliant ideas and the means to know how to turn them into reality. While you love spending time with your friends and family, you find peace and comfort when you have time alone; that’s when you do your best thinking.

Weekend Getaway Soy Candle Scented in Lavender and Sandalwood

Weekend Getaway Candle
Scent: Lavender and Sandalwood

You are extremely artistic. Whether you’re painting, drawing, crafting, writing, or designing, you always find a way to bring your beautiful ideas to life. You’re mature, poised, sophisticated, and elegant. You much rather have a glass of wine and go to a fancy restaurant than hit up a bar or a concert.

Which candle are you?

 

 

 

Helping to End Animal Testing in the United States #crueltyfree

Helping to End Animal Testing in the United States #crueltyfree

We’ve spoken about it before. This is our passion, our mission – to end all cosmetic testing on animals. We care so much about this mission, we became certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny and PETA. We partnered with Staten Island Hope Animal Rescue to donate a portion of our sales every month to rescuing animals. Now YOU can step in and do more! The Humane Society of the United States is working on legislation to END all cosmetic testing in the US.

H.R. 2858 is the Humane Cosmetics Act, a bill submitted to Congress. This bill prohibits testing cosmetics on animals, effective on the date that is one year after enactment of this Act. No cosmetic may be sold or transported if the final product or any component was developed or manufactured using animal testing after such date, effective three years after enactment of this Act.

Bath, Body, and Candle Moments is proud to be a supporter of this act!

Cruelty Free Beauty - Bath, Body, and Candle Moments

JOIN OUR CRUELTY-FREE BEAUTY FACEBOOK GROUP

Why is this important?

Alternatives to animal testing already exist: Humane and safe cosmetics can be made using thousands of existing ingredients, and several non-animal safety tests are already available for new ingredients. These non-animal alternatives are often cheaper, faster and more relevant to humans, and therefore more reliable predictors of safety. Animal biology is NOT equivalent to human biology.  Products do not need to be tested on animals to be deemed safe.

How do I know if my product is safe if it’s not tested on animals?

It’s all about the ingredients! When companies use safe, natural, botanical ingredients, they do not need to be tested on animals to ensure safety. Companies that create cosmetics can use volunteer human testers before bringing their products to market. People have a voice, a choice, and are often compensated for participating in this type of testing – What animal do you know asks to be tested on?

Why is Bath, Body, and Candle Moments supporting this act?

There was a time when being a vegan and cruelty-free company was posh and revolutionary. We are far beyond that time. It’s time to put our money where our mouth is, and we have from the beginning. We don’t only financially support rescuing animals, we’ve rescued two dogs of our own. But the cruelty against animals is far too much of a global issue to stop there. We simply do not need animals to create beautiful cosmetics and our company PROVES that. As the ASPCA always advocated, we are their voice. Spreading messages on social media is a great start, but it’s time to hold companies accountable.

Some companies give the excuse that to sell internationally, they need to do animal testing. For example, China requires beauty companies to do animal testing. It’s time for companies to value ethics over the almighty dollar. Of course it’s cheaper to source materials and turn a blind eye to how it’s derived, but it’s simply not worth the cost.

Why act now?

This bill has been on the table for over a year and it keeps getting pushed aside from huge companies and their expensive lobbyists. That’s why we need you. We need you to become educated, to look up companies, and stop supporting them by not purchasing their brands anymore. If companies who test on animals will only listen to money, then that’s how we need to advocate. We need to speak to our local representatives to tell them enough is enough. There are simply too many facts proving we do not need to test on animals, and more-so, we need to show that animals were not put on this Earth for exploitation. You can stop this now. Sign the act, call your local rep, share our graphics, stop shopping with cruelty-companies, join our cruelty-free beauty Facebook group.

As Ghandi said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

 

Shop Cruelty Free with Bath Body and Candle Moments
This is our rescue pup, Daisy!

The Art of Handcrafting in a Digital World

The Art of Handcrafting in a Digital World

The digital world is not the evil nemesis of art, it is the blessed child, moving in symphonic gestures, mimicking the guiding mother.

Before crafting became a business, for me it was an escape from the world around me. I would close my laptop, silence my phone, and just start making whatever I felt like making to shut everything down. Sometimes it was cooking dinner or baking, sometimes it was candles, and sometimes it was a scrub.

Ironically, once I turned handcrafting artisan skincare and candles into a business, I found myself glued to my computer and my phone more than I ever was before. Updating the website, writing blogs, posting, commenting, I feel like my technology is attached to me. More often than not, it doesn’t bother me; I enjoy being engaged online – it allows me to connect to people from all over the world, but there are moments when all I want to do is disengage.

And that’s when I close my laptop, silence my phone, and just start making.

I’ll use my nose to arrange fragrances. Florals mixed with woods, and a hint of citrus. Mix, match, test, repeat. I’ll use my eyes to analyze texture. Thick and fluffy, with enough depth to be tangible. I’ll use my hands to create. Pour, stir, whip, drip, angle. I make, and when I make, I create art.

There’s a sense of connectedness I feel when I create. Every pour, mix, sniff, and package is a little part of me being born into the world. A version of every product I make, whether it’s soap, lip balms, or candles, has been factory generated. My grandmothers would sew, stitch by stitch, one little thread at a time, until it became a gown or a fur coat. Somewhere there’s an assembly line worthy of Henry Ford where machines are pouring, filling, stitching, and labeling in mass quantities. While there’s a beauty in the methodical and rhythmic beat of machine precision, it lacks one major aspect: art.

The world needs more art. The aesthetic was once the most important factor in the humanities, dating back to Aristotle’s PoeticsSince the Industrial Age, art has been tossed aside as secondary to mathematics and science. You can always learn about a culture’s values based on the emphasis in their educational system, and for decades, as budgets continue to be slashed, the arts are the first thing to go. In lieu of the arts, the focus has become on technology, math, and science. There is nothing wrong with strengthening these skills, but there’s one major point that seems to be missed in contemporary culture (but a point the Ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, all the way through the Romantics knew): there is no technology, math, and science without art. There is no industry, architecture, engineering, law, and medicine without art.

The art of hand-crafting is at the very core of primal humanity. The irony in all of it is that the digital age is possible because of artbecause of hand-crafting. Before a machine could learn the steps to creating, it must be taught by a creator.

When I shut myself off to the digital world to hand-craft and create art, I’m not really shutting off, and no one who crafts is – in reality, it’s a contribution. All creation is contribution, progressive movement. Art and craftsmanship is innovation. Fingers dancing across a piano, wrists swerving brushes across a canvas, muscles churning the oils to make soap – the art, the beauty, the aesthetic, the innovation. 

It’s not the digital world which proposes the problem, it’s the lack of creation it can induce. The Monks of Tibet practice mandala, where they spend weeks creating a beautiful work of sand art and upon completion, they sweep it away to start again. The digital world begs why, cries out for the inefficiency, but the artist, the handcrafter, understands.

Art is patience. Art is discipline. Art is math, science, philosophy, literature. Handcrafting is art. The digital world cries out for art.

Ditch the Funk: Natural Ways to Eliminate Odor

Ditch the Funk: Natural Ways to Eliminate Odor

The most common question we receive from people is “How do I get rid of XYZ smell?”  That XYZ has been filled with numerous variables from smoke, to fish, to feet, and more. Hey, let’s be real here, not everything always smells quite like it should. As a teacher for ten years, I am all-too familiar with the masking of gym funk with body spray, and as you can imagine, that mask mixed with the funk just equates to one odious classroom!  The good news is that there are healthy ways to eliminate odors without increasing the amount of toxins by using air fresheners, body sprays, or paraffin candles.

Let’s look at why these different additives are toxic first. The main reason is the use of phthalates, which have been linked to common respiratory illness such as allergies and asthma, but even linked to greater problems over time such as reproductive failure and hormone interference. To be fair, the CDC explains that there needs to be a high level of phthalates in order to cause these issues, but when you start noticing that your air fresheners, detergents, candles, perfumes, shampoos, conditioners, soaps (the list goes on), all contain phthalates, you may start to wonder if you really are being exposed to a high level, just because it seems to be everywhere.

Before you freak out and start throwing away everything you own, read the labels. If it’s unclear whether or not the item uses phthalates, we recommend you call or email the company directly.

So, how can you eliminate odors in a natural, vegan way?

  1. One of the simplest, cheapest, and easiest ways to eliminate odors is to open your windows! One of my closest friends in the world lives in Munich, Germany, and he came to visit over last Christmas break. He was opening the windows to air out his guest bed. I quickly started stripping the sheets in preparation to wash them for him, and he pushed my hands away saying that “Americans need more fresh air!” Apparently, this is quite common in Germany, but there is a factual base behind the thinking. Sometimes the air in our homes is even more polluted than the air outside. So go ahead, and let the funk out by opening your windows.
  2. Essential oils! From lavender, to peppermint, to eucalyptus, the use of essential oils is an excellent and natural way to eliminate some funk. Be careful how much you use, though, these can be pretty strong! To get rid of some base funk, such as in bathrooms or in stinky shoes, I use a cheap spray bottle and mix about 10-20 drops of essential oil to about 1-1.5 cups of water.
    1. Essential oils can also be used for cleaning! Mix 5 drops of lavender, 5 drops of citrus blend or lemon, 5 drops of lemongrass with about 2 cups of water, you have a natural anti-viral cleaning agent. You can replace lavender with tea tree oil for an anti-fungal.
  3. Baking soda! Baking soda is excellent at removing funk in small spaces such as closets and refrigerators, or on carpets. For the small spaces, all you really need to do is open up a small box of baking soda and leave it there. You want to replace it about once a month. For carpets, you want to spread it out evenly over the carpet and let it soak in for about 15-20 minutes and then vacuum it up. No harm to pets or kids!
  4. Classic distilled white vinegar is another great solution for eliminating the funk. To get the funk out of the air, soak up a clean cloth with white vinegar, ring it out, and start swinging it around the room. You may look like you’re waving the white flag, but you will be debunking the funk. Distilled white vinegar also acts as an excellent cleaning agent, and can often be used to replace bleach when cleaning super-funky places like kitchen sinks and bathrooms. Not keen on your toilet smelling like your salad, no worries, mix the vinegar in a spray bottle with several drops of your favorite essential oil (use as much or as little as your nose would like).
  5. Light a phthalate-free candle! If you have some time to let it burn, an undyed soy candle with a cotton wick is a natural way to make your air fresher. The oil we use is even skin-safe, but we don’t recommend using this candle on your skin – we just want you to know about the purity level.
  6. Lemons are a natural deodorizer! If you have some funk in the kitchen, slice up a lemon and rub it in anything that needs freshening, follow with a damp cloth to wipe up any excess lemon – this is perfect for funky hands! Funky microwave? No problem – just nook the lemon for about 25 seconds and the freshness will emanate through the microwave.
  7. If you have some sweaty gym shoes that are starting to reek, grab up wads of newspaper and stuff those sneakers. Leave them stuffed for a day or two, and the newspapers will absorb the sweat and most of the odors (if they still stink, a few drops of peppermint essential oil in each will do the trick.)
  8. Dropped a burrito in your car? Leave an unlit soy candle in one of the cup holders and the heat of the sun and closed windows (while you’re parked) will melt the wax naturally and help deodorize the car. This will work during warmer days, when the outside temp is around 75+.

Ditch the funk and go fresh! Do you have any natural, effective ways to make your home fresher?