It’s that time of the year when our olfactory nerves get affronted by odour from molds and mildew from furniture and wardrobes. Add to this the woes of pandemic and lockdown where fancy outfits have not been used for the past two years.
Don’t let the torrential downpour dampen the atmosphere or your mood. Ventilation and exhaust fans are the best ways to keep humidity at bay.
“People in tropical places should make sure that furniture is well ventilated by keeping them away from walls. If you have wooden furniture, paint them with a primer or a mixture of bleach and water — that should do the trick!” says Kshitij Mirania, Partner, Mirania Luxury Living.
Fungi is a problem during the monsoons, as they breed in hot and humid conditions. Acid is their adversary. Anything acidic in nature, like lemon, baking soda or vinegar, which are commonly available in every home, bumps off mould and slays the musty stench. Anvesha S. Ahuja, co-founder of Aroma India, recommends, “Wax tablets infused with natural fragrances like lavender, and cinnamon which calm the senses and give you a refreshing whiff of fragrance every time you open a cupboard or visit a space where it has been placed.”
Indigenous fragrances for bathrooms
Bathrooms tend to have lingering odour. To prevent this, the bathroom needs to be clean and properly ventilated so that it remains dry. It may seem like too much work to keep a bathroom smelling good all the time, but it’s actually quite simple. “Using luxury products like essential oils, reed diffusers, potpourri or scented wax tablets in your bathroom will help mask bad smells. A gentle whiff of your favourite natural fragrances keeps the place smelling good without being overwhelming. These products may seem expensive but are quite long lasting,” says Anvesha.
Wax tablets are safe
Home-made wax tablets or wax sachets made from natural ingredients and organic soy wax, flowers and essential oils are the perfect solution for musty wardrobes this monsoon season. They are hassle-free, safe, and last long. They diffuse mild perfume and you get a hint of the fresh scent every time you open your closet instead of the stuffy odour caused by dampness. “Scented wax tablets last for 4-5 months. Being a cold-throw product, they don’t melt,” says Anvesha.
“HEPA (High-efficiency particulate air filters) absorb 99.97% of particulate matter, whereas Ionizers have been proven ineffective. And ozone purifiers have to be avoided at all costs,” cautions Kshitij.
No two products should be mixed for the same purpose. “Using an aerosol spray on or with a tablet is not recommended, as their molecular properties are entirely different and using the two items together may be counter-productive,” warns Anvesha. Spraying aerosol room fresheners may even lead to stains on certain textiles.
Tips to prevent clothes turning damp and smelly in the rains
l Ensure only clean and dry clothes are stored in cupboards or drawers to prevent dampness.
l Air needs to circulate in cupboards, and so they need to be aired.
l The ideal way to deal with musty odour is to have a natural odour neutraliser which can diffuse fragrance slowly and negate the molecules causing musty odour.
l Coffee beans, dried sprigs of lavender or cinnamon are wonderful natural fragrances that can be placed in breathable cotton sachets in your closet to keep the space and clothes stored smelling fresh.
l Baking soda is a natural odour absorber and a bowl of it can be placed in your cabinets to absorb any bad smells or moisture. However, it will need to be replaced time and again.
— Anvesha S. Ahuja
Tips to avert pests and odour
l Cotton bags are best for storing.
l Neem leaves keep insects away.
l Keep footwear in open cabinets. Stuff newspapers in shoes to absorb moisture.
l Silica gel and naphthalene balls help avert pest infestation.
l Dried flowers, a bowl of spices and a diffuser or cotton balls dipped in essential oils will keep unpleasant odours away.
l Wax candles and scented wax tablets ensure your drawers, wardrobes and cabinets smell good in damp weather.
l Brewing herbal tea, freshly ground coffee or spice powders will spread pleasant smells around the house.
l Burn camphor in every room. Keep the windows and doors of the room shut for 20 minutes afterwards.