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2X4: Four Battle-Tested Uses for Cinnamon

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Jessica
06.20.13

Using cinnamon around the house and in medicine is nothing new. In fact, Chinese medical journals mention using cinnamon as early as 2800 B.C. Whoa! If you’re new to the cinnamon game, start with one of these household uses:

Photo 1: West Elm

Freshen the Air. A light bulb can do more than light up a room – it can make the space smell great, too! Turn a basic bulb into a scent diffuser by rubbing a drop of cinnamon essential oil onto the bulb when it’s cool. When you turn the lights on, the heat will spread the scent throughout the room. If you want more cinnamon scent, just use more oil. Tip: For a double-cinnamon-whammy, simmer a pot of potpourri on the stove, too.

Repel Moths. Moths may not be dangerous, but they’re definitely pesky. If moths are conducting nightly pep rallies beneath all of your exterior lights, cinnamon can help. Fill a few cotton bags or cheesecloths with cinnamon and hang the bags outside, near the lights that are attracting the winged creatures. The scent will repel moths and subtly perfume the air around your entryways. Win-win!

Keep Ants Outside. Summer is the season of watermelon, sundresses and ant infestations. Keep the ants outside with cinnamon. This spice is basically ant kryptonite, so sprinkle it liberally in your kitchen. The spice won’t harm kids or pets, so it’s okay to have a heavy hand. If you know where ants are getting in – a loose window or doorway – sprinkle a line of cinnamon across the entryway. Check out Pest Control: Ants for more ant-fighting tips.

Make Mouthwash. Mouthwash is a great way to keep friends and avoid scaring away significant others, but it can get pricy week after week. To save a little (and flex your DIY muscles), make your own mouthwash with cinnamon and vodka. That’s right, vodka. Mix nine tablespoons of cinnamon with a cup of vodka. Let it sit for two weeks in an airtight container and then strain the brown liquid through a coffee filter. Gargle and spit. Fresh breath! Note: If you’re skeptical, watch this MythBusters video.

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