You only need a few ingredients to make a homemade air freshener, and that’s the great thing about it. Not only do you save money making your own, but you also won’t be filling your home’s air with the toxic chemicals found in commercial air fresheners!
Here are three formulas that I’ve used with success. My favorite is the first recipe, which I like to vary based on the season. In the winter, my homemade air freshener includes cinnamon, clove, ginger and orange oils. In the spring, I go for lighter scents like lavender with lemon, or grapefruit and rose. The point is: experiment with fragrances and discover what smells suit you. That’s half the fun!
Homemade Air Freshener Recipe
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Homemade Air Freshener Using Essential Oils
1.5 ounces of distilled water
1.5 ounces of cheap vodka
20-30 drops of your favorite essential oils
Some combinations to try: Bergamot and blood orange; lavender and vanilla; sweet orange and sage; sandalwood and rose.
Directions: Combine and use as spray, or in reed or heated diffuser. Store unused mixture in a cool, dark place.
Homemade Air Freshener That Deodorizes
The use of vinegar in this homemade air freshener recipe will also eliminate odors, not just mask them. It does a brilliant job of deodorizing garbage cans and diaper pails, too.
1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 whole cloves or 1 stick cinnamon
Directions: Combine in a small pan on the stove. Bring to a boil then turn off heat and allow to reach room temperature. Strain before using, and store unused portion in a cool, dark place.
Lemony Fresh Homemade Air Freshener
2 cups hot water
1/8 cup baking soda
1/2 cup lemon juice (doesn’t have to be fresh)
Directions: Combine the hot water and baking soda in a deep bowl. Stir until the baking soda is fully dissolved. Slowly add the lemon juice — it will fizz, but that’s why you’re using a deep bowl. Once fizzing has stopped, transfer to bottle for use. Store unused portion in a cool, dark place.
How To Use Homemade Air Freshener
As a room spray: To use any of these, simply add them to a spray bottle, shake, and mist the air. Be careful around delicate fabrics (i.e., silk) and leather where essential oils may leave spots. Since essential oils can degrade quickly, store unused spray in a dark container, ideally in the refrigerator. Shake well before your next use.
In a heated diffuser: Fill the diffuser top with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the liquid and allow the heat to spread the aroma through your home. Refill as needed. NOTE: do NOT use Homemade Air Freshener #1 with tea light diffusers as the vodka is highly flammable!
In a reed diffuser: Fill the container 3/4 of the way with your preferred homemade air freshener. Add rattan reeds and wait 2 hours. Turn the reeds end-to-end and insert the dry end into the container. Rotate the reeds daily and refill the container as needed.
This post first appeared on February 2, 2012. It has been updated for clarity and republished.