Homemade Air Freshener for Diffusers or Sprays


You only need a few ingredients to make a homemade air freshener, and that’s the great thing about it. You’ll save money making your own, and you won’t be filling your home’s air with irritants.

As research is starting to show, commercial cleaning products and air fresheners significantly contribute to indoor air pollution. This, in turn, is associated with a variety of unpleasant health conditions. That’s why it’s so important to know what’s in your cleaning products and to take steps to maintain healthy indoor air.

Homemade Air Freshener Recipes

Homemade Air Freshener - Use as a spray or in a diffuser

Here are three homemade air fresheners to mix and match around your home. Use them as room sprays or add fragrance to your home with a heated or reed diffuser.

As a room spray: To use any of these, add them to a spray bottle and mist the air. Do not spray delicate fabrics (i.e., silk) or leather, since the essential oils may leave spots. Shake well before each use.

In a mist diffuser: Fill an electric fragrance diffuser with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the liquid and allow the heat to spread the aroma through your home. Refill as needed. (Here’s the diffuser that I use — it’s battery-operated, which means I can put it anywhere in a room. It looks great on my coffee table!)

In a reed diffuser: Fill a bottle or jar 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 as needed.

Homemade Air Freshener Using Essential Oils

If you want, vary the scent based on the season. In the winter, try cinnamon, clove, ginger, and orange oils. In the spring, make a homemade air freshener featuring 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!

1.5 ounces of distilled water
1.5 ounces of cheap vodka
20-30 drops of your favorite essential oils


1. Combine and use as a spray, or in reed or electric diffuser.
2. Store unused mixture in a cool, dark place.

Deodorizing Homemade Air Freshener

The use of vinegar in this homemade air freshener recipe also eliminates odors while adding fragrance, too. It does a brilliant job of deodorizing garbage cans and diaper pails.

1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 whole cloves or 1 stick cinnamon


1. Combine all ingredients in a small pan on the stove.
2. Bring to a boil then turn off heat and allow to reach room temperature.
3. Strain and store unused portion in a cool, dark place.

Lemony Fresh Homemade Air Freshener

While lemon juice does neutralize baking soda, that’s only relevant when we’re trying to use the baking soda for cleaning. Here, the reaction doesn’t destroy baking soda’s odor-killing power. The combination leaves a nice, clean fragrance.


2 cups hot water
1/8 cup baking soda
1/2 cup lemon juice (doesn’t have to be fresh)

1. Combine the water and baking soda in a deep bowl. Stir until the baking soda fully dissolves.
2. Slowly add the lemon juice — it will fizz, but that’s why you’re using a deep bowl.
3. Once fizzing stops, transfer the mixture to a bottle for use.
4. Store unused portion in a cool, dark place.


  1. Melissa-TheHappierHomemaker says:

    Very cool! I can’t wait to try these! I’m a new subscriber!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      YAY! I like #2 in the fall and winter; the cloves and vanilla give the house such a warm, spicy smell. 

    2. Melissa@TheHappierHomemaker says:

      I bought my spray bottle today, off to make #2 –only because I have no vodka on hand…I figured red wine wouldn’t have the same effect 😉

    3. Katie Berry says:

      LOL! Red wine would definitely *not* have the effect you’re looking for. On the other hand, if you drink enough of it you won’t care what the house smells like.

  2. Jamie Cross says:

    Loving your blog! Your lists are so helpful and your homemade cleaning supplies make me feel so much better when it comes to family and pet exposure. Question… When you make the air freshener #1, do you ever double or even triple the recipe? It doesn’t seem like it would last too long in such a small amount. Thanks so much!

  3. Liz Smits says:

    I decided to get serious about being a stay at home mom this year and found your site. I am 41 and have four children, three of which are still at home. I have always been a clean fanatic but I am learning so much from your site. It’s amazing how many places you forget to clean. Thank you so much for taking the time to put your to do list up for me to share. It is like you are doing half my work for me.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Thank you for the kind words, Liz! Being a full-time SAHM is tough work, and it’s so difficult to keep track of all the little things we’re expected to do on top of the obvious care-taking, cooking and cleaning. Kudos to you for the time and effort you’re putting into it!

  4. shabnam E' phyu win says:

    How much of gelatine is in one packet?im asking for the recipe of air freshner gels. I cant get gelatines in packets here so…i would like to approximate.Like in tablespoons or cups?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I assume you’re referring to my recipe for homemade air freshener gel? There are 7.2 grams of gelatine in a packet, so roughly 1/2 tablespoon.

    2. shabnam E' phyu win says:

      Thanks so much for replying.I love doing housework and your recipes are great.They leave my house smelling fresh and clean.With a 8 month old baby crawling around in my house…i fear using harsh chemicals.Eventhough Dettol is safe…i switched with your alcohol based recipes.Currently im using grapefruit smell in my floor cleaner and citrus essence in all purpose cleaner. 🙂

      Lots of love.

  5. Hey Katie! I love your blog!! I follow so much of your advice! My question is, when I make your homemade air freshener #3 it has no smell! Am I doing something wrong?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You aren’t smelling the lemon in the Lemony Fresh Air Freshener recipe? Oh no! You’re welcome to add essential oils to it if you’d like additional fragrance.

  6. NachoMama says:

    For the homemade air freshener + essential oils – can you use isopropyl alcohol instead and maybe extra essential oils? I guessing/assuming you use the alcohol for it’s evaporative qualities…..
    I work at a place where people are in recovery so can’t have them drinking the air freshener.!
    Otherwise can’t wait to use some of your ideas!!!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I completely understand the concern, and you’re spot on figuring out that the vodka is in there for evaporative purposes. You could use isopropyl alcohol but will need to be very careful to keep it away from open flames like candles. It’s much more flammable than vodka. I’d probably reduce the amount used to half and bump up the water, but play around with it until you find a mixture you like. 🙂

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