DIY Air Freshener

Commerical air fresheners are filled with potential toxins and cost a lot – here’s an easy, inexpensive, and much more healthful DIY air freshener recipe!

We live in an old farmhouse, with a basement that’s half-paved, and half-dirt. Normally, I love the unique charm of old places; but after it’s been raining a lot, I don’t. I really struggle to appreciate it on those days. Dampness in the basement of an old farmhouse means one thing: moldy, mildewy basement-smell permeating my whole, entire home.

Even on days there isn’t rain, my house sometimes just has a “funk” – but that’s more related to the people living in the house.

Like my husband. I love that man. He’s wonderful. He’s amazing. He’s the best person-gift God’s ever given me. He also tends to make the house stink – burning a pan of eggs (or a batch of jerky – burned meat is a lovely little aroma, isn’t it?), leaving his dirty socks and smelly work boots around – and, being as it’s hunting season, there’s the joy of realizing he’s just tramped through a freshly manured field in pursuit of sustenance for his family – and then tramped through our house with his hunting shoes still on. Oh, joy. That ain’t mud on my floor, is it?

It’s not just him. I have a toddler, too. That means milk-spills I don’t realize have happened until I notice that the carpet smells sour. Bits of food I don’t realize she never ate until I find them stashed somewhere, thoroughly rotten. That means diapers – just, you know, diapers in general.

So, so many smells.

I used to rely pretty heavily on commercial air fresheners to keep my sane – until I read up on how they work. Most air fresheners don’t really eliminate odors – they mask them, using all sorts of potentially harmful chemicals (read the warning labels – seriously, some of the risks of using air freshener make me think my air just really doesn’t need freshness that badly!). I try to make it a point not to keep anything in my home that, if ingested, could harm K - and that would include tasty-smelling air fresheners. Everything that smells nice smells tasty to a toddler. 

Fortunately, it’s super easy to make DIY air freshener. I’ve clocked myself making this recipe at under a minute, and pricing the cost to me is mere pennies. Moreover, if you want to sanitize your air in addition to freshening it, or de-mildew-ify or anything like that, it’s as simple as just adding a little bit of the appropriate essential oil to the rest of your spray to create a multi-purpose product that still smells great (actually, I can’t vouch for that. It would depend on the combination of essential oils. I’m sure some are really nasty).

I’ve also used this as a linen spray on my pillows, couch, and in guest rooms, and it works great for that as well!

DIY Air Freshener:

  • 6 oz. water
  • 20-40 drops essential oil of choice
  • 1 oz. rubbing alcohol (optional, but it will help your air freshener to dry faster)

 Mix together in a spray bottle and use in stinky rooms, on stinky fabrics, and in stinky shoes!

I’m a fairly predictable person – mine is almost always lavender
-scented; I can’t vouch for how long the smell will last for other essential oils, but when I’ve sprayed this on my pillow, the smell lasts for about 3 days. Since that’s the typical length of a guest’s stay for the holidays, this is a great way to make guest bedrooms more homey and inviting (for those of you who might have Christmas guests coming in to town…)

DIY air freshener

This. Smells. Amazing.

I hope you try this out!


Linked to Your Green Resource on Red&Honey!

Jaime W. (461 Posts)

Jaime is a Christian, a wife, a mom, a writer, an illustrator, and an aspiring homesteader. She loves trying to find new ways to save money and resources--but also save her time, so she can spend as much as possible with her family! !

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  1. We used to live in an old house with the same musty basement smell that you’re talking about. Now that we’ve moved into a new house, it seems everything still has that smell!

    It was great to see this easy, non-toxic way to freshen my home linked up with the Whip it Up Wednesday party! Can’t wait to try it out!

  2. Wow that’s so simple! I hate those commercial air fresheners, but this sounds great!

  3. Boys are smelly! :) I make something similar to this but never used the alcohol.. interesting! I’ll have to try it!

  4. I never thought of making my own air freshener. I have all the ingredients you listed at home and may just try this. It’s definitely greener than conventional options in the market.

  5. Thanks for sharing! So far the only DIY air fresheners I’ve seen are boiling something on the stove. I don’t want to have to turn on my stove for that! So I will have to try this. :-)

    Just a question–which essential oils are disinfecting and also smell good?

  6. This is a great idea! I will definitely be trying this!

  7. I’ve noticed you put a lot of your solutions in plastic containers, like the spray bottle above, but just wanted to mention that essential oils will break plastic down over time, so you should be using glass.


  1. [...] post I chose to pin from last week was this simple-yet-brilliant DIY Air Freshener from Jaime at Slightly Steady. It’s all natural and safe with no yucky chemicals! I have 3 children. Two in diapers. [...]

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