We all like a fresh smelling home but hate spending the money on all those solutions, sprays, candles, solids and electric contraptions. It’s actually very easy to make your own air and fabric fresheners and the best part is there are no hidden ingredients, smelly chemicals or other unwanted side effects. Plus, you’ll save a ton of money. Here are my top 5 recipes.
1. Fabric Freshener
1 cup water
2 teaspoons unflavored vodka or witch hazel (both fight germs and help the liquid evaporate quickly)
1 tsp cornstarch (an odor neutralizer)
5 drops essential oil like lemon or lavender (both have anti-bacterial properties)
Combine all the ingredients and stir until the cornstarch dissolves. Pour into clean spray bottle. Shake before each use. Best to test an area before treating and don’t get this into your eyes/leave on skin too long.
2 – Reed Diffuser
Mineral Oil – 1/4 cup (4 T)
Unflavored vodka – 2-3 T (more if the oil is thick, less if the oil is thin)
Essential Oil – 2 – 2 1/4 T (more if you used 3 T vodka)
Container – small vase or jar with a narrow top/wider bottom
Reed Diffusers (available at craft stores or online at amazon.com)
Mix the mineral oil and vodka to blend (emulsify) it. Use a whisk, or if you’re making a big batch, a hand mixer or blender. Once the base is mixed, add the essential oil and again, mix thoroughly. You can play around with these amounts but keep the base (oil and vodka) to essential oil ratio around 3:1. So if you have 6 T of base, you’ll need 2 T of essential oils.
Pour the liquid in your jar and add 6 diffusers. Flip the diffusers daily to keep the fragrance flowing through the diffusers.
3 – Freshen with Fruit
Oranges have outstanding deodorizing properties. Poke full cloves into an orange of sprinkle orange peels with salt (2 tsp per whole orange peel). Place in a plate or bowl in the “offending” area. Replace when no longer effective.
You can also bake apple cores or other fruits sprinkled with spices. Place them in foil or small pan, spray with oil to keep from burning and cook at 200 degrees for an hour or so. You can leave it in the oven or put them in a bowl. The scent will linger for hours afterwards.
4 – Deodorizing Disks
2 cups baking soda
1-2 cups distilled or purified water
Essential oil (3-4 drops)
Combine the oil with 1/2 cup of the water and pour into the baking soda. Mix well and keep adding water until the baking soda forms a thick paste. Spoon the mixture into molds, muffin tins or drop onto a cookie tray lined with wax paper (we’ll call these deodorizing blobs…). Let dry until fully hardened – about 24- 48 hours.
Place the disks in jars, in the bottom of garbage cans/diaper pails or any place you’d like to keep fresh. Avoid putting them directly on/next to clothing, though. These should deodorize for about a month. After that, you can crumble the disks and add to your laundry, clean the toilet or sprinkle in garden paths to keep weeds away.
5 – All Purpose Cleaner
This cleaner is good for all but marble and sealed tile or wood. As with all cleaners, keep this away from your eyes or leave on skin.
1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 cup white vinegar
Half gallon of water
Mix ingredients until the baking soda dissolves. Pour into spray bottles as needed. Make sure you shake the mix before refilling or using.
You can add a few drops of lemon or orange oil, both good deodorizers if you don’t like the vinegar odor. But the odor will dissipate quickly leaving a fresh smell behind.