Homemade Febreze: 6 Easy Recipes

Have you checked the price of Febreze lately? It’s expensive!

That’s where our handy-dandy list of homemade Febreze recipes comes into play. We will be looking at baking soda, fabric softeners, essentials oils, and one unexpected product in your cupboard or shopping list!

Here are 7 DIY recipes for a homemade Febreze as a room spray or an air freshener in your car, fridge, and anywhere else!

A Few Notes

Just a few quick notes to help navigate through the recipes and ingredient list below.

While all of these recipes technically reduce waste, the first few ones are more focused on saving your green rather than the planet’s, while still providing you with a familiar Febreze scent. They are affordable options that help you avoid the exorbitant costs of name-brand alternatives.

febreze vs homemade air freshener

However, for those concerned about the planet as well, the recipes further down are more focused on sustainability and staying green.

Remember to always test these recipes before using them on delicate surfaces, like fabric or carpet. Test an out-of-sight area first and make sure it doesn’t do any harm!

If you want to see any other options for self-sufficient living, check out these other articles on solar power and collecting your own water on ecopeanut.com!

1. Homemade Febreze with Downy Unstopables and Rubbing Alcohol

While this does mean you’ll need to take a quick trip to the store, it also means you have some options for the fragrance.

Even though you have to spend a little up front, you’re only using a ½ cup of the Unstopables with each batch, so you’ll still be saving quite a bit on the overall cost! The rest of the ingredients are pretty standard household items.

You might notice that isopropyl alcohol makes its first entrance onto the stage in this recipe, too. It won’t be the last.

What You’ll Need

  • ½ cup Downy Unstopables
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 cupfuls of rubbing alcohol
  • Warm water
  • A spray bottle

How To Do It

Mix each ingredient into the spray bottle one at a time, in the order that they’re listed. When you add the warm water at the end, fill the bottle right up until it’s mostly full (just leave enough room to mix it).

Then put the sprayer back on and swish it around until the Unstopables have completely dissolved. Unfortunately, this can take a while. So stay focused, watch until they’re completely gone, and make sure to take breaks! Once the mixture is ready, go ahead and spray away!

Note: You can also make a very similar smelling and long-lasting version of this kind of homemade Febreze with Gain beads. Just add a small amount of the Gain in-wash boosters (the exact amount will depend on how strong you want the scent) to warm water and mix them up!

Pros

  • A variety of scents
  • Smells very similar to the actual Febreze

Cons

  • Can take a while to mix together
  • Not particularly environmentally conscious

Best Suited For: Those with tight budgets who still want that familiar, strong Febreze aroma.

2. Homemade Febreze with Fabric Softener

Here we find another option that helps stretch those grocery budgets, while still giving you that “Febreze feel.”

This one is great for a quick run through the house, spraying all of the furniture and carpets as you go. And it should hold the smell for a long time! It has fantastic, odor-sucking properties that are a building block for many of these recipes.

Pro Tip: Don’t add too much baking soda or it’ll leave a film on everything!

You’ll notice, too, that this one has a couple of different options for the quantities of each ingredient. Specific amounts are not too important here, with the exception of baking soda. Don’t add too much of that (see the video below…)! In fact, you can find several different versions of this recipe here

What You’ll Need

  • Between 2 teaspoons and 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • ⅛ to ¼ cup of fabric softener (depending on how strong you want it)
  • Hot filtered or distilled water
  • A large spray bottle

How To Do It

Once again, mix the ingredients into your spray bottle in the order they’re listed. When you add in the water, you can fill the bottle up, leaving just enough room to mix it well.

You want to make sure the baking soda is able to fully dissolve. 

Pro Tip: Don’t add too much of the baking soda or it’ll leave a film on everything!

Here’s a video that demonstrates how to put this one together!

Pros

  • Easy to make
  • Smells like actual Febreze
  • Allows you to choose from a wide variety of scents

Cons

  • Still has some chemicals
  • Is not as environmentally conscious as other recipes on this list

Best Suited For: This one is best around your home. You can use it on carpets, rugs, and furniture. You can use most Febreze on furniture, but this one does particularly well and holds its scent for a long time.

3. Homemade Febreze with Baking Soda

Now we come to one of the mainstays of odor control (and cleaning in general), historically speaking. It has been an odor-regulating agent for a long time. It’s a bit messy, but it does its job and cleans up well, so who are we to complain?

Now, it can’t do everything, but it can be a key factor in the battle we continually wage over our home, and particularly in the kitchen.

It is one of those rare weapons that can be added to the cleaning arsenal as is, no embellishments needed. No fancy mixing or additional ingredients needed. Thank you, baking soda, for being such a versatile tool in our lives.

What You’ll Need

  • Baking soda
  • A mixing bowl or container (optional)

How To Do It

A simple ingredients list… that’s how we like it. The most iconic use is odor control is in the fridge. If your fridge chronically stinks, just pop an open bowl of baking soda in there. In fact, you don’t even need to put it in a bowl (hence the “optional”). You can just open the box up and stick it right in there! You can also sprinkle it onto things like furniture, into shoes, and add it into hot soapy water to enhance your cleaning solution.

All in all, it gets two thumbs up for its dual odor eating and cleaning powers.

Pros

  • Cheap (seriously, this is as cheap as it gets)
  • Simple to apply
  • Environmentally conscious

Cons

  • Can be really messy

Best Suited For: This DIY recipe is best suited for use in the kitchen, especially the fridge.

4. Homemade Febreze with Vinegar

Next, we have baking soda’s “other half” – the vinegar. These two can do more than just create some wicked science experiments (balloon on top of a soda bottle, anyone?). Vinegar is tried and true, both as a cleaning agent and as an odor control tool (1).

Vinegar isn’t only useful for cooking, though. It also makes a great cleaner and disinfectant because it’s made from acetic acid.

The downside is vinegar brings a scent all its own.

You can often tell when a person uses straight vinegar to clean their house shortly after the initial application. Not because it sticks. Just because it smells like vinegar. However, if you’re okay with the slightly more pungent odor, you could do much worse when it comes to strong household odors.

And besides, it is only temporary, and once it dries, both the vinegar and the source of the bad odor should be long gone.

Vinegar can help with many other tasks around the house along with helping nix that foul odor.

What You’ll Need

  • Vinegar
  • A spray bottle or bucket
  • Water (optional, at a 50:50 ratio to vinegar)

How To Do It

The difference here from the other homemade Febreze recipes we’ve seen is that vinegar does a better job attacking the odor’s source, rather than in the air. Think of it as a fire extinguisher. You don’t aim it at the flames. You aim it at the base of the fire.

Vinegar neutralizes bacteria very well, and it’s that very bacteria that… can you guess? That’s right, that causes so many of the odors around the house! When you use vinegar at the source, the vinegar helps kill any bacteria that might have been left behind, causing a stink.

Vinegar can be used as a spray or mixed into a bucket. It can also be used at full strength or be diluted many times over and still have a very powerful effect. We recommend diluting it to a half and half mixture for any general cleaning/anti-odor use.

Pros

  • Cheap (once again, about as cheap as it gets)
  • Neutralizes bacteria
  • Doubles as a cleaning agent

Cons

  • It can smell pretty intense
  • It doesn’t instantly clean the odor out of the air, which means you’ll want to give time for the application to take effect

Best Suited For: This DIY recipe is for homeowners who don’t mind strong-smelling cleaning agents, and who want to clean up a mess as much as remove its odor. It’s also good for use in smelly places where you want genuinely clean surfaces, like a bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room.

5. Homemade Febreze with Essential Oils

Now we get to one of the recipes that is all the rage.

It’s no secret that essential oils have taken the crunchy, environmentally-conscious world by storm. That said, there are still so many options! Which oils do you pick? Which one is more fragrant?

And most importantly, how can you use them in a homemade Febreze recipe? Let’s take a look.

What You’ll Need

  • 20-30 drops of essential oil of your choice​​​​
  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar, witch hazel, or vodka
  • ¼ to ½ cup of water
  • A spray bottle
  • Diffuser (optional)

Pro Tip: If you put the mixture in a spray bottle, make sure it is one that is appropriate for essential oils. Many essential oils are strong and can affect the plastic in weaker bottles. Strong plastic and even glass spray bottles are excellent options.

How To Do It

Add the essential oil of your choice to the vinegar, witch hazel, or vodka, and mix together in the spray bottle. Then add some water (between ¼ and ½ cup, to your desired concentration), and you’re all set! This is a great way to up the appeal of using a straight vinegar option. Adding some essential oils can be a great way to maximize the cleaning power of vinegar while giving you a pleasant-smelling air freshener for use around the house.

Note: Many recipes suggest the 20 or 30 drop range, but really, you can add as much as you want to get the strength of fragrance you desire.

Pros

  • Versatile scent options
  • Neutralizes vinegar’s strong scent
  • Cleans and kills bad odors like a champ

Cons

  • A bit more expensive than just vinegar or baking soda
  • Be careful what kinds you use, as different essential oils should be used with caution
  • Cannot be used regularly around cats!

Best suited for: Using this one can be helpful in a number of ways. The recipe suggested here works well as a general Febreze, to be sprayed in any stinky area. However, when used with vinegar, in particular, it can take on the quality of a nice-smelling cleaner, which can be used in grungier areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms where both cleaning and odor control are required.

6. Homemade Febreze with Alcohol

Our last recipe is one that makes homemade Febreze with rubbing alcohol. Much like the baking soda and vinegar combos, alcohol has been viewed as a cleaning and sterilizing agent pretty much forever. Whether you picture a cowboy taking a swig out of his flask before pouring the stuff on an open wound, or you picture a clean, sterile environment in a modern hospital room, alcohol can get the job done.

But did you know that while it can clean well, it can also be used as an odor killer? Mixed with the right ingredients, it can make yet another nifty, affordable option to deal with your fetid woes.

What You’ll Need

  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • Warm filtered or distilled water
  • 3 teaspoons rubbing alcohol
  • Spray bottle
  • Essential oils (optional)

How To Do It

Once again, we’ve made sure to put the ingredients in the order that you mix them. Mix the baking soda and about a cup of water together. Then add the alcohol before filling up the rest of the container with more water.

At this point, you’ve got a good mix to help stamp out any odor. However, if you want to be proactive in spreading the good smells as well as eliminating the bad, you can add some essential oils into the mix (add it in small batches until it is as strong as you want it). Check out the video below if you want to see this one put together!

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Environmentally conscious

Cons

  • Unpleasant without essential oils

Best Suited For: This one is another good one to use as a general bad-smell-killing machine throughout the house.

Regroup and Consider

And there you have it. Six DIY homemade Febreze recipes to ward-off odor in your home. Just remember, the store-bought Febreze options may seem convenient, but they’re not doing much in the way of genuinely solving the problem.

Homemade DIY Febreze recipes are the best way to keep things affordable, reduce the number of toxins flying around your breathing space, and get rid of the smell rather than just mask it. Plus, you can make homemade Febreze in 5 minutes total time.

Now the next time you have friends over at the last minute, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll have a top-notch smelling home without going broke, being unhealthy, or hurting the planet. Score!

Which recipe do you find the most intriguing? Comment if you’ve tried one (or are thinking of trying one), and let us know your thoughts! Please like and share the post if you’ve got a sec too!

FAQs

An essential oil that gets rid of bad smells can be lemon, lavender, tea tree, and many others. You can stick to one or combine two to three oils together for a unique (and more personalized) blend. But, be cautious when using oils around the home. Some are toxic to pets.

Yes, you can spray a homemade DIY Febreze on furniture. Most of the recipes in our list are safe to use with tables, sofas, and chairs. However, you should always consider the material of your furniture first. If you have wood furniture, don’t use a recipe with alcohol, or else it will stain. The same thing goes if you have leather. For your peace of mind, spray only in the air.

Yes, you can add a natural disinfectant to your homemade air fresheners. Our vinegar recipe is the best choice if you want an air freshener spray with disinfection properties. Just add a few drops of essential oil and you don’t have to worry about the pungent smell of vinegar.

  1. Vinegar: The Multipurpose, Chemical-Free Household Cleaner You Should Know About. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/cleaning-with-vinegar

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