Let’s face it, commercial air fresheners are a bit of a disappointment. They claim to fill your home with all sorts of beautiful scents, but many of them don’t last for more than a few days before their smell seems to completely disappear. Plus, most commonly available air fresheners contain a whole host of chemicals that really aren’t that great to breathe in.
Luckily, there’s a simple alternative to wasting your money on commercial air fresheners – making your own, safely, with essential oils. While essential oils smell great in a diffuser, if you need a burst of freshness, fast, you can easily add them to a homemade air freshener to use in smellier situations in your home.
The best thing about making the DIY air fresheners we’ll be sharing with you is that they’re all-natural, and allow you to experience the health benefits of essential oils at the same time. They also don’t contain harmful substances, and they’re extremely affordable because they use simple ingredients that you most likely already have in your cabinets.
There are a few basic ingredients that you’ll need every time for making homemade air fresheners, so before we go into our recipes, make sure you stock up on the following:
It’s fine to use plain old tap water, but if you’re feeling fancy, distilled water is fine, too.
These are the key ingredient for every recipe we’ll be sharing. Not only do essential oils allow you to achieve all sorts of beautiful scents, but they also help to cleanse the air.
Make sure you go for a good essential oil brand so you can be sure you’re getting the best quality air purification.
It’s a good idea to add a bit of vodka or rubbing alcohol to your air fresheners because alcohol helps the essential oils and water to mix more thoroughly, and helps the air freshener to dry faster. It’s not absolutely essential, but it does tend to produce a better end product.
If you don’t keep a lot of alcohol in your home, a good alternative is vanilla extract. It adds extra punch to the recipe, and you can even make real homemade vanilla extract yourself.
Having a little spray bottle on hand for distributing your air freshener around the room will make life a lot easier. Each of these recipes is designed for an 8-ounce spray bottle, but feel free to double or triple the recipe if you fall in love with it.
Now that you’ve got the ingredients you need, it’s time to get started. Stay tuned for our 10 favourite natural air fresheners to make from essential oils today.
1. Citrus Mint Air Freshener Spray
You can’t beat the combination of citrus and mint to give your home a crisp, invigorating feel. For this recipe, you’ll need three-quarters of a cup of water, plus 2 tablespoons of vodka, rubbing alcohol, or real vanilla extract, 10 drops of wild orange essential oil, and 8 drops of peppermint essential oil. '
Combine the ingredients in your spray bottle and shake it all up before spraying around your home. The citrus will offer an addictive tanginess, while the mint will freshen up the air. This one works well around the holiday season.
2. Sweet Lavender Air Freshener Spray
This gentle, calming spray is perfect for spritzing in your bedrooms before you tuck your kids in for the night. Lavender is known for being a popular aromatherapy choice for sleep and relaxation – and there’s actual scientific evidence to support claims that it cures insomnia and promotes quality sleep, too.
Of course, lavender is also a lovely, refreshing scent that is best associated with (nice smelling) bathrooms. Just mix three-quarters of a cup of water with 2 tablespoons of real vanilla extract, 10 drops of lavender essential oil, and 5 drops of chamomile essential oil.
Chamomile’s scent is sweet, apple-like, and herbaceous, and is often drank in tea for relaxing the mind and body, so it makes a good partner to the lavender.
3. Summer Citrus Air Freshener Spray
Light and airy, this citrus spray is a great natural air freshener for those summer days, when you don’t want anything too heavy in the air. Citrus oils have a bright and invigorating aroma that is a welcoming scent in any home.
Even if you’re not a fan of oranges, your nose probably reacts happily to the citrus scent whenever you catch a whiff of it. Combine three-quarters of a cup of water with 2 tablespoons of vodka, rubbing alcohol, or real vanilla extract, 5 drops of wild orange essential oil, 5 drops of lemon essential oil, 5 drops of lime essential oil, and 5 drops of grapefruit essential oil.
Feel free to eliminate any of these oils if you don’t have them to hand, but the four make a really great flavour combination.
4. Cosy Holiday Air Freshener Spray
We mentioned that the citrus mint air freshener makes a good holiday scent, but the following essential oil combination is absolutely perfect for those cozy Christmas months. Warm, spicy, and comforting, this blend is an all-things holiday rolled into one.
Mix three-quarters of a cup of water with 2 tablespoons of real vanilla extract, 6 drops of wild orange essential oil, 5 drops of cassia or cinnamon essential oil, and 5 drops of clove essential oil. Shake well and spray liberally around your home to spread the holiday cheer.
5. Flower Garden Air Freshener Spray
Floral, fruity, and fresh, this homemade air freshener is the epitome of spring. Use when the lambs are bleating and your kids are celebrating harvest festival at school – or whenever you fancy feeling like the days are brighter and longer than they are.
Combine your usual three-quarters of a cup of water with 2 tablespoons of real vanilla extract, 8 drops of lavender essential oil, 5 drops of geranium essential oil, and 4 drops of grapefruit essential oil. This one has a particularly sweet scent, but it won’t get up your nose as genuine outdoor plants can.
6. Happy Home Air Freshener Spray
Some scents are love-or-hate, while others are universal. This homemade air freshener has the sort of smell that everyone will appreciate, from your grandma to your neighbour to your baby nieces and nephews.
Pour three-quarters of a cup of water, 2 tablespoons of vodka, rubbing alcohol or real vanilla extract, 5 drops of lavender essential oil, 5 drops of lemon essential oil, and 5 drops of rosemary essential oil into your spray bottle and give it a good shake. Then spray it around your home before the guests arrive, and pretend to be surprised by their compliments, as this is just “how the house always smells”.
7. Deodorizing Air Freshener Spray
If you have indoor pets, or you’re trying to mask the lingering odour of cigarette smoke, you’ll appreciate the air-cleansing properties of this simple spray. The problem with most commercial air fresheners is that they compete against the smell, rather than eliminating it.
This particular DIY recipe is perfect for getting rid of those unpleasant smells once and for all. Just mix three-quarters of a cup of water with 2 tablespoons vodka, rubbing alcohol, or real vanilla extract, then add 4 drops of tea tree essential oil, 8 drops of lemon essential oil, and 6 drops of eucalyptus essential oil.
8. Spicy Chai Air Freshener Spray
Your home should truly feel like your place of comfort, and one of the ways to achieve this is through smell. This spicy chai air freshener recipe will give off a cozy aroma that will make you think of sipping your favourite cup of tea by the fireplace on a chilly night.
As usual, you’ll need to fill your spray bottle with three-quarters of a cup of water, then add 2 tablespoons of real vanilla extract, 4 drops of cardamom essential oil, 3 drops of cassia essential oil, 3 drops of clove essential oil, and 2 drops of ginger essential oil. This one is perfect for spraying before a relaxing movie night with your kids or significant other.
9. Woodland Breeze Air Freshener Spray
There’s nothing more refreshing than taking a walk through nature, but it’s not always convenient to drop your household chores and head off in search of your nearest crop of trees. To solve this, bring the natural woodland scent into your own home for a breath of make-believe fresh air.
To your three-quarters of a cup of water, add 2 tablespoons of vodka, rubbing alcohol, or real vanilla extract, plus 7 drops of white fir essential oil, 6 drops of cedarwood essential oil, and 5 drops of frankincense essential oil. Spray around your home, then close your eyes and inhale… You should be transported to another world.
10. Get Focused Air Freshener Spray
Not all scents are designed to put you to sleep, so if you work from home, or the kids doing their homework and need help staying on task, don’t worry – there’s an air freshener for you.
Add three-quarters of a cup of water to a spray bottle, then add 2 tablespoons of vodka, rubbing alcohol, or real vanilla extract, followed by 10 drops of peppermint essential oil, 5 drops of rosemary essential oil, and 5 drops of lemon essential oil. The peppermint scent stimulates the hippocampus area of the brain which controls mental clarity and memory, while the rosemary is said to help you perform tasks better and faster. Smelling lemon has also been found to increase mental stimulation.
Storing your air freshener
It’s fine to store your air fresheners inside a plastic spray bottle, but it’s best to find a glass alternative if you can. Because some essential oils have the tendency to break down plastic, they’re not the best for storing in plastic bottles, but if you don’t have anything more suitable lying around, there’s nothing harmful about using a plastic bottle instead.
Using essential oils to make your own homemade air fresheners is cheap, effective, and more than a little bit addictive! Just make sure to use quality essential oils.
The cheaper ones that seem too good to be true probably are. If you want your scents to be strong enough to last – and you’re looking to avoid cheap, potentially harmful ingredients – only buy your essential oils from a trusted brand. It’s easy enough these days to do your research online and see what the experts and customers have to say about a particular brand of oil.
If you don’t own a drawer-full of essential oils, that’s okay, too! Even if you have just one or two oils to hand, each of them was designed for use on its own, and individually, they produce their own unique scents. Just make sure to make up for the missing oils by adding a few more drops of your chosen oil, or using less water to mix it with.