DIY Natural FebrezeAngela | April 24, 2014
Who among us hasn’t bought Febreze at one time or another?
Yeah, that’s what I thought. When Febreze came out almost 20 years ago, it was a miracle cure to ‘clean the air,’ but really, it’s just a bunch of chemicals and corn. Here is a good article that explains the science behind how it works, if you’re into science and the whatnot.
I used to really like the scent of Febreze, but after an episode where our dog brought a slug into the house on accident (sadly, not the first or last time) – 2Chili and I realized Febreze isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. If you know what slugs eat, you can only imagine the smell associated! We were really disgusted after spraying the Febreze. The combination of slug + chemicals was just too much. (I am going to work on slug removal as a separate project this summer!)
Fast forward a bit, and I disposed of all our bottles of Febreze at the local chemical recycling location, along with a lot of other household cleaners, and went in search of a more natural solution. For what it’s worth, don’t pour Febreze down your drain or out in your yard. It is toxic and must be properly recycled. You can find a recycling location at Earth911.
In searching for recipes for DIY Febreze, I came upon recipe after recipe that uses fabric softener. It may smell similar, but yuck, I can’t imagine it is any better for you than the real deal. But, I did find one recipe from Brown Thumb Mama that was more in line with what I was thinking. Her version uses distilled water, baking soda, and essential oil. Nice.
There are also a couple of variations that use cheap vodka or rubbing alcohol instead of baking soda, but I opted for the baking soda version, as I had everything but the water on hand. The reason for either the baking soda or alcohol is to keep the essential oil from evaporating and remain suspended in the water. They also are both odor absorbers, though I don’t know how much that comes into play here.
As for the essential oils, you can really mix and match to your tastes. Flavors that would work well for this include lavender, citrus, tea tree, grapefruit, and many more. Go with flavors/scents that you like, and you can even mix and match (for example, 5 drops lavender, 5 drops tea tree). Be careful of peppermint for this application, as it is toxic to cats. I had lavender on hand for the Dr. Oz detox bath (2.5 cups Epsom salts, 10 drops lavender oil), so lavender it was! Read more on safely using essential oils here.
Here is the super simple mixture I made, taking the lead from Brown Thumb Mama’s recipe. If you don’t have distilled water, go ahead and use tap/filtered water. Distilled water is nice because tap water typically has things like chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals in it (yummy), but tap water will work fine.
Make Your Own Febreze
What You’ll Need:
- Glass spray bottle (essential oils can break down some plastics)
- Funnel, optional, but does make things easier!
- 10 drops Lavender essential oil
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1.5-2 cups distilled water (my bottle only holds 16 ounces, so I just filled to the top)
- Pour baking soda into spray bottle (this is where the funnel helps)
- Add essential oil on top of it, screw on the lid, and shake/swirl to mix
- Remove lid, top with distilled water, and shake to combine
- Shake lightly before using and use just as you would use Febreze
Breathe easier, knowing you are not poisoning your household!
Ideally, you should label your bottle so you know what’s in it. In this case, I only have one glass bottle, so I didn’t put a label on it.
I wish I had smell-o-vision to share what this smells like with you. It is really lovely!