10 Recipes for Homemade Air Fresheners

10 Recipes for Natural, Homemade Air Fresheners
Natural air fresheners

Natural air fresheners

A great scent can change the feel of a whole room, so it’s natural to want to use pleasant smells to create a warm, inviting home. Unfortunately, though, a lot of the air freshening products available today are leaving behind more than just the smell of flowers or spices – many of these sprays, gels, and candles contain toxic chemicals like VOCs and phthalates that can add to indoor air pollution and contribute to everything from headaches to asthma. So next time you’re looking to spruce up your home, skip the store and try out these ten natural air fresheners.

Clear up odors the natural way:

1. Baking soda

You probably already use it in your fridge, but baking soda can also be one of your best weapons against other nasty indoor smells. Sprinkle a small amount in trash cans or under the bathroom sink to trap odors or spray a mix of one cup water and a few teaspoons of baking soda to clear the air.

2. Use vinegar

Vinegar is another great deodorizer. Set out a small bowl filled with vinegar for a few hours to soak up stinky smells or use a mix of vinegar and water to clean up spills, get rid of smells in the drain, or to keep your toilet smelling fresh.

Make your own:

3. Potpourri

Potpourri

Potpourri

You can dry your own flowers, herbs, and leaves to use for potpourri by laying them out in a cool, dry place. Once they’re dry enough to be brittle (but not so dry they fall apart), mix them with a few drops of your favorite essential oil and a binding material like orris or calamus root, and you’ll have a beautiful, fragrant potpourri to set out anywhere in your home. Experiment with a mix of flowers, herbs, spices, and oils to find the fragrance you like best!

4. Diffuser

Any non-porous container can be used to make a handy and decorative diffuser – try an old wine bottle or a ceramic vase with a narrow opening (the smaller the opening the longer it will take for the oils to evaporate). Fill your container about ¼ full with a 70/30 mixture of a base oil like almond or safflower and an essential oil like peppermint or eucalyptus, then just pop in your reeds or bamboo skewers.

5. Gel air fresheners

Put a few drops of food coloring and around 20 drops of an essential oil in a glass jar. On the stove, heat one cup of water and add four packets unflavored gelatin. Once the gelatin in dissolved, mix in one cup cold water and a tablespoon of salt (to keep the gelatin from getting too firm), then pour the mixture into your jar and make sure the coloring, oil, and gelatin are mixed well. After it sets you’ll have your own homemade gel air freshener. It makes a fun project for kids and is a great way to reuse glass jars you have lying around!

6. Candles

Making your own candles is a great family activity, and once you get started you’ll find there are all kinds of styles you can play around with. To make a simple container candle you’ll need a wax (avoid petroleum waxes and instead look for a natural one like beeswax or vegetable waxes), wicks, coloring, essential oils, straws to keep the wick centered, and a sturdy glass container, most of which can be found at craft stores or online candle making supply sites.

7. Sprays

Put a few drops of an essential oil and a cup of water in a spray bottle, then spritz throughout the room to spread your favorite scent.

Use natural herbs and oils around the house:

8. Cotton balls

Put a few drops of an essential oil on cotton balls then leave them in trash cans or drawers to subtly brighten any room.

9. Heat it up

Simmer a mix of spices in ½ cup of water for half an hour before a party to make your home smell warm and inviting. Try a mix of cinnamon, allspice, and cloves or go fruity by adding in orange and lemon zest.  

10. Freshen the bathroom

Place a few drops of your favorite essential oil inside a toilet paper roll to freshen up your bathroom.

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