Cut the Chemicals. Ditch Febreze and Make Your Own Fabric Freshener!

essential oilSo, a lot of you know now that I am not a big fan of commercial cleaning products. I don’t like the idea of spraying chemicals all over my home, so I do what I can to avoid it. Of course, I do not clean EVERYTHING with salt and vinegar! Different jobs call for different types of cleaners. You know that I do my laundy with soap nuts. That’s because I don’t want my laundry to be swimming in chemcials. I don’t want to sit around in toxins. That is the same reasoning behind recently trying to find a natural fabric freshing spray.

Like most folks these days, I used to use Febreze. Well, that’s kind of a lie… I used the generic brand… LOL Anyway, I LOVE the way the stuff smells! I mean, I really love it… but at the same time, I know that it leaves residue on the couch, and I hate sitting on it, or letting the dog up on it. I’ve looked around for a couple of different recipes for an all natural and toxin free fabric spray, and have one that really works! In the end, you should try out the one with the scent you like best! DO invest in some nice, quality essential oils. Go to your local health food/organic food store and ask an employee which essential oils are most trusted. They may not be the most popular! When it comes to oils, quality means MUCH MORE than quantity/flashy packaging!

Homemade Fabric Refreshener

•16 ounce empty spray bottle
•Everclear, vodka, rubbing alcohol or witch hazel
•4-6 drops essential oil

Add ½ cup 100 proof vodka to a 16 ounce spray bottle.

Add ½ teaspoon essential oil of choice (or a mixture of oils).

Fill the remainder of the bottle with distilled water. Shake and spray!!

You can use Everclear, vodka, rubbing alcohol or witch hazel. The rubbing alcohol is my least favorite, but it works. If you choose to use rubbing alcohol, remember that it will leave a scent behind for a few minutes before dissipating. Do not use this spray around an open flame.

You can also put a little bit in a small, travel size pump bottle to freshen up your car or your cubicle!

Suggested Essential Oils:
Lavender – stress reduction
Cedar – a gentile woody smell to freshen up your closet and drawers and dissuade moths from making their homes in your wool sweaters. Ceder is also great for pet beds because fleas can’t stand the smell!
Mulberry – great around the holidays
Vanilla – great base scent if you plan to add another note.

If you are looking for some tips on how to select the highest quality essential oils for your home, please visit this article!


Comments (32) »

  • Cathy says:

    BTW Febreeze is terrible for pets so giving up that chemically stuff in exchange for something gentler is so much better. I am always mystified by how much of a chunk of the cleaning aisle products are loaded with Febreeze. Seems like they team up with all kinds of mops and dusters and everything!

  • Tessie says:

    I’m glad you did speak up! I think that it makes sense to remind folks to use things in moderation, and to follow recommended recipes when using essential oils. It’s always important to remember that not every oil is good for everything (or everyone, like our 4-footed friends!). Please use caution and do research when using any home remedy :)

  • mkf says:

    Does it have to be distilled water? I’m new to the make your own scene.

  • Tessie says:

    The reason folks use distilled water, is because it doesn’t leave any mineral residue, and is free of all contaminants. In my humble opinion, tap water is just fine :)

  • Julee says:

    Awesome Recipe! Thank you!

  • Dustin says:

    Great post. I will be experiencing some of these issues as well.

  • Tracy says:

    Hi. I made this last night with witch hazel (all I had, despite my confidence that I had both vodka AND rubbing alcohol at home – NOT!). Unfortunately, even though I was a little less than 1/2 cup on the WH, all I can smell is WH! I STARTED with 10 drops of each, Sweet Orange and Cedarwood EO, added another 10 each, and still…witch hazel house, here! Any suggestions, or should I just keep adding EO?

  • Tessie says:

    Hi Tracy! I recommend a brand called “Thayers”, it’s the least offensive smelling WH. You should find that the smell dissipates, but possibly not enough for you. That’s ok! This is a common complaint. Many folks get used to the smell, and kinda start to like it, but if you’re NOT one of those folks, just avoid it in the future. Some brands of WH have a VERY powerful scent, and EO’s can get expensive. I LOVE THAT YOU TRIED THIS OUT!!! Now we know, WH isn’t isn’t your thing :) Thanks so much for the opportunityTHey to mention “Thayers”! They also make a couple of gentle scents like rose and cucumber that you might prefer if you want to keep trying to use it. Thanks for writing!!!

  • Terri says:

    Can I use this to freshen up stuffed animals and get out dust mites?


  • Tessie says:

    YES! But there are a few steps to take first.

    1. Freeze the items to kill the mites
    2. Put the items in a large bag and suck the air out using a vacuum to rid the stuffed animals of the dead bugs.
    3. Use this mixture, but be sure to use Eucalyptus oil to deter more mites.

  • Michelle Nelson says:

    Is this safe to use on carpets, rugs, pillows, and mattresses? Is there any risk of staining?

  • Tessie says:

    Safe for pretty much anything! Both alcohol and witch hazel are clear and evaporate quickly. I think it goes without saying, not to use anything like this on leather…

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