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Frugal Living: 5 Homemade Air Fresheners

Posted: 09/13/11 1:00 PM (Modified: 09/13/11 1:00 PM)

Check out ThriftyFun.com for some simple air fresheners without harsh chemicals and easy on the wallet. Who doesn't want their home to smell good? I am a big fan of yummy smelly stuff so this one is a must for me!

Air Freshener


  • 1/4 cups baking soda
  • 4 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons ammonia
  • 1 teaspoon scent of your choice (Example: lemon extract, vanilla extract, almond extract, pine oil or eucalyptus oil)
Mix water, soda and ammonia, add extract and put into a clean spray bottle (one that sprays a fine mist). Bottle up the rest to save for later. Don't spray on furniture or pets.
Cinnamon Simmer Pot
The best homemade, environmentally safe "air freshener" I have found is cinnamon. If you sprinkle the bottom of a pan with some cinnamon and let it warm on the stove (medium heat), it fills your house with the scent of baking. It's not overpowering, yet you can't smell much of anything else. You don't have to warm it too long for it to last, so there isn't much over-heating of your home or a high electric bill.
Another idea: Whenever I have citrus peels or apple cores leftover from something, I make a simmer pot. Just fill a saucepan with water, add the peels or cores and whatever else you might like (I usually put in cinnamon, cloves and allspice). Boil to release the oils, turn down to simmer and enjoy. I prefer doing it on the stove to one of those little potpourri simmers because I don't feel they disperse the scent enough.
Vinegar Air Freshener

Would you like to save money on expensive air fresheners that only cover the odors not neutralize them? Get a spray bottle and fill it half with vinegar and half with water and spray away the smoke filled rooms and the odors.

Homemade Magical Air Freshener and De-wrinkler Spray

 Of the many different recipes for homemade fabric/air freshener I have tried in the past, this is what I have come up with as my own recipe. I don't use very much fabric softener because most commercial grade fabric softeners (Bounce, Snuggle, Downy, etc.) contain chemicals that have been found to cause cancer, nervous system disorders, and brain damage, as well as reduce the effectiveness of flame resistant materials. So, be safe and avoid exposure to harmful chemicals when possible.

  • One 16oz fine mist sprayer (an old Febreeze/Downy Wrinkle Releaser bottle will do)
  • 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar (cheap and available at grocery store)
  • 2 Tablespoons of your favorite fabric softener (preferably a natural/organic softener which can be hard to find locally, but can be ordered online)
  • 6 to 10 drops of your favorite essential/scented oil (you can also use any scented extract available such as vanilla or almond) You can purchase this at Hobby Lobby and use your 40% off coupon.
  • Fill the remainder of the 16 oz. container with distilled water (cheap and available at grocery store. You could also boil some tap water and let it cool a bit before handling, but please don't use impure water straight from the tap.)
  • Shake and spray to "eliminate" undesirable odors or release wrinkles.
NOTE: If you are concerned about chemicals from using fabric softener, you could leave fabric softener out of the recipe and use a little more white vinegar and scented oil/extract. There shouldn't be much of a vinegar smell at all and if there is it will be gone when dried. White vinegar works very well against odors by absorbing them and neutralizing them instead of just covering them up. It's also a safe and effective alternative to using fabric softener in your washing machine, helping to release wrinkles, clean and brighten clothes, as well as making your clothes last longer instead of chemically destroying them. Additionally, vinegar kills 82% of mold spores on contact. 
Natural Home Sweeteners

Winter is coming and with that the windows and doors will be closed up tight and odors trapped inside. Here are some ideas to sweeten the smell of your home without harmful chemicals.

Place a small sprinkling of ground cinnamon or ground clove on an electric stove burner and turn on the heat to the very lowest setting possible.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a small piece of tinfoil, turn up the edges and pour a teaspoon of vanilla on top and place the foil in the oven. Turn off oven and prop the door open a bit.

Place 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla or vanilla extract in small cups or bowls around the home.

Mix small amounts of lemon juice or vinegar and baking soda together and place in small cups or bowls around the home.

To abolish cooking odors simmer 1 tablespoon vinegar with one cup of water in a small pan.

Simmer your favorite spices, citrus rinds or fresh pine needles in a small pan of water on the stove. Experiment by mixing and matching. Also, instead of throwing out stale dated apple, cranberry or orange juice, just simmer in a small pan on the stove. Be sure to set a timer to remind you that it's time to add more water!

In a spray bottle, add several drops of your favorite essential oil to water. Shake to mix and mist the air.

Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a cotton ball and place around the home.

Place a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil on a light bulb. Be sure to only do this on a bulb that is turned of and is cool! Once you turn on the light on the heat from the bulb will slowly release the essential oil in the air.

Place a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil inside your cardboard toilet paper roll and the scent will be released every time someone removes toilet paper. Place springs of fresh eucalyptus around your home. And don't forget fresh flowers ;-)



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