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Do You Use An Eco-Friendly Air Freshener?

I’ve been receiving a lot of reader questions lately.  It seem you all are pushing me to write again!  Ok, I’m trying to clear off my work load so I can get back to writing.  I miss it, too!

In the meantime, anyone have some good solutions for Sam?

Hi Melinda,

Do you have any suggestions on what one could use to freshen up a room or kitchen that is both cost effective and not damaging to ones health?

I use the store bought air fresheners but I am thinking they are probably not all that healthly am I right? There has to be another way? Any comments or advice would be great!


I don’t really use air freshener, so any help you all have would be lovely!

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33 comments to Do You Use An Eco-Friendly Air Freshener?

  • Hello !

    I am french and i use an old fashionned way of freshening up room. It is called “Papier d’Armenie”. You fold it along the dotted line and burn 2 or 3 stripes . I am sure you google it to find it nearby your place. If not please email me .
    Take care,


  • Liz

    My first option would be to open a window if possible when a room needs freshening up. I tend to avoid fragranced air fresheners sold in shops as they can trigger an asthma attack, however, I have in the past made a fragranced spray for the bathroom by mixing a few drops of essential oil with water in a spray bottle – shake well to mix them before spraying. For a non-spray air freshener, I’d go with a cotton ball/scrap of fabric with a drop of essential oil on tucked somewhere and refreshed when required.

  • Angela

    About two months ago I purchased diffuser made by Spascenter. You add a few drops of essential oil to a pad and turn it on at the desired strength. A fan blows the oil from underneath. There is no heat involved, so it is great for a house with kids. We really like it.

  • I am a huge fan of white vinegar, which neutralizes odor. I’ve seen recipes using white vinegar as an all purpose spray, but I just use it straight, no water added. I spray the couch, curtains, rugs, etc. I guess like someone might use Fabreeze. The actual vinegar odor dissipates + no one has ever commented that my house smells like a salad.

    I also make a room spray like the above comment suggests.

  • White vinegar will definitely neutralize the odor, as Shona says. If you want to add a new nice smell, you can make air freshener in a spray bottle with vodka & essential oils in whatever scent you like. The vodka, like the vinegar, will easily evaporate, while the oils will remain. Another way to make the house smell good for fall is to cook some cinnamon sticks and orange zest in a pot of water on the stove. It will fill the house with a lovely smell.

  • Jenny

    If you are looking to add scent to a room, try simmering a pot of water on the stove with your desired scent. For fall and winter I love cinnamon sticks with orange peel, sometimes with cloves or nutmeg. For spring and summer, you can try seasonal flower petals, lemon or grapefruit peels, or herbs (or just their stems to avoid wasting them). If you have a woodstove, just leave the pot on top of that, then you waste no energy. If not, then just put it on your kitchen stove at the barest of simmers. Just be careful not to let the pot boil dry, or you will be trying to freshen up your kitchen to remove the smell of burnt orange peel :-(

  • Marie via Facebook

    It’s called the window.

  • Kerrie ? ? via Facebook

    I dont use air fresener, I clean my home and clothes regularly and air it all out by opening the windows everyday, airfresheners are for lazy people lol

    • Mitchell

      Some of us live in cities where it is -15 C during parts of the year. Not such a good idea to leave the windows open!
      … and no matter how clean you are, if you bike indoors as intensely as I do (I raise the temperature in the room from the heat coming off my body and increase the humidity to like 100%), it is gonna smell!

  • First, I throw open the windows and doors whenever possible to get the air moving. If that’s not enough, from time to time, I’ll put a pot of water on the stove with some cinnamon & nutmeg sprinkled on top. Like Jenny said above, you can add anything you like to the water to create the scent you prefer, just make sure the water doesn’t boil down completely :-)

  • Marie and Kerrie, I see what you’re saying, but I’d suggest having scent is more important to some people than others. I have friends I really respect who just have to have a house full of scents – and natural ones are a lot better than the chemical stuff sold in most stores! I’d also offer that I’m too lazy to use air freshener. ;)

  • Dawna

    I have heard of people dabbing a bit of vanilla on their light bulbs so that when the bulb warms up, the scent of vanilla disperses.

  • If you are looking specifically for scent, try an essential oil diffuser. I use this one: with lavender or peppermint oils. There are a wide variety of essential oils available and this diffuser scents my entire front foyer, living and dining rooms. And it’s all natural!

  • J

    Poor Man’s Febreeze. Equal parts vodka (the cheapest rot gut you can lay your hand on, or the stuff you have around. Whatever.) and water, plus a few of your favorite essential oil(s). The oil(s) are just for flavor, the vodka and water work fine alone. And no, you won’t smell like a distillery.

  • I received this reply via email: “As for my experience MINT LEAVES are the best natural air freshener which I am using. It does not effect our living environment, health etc.” I suspect having a mint plant or picking a few leaves and placing them in a dish would work well.

  • amy

    Open the windows is my first answer, but I avoid that at times of the year when pollen is bad so Ive discovered that if you sweep with a regular broom you can sprinkle a bit of cinnamon or vanilla on the broom before you sweep and it spreads the smell over the house and it doesnt bother my allergies. Ive also discovered that baking always does it. We have 2 indoor cats, so I always bake something before we have company over, just in case.

  • Sam

    I want to thank everyone for their kind suggestions and advice! I plan on experimenting with a few in the next couple of days.

    As for opening windows that is great but sometimes cooking smells don’t always dissipate as fast as we want them to and there is nothing more inviting then having a nice smell instead of say fish! LOL

  • I burn a leaf from my sage plant and it purges the bad smell, whether at the office or home. Another fun way of deodorizing home or office is picking a bouquet of rosemary or eucalyptus and the placing bouquet in a vase where ever you need a new scent.

  • Rita

    Hi! I was just reading about this topic and then I happened to see your question on this blog. I just found alot of awesome ideas that I can’t wait to try myself. Hope some of them help you. Sorry, I’m not really computer savy so I don’t know how to create a link so I’m just giving you the websites.

  • Pam via Facebook


  • Hi, in the winter I leave a saucepan with lots of water on the wood stove. I add cinnamon sticks or any essential oil to the water. Puts moisture in the air and makes the house smell nice. You could do the same on the stove top.

    I’ve read that a few drops of essential oil in your favorite fragrance mixed with water and put into a spray bottle will work as well.

  • Dea-chan

    I’m surprised that no one offered up baking soda. I don’t know what you need to freshen, but for example rugs often smell of animals (if you have pets) so you can use baking soda on the rug or other fabric/flat surfaces and later vacuum or sweep it away.

  • I get an old cloth clean the oils out from the bottom of my essential oil burner like lavender and pop them in corners of a room..or built in robes it makes them smell wonderful for about a month..

  • I like to use certain types of essential oils in an ultrasonic aromatherapy diffuser to freshen up any room. My favourite oil to use for this purpose is Refresh Essential Oil Blend with Eucalyptus and Lemongrass.

    By using an ultrasonic diffuser, you not only freshen the air, you also purify it, which is great for reducing allergens or airborne viruses (great during cold and flu season).

  • justmaryb

    Since I’ve got asthma, must avoid most commercially-made air fresheners. Cutting a lemon or an orange into sections and either mixing the juice w/water in a spray bottle to spritz around, or combining with the white vinegar may help.

  • I was also surprised that more people didn’t suggest baking soda. I keep a cup of baking soda next to the rubbish bin to soak up odour (the bin is in a kitchen cupboard) and if a room needs a bit of a freshen up, sprinkle baking soda on a plate and leave it in the offending room. Windows are great but not when it’s freezing outside!

  • I keep several bunches of Eucalyptus leaves in closets. I also place them in bathroom room, kitchen etc when I am going to be out of town or gone all day. When I come home the air smells clean. I open all windows and bag up my Eucalyptus bunches and put in basement. I replace them about every 30 to 60 days.
    Organic cotton strips soaked in Tea tree oil also works very well.

  • We used to take apple cider and put oranges with cloves in them into the apple cider, and once the juices combined we would boil it down. I don’t remember every spraying the concoction as that would make our furniture sticky, but it certainly made the kitchen smell good!

  • I always have at least 2 windows open to keep fresh air in my house – a burner with a mix of your favourite oils in some water can be nice – don’t overdo it though or it ends up a powerful as the shop bought things….When you wash down your floors put a few drops of your favourite oil in the water that helps make a lovely scent – cleaning things straight away – only having a small bin so odours can’t build up in it

  • daisy

    i take about one whole navel orange and three big green limes. and zest them. that is i scrape them on a hand held cheese shredder. and boil the zest in half gallon of water till its reduced to 1/4 gallon water. this is when i add one cup of apple viniger. and take it off the heat and bottle it. and there you have it. spray down your counter tops with this and your kitchen will smell like summer. (during the boiling prosses, if left uncovered, this will freshen the air as well.)

  • The people who make Tate’s miracle conditioner also make an odor eliminator spray that is made entirely from vegetables and fruits. It is odorless and effective as a deodorant as well. I feel totally confident in using it.

  • Many folks have mentioned essential oil diffusers (I’m a huge fan of them and use daily), as well as baking soda, opening windows, boiling spices in water on the stovetop. These are all great suggestions. You can also make your own potpourri by growing fragrant flowers in the growing season and then drying them. Add a few drops of your favorite essential to them when they lose their own natural beautiful fragrance.

    Also, to get rid of smells, breather bags of zeolite work nicely. They can be hung up in closets, basements, bathrooms, wherever you want to rid the space of offensive odors.

    Certain houseplants absorb odors too. NASA did a study on this.

    Good luck!


  • Gamophobia

    Homemade air freshners…. for spray freshner You will need:
    •A clean, empty spray bottle
    •Vodka (unflavored and nondiluted)
    •Essential oil

    How to make your air freshening spray:
    1.Pour one cup of water into a clean, reusable spray bottle.
    2.Add in two tablespoons of vodka and about 20 drops of essential oils (keep in mind that some essential oils are stronger than others, so start off conservatively when adding the oil).
    3.Screw on the top and shake well to combine the mixture

    •In rice: Fill a small decorative jar or dish with plain white rice and add in a few drops of oil. Place the jar in whatever room you wish to fill with the fragrance. I use peppermint or lemon for the bathroom and lavender for the bedroom.
    •Pillows: Apply a few drops of lavender, or another calming essential oil, onto a paper tissue. Place the tissue inside your pillow case to help calm your senses as you drift off.
    •Clothes freshener: Dab cotton balls with essential oils and place in the corners of your drawers and closets. This tip not only helps with keeping clothes smelling fresh, but it also helps ward off moths!

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