8 Best DIY Air Freshener Recipes to Try - Public Goods

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8 Best DIY Air Freshener Recipes to Try

Here are some easy, DIY ways to naturally remove odors from your home.


Why DIY Air Fresheners Are Better

When our home requires odor removal, many of us will reach for our trusty blue-bottled fabric air freshener for a good spritz on our couches, carpets, rugs, or even directly into the air. After all, those air fresheners are meant to remove odors and leave our homes nice and clean, right? Unfortunately, many cleaning products–even some claiming to be natural–contain harmful chemicals that can cause allergic reactions, headaches, and potentially long-term health issues if used regularly.

In addition to possibly exacerbating some health problems like asthma or migraine headaches, the chemicals in many popular air fresheners are also harmful to the planet.

If this all sounds like motivation to make your own air freshener to eliminate the stinkiness in your home, the first thing you need to do is gather some supplies.

How To Make Your Own Air Freshener

If you’re interested in making an air freshener, you’ll want to determine what type to create. Popular varieties are spray fresheners, potpourri, and fresh herbal bouquets.

To help decide which type of air freshener you want to make, you can start by taking inventory of what supplies you already have. Here are a few commonly used supplies for each type of air freshener:

For Spray Air Fresheners

Water- Tap water works just fine. You can also use distilled water.

Essential OilsEssential oils will help eliminate odors and help cleanse the air. You can choose to use a calming favorite like lavender or one that’s known for purifying properties like lemongrass or citrus.

Spray Bottle– Choose a spray bottle that’s at least 8oz. If you plan to do some serious cleaning, you can always get a larger bottle and double or triple the recipe you’re using.

Alcohol– You can use rubbing alcohol or even vodka (pour some for yourself while you’re at it!) to help the essential oils and water mix together.

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For Potpourris

Dried fruits– Dried fruits like apples and oranges can provide a delicious smell throughout your home. You can purchase dried fruits in almost any craft store or make your own.

Cinnamon Sticks, Clove, and/or Star Anise– Any of these heavenly scents will leave your home smelling wonderful. Stovetop potpourris are popular during the holidays; simmering a combination of seasonal spices makes your home smell great and puts you into the holiday spirit.

8 Best DIY Air Freshener recipes To Try

Whether you want to try your hand at making your own air freshener spray or make a dried flower or fruit potpourri, we’ve got a few great examples of homemade air fresheners.

Here are a few simple DIY spray air freshener and potpourri recipes to try:

1. Lemon- Basil Air Freshener Spray

Lemon is great for naturally eliminating odors throughout your home. Add a little basil essential oil for extra odor-fighting properties and calming aroma. Check out this easy recipe from Simply Self Storage.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons of vodka or rubbing alcohol
  • 5 or 6 leaves of fresh basil
  • 5drops of lemon essential oil

2. Happy Home Air Freshener Spray

Try this DIY recipe when you need your home to smell inviting and clean, like before guests arrive or after a particularly stressful week. This lovely scented spray by The Prairie Homestead features lemon, lavender, and rosemary.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vodka, rubbing alcohol, or real vanilla extract
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops of rosemary essential oil

3. Stovetop Potpourri

Who doesn’t love a good stovetop potpourri? It’s like a warm hug for your entire home. Stovetop potpourri kits make excellent holiday gifts for DIY project lovers. Delish Knowledge shares a go-to recipe to have your home smelling like happiness in no time.

What You’ll Need:

  • 20–24 dried orange slices*
  • 24 star anise
  • 1/3 cup whole cloves
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 12 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 pint mason jars

Combine the ingredients with 4 cups of water. Simmer on the stove on low for as long as desired, adding more water if needed.

To make your own dried oranges: Slice 4 large oranges about ¼” -⅛” thick, ensuring they’re as evenly cut as possible to avoid uneven drying times. Place a wire rack or parchment paper on top of a baking sheet, place the oranges in a single layer, and place in the oven at 175 degrees for 4-6 hours. The slices are done when they’re dry to the touch, but make sure not to overcook, or they’ll turn brown and lose their fragrance.

4. Air Freshener For Helping Improve Focus

Working from home can come with its own set of problems, including being able to focus on work. If you need a concentration boost in addition to helping reduce unwanted odors in your home, try this simple DIY air freshener spray. The Prairie Homestead nails it again with their focus-improving spray combining peppermint, rosemary, and lemon.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vodka, rubbing alcohol, or real vanilla extract
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 5 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 5 drops of lemon essential oil

5. “Before You Go” Bathroom Freshening Spray

The name is pretty self-explanatory on this one – a “ Before You Go” spray is an essential oil spray that helps prevent bathroom odors from lingering. This spray is better than a traditional spray because it’s designed to be sprayed into your toilet, and once you’ve done your business, the flush activates the scent in the spray. There are a lot of variations for this spray, and we chose one by Wonder Woman Wannabe.

What You’ll Need:

  • ½ cup of water
  • 10 drops of jasmine essential oil
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops of geranium essential oil
  • 1 tsp rubbing alcohol or vodka
  • 1 tsp dish soap


  1. Fill a 4-ounce spray bottle mostly full with a ½ cup of water. You may not need to use the entire ½ cup of water, you want to leave enough space at the top of the bottle to put in the other ingredients.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of Vodka to the spray bottle. You can substitute this ingredient with rubbing alcohol if you prefer.
  3. Pour in 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap.
  4. Mix in 10 drops of jasmine essential oil.
  5. Place 10 drops of lavender essential oil into the spray bottle.
  6. Add in 10 drops of geranium essential oil.

6. Grapefruit, Tangerine, and Lime Air Freshener Spray

This summer-perfect citrus spray is the perfect spray to ward off mildew smells and other stinkiness in your home. Citrus fruits are also credited with helping improve your mood, help with focus, and a slew of other benefits. We love this fruit-scented homemade air freshener from Simply Self Storage.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vodka or rubbing alcohol
  • 3 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 3 drops of tangerine essential oil
  • 3 drops lime essential oil

7. Citrus Mint Air Freshener Spray

Another great citrus combination is citrus and mint– the combination of the two scents results in an invigorating, refreshing scent. We love this simple recipe from The Prairie Homestead.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vodka, rubbing alcohol, or natural vanilla extract
  • 10 drops of wild orange essential oil
  • 8 drops of peppermint essential oil

8. Dried Flowers Potpourri

Everybody remembers those classic dried flowers potpourri bowls your mom had all over your house growing up. Thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of DIY projects, it’s making a big comeback. Next time you get a beautiful bouquet of flowers, keep them repurposed as a potpourri instead of tossing them when they start to dry out. Popsugar has an easy recipe that’ll have your home smelling like roses (see what we did there?) in no time.

What You’ll Need:

  • Flowers – Any kind of flowers will work for this project, but the more naturally fragrant a flower is, the stronger your potpourri will be.
  • Parchment paper
  • Sheet pan
  • Essential oils
  • Spray bottle
  • Fresh herbs and spices (optional, but we highly recommend)


  1. Grab the flowers you want to use for making the potpourri. Flowers with small, individual petals work great, or whole heads can be used too. Preheat your oven to 200˚F.
  2. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a tightly wired rack. Cut the flowers from the stems right below the heads and scatter them on the tray; you can also remove individual petals and place them in a single layer on the parchment paper.
  3. Next, you’ll want to add scent to your potpourri; you can do this by cutting and adding thin slices of citrus fruits and adding sprigs of rosemary, lavender, or thyme to the mix. Whole spices, such as cinnamon sticks, cloves, or allspice, can also be added for an extra fragrant homemade air freshener.
  4. This step is optional: Add 10 to 15 drops of your favorite essential oil per one tablespoon of water in a small spray bottle. Next, you will spritz the potpourri ingredients and pop the potpourri into your oven.
  5. Dry the ingredients in the oven for at least two hours or until the flowers are brittle but not burnt. When the potpourri is ready, remove it from the stove and add an essential oil spritz.
  6. Once your DIY air freshener is cooled down, mix the components and add them to a bowl for display.

8 Best DIY Air Freshener recipes To Try

If you’re someone who likes to cook (or someone who likes to order takeout), your home may be filled with unpleasant odors from last night’s dinner. Foods like fish or garlic can leave lingering odors for hours, even days. Yuck. Garbage cans, disposals, your refrigerator, or even your microwave can all harbor odor-causing bacteria.

And, let’s just assume the bathroom isn’t exactly like walking into a Bath & Body Works. Home odors are inevitable, but they can also be easily eliminated. Try your hand at making a DIY air freshener. They’re cheap and straightforward to make, and you won’t have to worry about nasty hidden ingredients. Check out some more DIY projects on our blog!

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