This non-toxic homemade Febreze without fabric softener is easy to make and safer to use! Once you see how easy and healthy DIY Febreze is to make, you’ll never go back to store bought.
As a mom, limiting my family’s exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals is important to me. That’s why I’m constantly on the lookout for healthier, more natural alternatives to popular cleaning products.
Making your own cleaners can also help you green your routine and move towards becoming zero waste! Reducing our trash output as a family is a major goal for us in the year ahead.
An experience with a “carpet freshener” that made me open all the windows (in spite of outdoor temps in the 50s) sent me on a quest to make my own non-toxic homemade Febreze without fabric softener.
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Are there toxic ingredients in air fresheners?
First, let me be clear that I’m using the term “Febreze” like someone might say Band Aid or Ping Pong in a generic way to mean air fresheners.
When it comes specifically to Febreze brand products, Proctor & Gamble is leading the way in the fragrance industry with their commitment to list all of their ingredients online by the end of 2019. Febreze products don’t contain phthalates, formaldehyde or flammable propellants, which is great.
That having been said, many Febreze air freshener products score a “C” or “D” according to the Environmental Working Group. Most other air and fabric freshener brands don’t fare as well.
According to a study published in 2017 in the journal Building and Environment, air fresheners can greatly decrease indoor air quality. A few of the important points are:
- Less than 10% of air freshener ingredients are actually disclosed to the public.
- Over 20% of the US population reports adverse health effects from air fresheners including asthma attacks, migrants, infant illness, and breathing problems.
- Air fresheners are a leading cause of organic volatile compounds in indoor spaces.
- Air fresheners labeled as natural, green, organic, etc. are just as likely to emit hazardous pollutants as conventional air fresheners (yikes!).
People are realizing the detrimental impact air fresheners can have on your health. Making accommodations for people with chemical sensitivities, including air fresheners is now part of the Americans with Disabilities Act!
Non-toxic homemade Febreze without fabric softener
I was really surprised to see how many DIY air freshener recipes use fabric softener or laundry scent boosters! Most fragranced fabric softeners are also full of toxic ingredients. That’s why I’ve created a freshening room spray without fabric softeners!
Ingredients for DIY Febreze
- A glass spray bottle. It’s best to use amber or blue to keep the essential oils from degrading in the light.
- 1 1/2 cup distilled water.
- 1/2 cup unscented witch hazel -or- cheap vodka -or- white vinegar. Go with whichever you prefer!
- When purchasing witch hazel, look for one that has a high percentage of witch hazel or that’s pure witch hazel. Many are cut with rubbing alcohol.
- To increase the cleansing power, use 1 cup water and 1 cup witch hazel, alcohol, or vinegar.
- 1-2 tablespoons baking powder (optional, but recommended for added freshness)
- 20-30 drops total of essential oil
- Tea tree oil is a good choice because of it’s cleansing properties
- Orange, lemon, and/or grapefruit essential oils are popular for homemade cleaning products
- I love lavender and it’s name literally means “to wash,” so it’s always a favorite for cleaning!
- You could also use your favorite purifying blend.
How to make and use homemade fabric deodorizer spray:
It can be easier to get the baking soda to dissolve if you gently heat your water first. I like to do this in a Pyrex measuring cup, plus that handy little spout makes it easy to pour into the spray bottle! This isn’t completely mandatory, but it can speed things up.
- Add baking soda to warmed water and stir to combine.
- Combine all ingredients in your glass spray bottle and shake to mix!
- Give the bottle a shake to recombine every time you use.
- Store somewhere cool and dark, or even in the fridge, to increase shelf life.
***Please note that not all oils are safe for pets. Please check with your vet if you have any concerns!***
Also, it’s best to completely avoid essential oils around infants who are less than 3 months old and use them with caution around babies and children.
Allow the spray to dry fully before giving children access to the area and always make sure to keep essential oils and cleaning products, even natural ones, away from young children.
Heat your water in a Pyrex measuring cup. It doesn't need to be boiling, just warm/hot. Add baking soda and stir to combine. To increase the cleansing power, use 1 cup water and 1 cup witch hazel, alcohol, or vinegar. You need 20-30 drops total of essential oil
Pour water mixture into your bottle, add other ingredients, screw lid in place, adn shake to combine.
Give the bottle a shake to recombine every time you use it.
Store somewhere cool and dark, or even in the fridge, to increase shelf life.
Heat your water in a Pyrex measuring cup. It doesn't need to be boiling, just warm/hot.
Add baking soda and stir to combine.
To increase the cleansing power, use 1 cup water and 1 cup witch hazel, alcohol, or vinegar.
You need 20-30 drops total of essential oil
Natasha is a former classroom teacher turned WAHM. She also is a registered yoga teacher & holds a certificate in natural skincare formulation from the School of Natural Skincare. She shares her passion for education, positive parenting, free printables, and recipes for DIY bath & home products. Learn more about Natasha and where she’s been featured.