Naturally scent your home and improve indoor air with these three non-toxic DIY air freshener recipes. They’re a great, simple, and healthy alternative to those store-bought, so-called “air fresheners” that actually pollute indoor air with unhealthy chemicals — ironic, right!?
After dating for nearly four years, I thought I knew everything about my boyfriend when we moved in together.
Goodness gracious, was I wrong! Turns out the man is a fiend for fragrance, totally obsessed with air freshener. (Hey, of all the strange things I could have uncovered, I’ll take it!)
Now this posed just the teensiest little bit of an issue with me considering everything I know about fragrance…
Artificial or chemical fragrance is basically a chemical sh**-storm made to smell like a bouquet of roses.
And by “basically” I do mean “literally.”
Though it appears as a single ingredient, “fragrance” is actually a catchall term used to represent some combination of over 3,000 chemicals that companies are allowed to conceal as trade secrets. This means that we’re really not sure what chemicals are being used to scent products – and this is very troubling!
That being said, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has stated that a third of the substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic and harmful to human health.
And one common chemical use in fragrance, styrene, has been labeled “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” by the National Academy of Sciences’ Research Council.
Chemical fragrance is also known to trigger allergies, dermatitis, and respiratory issues, and may cause hormone disruption.
Needless to say, it’s best to avoid chemical fragrance (this extends to personal care products as well!).
But it’s so incredibly simple to make your own air fresheners!
All you need are a few simple ingredients, a few minutes, and voilà! You can have yourself your very own natural, non-toxic air freshener.
The key to homemade air fresheners? Essential oils.
Essential oils provide natural, super concentrated scent.
The best part? You can mix and match and customize the scent to your liking!
I personally get all of my essential oils (and just about all of my DIY skincare and beauty materials like carrier oils, butters, and clays) from Mountain Rose Herbs — most are certified organic so there’s no guessing as to the quality or purity.
Some delicious scents and combinations you may want to try:
- Ylang ylang (my personal favorite!)
- Lavender and lemon
- Lemon and orange
- Rose and lavender
Alright, now let’s get to it!
Non-Toxic DIY Air Freshener #1: Classic Spray Air Freshener
- A small spray bottle
- Rubbing alcohol (80-90% alcohol)
- Essential oils of your choice
- Combine 1/3 cup water with 2/3 cup alcohol
- Add 15-25 drops of essential oil of your choice (depending on how strong you want the scent)
- Shake the mixture before spraying.
NOTE: The alcohol will help the spray evaporate more quickly, but be careful: the floor may be a little wet for a minute or so after spraying.
Non-Toxic DIY Air Freshener # 2: Essential Oil Reed Diffuser
- A small glass bottle or bud vase
- 5-10 bamboo kabob skewers (more skewers = more scent)
- A carrier oil (sweet almond, safflower, or jojoba oil are light and can easily travel up the skewers)
- Essential oils of your choice
- Put 1/4 cup of carrier oil in the bottle/vase
- Add 15-25 drops of essential oil of your choice
- Stir the oils together with a skewer
- Place the rest of the skewers in the bottle/vase
Within a couple of hours, the oil should have traveled up the skewers and the scent should be noticeable!
Non-Toxic DIY Air Freshener # 3: Baking Soda Odor Eater
This air freshener is great since it constantly emits a light scent while the baking soda works to absorb any unwanted scents. When you need more scent, just give it a little shake! This air freshener may or may not have found its home in the bathroom.
- A small glass canning jar
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- A piece of cloth or sturdy paper to cover the jar (which will allow the scent but not the contents to escape the jar)
- Essential oils of your choice.
- Add 1/2 of a cup of baking soda and 15-25 drops of essential oil to the jar and stir them together.
- Place the lid and jar covering (cloth or paper) on top and you are ready to go!
- Give the jar a little shake whenever you need to release a bit of scent.