Homemade Air Freshener: Calming and Deodorizing Room Spray

I’ve never been a fan of commercial air fresheners. They smell terrible and are loaded with chemicals.

So what should you do when the room needs a little refreshing?

The best thing is to open the windows and let in some fresh air! Even when it’s cold, it is a good idea to open the windows periodically.

So what should you do when it’s not convenient to open the windows?

Keeping an open box of baking soda out in the open will help absorb some odors. If you don’t like the idea of an orange box sitting around, put the baking soda in a pretty bowl. If you have little one, it might be a good idea to put the bowl up high, so they don’t “dust” the room with the lovely white powder!

Another option is to make your own air freshening spray. This is very easy and a nice way to add a pleasant scent to the room. Since essential oils are used to make this spray, it is also a nice way to boost (or calm) the mood of those in the house.

Below are two air freshening room spray recipes you can make in a matter of minutes. Both may be adapted to use other essential oils. Also feel free to add more or less of these ingredients. It is not an exact science.

NOTE: It is better to use glass spray bottles as the essential oils can cause plastic to break down. I recently purchased some from Specialty Bottle, but they are also available on Amazon. In fact, Amazon has a lovely set of six cobalt blue glass bottles.

Calming Room Spray

Fill a small, 2 – 4 ounce, spray bottle with distilled water and add 80 to 100 drops of essential oil.

For a calming effect use approximately 20 drops chamomile essential oil, 50 drops lavender essential oil, and 10 drops rosemary essential oil.

I find the chamomile tends to overwhelm the other smells, so it might be worthwhile to start with just 10 drops and increase until you are pleased with the fragrance.

Simply Delightful Air-Freshening Spray

The following recipe is adapted from the Nursery Spray in Herbal Crafts by Jessie Hawkins (and excellent book). It uses a lot more oil than the previous recipe, but is not overpowering.

It is my favorite spray of all. I love the combination of oils and find it very pleasant. It’s an excellent mood booster!

¾ teaspoon lavender essential oil
1 teaspoon sweet orange essential oil
½ teaspoon lemon essential oil

Fill bottle will water, measure in the oils. Tighten lid and shake to blend.

Be sure to shake before each use, as the oils will separate from the water:

Do you make your own air freshening sprays? What fragrance combination do you like?

Stacy Karen

Stacy is a DIY obsessed, healthy living advocate. A preacher's wife and mom of three, she loves to encourage others to live a natural lifestyle.

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  1. I am going to make the delightful air-freshening spray today. Thank you for the recipe. Would you please tell me where you get your bottles?

    1. I got the bottles in the picture from Target. They were in the “travel” section with the mini-shampoo and toothbrush holders.

      I’d love to get glass spray bottles, but haven’t done that yet. There is a website called Specialty Bottle that sells all kinds of bottles and jars. I’ve heard they are good and plan to order from them soon.

      I forgot to add that the spray is quite strong. So, you’ll only need one or two sprays at a time.

    1. Hi Amanada,

      I would be nervous to use it on clothing because of the high volume of essential oil in these recipes – I’d be afraid it would leave spots. I haven’t tried it though. Maybe I should 🙂

      You could probably spray some on a washcloth and throw it in the dryer with the clothing or fabric you want to freshen up. (You can also make your own dryer sheets by simply dropping 2 or 3 drops of straight essential oil onto an old washcloth. Add to the dryer with your wet laundry and dry. They should smell lovely by the time they are done).

      I do think I’ll try this out on the kids painting clothes and see if it leaves spots. To be continued…:)

      1. There is also liquid fabric softener of the greener variety. A friend once showed me that diluting fabric softener is basically the same as using fabreeze. I don’t remember measurements and honestly I don’t measure much. But, to me it would make buying actual fabric softener fairly frugal if all you use it for is homemade fabreeze. I’m also planning on getting some Jason (it smells super nice) conditioner and making my own detangler spray with it.

        1. Fabric softner that you buy from the supermarket contains silicon. Even the “eco” brands contain silicon. Silicon deposits on the fibres of your fabrics and creates a barrier. So any sprays or cleaners that you use on your fabrics will eventually become useless the more you use silicon-based products. So I would highly recommend against using supermarket fabric softners.

    2. A great fabric refresher (Febreeze style) is mix 1 cup of distilled water, 1 cup of cheap high proof vodka, and 15-20 drops of Essential Oil (more or less to desired strength). Pour into a spray bottle. Shake it well before each use.

  2. I make a plain one with lavender…but I think I need to try these combinations now! I also think I would like a eucalyptus-mint combination.

  3. We are going to start a high end holiday rental cottage in British Columbia later this year. I already make my own all natural soaps and I love your ideas for room fresheners, cleaning products etc. This will be something else that I can make for ourselves and our future guests to reduce the chemicals that we are all exposed to and provide a more natural,relaxing atmosphere. Thanks for such a great website.
    Linda B.

  4. Hi,
    Where would I find the essential oils? Thanks.
    Just discovered your site and am anxious to try the all natural resources.

  5. for people looking for essential oils, I get mine cheapest from vitacost.com. I have a referral link that will give you a $10 coupon off of your first order. These essential oils are just for fragrance only. There are more high end ones that can be consumed also, but I don’t use those. I just use the fragrance ones. This website seems to have the cheapest oils and shipping is only $5 unless the order is over $49 than it’s free.

    http://www.vitacost.com/Referee?wlsrc=rsReferral&ReferralCode=60253244

    Hope this helps someone 🙂

  6. Hello everyone,

    Just a little tip for making room spray…

    Add a little vodka ( no, really!) about 1/4 teaspoon or less to the mix. It prevents the oil and water from separating too much and it will evaporate when sprayed.

  7. I make room sprays with all vodka as the liquid, no water. The water tends to leave spots and to separate in the bottle; no such problem with vodka, and it dissipates in the air. It has absolutely no smell of alcohol. Try it!

  8. I’ve wanted to make these, but I know I read somewhere that adding some alcohol to the mix actually binds the smell of the essential oils so they last longer and integrate better with the water. Unfortunately, I don’t recall how much they said to put in or where I read it. Has anyone else heard anything like this?

  9. Hello, I feel stupid for asking, because it seems obvious to everyone, but how can I make distilled water at home without use laboratory equipment?

        1. You could buy a distiller which works to make distilled water, essential oils, spirits and bio-fuel but they cost about $200.

          We actually use ours all the time to make distilled water (we have several lizards) and to make spirits (along w/ homemade wine) so it was worth the cost for us…but I know that’s not for everyone. 😉

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  11. Pingback: Essential Oils
  12. I’m looking forward to making my own essential oil room deodorizer soon…I use and LOVE Heritage Essential Oils (EOs) for my EOs…does anyone worry about the EO causing a fire in the dryer when placed on a washcloth (the oil?)? I would LOVE to use something greener to freshen my clothing in the dryer…does this also help with static? I currently use a fragrant free dryer sheet (the generic store brand) as I am others in my family have sensitive skin. Thanks!

  13. I’d also like to add that you should include alcohol, in the mixture of essential oil and water because it makes the scent linger longer! I used Everclear. I bet you could use an alcohol-based witch hazel, too, though!