Air fresheners are a frequent addition to our monthly groceries and, while they aren’t horribly expensive, the purchases do add up significantly. Additionally, the scents are often overdone and they never last more than a minute or so.
It doesn’t help that there are apparently chemicals in these commonly bought items which affect reproductive development.
So, how do we get around that little problem? Well, we make our own air fresheners at home and use natural ingredients.
Why make Natural Air Fresheners?
So, why make your own air fresheners with natural ingredients?
Store-bought air fresheners contain phthalates – chemicals that, over prolonged periods of exposure, can cause hormonal disruption.
This can result in lowered testosterone levels, reduced sperm production, and abnormalities in one’s genitalia – lovely.
By using natural ingredients you’re avoiding exposure to any harmful chemicals making them safe for kids and pets alike.
Most natural ingredients are simple and cheap, so you’re saving a bit of money – especially if you’re using stuff from your pantry/kitchen cupboards.
Adding a touch of your favorite essential oil(s) gives you exactly the scent you want which lasts much longer than store-bought air fresheners.
Additionally, using all-natural ingredients gives you an eco-friendly option that the environment will certainly appreciate. The scents are also much longer-lasting than most of the store-bought stuff.
Air Fresheners in your Pantry?
While natural air fresheners can be used anywhere in your house, one place you wouldn’t expect to use them is your pantry.
All your canned foods, coffee, and sauces among other things are stored there and you only go in there once – maybe twice a day. With that said, you still want it to smell nice in there.
We’ve got four cats and occasionally one of them will urinate in the pantry somewhere.
It stinks to high heaven for ages and considering the contents of the pantry, store-bought air fresheners might not be the best idea.
With that in mind, here are some natural air freshener recipes for you to try.
Potpourri is generally dried herbs/flowers that have been placed in a glass/non-metallic container and set out to let the scent diffuse in the air.
It’s fairly cheap and easy to make and the scent lasts for quite a while. It’s also aesthetically pleasing without looking out of place. Try it yourself and see what you think.
2. Herbal Bouquets
Take cuttings of herbs and/or fragrant flowers (i.e. geranium) tie them together and stick them in small vases around your house. Let their scents give your home a welcoming smell that you can enjoy.
3. Pomander Balls
This is an interesting one, cure and dry an orange and then stud the fruit with clove buds and hang it wherever you need it. The two work well to provide a refreshing scent and can be used as a deterrent for pests.
4. Beeswax Candles
Candles are a great way to freshen up a room. Unfortunately, many store-bought scented candles have artificial chemicals/scents which, if you’re going for all-natural stuff, isn’t what you want.
With that in mind, you can use beeswax instead of the usual pre-made stuff from the craft shop to make your own candles. Add a touch of essential oils for a nice, natural fragrance, and voila!
5. Dried Coffee Grounds
Coffee, anyone? I’m one of those people who MUST have a cuppa joe in the mornings to wake up properly.
It doesn’t matter if it’s instant coffee or if it’s brewed in a coffee machine, it’s coffee and that’s good enough for me.
Now, if you prefer brewing a cup with freshly-ground coffee beans, you can use any leftover dried coffee grounds to freshen the air.
How? Simply place the grounds in a bowl or hang them in a bag and let the coffee scent fill the air.
6. Essential Oils in Vinegar
I know what you’re thinking: “Vinegar? In air freshener?”
Yep, use a mixture of vinegar (white spirit works best), and water to put together a natural air freshening spray, and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil(s) to add a nice fragrance.
7. Essential Oil Diffusers
This is a very popular gift around Christmas time; my mom and sisters love diffusers and it’s not hard to see why.
It’s basically a glass container full of essential oils which travel up through a set of reeds and spread throughout a room.
8. Baking Soda Diffuser
This is another diffuser that’s easy to make, and it works really well to freshen the air and give off a nicer scent without all the harmful junk that you find in store-bought fresheners. You can use the video below to make your own:
Have fun experimenting with different oil blends and find which ones you like most.
9. House Plants
Certain house plants (i.e. elephant ears, orchids, etc.) can also be used as air fresheners.
They draw carbon dioxide out of the air and replace it with oxygen. Ferns are also great because they are low-maintenance and have a nice scent.
10. Citrus Peel
Yes, you can actually use orange peels or other citrus fruit peels as an air freshener. How? Well, you place the peels in a jar with some herbs and cover in vodka – yes, really.
Stick the jar in a cool, dry place to infuse, and voila! You take the lid off and you have a citrus scent! The specifics on how to do this can be found here.
11. Lemon Juice
Here’s a good one. You can use baking soda, water, and lemon juice to make an air freshening spray and eliminate the many bad odors in your home! Here’s the recipe for you!
Lavender is a very, very popular scent for air fresheners. It’s a light, fragrant scent that you can use in any room that won’t overwhelm the place. If you’d like to make this yourself, you can get a good recipe here.
Usually, when I think of cinnamon I think of either pancakes or the one time I was stupid enough to try swallowing a tablespoon full of the stuff…seriously, the cinnamon challenge should’ve never been a thing.
With that said, cinnamon has a nice scent and if you mix a bit of pumpkin spice into it, you get a warm, refreshing fragrance to use around the house. If you’re interested in making this one yourself, here’s the recipe for you.
14. Mint Orbs
I’ve never understood the fascination with water orbs, but this was just way too cool not to include!
You make water orbs, stick them in a jar with some mint essential oil, and seal them with a mesh fabric. I realize that’s not the best explanation, so here’s a video about it:
Now, what I like about this recipe – apart from the all-natural ingredients and its simplicity – is that you can switch up the scents. The video uses mint oil, but you can use whatever oil/scent you like, and that makes this one fun!
You knew vanilla was going to make an appearance somewhere, didn’t you? Of course, you did!
Vanilla is one of my favorite scents to use because it’s light and sweet, and sharp enough to be refreshing without giving you a headache – provided, of course, that you’re careful not to use too much vanilla extract/oil.
The best thing about vanilla is that it’s amazingly versatile. You can mix it with several other oils and get something nice.
I Don’t Need to Tell You to Be Careful
While the ingredients you’re using to make these are all-natural, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some safety considerations to keep in mind – especially if you’re doing this with your kids as a fun hobby.
Thankfully, most, if not all of those safety hazards have to do with your use of the stovetop and the use of certain base ingredients (i.e. rubbing alcohol/vodka).
With that in mind, do I really need to tell you to be careful? No, I didn’t think so.
Making natural air fresheners is something that’s really taken off in the last few years and it’s easy to see why.
You’re avoiding exposure to dangerous chemicals, and the scent is longer-lasting and can be personalized according to what you want.
As more studies come out that point out possible health issues related to certain household products, more people will move over to using all-natural, eco-friendly stuff.
That transition to all-natural ingredients/products is something that, as previously stated, the environment will appreciate as we cut down on pollution and help keep the earth relatively healthy.
As always, I hope you guys and gals enjoyed the article and found it informative.
Thanks for reading, I’ll see you soon. Take care!
Greg is a South African farmer and homesteader who’s been around animals ever since he can remember. He’s also an avid camper and hiker.