Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Homemade Air Fresheners - Guest Post w/ Recipe!

Photo credit: Susan Bewly @ Budget Earth
If there is one thing I am proud of in my home - it that I can keep a clean house without having to worry about using toxic chemicals. Years ago, I was horrified when I found out just how many toxins we breathe in everyday in our home. I have even read that some tests have found the air in homes can be up to three times more toxic than the air outside, due to hazardous chemicals found in everyday cleaners. For those who read my blog, Budget Earth, you know I spend quite a bit of time talking about earth friendly cleaners and effective alternatives like making your own cleaners with vinegar.  While these cleaners can smell amazing with a few drops of natural essence, vinegar isn't the best for dealing with odors, leading to me experimenting with creating my own natural homemade air freshener.

In my mind, there are two types of natural air fresheners - ones based on bringing out the essences in herbs, and those released by burning candles. While I love candles, sometimes they aren't the best for dealing with obnoxious scents, especially ones caused by pets - cats and fire can be a recipe for disaster! For these tough-to-eliminate smells, I make my own homemade air freshener using common fruits and herbs found in just about any kitchen.

Unlike many other recipes, the homemade air freshener recipe I have below is very malleable - you can change out some of the herbs and seasonings without bad effects. For example, if I want my kitchen to have more of a fall scent, I will mix in some whole cloves or all spice in the mixture. While it may sound complicated at first glance, this recipe is very easy to make, and extremely cost effective depending on your choice of herbs.  As a special treat, I sometimes put a used vanilla bean or pure vanilla extract into the mix. This can make the recipe a bit more expensive but is very worth it if you enjoy your whole house having a very soft, vanilla scent.

Homemade Air Freshener


  • 2-3 Whole Lemons or Limes
  • 3-4 Sprigs Rosemary
  • 5-6 Mint Leaves can substitute 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 6 Whole Cloves
  • 5 Cups Water


  1. Pour the water in your preferred sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. As you are waiting for the water to come to a boil, cut up the limes or lemons. Squeeze the juice and seeds into the water. Instead of discarding the skin, put in the pot as well.
  3. Once the mixture has come to a boil, set to a simmer and put in the other seasonings into the pot. Let simmer for half hour to two hours. The scent will become stronger as water evaporates from the pan.
If you need an air freshener fast, place twice the amount of fresh herbs into the pot and keep the mixture at a boil. At this setting, your room or the first floor of your house will smell like the herbal mixture within ten minutes. As a fair warning, these herbs can be very fragrant so don't go overboard.

If you would like a stronger scent that will go throughout your house, I highly recommend using fresh herbs over dried herbs. These herbs have much more natural essence stored in their leaves, and are much cheaper than using dried herbs. For people who do not have access to fresh herbs due to the season, feel free to use dried rosemary, basil, and other pleasant smelling herbs, though you may need a bit more of them.

Added for guest author: You can keep this going for several days just by adding more water when it gets low. 

My spin: I plan on putting a pot on my wood stove to get the scent without having to use my stove and electricity!

This is a guest post written by Susan Bewley, head writer at Budget Earth. For more natural living ideas and green product reviews, free to check out their site!


Susan said...

LOVE that you can do this without wasting electricity. We don't have a wood stove in our home or I would do the same :)

JustADealJess said...

I have never given any thought to homemade air fresheners. Thanks for the recipe also. It actually seems pretty doable! Thank You for sharing!

Everything By Chelsea said...

So creative! I love homemade, eco-friendly products! Thank you for sharing :)

Irish Italian Blessings said...

Seriously that is genius.

Katie Hale said...

I LOVE homemade air fresheners like this! My favorite is dual purpose. Crockpot Applesauce. Gives us something yummy to eat AND makes my house smell divine!

Lindsey said...

Oh - I bet this smells WONDERFUL!

Amanda T said...

Wow, I had never heard, or even thought of homemade air fresheners. I totally want to do this!

Sarah @ made in usa challenge said...

When I first start reading this I saw the photo and thought yummm... that would make a tasty tea!!

Icar said...

Thanks for sharing, not even thought of making my own air fresheners because at home I would do is just cut an orange or lemon into half and just leave it that way to mask and take off unwanted odors...

Brooke Adametz said...

Oooh this is one recipe that I haven't tried yet! My favorite is orange peels, cinnamon, and vanilla! Yum!Thanks!

Kelly R said...

This is a really good idea, thank you for sharing..

Melissa Campeau said...

HEy that's funny! I was just thinking of that today that I would like to make my own freshener!!! This is such a great recipe... I am sure it smells amazing! Pinning it!

jony dollar said...

Amazing homemade air fresheners
idea i will try it thanx