How to Make Homemade Air Freshener

Store-bought air fresheners leave your home smelling fresh, but they can also introduce chemicals to your space. Here's how to make natural, kid-safe air fresheners.

Having kids means having germs and smells in your home. Before you reach for the air freshener at the grocery store, consider how easy it is to make your own homemade air freshener with a few simple ingredients.

"Air fresheners are filled with all kinds of nasty chemicals that can cause a host of ailments. Some of the worst ones are phthalates -- they are used to prolong the length of time scented products maintain their smell. Phthalates can increase your risk of experiencing endocrine, reproductive and developmental problems," says Jennifer Weare, a green living blogger at Suburban Hippie Homestead.

Besides being kid-friendly, using natural homemade air fresheners can also be cost effective. Many recipes use a combination of odor absorbers like baking soda and essential oils to add a nice scent. Other popular items to stock on your shelves? "I like to keep water, vinegar, witch hazel (or vodka or rubbing alcohol), essential oils, baking soda and vanilla on hand," Weare says. Once you've gathered your ingredients, try one of these DIY homemade air fresheners.

  1. Baking Soda Jar
    Healthy living blogger Kathleen Henderson of Yankee Homestead recommends a simple mix of baking soda and essential oils to freshen things up."Place about a quarter cup of baking soda in a small bowl, like a ramekin or a small jelly jar," she says. "For the jelly jar, a lid can be used, with holes punched in the top. (Use a hammer and nail.) Add about five drops of your chosen essential oil and give it a good shake or stir. Place this air freshener in a key spot, and shake it now and then. When the oil scent begins to fade, simply add a few more drops."
  2. Air Freshener Plug-in Refill
    Skip the pricey refills for store-bought fresheners with this natural recipe from Mom 4 Real, which uses essential oils and water in a simple DIY project.
  3. Homemade Room Spray
    Weare shares an easy DIY homemade air freshener recipe that incorporates ingredients that you probably already have in your home. All you need are some essential oils, baking soda, water and a spray bottle, and you're well on your way to creating a safe, natural homemade air freshener. Find the recipe on Suburban Hippie Homestead.
  4. Heated Room Scents
    Created by The Yummy Life, these gorgeous room air fresheners are perfect for gift giving and use all natural ingredients such as citrus and herbs.
  5. Gel Air Fresheners
    A twist on homemade air fresheners, these gel air fresheners from Foodie with Family are long lasting, colorful and easy to make.
  6. Car Vent Air Freshener
    This recipe Frugally Blonde is a great and safe alternative for the car, a small space where you likely spend a lot of time with your children.
  7. Toilet Freshener Tabs
    Perfect for homes with multiple boys, these fizzing toilet tabs from Bitz & Giggles are easy to make and definitely help to create a fresher bathroom.
  8. Fabric Freshener
    Overthrow Martha has a great way to freshen fabrics, pillows and sofas without the chemicals.
  9. Bathroom Freshener
    Homemade air fresheners don't have to be made in spray form. "Try freshening your bathroom by putting a few drops of essential oil on the inside of your toilet paper roll. That way you and your guests will enjoy and lovely scent while using the facilities," Weare points out. See how to use this simple tip on doTerra Blog.
  10. Diffuser Recipes
    A better way to get a pleasant and healthy scent into the air? "A final option for freshening the air without harmful synthetic ingredients is to diffuse essential oils into the air. Look for a diffuser that uses cold air to nebulize the oil into tiny particles," says Henderson. Check out Fresh Mommy Blog for 15 essential oil scent combinations to try.

Making your own homemade air freshener has never been easier, more affordable or better for your health. With these great tips, you can create your own scent and improve the health of your family in no time!

Want more ideas? Try these 4 Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipes.

Shannon Moyer-Szemenyei is a certified birth and postpartum doula, mother of two busy boys (Owen, 4, and Graeme, 9 months) and the writer at Sweet Stella's.

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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