How to make homemade Febreze-like odor remover

Who knew you could recycle fragrance? Lisa, apparently:

Let’s face it, kids create stink! I love Febreze, but it can get quite expensive. I have been using the lavender/ vanilla scented liquid fabric softener (which, by the way, has a fabulous smell and is available in generic brand at Walmart). When the bottle was empty, I noticed that it still had a very strong smell. So, I poured a little water into it, swished it around, and poured into an empty spray bottle…homemade Febreze. It, of course, doesn’t have the alcohol in it, so it won’t evaporate as easily as the real thing, but I have sprayed it all over my house, and it dries quickly enough.

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  1. marthachick says

    A spray bottle with a little bit of lavender or rose geranium oil in water will do the trick, and won’t leave any icky residue any where like fabric softener. You could also try orange or bergamot oil. Just dilute to the scent you like and spritz away.

    Also, if you have cooking odors, set out bowls of white vinegar overnight and the smell will be gone by morning.

  2. Much More Than A Mom says

    Just a little “natural” parent hack…

    In our home we avoid the potentially carcinogenic chemicals in Febreze and all sorts of commercial cleaning /household products. Our ‘safe’ version of Febreze is as follows:

    Mix in a spray bottle:

    1 cup water
    2T. baking soda (natural odour remover)
    2T. vodka (for the quick drying properties)
    5-10 drops tea tree oil (natural antibacterial)
    5-10 drops lavender essential oil
    1t. pure vanilla

    Adjust drops of oil for a stronger or weaker scent – I suggest reading safety guidelines for each oil on their bottles.

    Shake well each time prior to spraying to ensure ingredients are mixed.

    For use on most fabrics, I use 10-20 drops in 1 cup of water. For use as an air freshener, I use 20-40 drops in 1 cup of water.

    This one is, obviously, the lavender vanilla scent. There are many other options to suit your taste – sometimes we use mandarin essential oil, mandarin/vanilla, eucalyptus in cold season, lemon/lavender/clary sage, lemon/lime, mandarin/grapefruit, ylang ylang/rose/bergamot… the list goes on.

  3. andrea from the fishbowl says

    Cheap, yes, but at what price?

    No offense, I wouldn’t spray that around my house. Do you know what’s in fabric softener?

    “In addition to conditioning agents and emulsifiers, fabric softeners contain other ingredients to improve their aesthetic appeal and to ensure the product will be shelf stable. For example, fragrance and color are added to make the product more pleasing to consumers. In addition, emulsion stabilizers and preservatives are used to ensure the product quality.”

    (from here:

    By spraying it around your house to make it smell nice, you’re actually polluting it. Any of those chemicals might be a carcinogen.

    I’d rather use something more natural like the ideas listed above.

  4. Marla says

    I’m not familiar with how old your kids are, but can I ask why and how do they create stink? I’d be curious, because I’d like some prevention tips too!

  5. rakeeann says

    Unpleasant odors? Ya I had that problem too…now I use orange peels and vanilla extract in a few cups of water in a potpourri pot, freshens the house and everyone is envious of the smell. They’re all asking how do u keep the house smelling so fresh with your pets and children…so i give them my little recipe and they all love it…try it, it saves money and we all know money is much needed when you have kids. ENJOY!!!