Picture of Homemade Air Freshener

Although reaching for that shiny Glade air freshener is an easy way to cover up odors, or scent the air in your home, most commercial scent products are full of chemicals that contribute to unhealthy indoor air and often just mask an underlying problem. As a result, I'm a big fan of natural, homemade air fresheners and good old elbow grease to keep my house smelling great.

In this Instructable, I'll go over simple ways to make sure the air in your home is as fresh, chemical-free, and naturally scent-a-licious as possible!

Step 1: First, Clean the Air With Elbow Grease

Picture of First, Clean the Air With Elbow Grease

The least fun, but most important part of this equation = house cleaning.

If there are sources of bad odors in your home, trying to cover them up with another scent can make for some pretty strong and terrible smells. So first thing's first:

  • empty all your trash/compost receptacles regularly and wash them with bleach water periodically
  • manage your pet's output (i.e.: keep litter boxes clean and regularly vacuum carpets and upholstery)
  • use bathroom and kitchen fans to keep odors and moisture out of the house
  • clean bathrooms thoroughly and regularly
  • open windows whenever weather permits; fresh air is the ultimate air freshener!
  • keep basements as dry and clean as possible
  • regularly clean out and wash the fridge; keep an open box of odor absorbing baking soda on a shelf as a back up

Note: If you ever have mild, but stinky smoke damage from a failed cooking experiment, wash all the surfaces with a mix of vinegar and water and place out a few bowls of vinegar. The vinegar will be it's own version of stinky, but it does a great job of neutralizing the 'burnt' smell.

shaziaijaz1 month ago

Fantastic instructable!

people use disposable balls in thier disposals.

chillspine7 months ago

Just a little science input here: vodka contains about 40% alcohol. Sanitizers and disinfectants must contain at least 62% (for skin) or higher levels for surfaces (70%) in order to effectively kill microbes. The alcohol concentration in vodka will certainly volatilize and help distribute the aromatic scents you add, but it's not good as a germ-killer. If you primarily want disinfection/sanitization, use the cheap isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol - like what you can get in the dollar store. Just make sure you start with at least the 70% kind (they do sell lower concentrations, so read the fine print).

colintur87 months ago

Love this idea

DarshanaA7 months ago

thanks thats good idea.

zappenfusen7 months ago

We, the lazy slob's of the world (my wife and I) found that after installation of our industrial powered sink Disposal and the flushing of most organic food waste down the drain the odors emitted by the garbage can disappeared. Also being one of the few in our town to take full advantage of curbside recycling which is subsidized by all City taxpayers now generate approx. 1 bag of garbage unfit for the recycling bin every 2 weeks. I'm aware our water use has risen while rinsing food cans, bottles, etc. making them acceptable for the bin but it's definitely worth it. We'll for sure try your Air fresheners as commercially available products have got to be offensive to anyone not odorifically (?) retarded. Being politically incorrect but a lifelong lover of Free Feline's and their love of the outdoors, hence no Litter box, our only odor problem is now the 100 lbs. of Dog my wife insist we maintain. Love and your Freshener shall conquer all!


rhkramer7 months ago

Would rubbing alcohol work just as well as vodka? (Except that (1) it is poisonous, so you'd want to make sure none drink it, and (2) it is more concentrated than vodka, so you may want to dilute it slightly with water.)

rnorton2 rhkramer7 months ago

ethanol is very similar to rubbing alcohol and drinking alcohol and technically drinking alcohol is poison also. but yes it would work.

rhkramer rnorton27 months ago
jmaret7 months ago

About what size spray bottle is that? 4 ounces?

Dewdle1 year ago
rhondita1 year ago

Love these ideas!

rosaleen1 year ago

I use shop bought Scented sprays for my home. You have presented some great ideas for safer ways to make sprays. I have a supply of Vodka in the cupboard and some Lavender Oil so am going to try this. Thank you

cupquake1 year ago
You did your homework
Paige Russell (author)  cupquake1 year ago

Thanks for reading it!

Pinkly1 year ago

Important note: No peace lilies (or lilies of any kind) in homes with pets that like to chew on plants. Or, make sure they are *well* out of reach. Lilies are toxic to cats and dogs:



Paige Russell (author)  Pinkly1 year ago

Hi Pinkly,

Thanks for the reminder! I totally wasn't thinking about the plant suggestions from that perspective. I've removed peace lilies from the list!

best, Paige

rnathan11 year ago
wonderful thanks:)
Its always best to go BACK to nature. thanks for a nice reminder. good tutorial too