Introduction: Homemade Febreze-Go Green by Staying Cheap!

Picture of Homemade Febreze-Go Green by Staying Cheap!

I've seen this on the internet a few times, so I thought that I would bring it to the eyes of you fantastic readers at instructables.

Febreze- We all use it (I hope some of us do) to clean what we have dirtied, make that which is foul smell better, and generally add a hint of fragrance to our garments.

In this short but sweet instructable, I'll show you how to make your own Homemade Febreze with things you should already have in your home.

This is not my original idea. I see it on the internet a lot, but since it was not on instructables, I thought I'd share it with you here.

The motive behind making your own Febreze type smell good cleaners is that the cost of making it yourself is lower than the cost of most cleaners today. Cleaners are getting more expensive everyday, and by making your own, you can cut back on spending outrages amounts of money for a bottle of stuff that you can imitate with household ingredients. So when you make your own Febreze, you are saving money, which you can later invest in solar panels or other energy saving/producing devices.

UPDATE: I just found this instructable by Bigbadjohn81 on how to make Homemade Fabric Refresher. I usually search for instructables that I want to make to make sure that I do not repeat anything already made. I did not find his instructable while I was looking, and so it has been made. I'll leave it where it is for now.

UPDATED UPDATE: I found more instructables on Homemade Febreze earlier today that I didn't see before I made this. I don't know, maybe I looked to fast. I've also been getting comments pertaining to this instructable not being Green. I interpret Going Green as yes, saving the environment, AND saving yourself some dough at the same time. So by making your own Febreze for cheaper than you can buy it, I consider this to be green. Thanks!

Step 1: Some Notes and Recipes.

Picture of Some Notes and Recipes.

I've seen a couple of different recipes for making Homemade Febreze on the internet, and while I will be sharing all of those with you, I will only be demonstrating how to make the simplest one. Since simple=Fewer ingredients=cheaper=Greener!

Here are the varying recipes of Homemade Febreze that I have found, though for this instructable I will be showing how to make Recipe #5.

Recipe #1------------------------------Courtesy of *
1 cup fabric softener
1 cup white vinegar
2 cups water

Recipe #2------------------------------Courtesy of *
2 cups water
1 cup fabric softener

Recipe #3------------------------------Courtesy of *
3 cups water
3 TBS fabric softener
3 TBS rubbing alcohol

Recipe #4------------------------------Courtesy of *
2 cups water (warm)
1/4 cup fabric softener
1 TBS baking soda

Recipe #5------------------------------Courtesy of **
1 part water
3 parts fabric softener



The Recipes above are borrowed from and I do not claim making any of these, but I am posting them here for informational purposes only.

If you have concerns about flammability, unhealthiness, or other life/fabric threatening concern, check out the comments on the TipNut page that talk about this, instead of filling my comments with questions that, frankly, I wouldn't know how to answer.

Step 2: Homemade Febreze!

Picture of Homemade Febreze!

As I said in step 1, I will only be demonstrating Recipe #5, which is also found on step 1.

All of the recipes are to be executed in the same manner. They should all be added together and mixed in an empty spray bottle of your choice.

For Recipe #5, you will need:

The Fabric Softener of your Choice
An empty Spray Bottle

Check the ingredients on whatever you put in your Febreze concoction to make sure that what you're spraying around your house does not affect you in a negative way.

Fabric Softener is very common in homes, so the price of it is relatively low compared to buying Febreze, and water is practically going to cost you nothing. So most of the recipes that you can follow will cost you almost zilch because you should already have most of what is needed.

Step 3: Making Your Homemade Febreze

Picture of Making Your Homemade Febreze

Get your empty spray bottle and wash it out. You don't want unknown liquids mixing with your new smell good juice do you?

After you've cleaned out your spray bottle, fill it 3/4 ways full with the fabric softener.

NOTE: I don't want my fabric softener to be quite that strong, so I'm only going to fill the spray bottle 1/4 way full with the fabric softener.

When you've poured the fabric softener into the spray bottle, the last thing to do is to top it off with water. The fabric softener to water ratio should be 25/75. Or in case of actually following the recipe, it would be 75/25.

Close up your spray bottle, shake the mixture up a bit, and you have your own Homemade Febreze!! Now go make your home smell better.

I tried my mixture of 25/75 softener to water, and it smells just like Febreze!

Hope you've enjoyed my instructable! Comments, ratings and VOTES are appreciated!

Stay green and make your own Febreze type concoctions, stay away from those price gouging super market retailers!!


MysticM (author)2016-05-04

Dear Wannabe-Green-Folk, it would seem that the one thing that no amount of Febreze could cover up is the terrified stench of your fear of any chemical whatsoever. Reading some of these posts is hilarious... the one-upmanship amongst environmentalists never ceases to amaze me. Luckily, I'm an excrement covered, drug-addled tramp so I'm not really that bothered about rank smells....but the reek of your smugness even overpowers my soiled underwear.

ShanazonR (author)MysticM2016-11-01


kimhmyers (author)2012-07-22

not green. sorry. fabric softener is not green. you are still purchasing icky chemicals from a big company that is killing our planet. it's awesome that you want to be diy and make stuff and i encourage you to keep going. it's also great that you want to be green!! let's stop buying things from proctor and gamble! A study found that fabric softeners often contain chemicals such as benzyl acetate, formaldehyde, camphor, chloroform, ethyl acetate, pentane, linalool and limonene. And, according to the Allergy and Environmental Health Association, both liquid and dryer sheet fabric softeners are “the most toxic product produced for daily household use.”
Try this instead! And keep making things at home!
Febreze Alternative 1
1 cup water
1 cup cheap vodka
20-40 drops essential oils (optional)
Febreze Alternative 2
1 cup water
2 tbsp baking soda / sodium bicarbonate
2 tbsp cheap vodka
10-20 drops essential oils (optional)
My Favorite Mix of Oils
15 drops Clary Sage
9 drops Lemon
6 drops Lavender
Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake well and spray. So easy! You could even have different scents for different rooms or moods.

RicF1 (author)kimhmyers2016-04-16

Thanks for supplying a version that doesn't use fabric softener! I haven't used the stuff in years, and appreciate the input!

Mona LiesaW (author)kimhmyers2015-07-11

You can use vegan, cruelty-free fabric softeners rather than some commercial brand. They smell amazing and are certainly greener. Please don't generalize.

kyuuei (author)kimhmyers2015-05-01

This is trying to re-create the recipe of Febreeze. Febreeze is essentially watered down fabric softener, which is why it makes sense to use it in these recipes. The "go green" portion is simply 'use less plastic and throw-away items by making your own refills'. The definition is not the same as the hippy-style one you're using is all. Thanks for including the EO-alternative for people who don't use fabric softener though.

makersx2 (author)kimhmyers2015-04-16

Thank you for this. I already make my own laundry detergent so I don't purchase fabric softener. I felt that "requiring" it in a recipe was taking a step back. These I am going to try. Thanks again.

PamS60 (author)2016-03-02

link included in the first update is broken

SheldonT4 (author)2016-01-16

I used some softener village drinking water & 2 tiny measured cupped hand Downy unstoppables in a spray bottles and made my homemade version of Febreze.

NickJ32 (author)2015-12-16

The ones that use vinegar still smell like vinegar after being sprayed. No thanks -_-

geeky_is_sooper (author)2015-11-02

I would put this more at cheap or economical and less as green. I buy baking soda from Aldi (50 cents per box) and I am still using the same bottle of fabric softener me and my hubby got about 5 years ago, and I believe it cost us no more than 4 bucks. We got a free bottle of febreze from CVS ECB so we just use that to refill. I am sure you can go green with this but tbh, being poor, cheap is more important than being green to me.

MaggieR2 made it! (author)2015-10-02

I go thru Febreze like CRAZY!!!! I have 3 boys, 2 cats, and I'm a smoker. (Which, I don't smoke in the house except for in my room, but even at that I still use the Febreze in my room.) With that being said, I can't afford to keep buying Febreze at $5 a regular bottle and $8 a refill bottle. This was the most helpful thing I've ever found on the internet!!!! :D

I tried 2 of these recipes immediately; Recipe #1 and Recipe #4. Both were EXTREMELY easy and quick to make, and both work fantastic so far!!!! :D I accidentally added too much baking soda to #4, but it still seems to be working just fine. It just settles after sitting for a bit so I have to shake it up when I want to use it. No biggie there. (Now that I think about it, I suppose I can just double the recipe since there's room in the bottle. lol) Recipe #1 is fantastic, except the vinegar smell is a little more potent than I'd like. I think maybe 3/4 of a cup would be better than a full cup, and I'm going to try that the next time I make it because even tho is smells great, I can still smell the vinegar over the fabric softener and that's not what I want. lol

I can't thank you enough for posting all of these!!!! Y'all are a huge life saver for a single mom of 3 boys in the process of getting disability!!!! You're amazing!!!!! :D <3

CherylA11 (author)2015-09-17

Y'all making this too technical. Obviusly "greener" for the use of less bottles by reusing. No need to bring the "greener" label all the way back to where george washington peed and what he ate and what pesticides they used and how using water makes it not "green". Geez.

Mona LiesaW (author)2015-07-11

I use cruelty-free fabric softeners when I make this. Look for the bunny logos - the products are certainly greener and no animals were ever harmed in their creation when the bunny logo is visible.

Mona LiesaW (author)2015-07-11

jheno (author)2015-06-25

As how I understand, like what it says in the title we can go green by staying cheap. So probably the point is we can save the environment by creating our own fabric freshener instead of patronizing the products in the market that uses plastics and more chemicals on their product. Doing our own stuff only costs us a bottle which we can use over and over, tap water, vinegar or baking soda and some garment conditioner compared to buying these products in the market which means another bottle in the trash, more chemicals and more spending..

lawizeg (author)2008-04-05

NIce one, once again. I just have a is this green? I dont really get it.

lipstic (author)lawizeg2015-03-17

The only thing green about this is the colour of the bottle.

awalling63 (author)lawizeg2015-03-15

Simply by using a bottle over and over you are helping the environment.

Gunk on Floor (author)lawizeg2008-04-05

The cost of fabric softener, which most people already have, and water (costs relatively nothing) means that making your own Febreze is cheaper than buying it at the store. And spending less money in an already money hungry world that we live in, can help you save what you have and be green! Hope I've answered your question!

Aar000n3y (author)Gunk on Floor2008-04-05

Wait, so spending less money is a way of being green? I don't understand

Gunk on Floor (author)Aar000n3y2008-04-05

Well, yeah. Spending less money on anything by finding a cheaper more efficient alternative is the equivalent of being green. Take vegetable oil for example. You can use used vegetable oil in diesel vehicles as an alternative to diesel fuel. You can get the vegetable oil for almost free, and it's better for the environment, so your being green. Hope I've answered your question!

Aar000n3y (author)Gunk on Floor2008-04-05

No no, that's green because it is recycling something to use its energy instead of letting it go to waste. Not because it's cheaper, even if that is a plus.

Gunk on Floor (author)Aar000n3y2008-04-05

But because you're using it in place of the oil, that's one more car that doesn't rely on fossil fuels which are inevitably destroying the atmosphere. So while it does do a good amount for the ozone layer, it's also helping you save money, because like you said, you are using the energy from it that would have been wasted.

I also interpret being Green in a little bit of a different way than most because of my money pinching dad. Going green should mostly be about helping the environment, but anything that you can do to save money will help in the long run.

Aar000n3y (author)Gunk on Floor2008-04-05

Well it also says eco-friendly projects in the description of the contest, so you could think about the contest in that way instead. How will saving money help in the long run for the environment?

Gunk on Floor (author)Aar000n3y2008-04-06

Because you could then use money you saved to invest in solar panels or something like that.

Aar000n3y (author)Gunk on Floor2008-04-06

I understand your reasoning, but it's too indirect. Setting up solar panels is green, but how you get the money for them isn't. Also, I could use this instructable to save some money, but then use the money to buy some gasoline.

Gunk on Floor (author)Aar000n3y2008-04-06

Or just save the money and find an alternative to gasoline that is green? What's wrong with saving money.

Aar000n3y (author)Gunk on Floor2008-04-06

What I was saying is that this is about money, and money isn't always used for something that's eco-friendly. I have nothing against saving money, I just don't think saving money is eco-friendly by it self.

chris76108 (author)Aar000n3y2010-10-14

Money is GREEN!
But I think Aar000n3y needs to go GRAY (duct tape) ;oX

by buying the ingredients, you can make many batches using the original supplies once you use all your febreeze, once your done with your fabreeze, you need to buy more effectively using more plastic bottles, so this instructable saves you plastic bottles less plastic = more green

irrilia (author)Aar000n3y2009-04-23

No toxins mainly. :)

nerdnurture (author)Aar000n3y2008-04-11

Yes! Part of the environmental disaster we have created stems directly from our need to consume every new-fangled something that enters the market. We cannot continue the current rate of consumption. Period. The more you can make yourself, and the more you can find multiple uses for the same stuff, the better. Reduce and reuse. They come before recycle... I think homemade febreeze is a good idea. Vinegar makes a good fabric softener too though, and it doesn't have any of those wierd chemicals you can't pronounce.

DaNerd11 (author)nerdnurture2008-04-12

I get that, i think.... Nice instructable, im doing it right now.

Thanks for the support nerdnurture, sometimes it's hard to explain things the way you mean them and other people (you) can put them in the right words.

gillian (author)Aar000n3y2008-04-07

For one thing, by making your own instead of buying febreeze, you'd be preventing the water weight from being transported via truck, so there would technically be less use of petroleum. That being said, I bet fabric softener is not very good for the environment.

lawizeg (author)Gunk on Floor2008-04-05

Yea, you have! thanks!

tabitha_6878 (author)2011-04-23

THANK YOU for this recipe!


My mother in law has 13 cats and this is just what I needed!


lipstic (author)tabitha_68782015-03-17

This is NOT safe for cats.

cward20 (author)2013-01-09

Okay first off, fabric softener in it self is dangerous when used in excess. Every now and then on your clothes is one thing, not to often though, but through your entire house? No not a good idea. These recipes are great but instead of using the fabric softener, use some type of natural oil scent that you usually use for incense and such. I personally love incense, it is naturally made from herbs, and smells great! My personal favorite for around the house is bamboo jasmine. You can get it at walmart for like 5 bucks, and you really only need about 2 or 3 drops for a 30 ml bottle. No incense oils are not the same thing as fragrance oils (those are filled with really bad chemicals so don't get them!).

lipstic (author)cward202015-03-17

I think you meant to say incense oils are not the same as essential oils, as incense and fragrance oils both tend to bad chemicals in them.

cward20 (author)cward202013-01-09

Also here is a link to walmart for if you want to order a type of oil offline or just to see what it is I am talking about.

brianna.d.lorenzo (author)2015-03-14

I use an organic natural fabric softener with a vinegar and baking soda base. I add some lavender and essential oil for a soothing scent, or vanilla and cinnamon for my living areas. Mix it with hot water and spray away.

caseymyhro (author)2015-02-15

Avoid Recipe #4, and all other recipes that suggest using baking soda, unless you like having white spots on everything you spray. Instead, use rubbing alcohol, or vodka.

blodefood (author)2010-01-30

I know this sounds counter to what you are trying to accomplish, but is there a fragrance free alternative to this?  I find so many of these products have such an objectionable smell, to say nothing of burning my eyes and throat, a scent free alternative is nice.  Any ideas?

cward20 (author)blodefood2013-01-09

My recomendation for you sweetie is to get some small little canning jars, poke some holes in the top parts (easy way to do it is get a nail hold it with an oven mitten, then heat up the tip of the nail with a flame then poke it through the metal) then fill it about halfway with baking soda. Put the lid on it and put it somewhere in your home. You can decorate it to please you or to blend it in with your decor. The baking soda basically absorbs the smells you have currently in your home, and then leaves somewhat of a soft gently airy smell behind (nothing that is to bad though it is more like a sniff in real big and go ahhh kind of smell). Hope it helps! It works great for me. Also, if you do want to add some smell but use this same concept, you can get incense and mash it up and add it to there. They sell them in these triangle shapes that you can burn straight like that, but there is a way to crush it up. Good luck! If you have any other questions let me know!

MsJan (author)2012-08-06

Did you know that there is not one type of fabric softener on the market that is not toxic to humans???? They cause cancer. My neighbor has pancreas cancer and the doctor will not allow the whole family to have this in their home. My son now has a lump on his pancreas and it swells making him not be able to eat. When I researched it it said it could be from fabric softner. There family now does not use itany longer. People need to wake up before more become ill. These companies just want our money and do not care about our health. If we stop buying toxic products than they will offer us smarter choices. You can add baking soda in with your unscented laundry soap to keep your clothes soft or add a cup of white vinegar to the last rinse cycle or if you miss it than put white vingar on a wash cloth an toss it in to the dryer with your cloths. Stay healthy and make better choices.

dalston1 (author)2011-08-03

For the green folks: technically, you can just make homemade "green" fabric softener (also available at TipNut), and then use that as the "fabric softener" ingredient in all the recipes.

So, taking that as an assumption from the very beginning, it's green.

Now get off his back.

soulcalibur (author)2009-07-13

seems the simplest of all ideas. by the way if i were you i'd buy one of those garden pressurizer bottle things and use that instead. maybe even a well cleaned out weed killer pump pressurized container. still i think the solution won't clean and keep it that way as good as febreeze does.

About This Instructable




Bio: I enjoy visiting the dump to look at, and take, all the free stuff people throw away. It's a lot of fun. I like ... More »
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