Introduction: Spice Based Natural Insect Repellent

Keeping biting insect away from you can be a hazardous thing these days. With all the chemical-based repellents sold to fight off mosquitoes, it's difficult to know what ingredients you can trust.

One way to ease your mind is to make your own repellent using some commonly available ingredients.

Spices are not just nice aromas you like on your food, but they contain health promoting essential oils, which can be used in many ways.

For instance, the odor of some spices can be used to ward off insects.

Clove, and cinnamon are two common spices that are effective in keeping biting insects away.

Step 1: Ingredients and Supplies


Ground Clove

Ground Cinnamon


Ethyl Rubbing Alcohol (or use Everclear, moonshine or Vodka)

Carrier Oils

Filter Paper


Mason Jar

Spray or lotion Bottle

Step 2: Mix and Steep

Add one or two spoonfuls of Cinnamon Powder.

Add Clove Powder.

Pour the Alcohol in the Mason jar.

Cover and Steep.

The longer you steep the mixture, the stronger it will become.

If you have the time, you can let it sit a few days, but a few hours to over night should be sufficient to extract most of the essential oils from the spices.

Step 3: Filter Solids From Mixture

Fold a coffee filter twice to make a quarter-round.

Place the coffee filter in the funnel.

Place the funnel in a container large enough to hold the liquid..

Pour the mixture slowly into the filter, letting it drain into the jar.

If the filter begins to clog, slow down, or stop and clean out or replace the filter. You can also scrape the sides of the filter paper with a spoon or dull knife to keep the flow going. Be careful you don't damage the paper, allowing solids to pass.

When finished, let the liquid settle.

If there is still sediment in the bottom, filter it a second time.

Step 4: Bottle and Add Carrier Oil

When the liquid no longer contains sediment, pour into your container.

Add a carrier oil that is non-toxic and can be used on skin. Don't use hydrogenated vegetable oils, but you can use olive oil. The reason for the carrier oil is two fold. Alcohol will dry your skin. The oil will also keep much of the essential oil from quickly evaporating.

If you're going to use the repellent as a spray, use a light oil. If you're making a lotion, you can use something like Jojoba Oil which is heavier, and less easily sprayed. You may experiment if you wish.

Step 5: Suggest Use

Warning: Test before use on a small area of skin for allergic reactions.

Shake well before using.

Spray exposed areas of skin. Spray your hand and wipe it on your face, or close your eyes and spray.

The effect should last a couple hours, depending activity level.

Use often without worry of dangerous chemical poisoning.

If you have a lot of mosquitoes in your yard, you might want to build a mosquito trap.

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