I, like pretty much everyone, like my home to smell nice...no one wants to have "that weird house smell." However, with a toddler, two dogs, and a mechanic husband keeping that fresh scent isn't always easy. My carpet freshener and the essential oils in my all purpose cleaner help to keep my carpets and surfaces smelling nice. However I wanted something else to help freshen the air in general, and something I can spray on my linens and sheets to freshen them up in-between laundry rotations. In the past I would have used Febreze, however after reading a post by Brown Thumb Mama I decided that there was no way I was going to let those toxins into my home. I mean, you can't even throw away the empty bottle, it has to be taken to a hazardous waste facility!!! So began my search for the perfect DIY Febreze. Brown Thumb Mama has a recipe on her sight, however she uses baking soda, and I thought that it would leave a film along the surfaces of my house. When I read the comments on her post that's what seemed to be happening, and with our new wood floors I didn't want to risk it. I had read some commenter's mention using vinegar or rubbing alcohol however I couldn't find a recipe. I found plenty of recipes that used fabric softener, but I use dryer sheets and even so, I didn't like the idea of using something for clothes in the air...even if it was an all natural product. So I decided to make my own!
1) Spray Bottle
3) 3 Tbsp. Rubbing Alcohol
4) 20-30 drops essential oil of your choice (the amount depends on the strength of the smell)
I decided to go with the rubbing alcohol because it evaporates very quickly so I didn't have to worry about water build up on any of my surfaces or floors. The essential oils are the most important part of this recipe because they are what make the DIY febreze, a febreze! Be aware that the mixture will dilute the smell of the oil a lot so you want to put a lot of the oils in or pick a very strong smell.
Step 1: Fill your spray bottle with water. Some recipes called for hot water, but I thought this was silly since you're not going to make a new batch each time, and the water isn't going to stay hot. So I just used room temperature water. You want to fill the spray bottle 3/4 of the way full.
Step 2: Add the 3 Tbsp. of rubbing alcohol. I may add an extra Tbsp or two, I'm not sure yet because it did evaporate quickly but not as quickly as my all purpose cleaner. So this is kind of up to you and what you are comfortable with.
If you have a funnel, I would suggest using it for this part.
Step 3: Add your essential oil(s). The scent you choose if entirely up to you. I like to stick with lavender and spearmint for all of my product just so I can have some consistency throughout my house with scents. I think it can be too over powering and jolting if there are too many scents in one home. I have at times used different scents in the bedrooms and bathrooms and then the same scents in all of the main living areas. I like to use the organic lavender essential oil from Aura Cacia, which you can get here. Amazon.com sells essential oil sets for very good prices and there shipping is very quick, I get a lot of my stuff from there, it's usually WAY cheaper then at my local natural foods market.
I added about 25-30 drops of the lavender into the mixture and that resulted in a very subtle smell. This is fine with me, because I am mainly using this for my couches, pillows, towels, and linens so something very subtle is perfect. If you want something specifically for the air you can either add more drops of the essential oil you choose, or use a stronger smelling essential oil. It all depends on your preference, and what you would like the essential oil to do. Lavender is used for allergies and to help relax your muscles and body so I went with this for all of our linens and seating areas, because that's where we want to relax.
After you have all of the items together, screw not he lid and shake very well. I suggest shaking the spray bottle each time you use it to make sure that the essential oil, and alcohol are thoroughly mixed in with the water. I hope you liked this very simple recipe to help get another set of toxic chemicals out of your house!