Homemade Deodorizing Spray – Non-Toxic and Green

This is one deodorizing spray that smells divine – and it’s cheap and easy to make with no harsh or toxic chemicals. It’s safe for those with asthma and allergies, too! I’ve also included a free printable to tack onto your bottle so you never have to look up the recipe again.

Homemade Deodorizing Spray - Chemical-Free, Safe and Very Effective!

Ever thought about what’s in your fabric freshener and room deodorizing spray? Well, according to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) guide, one of the most popular brands on the market (Febreze) is highly toxic and gets a failing F grade. Yikes. Read the report here. Why is it so toxic? Quite a few of the ingredients are highly toxic to aquatic life (which will harm our lakes and streams if poured down the drain and get into the groundwater during the manufacturing process),  it contains endocrine disrupting compounds and irritates those with asthma and allergies. All that mess for a product that isn’t even essential – so ironic that the thing we spray into our air to supposedly improve our air quality is actually filling it with junk!

Just a Few Simple Ingredients

Thankfully, it’s super easy to make your own at home using just vinegar, vodka (optional), water and essential oils! You might be wondering why I chose to use vinegar, as most can agree it’s not terribly fun smelling. It’s actually the secret weapon in this spray as it does a great job at deodorizing and removing the smells. The vinegar smell dissipates very quickly and what’s left behind is the trail of essential oils you choose to put in it.

DIY Deodorizing Spray Essential OilsEssential Oils

If you’re a newb to essential oils, you may want to check out my Essential Oils 101 post to learn all about them. The thing I love about them is that they disinfect and deodorize, while at the same time improve our moods, concentration, and bring mental clarity. Febreeze will likely give you a headache and leave a toxic trail behind to cause confusion, sluggishness, and harm the lungs! Here are the ones I suggest because they really cut through bacteria and bad smells:

  • Purification (a blend of Lemongrass, Rosemary, Melaleuca, Myrtle, Citronella and Lavandin)
  • Lavender
  • Thieves
  • Lemon
  • Clary Sage
  • Peppermint

If you want a combo to smell nice and happy, then I suggest (use one of the following, or blend a single oil with a blended oil):

  • Stress Away (a blend of Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Ocotea, Lavender)
  • Joy (a blend of Bergamot, Lemon, Palmarosa, Ylang Ylang, Rose, Geranium, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Coriander, Tangerine)
  • Valor (Spruce, Blue Tansy, Frankincense, Rosewood)
  • Vanilla
  • Orange
  • Cinnamon Bark

(Click here to buy high quality essential oils)

When was the last time your deodorizing spray read that not only is it 100% natural, safe and non-toxic, but can actually help with mental clarity, is an antidepressant and aphrodisiac and helps alleviate stress and mental fatigue?! Essential oils are powerful.

And, if this oil blend isn’t strong enough for you, simply add more than I suggest.

Download the free printable label here!

The Recipe

Yield: 4 ounces

  • Glass spray bottle (not plastic, it will get destroyed by the oils) (where to buy)
  • 2 tbsp. white distilled vinegar (where to buy)
  • 2 tbsp. vodka (helps the oils to be dispersed throughout the solution – shake before using if you don’t have vodka)
  • 30 drops of any of the suggested oils above (my favorite is a combo of 15 drops Purification and 15 drops Lavender)
  • Fill to the top with water or vodka

Mix all in the bottle. Shake before each use. Store in a cool, dry place like a cabinet.

How to Purchase High Quality Essential Oils through My Merry Messy Life

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About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.

Beautycounter - My Favorite Natural Cosmetics Company

Comments

  1. You know, I have all of the ingredients except the Cedarwood oil. What would you use in a pinch as an alternative? Eucalyptus? Tea Tree oil? Hmm..suggestions please? Thank you for the recipe, I am going to try it out! =)

  2. Natalie Jenking says:

    This sounds like a great alternative to Febreeze. You talk about using it in the air, as a room deodorizer, but is it safe on fabrics? Will the vinegar “bleach” the fabric it’s sprayed on?

    • I would do a spot test somewhere inconspicuous first, or substiute vodka for vinegar.
      I have used plain vodka to “freshen” sweaters inbetween wearings. It helps removes oders and when it dries there is no scent of alcohol left. (vodka has no oder)

    • Hi Natalie! Vinegar won’t bleach fabrics, that’s something that hydrogen peroxide would do. I would be concerned with the essential oils staining the fabrics – I have had that happen before. So, I would test it on some old rags that you have first.

  3. Great idea! Pinned 🙂
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  4. This is fabulous! I can’t wait to try it!
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  5. USE SPARINGLY! Too much it really stinks, but in small doses I feel like it could do well. I’m testing it right now to make sure that the oils don’t stain clothes.

  6. How long will this keep?

    • It should keep for a very long time (up to a year), but I’m honestly not totally sure. Since it doesn’t have hydrogen peroxide or other ingredients that break down into water, I think it’ll be fine. If you’re worried about it, I’d add some vodka to it – the alcohol in it is natural and will preserve it.

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  8. Hello! I have included you in my blog’s post about the DIY bloggers I like best. Hope you’ll check it out.

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  9. Hi Sara, I´ve just orderd EO with your coupon, thanks a lot! 🙂
    I love your web, I´m from Europe, we moved to US few months ago for a while and since we are a green family, I was used to make my own laundry detergent at home too, also used some EO for cleaning etc. But everything is so diferent here, so I´m so happy I found your web, where I can get advice.
    We´ve just started to use cloth toilet paper 🙂 Green is fun!
    I´m just wondering….do you have any experience with other clothes than fleece, I ended up with fleece too, since they had nothing else in stock at local second hand store, but it seems to me to be too non absorbent – if you know what I mean…
    I´m sorry for my English. Good luck with your awesome job! Veronika

    • Hi veronica! Yes, fleece is not absorbent. If you’re wanting it for the cloth toilet paper, then you might try flannel as it’s thick and absorbant. You’d probably need two layers and you’d have to sew it because it does unravel. That’s why I chose fleece – I’m just too lazy to sew it!

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  15. I was wondering if you considered that essential oils can be toxic to animals (cats in particular).

    • Yes, they can be. I didn’t know it at the time of writing this several years ago. You’ll want to avoid Melaleuca (Tea Tree Oil) with cats but Lavender, Peace and Calming, Peppermint, Frankincense, Purification, and Melrose are all safe. Many others are, too. But dilute heavily for the smaller dogs and especially cats.

  16. Thank you for this amazing recipe. I had my little one throw up on one of my foam mats in the kitchen and even though I have hand washed it the smell would not go away. This little combination of alcohol, vinegar, water and lavender + pine oil have done the trick 🙂 words cannot express how thankful I am !

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  18. Jodi Nelson says:

    Vodka is a costumers secret weapon. It is often used in theatres and opera houses for dry clean only costumes that can’t be dry cleaned until the show run is over. I would used it for freshening fabrics with essential oils.

  19. Hi! I’m wondering if I could use Isopropyl Alcohol instead of Vodka? I don’t drink and don’t want to go out to buy a bottle just for the spray. Also, do you know how the essential oils break down plastic if you use a plastic bottle? Do you think it’s okay to use a plastic bottle in the interim until I purchase a glass bottle?
    Thanks so much for your green recipe!!

  20. Ricky J. says:

    This would be fine to use on the hair as a refresher/ deodorizer right? I’m researching recipes and ingredients to bottle my own. I love learning the multipurpose usage of everyday natural ingredients.

  21. Thank you so much for your website and the recipes you post. I just recently started making my own ‘stuff’ with carrier and essential oils. I was feeling that my place smelled musty this morning and googled something to make it smell better. Your site popped up with a great room deodorizer all with ingredients I had at home. Wow, 2 minutes later my place smells amazing. I even took it over to a neighbors house and had her spray her place 🙂 I’ve also made a note of a few other recipes and can’t wait to try them out. Thanks!

  22. Thank you for the great recipe! Can you use Bragg’s Apple Cider Organic Vinegar for the vinegar in your recipe? Just not sure because you specified distilled vinegar and Bragg’s says is raw and unfiltered.

    Thank you!

  23. Sara,

    Thank you for the great recipe! Can you use Bragg’s Apple Cider Organic Vinegar for the vinegar in your recipe? Just not sure because you specified distilled vinegar and Bragg’s says is raw and unfiltered.

    Thank you!
    Margo

    • Hi Margo! No, I think it’s best to use white distilled vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar is great for making dressings, and great for the hair and skin, but I don’t think it’d be good in a spray.

  24. I actually used this on my dogs as a deordorizer and it works great. I used a little clove, cinnamon and sweet orange since they don’t drive my nose nuts. It works really well thank you for posting stuff like this!

  25. I can’t see using either Vinegar or Vodka with the Young Living essential Oils. We have a couple of plastic bottles in the bathroom filled with Distilled Water and Majestic Canada (the new Canadian Fragrance with Fir/Pine, etc) and one with Purification. The bottles are fine after 3 years with these mixes. I also use a nebulizing /ultrasonic diffuser to occasionally diffuse Lemongrass or Thieves because they work to control different molds, mildew, etc. Thieves is known to remove the effects of Black Mold which can occur in many old homes. Please read the Essential Oil Desk Reference about these last two oils. There are new Oils with Pine/Fir if you like those scents for your home. The Citrus Blends are also a great scent for deodorizing a home. Using only enough drops of the oils to provide the scent wanted (you can always add more if needed, but start with a small amount to begin with) fill the bottle with distilled water. Remember to shake each time before spraying to ensure the oils and water are mixed. Mist each room. Because there is no Vodka or Vinegar you don’t need to worry about it landing on furniture, pets, etc. Even Aquariums love EOs when used in small amounts.

  26. I make a room spray with cardamom oil, vodka and water. We have just adopted two six year old cats. Will this be harmful to them?

    • Hi there! No, I don’t think so. Are you sure that is a pure, essential oil, though? I use Young Living oils exclusively and they do not have a cardamom oil, and they have the largest selection of oils of any company in the world. So, I’m wondering if that’s an extract?

  27. This says it yields 4 oz…that’s a very small spray bottle! And 30 drops of EO seems like a lot for just 4 oz???

    • Well, it all depends on how strong you want the scent to be. For me, I wanted it to be strong, but I am used to the scent of essential oils. So, I say, start with 10 drops and work your way up from there until it’s to your liking! I find that a 4 oz. bottle actually lasts a long time and doesn’t seem small :).

  28. Dawn Marshall says:

    Hi I just got my EOs order in from Plant therapy and used your link for the $10 off. I got the EO box of all the oils you use in the deoderizing Spray! I just just made it and I doubled the the recipe because Im using reusing an old freeze bottle. The the orange EO is settling on a ring at the top of mixure, is that normal? I guess I you just have to shake it to mix the ingredients before spraying. My husband had to go outside because I guess he was having an allergic reaction LOL. or maybe to strong, I like the smell LOL well has anyone had similar experiences, before?

  29. Hi Dawn! Yes, I do have to mix the EO’s into the recipe everytime. The only thing that dissolves EO’s is alcohol – either in the form of 100 proof vodka or rubbing alcohol. So you could switch out the vinegar and water for that if you want! If the smell is too strong then add more vinegar/water and if there’s no room left in the bottle you have, store it in another bottle until you use up the first!

  30. Dawn Marshall says:

    Thanks Sara I’m going to try to dilute it some bc I sprayed it around the house this morning and everyone says it smells like vinegar LOL my family is sensitive to smells and we all have tons of allergies. I love plug in air freshers and everytime I would plug a new one in my husband would almost immediately get so sick and I thought he was just being “a guy” and told him to SHUT IT! LOL but after reading about how all those sprays and plug ins are toxic, I realized he might have really been sick from them. So I figured this and your other “green” recipes were the perfect solution!!! I love the EOs though OMG I think they smell heavenly!!! Thank you for sharing all your wonderful recipes. I follow you on FB, Pinterest and your blog I love it! I’m going to work with this spray and tweak it a bit!!! :))))

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