Natural Air Fresheners

Whenever I see an advertisement for commercial air fresheners I can’t help but cringe. It doesn’t matter whether they are aerosol sprays, atomizers, plug-ins or gel based fresheners the thought of all those chemicals floating through the air is certainly a disturbing one. Full of nasty things like solvents, glycol-ethers, terpenes and artificial fragrances, more and more studies are being done to determine the potential health risks of using these products. Of course we all want our homes, cars and office spaces to smell nice, but it is definitely better, and more cost effective, to go the natural route!


In fact it couldn’t be easier to create your very own natural air freshener. Perhaps one of the best-known natural air fresheners is baking soda. This simple ingredient is not just for baking; it really helps neutralize bad odours whether it’s a smelly fridge, stinky bin or foul smelling drain! Of course baking soda can be used as is but I like to add a few drops of essential oil to create a powerful, odour remover that has a natural and personalized scent. You don’t even have to remove the baking soda from the box, just open the top and add a few drops directly to the contents. However, you can always pour the baking soda into a pretty jar or bottle before adding your oils if you want something a little more pleasing to the eye! Just make sure whatever you use is well out reach of children and pets.

Citrus oils such as sweet orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, bergamot and petitgrain are great for the bathroom. I like to mix 10-drops petitgrain, 10-drops sweet orange and 6-drops lemon essential oil in a 200 g box of baking soda. The aroma is fresh, clean, invigorating and uplifting. In the bedroom I often use a blend of 10-drops frankincense, 10-drops lavender and 6-drops sweet orange, which is soothing and relaxing. You can have lots of fun experimenting with different scents and create special aroma blends for every room in your home. Refresh the essential oils as needed and replace the baking soda every 1-2 months.


Photo by dannymol

Another great way to freshen your environment is to use a natural Aromatherapy spray. Add 50 ml of distilled water, 50 ml of vodka and approximately 30-40 drops of essential oil to a clean 250 ml spray bottle. How many drops you add will determine the strength of your spray so you may want to experiment with fewer drops first and add more if you prefer a stronger aroma. Don’t be tempted to fill the bottle right up to the top, as you will need room to give the contents a good shake every time you use the spray to ensure the oils are dispersed. The vodka is an important ingredient as it lengthens the shelf life of the spray. Completely odourless and drying immediately on contact with surfaces it will enhance the effectiveness of your blend. If you prefer not to use alcohol add another 50 ml of distilled water, but be aware your spray may not last as long. Once again have fun playing around with different scents. A personal favourite is 20-drops rosemary, 6-drops grapefruit and 6-drops peppermint, which is an energizing, warm and welcoming aroma ideal for use in the kitchen or entrance hall.

Why not try adding herb, spices, fruit and extracts to a simmering pan of water? Use 1-orange cut into quarters, 3-cinnamon sticks, 3-whole cloves and a ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract for a comforting, spicy blend. A mix of 2-Tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary, 2-lemons cut into quarters and ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract will clear your head, boost your mood and provide a fresh, lively scent to your home. This is an ideal method for those who don’t have any store bought essential oils or diffusers, however the increasing popularity of Aromatherapy and the growing concern about chemical air fresheners mean there is a huge range of diffusers available for purchase.

Oil burners or aromalamps, which use a nightlight candle to heat a small dish filled with water and a few drops of essential oil, is perhaps the most well known type of diffuser. Decorative and elegant these are powerful tools for fragrancing your home, but you must be careful of the open flame and never allow the bowl to run dry. Fan diffusers, aromastones and electric heat diffusers are also effective and rule out any potential dangers from candles. Lamp ring diffusers can be placed over standard-sized light bulbs to discretely scent your home whenever the light is switched on.


With so many natural ways to rid your home of nasty smells and odours, it makes perfect sense to say goodbye to store bought, chemical air sprays and fresheners. Besides your home is an extension of you, so why not fill it with beautiful, elegant aromas that are truly special and reflect who you are!