Try these homemade recipes to eliminate household odors and refresh rooms with natural ingredients.

By Jessica Bennett
Updated May 27, 2020
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The right scent can instantly make a room feel fresher, cleaner, and more inviting. While there are tons of store-bought products that can help achieve this goal, commercial air fresheners and cleaners made from harsh chemicals aren't the only way to get a great-smelling home. DIY alternatives provide a simple approach to deodorize and scent your space the natural way. Using a handful of household ingredients and fragrances from essential oils and herbs, you can create natural home scents that help eliminate odors and diffuse pleasing aromas. Try these DIY odor eliminators and home fragrance recipes for a fresh-smelling space.

Jacob Fox

1. Lemon Basil Room Spray

Freshen up rooms with the clean scent of lemon and basil. To create a DIY room spray, start by boiling 3/4 cup water in a pot or tea kettle and pour it into a liquid measuring cup. Add 4 tablespoons dried basil and let steep for a few minutes. Line a funnel with a coffee filter and place it in the opening of a reusable spray bottle. Carefully pour the basil and water mixture into the bottle through the filter to remove the herbs, then discard the filter. Add 3/4 cup distilled water, 1 tablespoon vodka, and 5 drops of lemon essential oil to the bottle. Attach the spray bottle top and shake to combine the mixture. Spray the odor eliminator around the room as needed.

Jacob Fox

2. DIY Reed Diffuser

Create a simple DIY version of a reed diffuser using baby oil. Add 1 teaspoon of your favorite essential oil (any scent will work) to a small glass container and fill the rest with baby oil. If you're using a large vessel, you may need to add additional essential oil. Place rattan diffuser sticks inside the container and gently stir the mixture. Set your DIY reed diffuser on a countertop or table to fill the space with fragrance.

Jacob Fox

3. Essential Oil Wax Melts

You'll need a slow cooker, slow cooker liner, and silicone molds (we used a silicone try for square ice cubes) to create your own wax melts. First, add a plastic liner (Kohl's, $4) to the slow cooker. Then add 2 cups of soy wax pellets and set the heat to low. Once melted, add 1 teaspoon lavender essential oil, 3/4 teaspoon cedarwood essential oil, and 1/2 teaspoon vetiver essential oil. Mix thoroughly before carefully removing the liner. Set the liner inside a liquid measuring cup, folding the excess plastic over the edge of the cup. Sprinkle dried lavender into your silicone mold and pour the wax mixture on top. Let the wax cool at room temperature until it's completely solid, then remove the wax from the molds to use in a store-bought wax warmer (Target, $15).

Jacob Fox

4. Linen Spray

This DIY linen spray freshens towels, bedding, clothes, and fabric-covered furniture. Pour 1 tablespoon vodka into a liquid measuring cup, then pour into a reusable spray bottle. Add 35 drops of essential oil (you can use a combination of scents if desired), then fill the bottle the rest of the bottle with distilled water. Attach the spray bottle lid, and shake to mix well. Spray linens as needed to keep them smelling fresh.

Jacob Fox

5. Carpet Deodorizer

Try this homemade carpet deodorizer for a natural way to eliminate lingering smells from your floors. Start by mixing 1 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup cornstarch in a medium bowl. Add 5 drops of your favorite essential oil and stir to combine. Use a funnel to pour the mixture into a Mason jar. Create small holes in the lid using a hammer and nail, then attach the lid to the jar. Lightly sprinkle the mixture onto the carpet as needed, and let sit for at least 30 minutes before vacuuming up.

Jacob Fox

6. Simmer Pot

Follow this easy simmer pot recipe to quickly fill your home with warm, inviting aromas. Cut an orange into slices and add to a pot along with a small handful of cloves and cinnamon sticks. Add water to cover the ingredients and simmer on the stove for several hours to release the scent.

Jacob Fox

7. Gel Room Scent

Bring one cup water to boil in a medium pot. Add four packets of unflavored gelatin and whisk until dissolved. Add 1 teaspoon of any essential oil. Because this DIY fragrance will be displayed, you can add a drop of food coloring, if desired, for a hint of color. Next, mix in one cup water and 1 tablespoon salt and stir. Pour the mixture into small glass jars and let cool until the gel is solid. Set the jars on a table or countertop without a lid; the gelatin mixture will slowly release the scent as it dries.

Comments (3)

Anonymous
June 18, 2020
It seems like there’s a simpler way to sprinkle the recipe for your carpet deodorizer onto the carpet other than buying a Mason jar, punching holes in the top and using it to dispense the cornstarch/baking soda/essential oil mixture. Why not just use a flour sifter instead? MUCH easier. It can also be washed and revert back to your baking tools when you are finished deodorizing your carpets!
Anonymous
February 11, 2019
The SAVE button is not working on any of your articles for the last week.
Anonymous
July 30, 2018
the lemon and rosemary sounds great, I don't have rosemary sprigs but could I use rosemary leaf?