Febreze came out on the market around 20 years ago and many homemakers quickly embraced it since it does a great job eliminating stale odors and funky smells from carpets, vehicles and upholstery. Pets, a bunch of kiddos and spilled food/drinks can really do a number to textiles of all kinds.
Being me, I just had to research and find a simple homemade solution that could also do the trick. I think I did it, but it’s embarrassingly simple.
This was one of the first tips I published here on Tipnut (I uploaded it February 2nd, 2007, a few months after starting this website) and it garnered instant attention with loads of helpful comments and suggestions shared by visitors.
So many folks loved the idea of experimenting with making their own deodorizers and fresheners at home! I’ve updated it since then (including this introduction), but this page is still a favorite with Tipnut readers after all these years.
Basically the ingredients to make homemade Febreeze are a mix of water and fabric softener (noted as F.S. below). How simple! This mix can be used to lift odors from textiles, carpets and upholstery. Don’t miss the update at the bottom of this article, I added some great tips from readers who had success using more natural ingredients and scents (such as essential oils).
- Unless otherwise noted, place ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well to mix. Test a small unnoticeable area first before using to make sure no discoloration or damage occurs on fibers. Use as needed, shaking well each time before use. These aren’t hard and fast measurements, tweak and experiment as you will.
Note: Add the ingredients to 2 cups of warm water except for #3 recipe which requires 3 cups
1 cup F.S.
1 cup white household vinegar
1 cup F.S.
3 TBS F.S.
3 TBS rubbing alcohol
1/4 cup F.S.
1 TBS baking soda
ETA: Review the comment section below for discussion about flammability concerns and adding chemicals to the air we breathe. Interesting!
Some more tips from the Comments section (thank you everyone!)
- A better recipe is Borax, diluted with 3 cups of water, as a binding agent in place of the fabric softener 1TBS of glycerin. The Borax destroys the odors and doesn’t cover it up like the F.S. will. (cjean)
- Vinegar is an excellent deodorizer! I use it all the time on my carpets, upholstery, and the kids beds. So if you’re not comfortable using F.S. then just add some essential oil to some vinegar and you have an all natural febreeze for less! I give this website a big thumbs up!!! (Amanda)
- Cheap vodka – 1/2 and 1/2 with water. Leaves no real smell, works great on stuff like furniture and carpets. (Jon Sage)
- I actually filled my 32 oz spray bottle up with water and added my oil (jasmine) and made it to my “smell” likings. (Shawna)
- Try this recipe for homemade air/fabric freshener spray: 1 c. vinegar, 1 c. water, 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin, 1/2 tsp essential oil of your choice. Makes enough for a 16 oz bottle. (Robin)
- 3 parts water; 1 part white vinegar; 1 lemons worth of lemon juice; 2 tsp baking soda (Sara M)