Natural Homemade Room and Fabric Deodorizers on the Cheap

by Reader Contributors

Natural Homemade Room and Fabric Deodorizer photo

No need to pay for costly chemical sprays. Freshening your home can be a “breeze” by making your own natural homemade room and fabric deodorizers with these frugal recipes.

Dear Dollar Stretcher,
I have been trying to save money on cleaning products including making my own laundry detergent, and other great ideas that I have found the last few months for cleaners.

I’m wondering if you know of a way to make a room and/or fabric deodorizer similar to Febreze. I know there must be something that would work to obtain the same type of effect as this product has, but not quite sure what to use at this time. I have five dogs and sure do a lot of cleaning.
Donna G.

Easy Deodorizer

The best deodorizer that I make is plain tap water with several drops of essential oil in it. I normally use lavender. About 15 drops for a 32-ounce spray bottle. When needed, I simply mist the air. I use lavender because it’s so relaxing!

Good Use for Vodka

I own a business which styles and sells wigs, falls, and other synthetic hairpieces, and the best trick I’ve learned for getting smells out of those fibers works just as well on other fibers and fabrics.

Just mix water and vodka in a 1:1 ratio and spritz it right on. Works as well as commercial products like Febreeze. It evaporates quickly, leaving no alcohol-scent behind.

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Less Expensive Substitute

Our local Sam’s Club has a product called OdoBan. It comes in a gallon jug as a concentrate. You may make the scent as light or strong as you wish by adding water to a very small amount in a spray bottle. The scent isn’t as flowery as Febreeze but pleasant, very effective, and very affordable. I have had my gallon for over a year and it’s still almost a gallon.

My daughter uses this product at her pet grooming shops. The scent of wet dog isn’t so noticeable. I have also read you may add fabric softener diluted with water as a spray, but would worry about furniture because fabric softener stains clothes if not used right.

The Fake Febreeze Recipe

  • 2 C. Fabric Softener
  • 2 C. Baking Soda
  • 4 C. warm water

Mix and place in a spritzing bottle. Use just like you would the expensive Febreeze from the store. If you want, you can use the unscented fabric softener and then add a few drops of essential oil to make it a scent that you prefer. I just use Snuggle.

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Old Faithfuls – Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar in a spray bottle. It doesn’t get any more homemade or natural than that. Dogs don’t like the smell either and will avoid most areas it is sprayed. Ditto for cats. Vinegar in an open dish will also improve the smell in a room.

Sprinkle your carpets with baking soda and let it sit for a while before vacuuming. This will rid carpets of a lot of odors. Try it on your upholstered furniture. Make sure you have a good vacuum cleaner first. It won’t hurt the fabric but who wants a residue of white stuff on their clothes.

Works for Hunters

I have the perfect de-scenter. We moved into a house where the former renter had lots and lots of cats. The place really smelled like a cat box!

I used something I found at Walmart called Sport-Wash by Sno-Seal. It is a laundry detergent that hunters use to wash their clothes in that masks their scent so as not to alert the game. It works great. Just follow instructions and put some into a spray bottle and spray on carpets and furniture. It takes away the scent totally, and because it was originally designed to be used in the wash, it is safe on fabrics.

You can find it in the sporting goods department at Walmart. It is very cheap

Also, it leaves no perfumed after-smell so you do not get that air freshener cover up smell.

Reviewed March 2022

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