Make your own natural air freshener

Today, I got into a taxi. It was a beautiful, clean and new taxi. An overwhelming smell of bubblegum air came over me as the door shut though and I was trapped. I asked if he had on of those ‘plugged in’ air freshener thingies on and he said no. It was like that when he picked it up for his shift and he couldn’t find where the smell was coming from.

I had to tell him why this was dangerous for him to be working in this environment for hours at a time with no fresh air. Pthalates are a very real threat on many levels and all products that contain synthetic scents, have them in there. They’re sticky little critters that make fragrances carry and last. They’re also used in plastic toys for elasticity, softness and bounce and things like plastic wrap and freezer bags. What they do to us is mimic our hormones and that is dangerous territory indeed! I don’t mean giving you a bad mood or something minor like that, I mean changing the shape of your baby boy’s genitalia while growing in the womb, type thing. (Reference: Slow death by Rubber Duck, 2009). Anyway, while I didn’t go into quite those details, I did convince him to make his own, to the point he was writing the recipe out at the traffic lights! Success.

Have a good think of scents we’ve been marketed over the years. “Alpine Fresh”, “Lavender Fresh”, “Ocean Mist”… Whatever any of those things smell like in real life, it sure isn’t what those fake  air fresheners smell like, is it?

blue ocean coral

Basically? Get cheap plastic toys out of the mix of your child’s toys and stop using cosmetics, air fresheners, cleaning products that have scents other than clearly labelled natural essential oils. You will have detoxed your home largely from pthalates. You might also like to suggest to your employer to choose an eco friendly bathroom timed spray as many of those are also toxic. If you need support as to how to replace anything you’ve thrown out, just hit the comments and ask. There are many amazing small businesses doing the right thing with toxic free products at the ready to help you swap to safe and gorgeous things! Then, of course, you can also get more savvy and realise you actually don’t need that many products and can make stuff yourself!

So, you still need an air freshener for the car, toilet, staff room, office or home?

Make one in 20 seconds.


Natural Air Freshener Recipe

Get a spray bottle at the ready.

Fill a measuring cup with

1/2 cup of water

1/4 cup white alcohol (gin or vodka is good for this)

20 drops total of your favourite essential oil, or blend of a couple you like.

Pour into spray bottle.



Do you make your own already? Are you more of an oil burner type?  What scent are you going to create? I have a lavender, rosemary and lemon one that I just love. A few sprays to the air and you’ve given a car or room a gorgeous, natural burst of fragrance.

If you fancy checking out more home cleaning recipes I did a basics post a while ago. Click here. You could also check out this site today I found thanks to my friend Jos, which is full of creative DIY cleaning recipes in the home made solution tab.  If you don’t clean your house, it’s still important to make sure natural stuff is used, as you and your family and breathing in the aftermath and touching the surfaces anyway.

Low Tox. Happy Bodies.

spray bottle

p.s if you want to know where that gorgeous orange, glass bottle spray is from? E bay of course!


Comments 19

  1. Lavender, rose geranium, eucalyptus and tea tree oils in water . I also use it as a flea repellent on the dogs too, so I don’t add the alcohol.
    The only place we use it (other than on the dogs) is as a toilet air freshener as I keep most windows in the house open year round to keep air flowing throughout.

    Oh and I’m off to eBay to find one of those gorgeous bottles.

  2. Post

    Fabulous Nicole! Love Rose geranium and while the alcohol isn’t essential, I do find for room sprays (def. not pets 🙂 it makes it linger a little longer… Have fun on ebay! 🙂

  3. G’day Alexx

    If I were to leave out the alcohol that just leaves water & oils. Would you recommend I use 20 drops of oil to 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup water?

    Thanks, Deb

  4. Post

    3/4 cup of water would be fine Debra. I find the alcohol helps the scent last longer, which is why it’s in mine, in case you wondered 🙂

  5. I like rose water, or lavender oil. I’ve also added eucalyptus oil to the vinegar/water spray mix to take the edge off the vinegar smell. I’m not sure I’m up for my alcohol being used in air freshner!!

    1. Post

      Nice combos. Love rose geranium too! The alcohol helps preserve and carry the oils but isn’t essential if you want to skip it 🙂

  6. I’m more an oil burner type myself. I love orange and lavender oil. Or just lime oil. Or anything citrus actually 🙂

    1. Post
  7. I love the sound of this air freshener very much but wonder about the effect it has on furniture / wood / soft fittings / floor coverings, etc. Is there any feedback on this?

    1. Post

      I wouldn’t be spraying it ON a couch I must say because oils are oils, but wood, tables, lacquered pieces, laminate, carpet etc are fine! I do it all the time 🙂

  8. Looks great, Alexx! Does this have a shelf-life? Or need to be refrigerated? And, if you accidentally got some on your skin would that be ok (i.e. is this concentration of essential oils too intense for skin contact or ok)? Thanks!

    1. Post

      For potency of the smell from the oils, about 2-3 months “ish” – the alcohol prevents moulds and things so it’s not dangerous past 2-3 months, just that it wouldn’t smell much x

  9. Hi Alexx, recently bought your book ‘Low Tox Life’ and I am loving it! Thank you!
    I was wondering if you recommend any particular vodka brand to use in the natural air freshener recipe? Thanks 🙂

    1. Post

      Hey Roshan – Glad you’re enjoying the book. Any vodka will do so definitely save your pennies – doesn’t need to be top shelf x

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