DIY All-Natural Home Air Freshener and Carpet Deodorizer
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Life as MOM contributor Janel offers tips and tricks to deodorizing a home the all-natural way.
This past summer, my family was “homeless.” We house-sat for various friends and acquaintances for 8 weeks in California and then spent a few weeks visiting family and driving across the country back to Virginia.
Meanwhile, all of our worldly possessions were stored in our friends’ garage. In Virginia. During the summer. Although we are so very thankful for our friends’ generosity in taking care of our things, we were not so thankful for the humidity of a wet, Virginian summer.
Storage in a humid garage = musty (and sometimes moldy) possessions.
As an added “bonus,” the car we left parked outside had a bit of a leak and water got into the trunk. Yeah, the car’s smell was downright revolting upon our return. So, we had quite a task before us to clean and deodorize our belongings.
Baking soda has become my friend. We literally dumped 2 pounds of baking soda onto the carpets in our car to help deodorize it. It was cheap and it made such a difference!
Since then, I’ve discovered that baking soda also becomes a great air freshener or carpet deodorizer when combined with some essential oils. Best of all, it’s all-natural (no nasty chemicals!) and you can change up the scents depending on your mood or the season. For Fall or Winter, try cinnamon or peppermint essential oil. For spring, lavender would be nice. For summer or year-round, a blend of citrus oils is amazing. In fact, it’s my favorite at the moment — 2 drops lime essential oil, 2 drops lemon essential oil and 6 drops sweet orange oil. The smell just makes me happy!
All-Natural Home or Car Air Freshener
Makes one jar of air freshener that you can place in a room, closet, or even under the passenger seat of your car
- canning jar with lid – I prefer the short, wide-mouth Ball Jars as they will provide a greater surface area. They also will slip easily under a passenger seat for an out-of-sight car air freshener.
- 1/2 cup baking soda (or more if using a larger jar)
- 10 – 20 drops of essential oil of your choice
- Place the baking soda in the canning jar and add the essential oil(s) of your choice. Place the lid on the jar and shake until the oil and been distributed throughout the baking soda.
- Cut a piece of cheesecloth large enough to cover the jar opening — I used a double layer. You can use the jar lid as a template — just cut it slightly larger than your marked circle.
- Place cheesecloth on top of the jar opening and screw the lid in place.
- Put your jar wherever you want to enjoy its lovely aroma!
All-Natural Carpet Deodorizer
Makes enough carpet deodorizer for about a 5 x 8 area
- canning jar with lid
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 10 or more drops of your favorite essential oil
- Place the baking soda in the canning jar and add the essential oil of your choice. Place the lid on the jar and shake until the oil and been distributed throughout the baking soda.
- Shake the carpet deodorizer liberally over the carpet or rug. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes – I left mine on overnight for our VERY musty-smelling area rug.
- Vacuum up the deodorizer. If you’ve got a really stubborn smell, repeat the process.
–Janel is a stay-at-home mom of two daughters and a “law school wife” in Virginia. Raised in a budget-conscious and DIY-minded family, she blogs about motherhood, crafts, and living on a law school budget at Life with Lucie and Ella.
Helps the smell, but you are damaging most any vacuum you use to vacuum up the baking soda. If you want to do a little research on this( usually a good idea to do BEFORE you post something on the internet that you don’t realize can cause harm to household. Items( I didn’t know until I JUST NOW looked it up). Just a thought.
Hi Natalie! Nice to meet you. Thanks for chiming in.
This post was written in 2013 prior to the widespread availability of hepa filters, which as I think you meant to suggest, can get clogged by carpet deodorizers. We will add this to our list of posts to update with more research. Thanks for bringing up that point!
Tried this and loved it!! I reused a bottle of a store-bought carpet deodorizer. I added lavender and lemon essential oils. Such a lovely smell and worked well. With pets…you need it!!
Good to hear!
Recently my husband and I moved to Pennsylvania and are renting a house. In spite of my best intentions, I was not able to get rid of a terrible smell from the carpets in our bedroom. I found your website and tried your carpet deodorizer concoction and can’t believe how it worked. The carpet smelled like dirty feet before and was repulsive and now it is completely gone. I used lavender and a few drops of Mrs. Meyers along with the baking soda and let it sit on the carpet all day before vacuuming it up – I couldn’t believe the difference. Thank you so much, Jessica, for your great recipe for carpet deodorizer. Because of what you shared, I’m going to do all the carpets in the house – it really works! God bless you.
Great! So glad to hear it!
I’m assuming this all natural recipe is dog safe?
I don’t know. Is baking soda safe for dogs?
Chemical air fresheners are not just a problem for people with chemical sensitivities; they are a problem for everyone. Inhaling petro-chemicals, dyes, and perfumes can cause long-term health problems. Here are some natural home fresheners : I mixed Aura Cacia grapefruit oil into baking soda and left it to waft its yummy, fresh smell throughout my apartment in small glass bowls. JR Watkins Aloe and Green Tea Room Spray is here to rescue you from smelly room woes. One little bottle promises 700 sprays of all-natural, nontoxic odor elimination. A bunch of eucalyptus from your local florist packs a seriously strong odor-fighting punch that lasts. That same bunch of eucalyptus made the room smell fresh for 4 months! Tea tree oil is unsurpassed in its anti-fungal properties.
Like this!! Where is the best place to get ‘essential oils?’ I’m out in the boonies over here! 🙂
We don’t live in the boonies, but I haven’t found one local place that sells essential oils. Even our old little town in CA we had a store that sold them. So, I was shocked that I couldn’t find any in a much larger town here in VA. I bought mine online from iHerb.com — if you use the coupon code SBB148 (my affiliate code) you can save $ on your first iHerb purchase ($5 off $20 purchase or $10 off $40). Free shipping on orders over $20.
Very timely post as we’re having a little roof leakage 🙁 The baking soda and the oils, I had on hand but while I love the look of the wide mouth/short jars – they weren’t in the budget this week (and with all the rain in FL, a trip to the store is downright hazardous!) My solution? I repurposed votive holders and the empty jars from jar candles. For the tops I used coffee filters (I pierced thru them with a needle a few times) and they are held on with a rubber band and a small piece of left over ribbon! Not quite as cute as the ones shown here but they work 🙂 Thanks for the idea!
Glad it’s working – way to improvise!
Such an awesome idea! So simple and I never would’ve thought of this. Thanks for sharing. I’m always looking for ways to use my growing stash of essential oils.
Yeah, essential oils are kind of addicting aren’t they? I recently added quite a few to my stash. 🙂