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Homemade Febreze Recipes (Fabric Freshener)

Febreze does a good job of reducing unpleasant odors. However, if you use it often it can be expensive. Save money by making your own. This page contains homemade Febreze recipes (fabric freshener).


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38 found this helpful
June 21, 2010

I have two dogs, three children, and a husband and sometimes in our muggy maritime weather our home can get a little musty smelling. Febreze does not cut it. I find that it will freshen but the smell only lasts a few hours and with our very humid environment, Febreze does not dry. So I came up with this great home-made Febreze. It really works. I use it in my vehicles as well. All you need are some few simple products that you should already have in your home.




Mix those three ingredients and there you go, your own home-made Febreze. The fresh smell lasts a long time, plus it is a bit of a money saver on your wallet, especially with three kids and two dogs. Enjoy!

Comment Was this helpful? 38
August 1, 20160 found this helpful

No. They are not interchangeable.

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10 found this helpful
April 28, 2015 Flag

Febreze can cost up to 8.00 a bottle. Try this homemade fabric refresher. It works great on pet smells too. Just use an empty spray bottle, add a cup of water, 1 tsp baking soda, and one tablespoon of fabric softener. Shake well. Spray clothes, furniture, and carpets. It works wonders. I love the stuff.

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September 3, 20150 found this helpful

Double up on everything for a bigger bottle. I also found I'd add more water. It was a bit strong for me. Test it out before douching your whole house with it.

Also, I know fabric softener can be drying to your skin. Keep that in mind in winter or those with sensitive or already dry skin.

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6 found this helpful
April 24, 2015 Flag

One cup warm water
One tsp. baking soda
One (or two) tbsp fabric softener of your choice

Mix in spray bottle and spray to your hearts content.

Source: Money saving life hacks

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Anonymous Flag
February 28, 20160 found this helpful

Fabric softeners are offensive also

Related Content(article continues below)
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May 6, 2012

Mix with 1-2 cups of hot water, enough hot water to fill spray bottle. Shake bottle well and wait till crystals dissolve. This makes your home smell wonderful.

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2 found this helpful
February 13, 2007

Here is how to make Faux Febreze:

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

November 12, 2010

Does anyone have a recipe for homemade Febreze?

By Judy from Ontario, Canada

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November 12, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

Homemade Febreze

1 cup of water

1 Tbs of fabric softener (Downy Lavender)

1 Tbs of rubbing alcohol

Mixed in a spray bottle.

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July 17, 20160 found this helpful

why do you add rubbing alcohol? what is the purpose of the alcohol?

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September 25, 20160 found this helpful

Alcohol is one of the main ingredients in Fabreeze. I like this recipe, I've found the ones with baking soda leave a residue.

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0 found this helpful
February 15, 2012 Flag

How do you make homemade Febreze?

By Angella

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February 16, 20122 found this helpful
Best Answer

Don't. Febreze just masks the smell despite what their amazing animations depict. You know what I mean when you have that one item, that despite being sprayed a million times, still smells. Invest in a steam cleaner. A portable one. Maybe 30 or 40 bucks. It won't leave your home smelling like flowers (candles or plug ins are a good solution) but it'll destroy the odours and most importantly, it'll actually clean plus sanitize as a bonus.

They're great for cleaning furniture as they penetrate deep down. You'll save a bundle on dry cleaning on it's own. I mean, you will have to actually dry clean items once in a while but I can wear a suit 7 or 8 times before I take it in because I steam the pants/jacket once I get home so it's fresh before I even stick it back in the closet.

Remember to keep the actually steam cleaner itself clean too. The water from your tap will leave calcium build-up and eventually start to smell. CLR once in a while will deal with that problem nicely.

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0 found this helpful
January 25, 2013 Flag

I have a sample of Febreze; how can I make it myself?

By Mary G.

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January 28, 20131 found this helpful

I use diluted fabric softener in a spray bottle. It works great and makes lots. I use a Downy scent I bought on sale.

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0 found this helpful
November 18, 2014 Flag

I have a small laundry shop business and I use only Downy for making clothes smell good, but the problem is the smell of the clothes lasts only 2 to 3 hours.

By Gretch from Philippines, Dipolog City Zambo del Norte

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

2 found this helpful
June 21, 2010 Flag

A nice and inexpensive olfactory treat is to 'scent freshen' clothing. All you have to do is make a spray bottle mixture of two cups water with 6 or more drops of your favorite essential oil. Just spray the clothing item and away you go. To infuse the scent use it when you iron. It's also lovely to spray on bath towels, sheets and pillow cases :-)

By Deeli from Richland, WA

Homemade Fabric Freshener Recipe

I like to do the same thing, only I use 100 proof vodka or rubbing alcohol in place of the water. This way it evaporates much quicker. Vodka costs more but is purer and has no scent like rubbing alcohol does, but the rubbing alcohol scent will dissipate in several minutes and you'll be left with only the scent from the essential oils, You can also use half and half (water and alcohol). The alcohol may also help kill germs.

In the summertime Grapefruit oil added to the alcohol makes a refreshing spray on your body or clothes. Cedar oil can help a musty closet smell better and if you spray the cedar oil/alcohol on to your woolens it will help prevent moths from eating your them. You can spray the alcohol/cedar-oil spray directly on to old cedar wood to bring the cedar scent back. Just spray it on, then wipe with a soft cloth or paper towel to avoid spots where you misted. Lavender oil mixed with the alcohol is wonderful sprayed in your lingerie drawers and on to stored linens. Many men even like lavender. (it's supposed to be a "masculine scent" - or at least it was back in the 1800's) At Christmas time use Spruce or Mulberry. (Always use Spruce and never Pine or you will end up with your things smelling like "pine-sol"). The scent that's the most popular is Vanilla. They say it's because it reminds us of when our moms baked yummy things for us when we were young.

By Cyinda

Worried About Flammability

I would be worried about using vodka or rubbing alcohol on clothing instead of water because they are highly flammable but am going to use your body spray tip, Cyinda :-)

By Deeli

Mix With Water to Reduce Flammability

No worries! The alcohol evaporates in 1 or 2 minutes and only the scent is left. I've been doing this for years! It's not flammable after the first minute or 2, but I wouldn't spray it (or ANY cologne) near an open flame! If you're worried about the flammability of the alcohol, then mix it half and half with water. This way you'll get the best of both.

By Cyinda

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1 found this helpful
July 7, 2009 Flag

I love using Febreze Fabric Freshener but have found it to be quite expensive when used constantly. So, I decided to make my own Fabric Freshener and it is less costly.

You will need:

  • Spray Bottle (I use an empty Febreze one)
  • Liquid Fabric Softener

Take Fabric softener and fill it 3/4 full. Then add the rest with water and shake a bit. You now have Fabric Freshener that is as good if not better then the original Febreze. The scent also lasts much longer and is a great efficient way of always having this on hand.

Spray away and be happy.

Carolyn from E Northport, NY

Concerned About Pet and Human Chemical Safety

It amazes me that people buy this type of product. Febreze is chock full of chemicals. In fact, so full of chems that it is known to cause household birds to DIE. Given that fact, do you think it is that good for humans? Same thing with Teflon/non stick surfaces, folks! (gases are released and has caused birds to die)

Being married to a chemically sensitive husband, we have had to forego with the vast majority of chemicals in our lives. Things with scents, including those plug in devices, fabric softener, etc, all have pthalates which interfere with the body's hormones.

I would think twice before spraying this product around just to make things smell nice or as a cover up. Those who have suggested baking soda are on the right track. If you need scent, add some essential oils. Think about guests entering your homes. We avoid places that are sprayed with anything.

By Lois Ann from New York

Febreze is Not Harmful to Pets

Lois Ann: Not that I'm a big user of febreze (I found this entry while looking for a way to control static on my sofa) but I can't stand to see people repeat Urban Legends as fact. Febreze is NOT harmful to pets. Spend two minutes researching things before you repeat these stories.

As found all over the internet:

The ASPCA's National Animal Poison Control Center agrees. A staff veterinarian I spoke with said the Center has not been able to confirm any cases of Febreze causing the death or serious injury of pets. The Center has issued the following statement:

Veterinary toxicologists at the ASPCA National Animal Poison Center are conducting an on-going investigation into claims that use of Febreze in the home caused the death of several pets. All information reviewed to date suggests that there is no evidence that Febreze represents any risk to pets when used according to label instructions. Presently, the center considers the product safe to use in households with pets. As with any cleaning product, the center recommends that birds be removed from the room until the product application has dried and the area has been ventilated. Please call 1-800-345-4735 if you have any questions or have a pet that you suspect is experiencing problems or visit us at

ASPCA/NAPCC Letter Regarding Febreze

The Center also told me that while zinc chloride (one of the ingredients in Febreze) can be toxic in large amounts, it comprises less than 1% of the formulation of the product and is not considered to be a hazard, contrary to allegations in the email warnings. Procter & Gamble says it began producing an improved Febreze formula in December 1998 which does not contain the chemical.

By Vincent

Magical Air Freshener and Dewrinkler Spray

Of the many different recipes for homemade fabric/air freshener I have tried in the past, this is what I have come up with as my own recipe. I don't use very much fabric softener because most commercial grade fabric softeners (Bounce, Snuggle, Downy, etc..) contain chemicals that have been found to cause cancer, nervous system disorders, and brain damage, as well as reduce the effectiveness of flame resistant materials. So, be safe and avoid exposure to harmful chemicals when possible.

  • 1 16oz fine mist sprayer (an old febreze/downy wrinkle releaser bottle will do)
  • 2 Tbsp. of white vinegar (cheap and available at grocery store)
  • 2 Tbsp. of your favorite fabric softener (preferably a natural/organic softener which can be hard to find locally, but can be ordered online)
  • 6 to 10 drops of your favorite essential/scented oil (you can also use any scented extract available such as vanilla or almond)

Fill the remainder of the 16oz container with distilled water (cheap and available at grocery store. You could also boil some tap water and let it cool a bit before handling, but please don't use impure water straight from the tap)

Shake and spray to eliminate undesirable odors or release wrinkles

NOTE: If you are concerned about chemicals from using fabric softener, you could leave fabric softener out of the recipe and use a little more white vinegar and scented oil/extract. There shouldn't be much of a vinegar smell at all and if there is it will be gone when dried. White vinegar works very well against odors by absorbing them and nuetralizing them instead of just covering them up. It's also a safe and effective alternative to using fabric softener in your washing machine, helping to release wrinkles, clean and brighten clothes, as well as making your clothes last longer instead of chemically destroying them. Additionally, vinegar kills 82% of mold spores on contact.

By Die Hard

Homemade Febreze won't work

You cannot make febreze without cyclodextrin nor does it clean or remove anything. It masks odor only through a two part process by reducing the volatility of odor molecules so they cannot be smelled. Spraying fabric softener, etc, will not accomplish the same thing but will cause a build up of gunk in your house, and make fabric harder to clean properly. Ditto for oils, etc. Febreze is not a cleaner, even the makers don't make this claim.

By Check your facts

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0 found this helpful
July 7, 2009 Flag

What is the recipe for do-it-yourself fabric freshener? the store bought ones are so expensive and super smelly. I saw one with vinegar, water and something else. I forget the amounts of each.


Stephanie from Connecticut

Homemade Fabric Freshener Recipe

Here's what I do to make a fabric freshener:

I put this into a 16 oz spray bottle and shake it up. I then fill the bottle with distilled water. I regularly spray it on bedding and curtains and also use it when I iron clothing.

By Chris

Homemade Fabric Febreze Recipe

I make homemade febreze like this. I use the fabric softener cap to measure everything.

This smells great on furniture, curtains, carpet, etc and I haven't had any problems with residue or stains.

By hotmomma

Natural Homemade Fabric Freshener

If you are fortunate enough to have access to freshly grown lavender, lime or any of the numerous scented geranium varieties; mint or rosemary, put some sprigs in a spray bottle, add vodka, distilled vinegar, peroxide or water;(choose what works best for you) let it marinate abit and spray away! This natural alternative will make everybody happy.

By Lois

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January 8, 20050 found this helpful

Make your own fabric freshener by pouring 4 fluid ounces of concentrated fabric softener into a spray bottle and dilute it with warm water. Wait for the solution to cool and then spray to make things smell nice and fresh.

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1 found this helpful
May 13, 2008 Flag

If you're looking for a really cheap, but effective alternative to Febreeze, try this: Fill a spray bottle with 1/4 parts fabric softener to 3/4 parts water.

Works just the same. I stumbled upon this tip when I ran out of Febreeze once and couldn't get to a store. I've been using this solution ever since.

By sbb1 from Umm al Quain, UAE

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October 18, 20080 found this helpful

i agree with the other post,not only is fabric softner toxic but i have heard it increases flammability by using it as a deodorizer, not really that safe for the price savings.

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