Add to GuideAsk a Question
To Top

Homemade Febreze Recipes (Fabric Freshener)

Category Deodorizers
Generic Blue Spray Bottle
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).


Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

By 39 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? 39
June 23, 20100 found this helpful

I tried this because I was VERY excited about this idea. I have Gain fabric softener so I was ready to try this right after reading. I made up the concoction in the exact percentages you indicated, however it totally clogged every spray nozzle in every spray bottle I tried, including the old Fabreeze bottle. I was also wondering, doesn't it stain the items it lands on? I loved your idea but it was a no-go for me.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 23, 20100 found this helpful

It is better to dissolve the baking soda in the water first. You can do this by warming up the water while stirring in the baking soda until the water becomes clear again. Adding Isopropyl alcohol can lead to inhalation which has been determined to cause CNS depressant and pulmonary injuries according to the MSDS data. I would try ethanol alcohol instead, or to be safer, use vinegar.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 7, 20110 found this helpful

I have a question, do you have to use it right away while water is warm in the mixture? It sounds like a dumb question but I just had to ask. Other than that, I think your generic Febreeze is super!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 6, 20120 found this helpful

What are the exact measurement so I can do this?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
February 25, 20130 found this helpful

Can I use baking powder (diluted in water) instead of baking soda?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
November 30, 20140 found this helpful

I realize all the comments are old but I just wanted to add my experience because this may help others. My baking soda did not dissolve, and I used hot water. I sprayed and everything looked fine at first. However, as it started to dry, I noticed there were white spots all over. If you can find a way to dissolve the baking soda in the water first (just shaking the bottle vigorously does NOT work), then try that. I even tried diluting the solution with no luck (I halved the solution, then added more water and fabric softener).

I finally diluted it WAY down (no measurements here), added a bit of vinegar, let it do it's fizzy thing for a while, then added a lot more hot water and a little bit more fabric softener. I sprayed, and so far there is no residue.

In summary, if you can dissolve the baking soda, then make sure you do that first. However, I think it would be easier to try much smaller amounts of baking soda. 1 part baking soda ends up being a lot--that's a whole fourth of the total solution. I am a little worried about the fabric softener leaving a residue to the touch if not sight, but we shall see. It smells great and I love the price!

Additionally, using fabric softener, you have a lot more choices in scents--at my local store, there are only 3 or 4 febreze scents carried at any one time, and I usually don't care for any of them.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 13, 20150 found this helpful

Did anyone try boiling the 2 parts water and the baking soda till the water is clear then add the fabric softener. Let cool and use?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
February 12, 20160 found this helpful

The same thing happened to me. The baking soda did not dissolve and the sprayer on the bottle got totally clogged. Also, the b. soda left a residue of white dust on my furniture. I threw out the entire concoction. My daughter has a recipe using vinegar instead. I'll post it when I get it from her.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
February 28, 20160 found this helpful

Fabric softener is not the best to use, can be offensive

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 1, 20160 found this helpful

No. They are not interchangeable.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 5, 20160 found this helpful

How much do you mean by 'part'?

Tablespoon, cup???



Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 10 found this helpful
April 28, 2015

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.

Comment Was this helpful? 10
April 28, 20150 found this helpful

I am thinking about making home made supplies for giving as gifts. This would be nice for smokers as well.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 10, 20150 found this helpful

I would test the fabric first. There are some fabrics that fabric softener will stain.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 17, 20160 found this helpful

why are we using baking soda in the recipe? what is the purpose of it? there are so many recipes out there that do not call for the baking soda? please let me know what you think...thanks

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

May 6, 2012


  • spray bottle
  • 2 Tbsp. Purex crystals
  • 2 Tbsp. rubbing alcohol


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.

By Scarlett from Murray, KY

Comment Was this helpful? 8

By 6 found this helpful
April 24, 2015

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

Comment Was this helpful? 6
February 28, 20160 found this helpful

Fabric softeners are offensive also

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

February 13, 2007

Here is how to make Faux Febreze:

Faux Febreze

Put Downy and water in bottle and spray on furniture, carpeting, pillows, shower curtains...etc.


Comment Was this helpful? 2


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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
November 12, 20102 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.

Reply Was this helpful? 2
July 17, 20160 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

February 15, 20120 found this helpful

How do you make homemade Febreze?

By Angella

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? 2

By 1 found this helpful
January 25, 2013

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

By Mary G.

Answer Was this helpful? 1
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.

Reply Was this helpful? 1

November 18, 20140 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes


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

July 7, 20091 found this helpful

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

Comment Was this helpful? 1
May 9, 20170 found this helpful

Not to sure anyone really claimed that febreeze cleans. And if they did I don't really see the reason in freaking out over it.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

June 21, 20102 found this helpful

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

Comment Was this helpful? 2

July 7, 20090 found this helpful

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.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

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.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

By 1 found this helpful
May 13, 2008

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

Comment Was this helpful? 1
May 13, 20080 found this helpful

Solution also works well as wrinkle spray. Just spray on & smooth our fabric. Great for tshirts. I never iron them anymore!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 13, 20080 found this helpful


Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 13, 20080 found this helpful

I tried this and don't think I'll ever by Febreeze again, so much easier to make this, and you can have different scents..wonderful idea, thank you!!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
May 13, 20080 found this helpful

Hi guys. I know fabric softener/Febreze are convenient, but they are so toxic it's unbelievable. Fabric softerner contains at least five chemicals found by the EPA to be carcinogenic and/or neurotoxins. Link to the EPA study on the chemicals contained in fragranced products:

http://www.immu  les/perfume.html

A much better way to get bad smells out of an area is to sprinkle baking soda on the carpet/floor/in the closet and leave it for a few days, then vacuum it up. And it's cheap and completely non-toxic.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 14, 20080 found this helpful

I have been using this for over a year now, and spray everything, carpet, furniture, bedding, curtains, etc. And the smell last awhile too. I use this about once a week. A friend of mine stopped by one time when I hadn't had time to "spray" and she sat on couch and asked what that great smell was from. lol, it was still smelling great on the couch.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
May 28, 20080 found this helpful

I was using fab. soft. as febreeze, But the fab. soft. company said they highly did NOT recommend it, that it was not meant for this purpose and over time it will damage the fabric you use it on it is meant only to be rinsed out like you use on your cloths. 3 yrs from now, your couch might look discolored. Juts and FYI.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
June 16, 20080 found this helpful

I dissolve 1/4 cup of baking soda in a spray bottle and add 1 tbsp of lavender oil (you can buy at your local health food store). This removes the smell and leaves you with a nice scent.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 5, 20160 found this helpful

Works very well .used citrus downy .made the whole house smell wonderful .tyvm for sharing the recipe . Also worked well on drapes .

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Related Content
Home and Garden Cleaning Cleaning Supply Recipes DeodorizersOctober 13, 2011
Perfume as Air Freshener
Using Perfume as Air Freshener
Car dashboard vent filled with a row of daisies
Removing Air Freshener Smell from a Car
Natural Air Freshener - completed jar
Natural Jar Air Freshener
Spraying Febreze
Saving Money on Febreze
Summer Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2017 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published by .

Generated 2017/07/22 20:07:48 in 4 secs.
Loading Something Awesome!