Easy Gift Idea: Homemade Air Freshener (and the dangers of regular air fresheners)

DIY Room Spray

I live in a house with three boys and a dog.

Let’s just say there are times when I could use some air freshener.

I discovered this recipe through some local “oily” friends and decided to give it a shot.  What a great, easy, useful gift to add to my Christmas baskets!

The recipe is below, although you could use any number of essential oil combinations.  The possibilities are endless!

A few things to consider before we don our Martha Stewart hats….


**”Air fresheners” include sprays, plug-ins, gels, candles, etc.**

  • Febreeze productsVarious harmful substances in air fresheners include allergens, potential carcinogens such as acetaldehyde or styrene, dangerous substances such as toluene and chlorbenzene, glycol ethers, phthalates and artificial musk.
  • Paradichchlorobenzene (a white, solid crystal) has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals, and phenol (carbolic acid) is flammable, corrosive and very toxic.
  • Air fresheners do not “purify” the surrounding air, nor do they add natural fragrances. In fact, they coat the nasal passages with an oil film (such as methoxychlor – a pesticide that accumulates in fat cells) or by releasing a nerve deadening agent, to drown out whatever smells may be deemed offensive.
  • High exposures to certain kinds of phthalates can cause cancer, developmental and sex-hormone abnormalities (including decreased testosterone and sperm levels and malformed sex organs) in infants, and can affect fertility.
  • Despite the [Air Freshener] industry’s size, it is minimally regulated, not having to meet any standards specific to their products. Air fresheners are not tested for a variety of chemicals, including phthalates, because the government does not require it.
  •  These poisons can accumulate over a period of years, so the true causes, and the true health effects are rarely discovered.  The victims might suffer from a strange form of cancer, or they might have some new-age “disease” like “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”, and of course, there is the ever-more-popular “genetic disorders”…
I could go on and on, but you get the idea.  If you’re interested in the facts and research, see the articles listed at the end of the post.  Or google “harmful effects of air fresheners”–there’s a ton of info out there!



[E]ssential oils make much more sense as air fresheners than commercial products, as they cleanse the air by altering the structure of the molecules creating smells, rather than masking the unwanted smells.  When we are looking for alternatives to toxic products in our homes and in our lives, essential oils are a convenient, practical and pleasant solution.   [Worwood]         

Room Spray with new labels

Homemade Air Freshener Recipe

(Are you ready for this?)

Ingredients & Supplies

  • Essential Oils: Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus (See below for additional suggestions)
  • Water
  • Dark glass spray bottle (2 oz)
  • Cute labels (optional)


  • Add 2-3 drops of each oil to clean bottles.
  • Fill bottles with water.
  • Insert spray tops.
  • Affix labels.

ToiletPlanning to use this in the bathroom?

Did you know that spraying this delightful scent directly into the toilet bowl–before adding anything stinky to said bowl–is a powerful way to combat unpleasant aromas?  The oils camp out on the surface of the water, acting as an “odor barrier.”

Try it and see smell the difference!   :-)

Custom Labels 

Love my custom waterproof labels?  You can order them from The Lollipop Label Shop on etsy!  Buy them exactly as pictured, or customize to suit your scent and color preferences.

Room Spray Label from The Lollipop Shop

Cost Analysis

2-oz. amber glass bottles with spray tops: about $1
Eucalyptus oil: $.06 per drop
Lavender oil: $.08 per drop
Peppermint oil: $.08 per drop
Round, water-resistant labels: about $.05 each
OR Custom dishwasher safe labels: about $.35 each
Total cost, per bottle: about $1.30 OR $1.65
(And if you use recycled bottles, the cost is only $.30 per bottle)!!

Additional Scent Ideas

You really can’t go wrong here.  Use whatever you like!  These are a few of my favorite ideas…

  • Citrus blend: wild orange, lemon, lime & grapefruit

  • Calming blend: lavender, chamomile & ylang ylang
  • Refreshing blend: wild orange & peppermint

 What’s your favorite Room Spray scent?

Do you love essential oils?  Follow my Pinterest board All Things Essential!


photo credit

Kathleen Henderson is the Yankee behind the Homestead, where she keeps up with Mr. Native Texan, three busy boys, a large dog, an assortment of chickens and an organic garden on three beautiful acres in Northern Virginia. Yankee Homestead is where she organizes her tips, tricks and resources for a healthy life. Favorite topics include real food recipes, gluten-free living, essential oils and home remedies, all things natural and nontoxic, plus mommy musings and homeschooling resources. Find out more on the About page

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I am not a doctor and the statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please do not ask me for medical advice.
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8 thoughts on “Easy Gift Idea: Homemade Air Freshener (and the dangers of regular air fresheners)

  1. Deirdre

    Great idea and instructions on ‘how to’ for the poo pourri. I will be trying this!
    Grateful, DD

    P.S. Have you tried Cinnamon Oil for cooking and baking for the health benefits and if so, can you suggest where I can find a good quality oil? Thanxxxx.

    1. Yankee HomesteadYankee Homestead Post author

      DD–Unfortunately I have nothing to report on Cinnamon Oil…if I come across any resources, I will let you know!

  2. Deirdre

    An unexpected and Delightful Gift Box arrived today! To our amazement a Wonderful Collection of ‘Natural Homemade’ gifts was found including an original work of art by “Malachi Matisse”. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!! Already used the Herbamare…Yummy…resutling in using the PooPourri…grateful for fresh and clean air…tonight bathing in Epsom Salts with doTERRA Lavender Oil. Nick wants to try the brown sugar vanilla scrub. :)Thank you for the specialty made items…We are enjoying immensely!XOXO Happy Holidays to ALL with Love. The Paskys~

  3. Brittany S.

    What company do you buy your essential oils from? I’m interested in getting a little “starter” kit with a variety of oils. When I’ve looked online, they seem to be a little pricey which is okay if the product is good…I just don’t know which product is good! Since it’s so easy to make fake versions of these scents, I’m just concerned I’ll get suckered.

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