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Top 12 Green DIY Air Fresheners

Take a Breath of Fresh Air with These Easy Air Freshener Ideas & Recipes


Smells are everywhere in our home and sometimes they aren't too, umm, fresh. What to do with a kitchen that smells like it's full of fish and garlic? And needless to mention, a bathroom that doesn't smell, well, like a bouquet of roses?

Before reaching for an air freshener that may contain potentially harmful ingredients to you and the planet (and yes even some of the so-called "natural" air fresheners are a concern as well), take a deep breath and consider using a do-it-yourself, green alternative.

Here are the top 12 green air freshener ideas and recipes that are easy, cost-friendly, effective, and use simple ingredients often found in your kitchen pantry. A few may require a trip to the store, but they are worth it, so you have on hand what you need to battle bad smells and keep your home smelling fresh.

1. Aromatherapy Diffuser

Photo of Aromatherapy Candle Diffuser
Photo © Karen Peltier
Diffusing essential oils, many of which have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, will help not just freshen the air, but purify it as well. Simply boil a pot of water, take it off the heat, and add a few drops of essential oil, such as lemon or eucalyptus. The scent of the oils will infuse the whole room. Also, consider investing in a candle, electric, car, or light ring diffuser. Learn more about diffusers in "Essential Oils for Teens."

2. Baking Soda and Lemon

Photo of Baking Soda and Lemon Peel Air Freshener
Photo © Karen Peltier
This "How to Create a Non-Toxic Air Freshener" video shows how to make an easy, uplifting air freshener with baking soda -- great at absorbing odors, and lemons, which infuse a fresh citrus aroma into the air.

3. Coffee

Photo of Ground Coffee in Bowl
Photo © Karen Peltier
Wake up to the idea of using coffee to combat odors. Whether you grind it, brew it, or bake some beans in the oven, its smell is sure to enliven your senses and absorb odors, such as onions and garlic. Try setting out a few bowls of fresh ground coffee. Or, before offensive smells, like the trash, affect the whole room, place coffee grounds in the bottom of a new garbage bag as Sarah Aguirre, About.com Housekeeping Guide, sugests in "Use Coffee Grounds to Clean."

4. Dried Herbal Potpourri

Photo of Herbal Potpourri
Photo © Karen Peltier
Create a pleasing potpourri with a blend of beautiful dried flowers, fragrant herbs, and essential oils that is sure to fragrance any room. Discover the secrets in "How to Make Herbal Potpourri" by Amy Jeanroy, About.com Herb Gardens Guide. Or check out her other article, "The 10 Best Herbs for Making Potpourri."

5. Fresh Herbal Bouquet

Photo of Fresh Herbal Bouquet
Photo © Karen Peltier
Lend an herbacious scent to any room by placing freshly snipped herbs, such as geranium, peppermint, rosemary, and lavender, in small bud vases. They are especially attractive when placed in odd groupings (e.g., three or five) on a dining room table.

6. Houseplants

Photo of Houseplant
Photo © Karen Peltier
What could be greener than houseplants? Discover several plants that purify the air by reducing indoor allergens and pollutants in this great video, "Plants that Clean Your Home" by About.com Guide, Eve Degrezia. Also, understand how three specific plants purify the air, reduce energy consumption in buildings, reduce health risks, and more as explained by researcher Kamal Meattle in this video, "Kamal Meattle on How to Grow Fresh Air."

7. Natural Gel Air Freshener

If you love gel air fresheners, but aren't crazy about all the chemicals in store-bought brands, then you may enjoy "How to Make Gel Air Fresheners" by Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., About.com Chemistry Guide.

8. Pomander Balls

Photo of Orange Pomander with Cloves
Photo © Karen Peltier
Get creative and discover the fun in making this age-old, room freshening technique from Shirley Bragg, Former About.com Beauty Guide, in her article "How to Make a Pomander." Orange pomanders can also be hung in the pantry or closet as pest deterrents due to the chemical constituents in the clove buds.

9. Room Spray Using Essential Oils

Photograph of Room Spray with Essential Oils
Photo © Karen Peltier
Find all about how to make a naturally disinfecting aromatherapy spray in "How to Make a Room Spray Using Essential Oils" by Cathy Wong, About.com Alternative Medicine Guide.

10. Simmering Potpourri

Photo of Simmering Potpourri
Photo © Karen Peltier
This air freshening idea has long been used by real estate agents, holiday celebrators, and cooks to freshen the whole house with an uplifting, spicy-citrus scent and to combat cooking odors, such as fish and onions. As the essential oils are released from the citrus and spices, their antiseptic properties will naturally disinfect the air. Find the recipe in "How to Remove Cooking Odors," by Christine Benlafquih, About.com Moroccan Food Guide.

11. Soy Candles Scented with Essential Oils

Photograph of Soy Candle
Photo © Karen Peltier
These candles can retail in the store for quite a bit, so let David Fisher, About.com Candle and Soap Guide, show you how to master the tips and tricks to making them in "Learn How to Make Soy Candles." Also, don't miss learning about safe ingredients in "Safe Scented Candles" by Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., About.com Chemistry Guide.

12. Vinegar

Photo of White Vinegar Bottle
Photo © Karen Peltier
Zap bacteria and disinfect the air naturally with vinegar. Fill an empty spray bottle with one part white vinegar to four parts water and spritz it into the air to freshen any room. Or, place a bowl of vinegar in the kitchen to remove cooking smells as suggested by Nancy Gaifyllia, Former About.com Greek Food Guide, in "How to Get Rid of Cooking Smells."
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