How to Make Odor Eliminator Spray {with essential oils}

There’s no need for air fresheners with harsh chemicals.

It’s easy to use a few natural ingredients and essential oils to make your own odor eliminator spray.


This homemade deodorizing spray doesn’t just mask odors like some store-bought air fresheners, it neutralizes odors and eliminates even the stinkiest of smells.

Use it to freshen bathrooms and kitchens, get rid of stale, musty odors, eliminate pet odors, and more.



blue spray bottle used to make DIY deodorizing room spray with essential oils



What’s in a homemade odor eliminator spray?

note:  If you don’t have these essential oils, no worries.  I’ve shared several other deodorizing essential oil combinations in the recipe below.  And you can find more essential oil substitutes here.


  • lemon essential oil

Not only does lemon essential oil smell clean, it’s a great natural deodorizer.

Lemon oil’s high limonene content helps it pull odors from the air and neutralize them, leaving the room smelling fresh and clean.


  • lime essential oil

Lime essential oil is known for its purifying properties.

It naturally eliminates odors from all kinds of strong household smells like stinky shoes, lingering cigarette smoke, and trash cans that have been left for way too long.

Like lemon, lime also works wonders to neutralize stale, musty odors and that “old house” smell.  That’s why lots of commercially produced odor eliminating products like Fresh Wave Odor Removing Gel use lime essential oil.  It make your home smell fabulous!


  • fir essential oil

Like lemon and lime essential oils, fir essential oil also contains limonene.

But fir essential oil also has other powerful constituents for deodorizing, too.   Alpha-pinene and beta-pinene are both well known for their abilities to freshen and clean.

It’s a powerful natural germicide that’s strong and removes odors fast.


  • tea tree essential oil

Tea tree oil is another common ingredient in store-bought odor removers.  Some brands promote tea tree as “nature’s solution to odor.”

Because of tea tree’s antifungal and antibacterial properties, it’s great at eliminating musty, stale odors.

It’s a wonder at knocking out super smelly odors like stinky shoes, decaying food, dirty trash cans, and more.


  • white vinegar

Vinegar absorbs and neutralizes pretty much any odor from cigarette smoke to pet odors to mildew.

Don’t worry if you don’t like the smell of vinegar.  The vinegary smell doesn’t last long.  It will dissipate, and when the vinegar smell is gone, the other odors will be gone too.


  • rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol helps kill the fungi and bacteria that are at the root of many household odors.


  • distilled water

Distilled water is used to dilute the deodorizing spray.

If you don’t have distilled water, you can substitute boiled and cooled filtered water.


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supplies used to make deodorizing room spray - vinegar, alcohol, essential oil, and distilled water



How to make odor eliminator spray {aka homemade “Febreeze” air freshener}

step 1:  add 1 cup distilled water to 16 oz spray bottle

tip:  use a 16 oz or larger spray bottle made of glass, stainless steel, or essential-oil-safe plastic like PET (plastic #1) or HDPE (plastic #2).  You can even use a mason jar like I did in these photos.

tip: if you don’t have distilled water, you can substitute boiled and cooled filtered tap water.


pouring water into spray bottle



step 2:  add 1/2 cup white vinegar

tip:  If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, you can use less, but do use some vinegar.   It’s a great natural deodorizer.  In a few minutes that vinegar smell will dissipate.


adding vinegar



step 3: add 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol


adding rubbing alcohol to odor eliminator spray



step 4:  add the following essential oils (35 drops total)

10 drops lemon essential oil

10 drops lime essential oil

10 drops tea tree essential oil

5 drops fir essential oil


tip: If you don’t have these essential oils or prefer not to use them, here are some other essential oil combinations to try in an odor eliminating spray:

  • lemon, orange, and grapefruit
  • lavender, orange, and rosemary
  • lime, grapefruit, and geranium
  • grapefruit, tangerine, and spearmint
  • rosemary, orange, and lavender
  • lemongrass, rosemary, lavender, and tea tree
  • lemon and pine
  • lemon, eucalyptus, and lavender


adding essential oil to homemade odor eliminator spray



step 5:  put spray top on and shake well to mix.

Then add a free printable label (find it here)

tip:  You can print this label on full-sheet label paper, or do what I do and print the label on regular printer paper and attach it to the spray bottle with packing tape.  It’s cheap and easy to do.  Plus, I find that the labels stay on better using packing tape than with regular label paper, and the packing tape protects the label really well, which keeps the labels looking great for a long time.


free pritnable label added to homemade odor eliminating spray



How to use homemade “Febreeze” air freshener

  1. First, remove whatever was making the offending odor (trash, old food, stinky shoes, etc).
  2. If you can, wash any items that were involved in the stink (such as, wiping out the trash can, cleaning a vomit stain from carpet).
  3. Spray — A couple sprays in a small space like a bathroom, closet, or trash can should do it.  A few more sprays for a large space.

tip:  This homemade deodorizing spray can also be used on furniture, draperies, bedding, pillows, and other fabric surfaces.  But, just as you should with any new-to-you cleaning product, be sure to spot test it first in a small inconspicuous spot.  You want to be sure that it won’t stain or discolor your fabric.


Click here for a free printable of the jar label and this recipe


Looking for more natural ways to use essential oils to eliminate odors?  check out these recipes:

And learn about the best essential oils for deodorizing here



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Please note: Products mentioned in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information on this page are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This website is not a substitute for professional care.  Always consult your medical doctor regarding your medical care. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Disclaimer: Please know that this website contains affiliate links. This means that should you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission. The price is exactly the same for you as it would be without the affiliate link.  

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Sarah Lewis

A little thing about me: I 💙 essential oils. I also love using my background in research to help people learn more about essential oils and all the wonderful ways they can be used. I share DIY recipes for natural cleaners that really work, non-toxic beauty solutions, and holistic wellness. My essential oil recipes, info, and tips have been viewed more than 20 million times. I've been featured on MindBodyGreen, Health & Natural Living, All Natural Ideas, This Natural Home, Natural Living Ideas, and Passion for Savings.
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