Homemade Febreze™ (Fabric Refresher)
Now that school is back in session, I notice that I’m worrying about the germs my son is tracking in from class.
From his book bag to his shoes, I know he is covered in all sorts of germs. Since he’s just in preschool, his book bag is often thrown at the door, shoes in all directions, and germy hands on everything before I can even blink!
We also have a newborn in the house, so I’m ultra germ-conscious. I am always washing hands, vacuuming, and cleaning the hard surfaces of my home – but what about fabrics?
I know germs often live on surfaces that we often don’t think about like couches, carpets, clothing, and bags/purses. Lately I’ve seen a lot of commercials for fabric refreshers and germ killers, but I absolutely cannot handle the scent of commercial cleaners. Not to mention the chemicals! In a few months, my newborn will be crawling and putting everything into his mouth. I don’t want him coming into contact with tons of germs OR chemicals.
Natural Ingredients for Freshening & Disinfecting Fabrics
For this recipe, I decided to dig deep into some research to make an effective, natural, and safe disinfecting spray for fabrics. I do find that this recipe has been stain-free for my couch, carpet, and other surfaces. But PLEASE test any new recipe in an inconspicuous place before using on furniture or other delicate surfaces. You never know how certain fabrics will react to any cleaning solution.
The ingredients for this homemade fabric refresher are natural, non-toxic, and smell wonderful! For more information on the effectiveness of each oil, I recommend reading “Biological properties of essential oils: an updated review” by B. Adorjan and G. Buchbauer.
Lemon Essential Oil – Lemon essential oil disinfects the air and kills a variety of bacteria. It has such a lovely fresh aroma and it is very effective as a cleaner.
Palmarosa Essential Oil – Next, I chose a more obscure oil – palmarosa essential oil. It has a floral, woody, slightly herb-like aroma with antibacterial, antifungal, and airborne antimicrobial properties.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil and Tea Tree Essential Oil – These oils have great promise for killing common bacteria like influenza and other viruses. (Note: do not use these oils directly on or around children under 10 due to the high 1,8 cineole content which can cause respiratory issues in children under 10. Allow the spray to disperse for 20-30 minutes before introducing children back to the area.)
Other Ingredients – Other ingredients in this recipe include baking soda and water to help further kill odors and prevent oil stains. I love to combine baking soda and essential oils because I find that baking soda intensifies the aroma of the oils and gives them more powerful deodorizing properties.
Natural Fabric Refresher & Disinfectant Spray
- 30 drops lemon essential oil (find pure lemon EO here)
- 10 drops palmarosa essential oil (find pure palmarosa EO here)
- 10 drops tea tree essential oil (find pure tea tree EO here)
- 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil (find pure eucalyptus oil here)
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 8 ounces distilled water
- 1 spray bottle (preferably dark glass to protect the essential oils, like this one)
- Using a funnel, add baking soda to an 8 ounce spray bottle.
- Fill with water until the bottle is almost full.
- Shake well to combine.
- Add in essential oils.
- Shake well.
- Test the fabric before using: apply a small amount to an inconspicuous area on each new fabric, allow to dry, then check for stains.
- Shake well.
- Spray lightly on carpet, couches, and fabrics.
- Allow to dry.
Note: Many essential oils are unsafe to use around pets, including tea tree. If you do have pets, remove them from the area and wait 20-30 minutes before re-introducing them to the area. Store the solution away from pets and children.
That’s all! I typically discard this solution after a few weeks and mix a fresh batch.
How do you naturally freshen and disinfect fabrics? Share below!