Natural Homemade Fabric Refresher (like Febreze™)

Homemade Febreze Homemade Fabric Refresher

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?

Disinfecting 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

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Using a funnel, add baking soda to an 8 ounce spray bottle.
  2. Fill with water until the bottle is almost full.
  3. Shake well to combine.
  4. Add in essential oils.
  5. Shake well.

To Use

  1. Test the fabric before using: apply a small amount to an inconspicuous area on each new fabric, allow to dry, then check for stains.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Spray lightly on carpet, couches, and fabrics.
  4.  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!

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Comments

  1. THANK YOU for a non-Febreze TM substitute. At the doctor’s office I was asked what I was allergic to. In listing allergies, I saw a bottle of Febreze TM on the table. I said THAT gives me a headache immediately (as does Lysol used at a different doctor’s office). I haven’t been able to use scents in years, but bet I can handle some essential oils. Lemon and eucalyptus are lovely.

  2. I have used straight ru”rubbing alcohol with my essential tial oils added as my spray, and you avoid stains -oil or water- with it. I use it directly on our microfiber couch, and because it’s alcohol and dries so quickly, it doesn’t leave any water marks. (I also use plain rubbing alcohol in large quantities and rub vigorously with a white towel to clean the microfiber couch!)

    I spray it on pretty much anything and everything, and if you use Purification essential oil, it helps takes bad odors out!!. :)

    • that sure makes more sense to me than having to round up all those other ingredients……as always, simpler is better!! thanks for sharing!!

  3. If you want to use alcohol please use vodka as rubbing alcohol is very toxic. Even the fumes are considered toxic.

    • EXCESSIVE inhalation of rubbing alcohol can causes headaches, nausea, dizziness and vomiting. So unless you spray it on fabric and stick your nose in it and inhale often, it’s fine. :)

      We know about these instances because people were huffing it, not using a light spritz around the house. ;)

  4. Actually, I have found that vodka/everclear or rubbing alcohol work wonderfully. The smell of the alcohol dissipates very quickly, and can conquer the smell of sweaty males falling asleep on the couch. ; )

  5. Are you sure about the 1/4 a cup baking soda? I tried mixing up a homemade “fabric refresher” with that much 8-12 oz of water and 1/4 a cup of baking soda, and most of the baking soda never dissolved. It just sat on the bottom of the bottle, and made a white chalky mess wherever I sprayed it. 1 tablespoon maybe, or POSSIBLY 2 tablespoons to 8 oz of water.
    That is unless I didn’t use enough essential oil, and the essential oils were needed to help the baking soda dissolve some more.(??)

    • Some doesn’t dissolve, but much of this one does. If you shake well before each use, it will shake up what is on the bottom and help the solution to spray more evenly. The essential oils do not help the baking soda dissolve more.

  6. Do all the essential oils listed need to be used? Are you sure of the baking soda amount? I am interested in trying this, but want to be sure of the measurements prior. I can not use eucalyptus since I am allergic and that would sort of defeat the purpose.

    • Not all of the essential oils need to be used, though it is most effective when they are all included. You can definitely leave out the Eucalyptus and still have a refreshing, deodorizing spray. If you are uncomfortable using that much baking soda, try adding just a teaspoon at a time until you find the consistency you are comfortable with. 1/4 cup worked well for me, but I didn’t use this spray heavily or on fabrics like microfiber. Remember to always test a patch before spraying all over!