Over the past several months, I’ve received a ton of requests from readers for a fabric (AKA: linen) refresher spray. A spray that is made with simple, real, and natural ingredients, and may be used in place of the artificially-fragranced fabric freshener spray sold in conventional stores. Today, I’ll show you how easy it is to make a 100% natural fabric freshener spray with just 3 ingredients!
The ironic thing about these requests is that I’ve been making and using a fabric refresher spray, when needed, for a couple of years now, but I haven’t actually talked about the recipe on Live Simply. With the holidays just a few weeks away, a time when many of us will be cleaning and freshening our homes for company, I can’t think of a better time to publicly share a simple fabric refresher spray recipe.
Inviting company into my home means that people will sit on the same couch as stinky Toby (our dog), use the same bathroom as my kids, and sit on the soiled chair cushions in our dining room. company = cleaning
Before company arrives, the bathrooms need to be given extra special cleaning attention, the cushions on the chairs need to be washed, and the couch needs to be refreshed so it doesn’t smell like a dog just sat on it (Toby…).
It’s not that I’m afraid of being authentic. Dirty white cushions and a couch that smells like good ol’ Toby are definitely “authentic.” It’s just that I want our guests to be comfortable, and a clean house (well, as clean as possible) is definitely a step in the comfortable direction, in my opinion.
Thankfully, I have plenty of homemade cleaner recipes to help get my home as clean as possible, without the unwanted fumes or toxic ingredients. My simple all-purpose spray and toilet bowl cleaner work wonders in the bathroom. My favorite natural laundry soap is just the solution needed to clean the white dining room chair cushions. And, finally, I turn to a homemade fabric refresher spray that will freshen the couch and take away the unwanted odors.
My homemade fabric refresher spray is just as simple to make, if not easier, than the other cleaning products that I mentioned. Homemade fabric freshener spray only requires 3 basic ingredients: high-proof vodka, water, and essential oils. That’s it! You’ll probably recognize this combo as the same ingredients that I use to make a disinfectant spray and air freshener. Friend, this is literally the exact same spray, just with a special title: fabric refresher. This means that one spray may be used multiple ways.
Thankfully, I have plenty of homemade cleaner recipes to help get my home as clean as possible, without the unwanted fumes or toxic ingredients. My simple all-purpose spray works wonders in the bathroom. My bleach alternative and homemade laundry soap are just the solutions needed to clean the white dining room chair cushions. And, finally, to take care of the Toby-scented couch, I turn to a homemade fabric refresher spray.
My homemade fabric refresher spray is just as simple to make, if not easier, than the other cleaning products that I mentioned. The spray only requires three basic ingredients: high-proof vodka, water, and essential oils. That’s it! You’ll probably recognize this combo as the same ingredients that I use to make a disinfectant spray and air freshener. Friend, this is literally the exact same spray, just with a special title: fabric refresher. This means that one spray may be used multiple ways.
The holidays are probably the last thing most of us want to think about. After all, it’s only October. If you’re anything like me, just thinking about making dinner and getting the kids to bed requires all the mental capacity and energy available to one person. Whether you tuck this recipe away for the upcoming holiday season (and the gatherings you may have in your home), or use this spray right now as a daily fabric refresher, I think you’ll love the naturally-clean scent as much as I do.
What does fabric freshener do?
A fabric freshener is a product designed to eliminate pesky odors on fabrics (like towels, clothing, upholstery couches and pillows, curtains, carpet, etc.). Fabric fresheners use scent and also odor-eliminating ingredients to freshen the surfaces in your home. Febreze Fabric Refresher is a popular store-bought option. I don’t use fragranced products in my home, unless a company is willing to disclose the ingredients used to make the fragrance. This is why I choose to make my own DIY recipes, including fabric freshener spray, with natural, non-toxic ingredients.
“Fragrance” may be made with up to 3,000 different chemicals, including those of known concern like phthalates and formaldehyde. Companies are not required to disclose the ingredients used to make their fragrance due to trade secret laws. This is why you’ll only find “fragrance” or “parfum” listed on most ingredient lists.
How do you make homemade fabric freshener spray?
High-Proof Vodka: Alcohol has been used for generations for sterilizing and sanitizing (and yes, also pleasure). A high-proof vodka (high alcohol content) is the key to creating a natural odor neutralizer. Vodka is odorless, clear (won’t stain fabrics), and evaporates quickly. People in the theatre business use vodka to freshen and remove pesky odors from costumes that can’t be washed. It works!
Distilled Water: You could use vodka as-is, 100% straight, but I prefer to dilute it with water. No need to go full strength unless you want to do some serious odor-busting and sanitizing, then by all means go with 100% vodka in a spray bottle. I dilute the vodka by half with distilled water (which eliminates the potential for bacterial growth using tap water). Distilled water also eliminates any mineral deposits that could be left by tap water.
Essential Oils: If you just want to eliminate and freshen fabrics, you don’t need to add a scent to your fabric freshener spray. But if you love Febreze (and the scent that comes with it), but don’t want the toxic chemicals, you can add a natural scent with an essential oil. I love tea tree oil which is an antibacterial (helps eliminate any bacteria-causing odors), lavender, and lemon essential oil. Lavender calms and lemon invigorates and freshens. I also love eucalyptus or this germ-fighting blend of oils. Essential oils are not the same fatty oils like olive oil and coconut oil, so they should not stain or leave oil spots on fabric when diluted.
If you have pets or children in your home, please use pet and kid-safe essential oils when making your own fabric freshener or room spray with essential oils. Not all essential oils, like tea tree essential oil, are safe to use around animals. And the same goes for children.
To make an odor eliminator spray….
Combine the ingredients in a 16-ounce bottle (like this), and use! Since you’re using distilled water (or straight up vodka), the DIY room freshener and linen spray will last for several weeks (or months without water).
How do you use fabric freshener spray?
Spray the fabric freshener spray in the air (for a room that needs a quick refresh) or on fabric surfaces to eliminate odors: couches, carpets, rugs, cushions, pillows, curtains, etc. Do not use a fabric freshener spray on any surface that may water spot, such as: leather, suede, silk, etc. Speciality surfaces need special care. Always spot test a surface before spraying liberally with this spray or any cleaner.
Fabric Refresher Spray
- Pour the vodka into a 16-ounce spray bottle (like this), and then the essential oil(s). Shake the bottle to combine the vodka and oils. Finally, add the water and shake the bottle again.
How to Use:
- This room and fabric freshener spray spray is multi-purpose, so it may be sprayed on most surfaces, including fabric and linens (not silk, leather, or suede). Shake the bottle before each use. Some essential oils, like tea tree, are NOT safe to use around pets (like cats and dogs). Please do your own research on safe essential oil usage if you have pets in your home and consult with your trusted vet. This article details the essential oils that are safe to use around pets.