First, we need to know what you want your air freshener product to do – give a fragranced smell to the air or to furniture, break down a malodor, freshen up a piece of furniture, clothing, or gym bag, or cover up an odor in the air.
The below options are natural and non-toxic ways to accomplish one or more of these goals.
These are natural alternatives to air fresheners like Febreeze and Lysol Spray.
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Vodka in a Spray Bottle
Pour some vodka into a spray bottle and mist upholstery or fabric lightly to help break down and remove smoke odors, musty odors, and bacterial odors.
You can use it on hard surfaces like furniture and walls as well to help remove smoke odors.
I would use this on sofas, beds, upholstered furniture, and clothing. Test for compatibility.
Natural Enzyme Sprays
Enzyme sprays break down chemicals and odors. These sprays are best known for breaking down and therefore safely eliminating urine and other organic odors.
Earthrated, pictured, has a scented and unscented version (I have used the unscented one).
Liquid-Ate is a brand I use all the time (better priced in Canada than the other brands). This brand has an unscented version and a lightly scented citrus version.
Another enzyme cleaner, Earthworm Spray works well.
Most enzyme sprays have a light essential oil fragrance, and the conventional brands have a chemical fragrance. If you do well with essential oils I would use that version for extra air freshener effect, otherwise, go unscented.
The enzymes do damage some materials since they interact with and break down some sealants. I have seen this damage sealed concrete floors and wood floors that had a natural oil finish.
I use this on furniture, upholstery, beds, rugs, carpet, and in the bathroom.
Natural Mineral Based Sprays
Enviroklenz odor eliminators are all made with magnesium hydroxide/magnesium oxide, zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide.
You can spray this on carpet, rugs, upholstery (test first), clothing that can’t be washed easily like jackets, gym bags, car interiors, mattresses, cabinets, and drawers.
AFM Safecoat has a new product in 2020 called OdorOut. I tested this product in my experiment trying to remove Febreeze and smoke from drywall and it worked quite well. Like Enviroklenz it’s based on natural mineral technology.
You can use it to remove a variety of odors like fire, cigarette and cannabis smoke, urine, food waste odors, mold, and body odors.
You can use it on most porous items.
Essential Oil Based Room Sprays
This might be the most obvious solution, but most essential oils are for adding a pleasant odor, not for breaking down odors. Though citrus can break down some VOC odors, and not just mask them.
Not all folks who are sensitive to chemicals do well with essential oils.
If you do well with some oils it doesn’t mean you will do well with all of them. You will have to try them out yourself.
I do especially well with low doses of citrus, other fruit oils, peppermint, and vanilla. I have horrific reactions to some other oils, especially antimicrobial oils, but not only those.
If it’s your family members or guests who have chemical sensitivities, be sure to ask them which oils if any, they do well with.
ECOS Breeze is an alcohol and essential oil-based room spray. I would use this to add a light fragrance to bathrooms or any room.
Toilet Bowl Sprays
Natural toilet bowl sprays are essential oil-based and they work by providing an oil-based coating on the top of the water on the toilet.
This helps block odors while you use the toilet.
I haven’t tried it, but other folks seem to like it.
Poo-pouri is the best-known brand but there are quite a few to check out now.
For more products that add a natural aroma/scent to a room see the post on non-toxic cleaning products and air fresheners.
More ways to Remove Fragrance and Smoke from a house
Get rid of new house offgassing odors
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