3 Easy, Low Impact Ways to Deodorize Your Home


There's a whole billion dollar industry out there built around convincing you that your house should smell like a pumpkin pie. You can buy gels, sprays, candles, and even scented trash bags - all of which are pretty needless, wasteful, or environmentally harmful. Listen, I’m the last woman to tell you about perfumes, scented body lotions, sprays and things of that ilk. I’ll stuff a bunch of flowers from my garden into a vase and call that air freshener before I’ll reach for Glade room spray. But, let’s be honest: there is nothing worse than having a musty smelling home, room or living/working environment.

There are so many ways to deodorize without so much plastic or the use of aerosol cans. Let's also not forget about conflict palm-oil derived preservatives (in sprays) or wax (in mainstream candles). Below are just a few quick & easy multi-purpose recipes that will help your space — and self — smell wonderful:

Please Note The recipes below utilize essential oils, which you may want to avoid if you share your home with cat friends (1,2), as a lovely reader noted below in the comments. 


Lemon + Herb Spray

Room and clothing sprays that help kill odours & bacteria are often filled to the brim with harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients. Instead of using perfume to cover up unwanted scents on your clothing/in your space, try making your own lemon + herb spray instead. This easy DIY recipe can be ready in minutes, and really does the trick:

1 16oz spray bottle
5 drops of lemon essential oil
4-7 herb leaves (such as basil, mint, etc)
1-2 tbsp vodka
1 1/4 cups of water

In a small pot, boil your water with the basil leaves and let steep for a few minutes. Set aside to cool.

Using a funnel, add the vodka, lemon essential oil and steeped basil water to your spray bottle. You can leave the herb leaves in.

Hot tip → Spray into closets, on clothes, throughout your living/working space, or heat up and add to a steaming jar for an easy steam-air-freshener. You can also drink it as a cocktail when the going get tough; hold the essential oil, please.

Sea Salt Spray

Sea salt is a wonderful, welcome addition to most beauty products but is also great for your home and clothing. Sea salt is alkalizing and can help with the inflammation that causes asthma; it also gets rid of bacteria, which can help kill foul odours in your home: 

1 16oz spray bottle
1 tbsp sea salt
1 1/4 cup water
3 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
3-5 drops of essential oil (any scent you like)

In a small pot, boil the seal salt in the water until dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Add the salt water to your spray bottle, then add the other ingredients, shaking slightly to incorporate. Spray on furniture, in closets or even on your hair (for beach waves and beautifully scented locks)

Hot tip If you find the coconut oil hardens, simply run the bottle under hot water or hold it over steam from boiling water; it will melt the oil!

Scented Wood or Pine Cones

This is one of the more unique ways to freshen up the smell of your space. Scented wood is great for making any space smell wonderful, but you can also stick a small container of scented wood in enclosed spaces (like your car or closet) to help get rid of stale or musty odours. This is also a fun DIY project which anyone can make as party favours or with children:

5-10 wood cubes/blocks or 5-10 pinecones
1 or 2 essential oils (your preference)
small metal tin or container

In a small metal tin or container, add a few drops of your chosen essential oils, then add the wood cubes or pinecones (whichever one you choose)

Shake the container (after closing it!) to coat the wood or pinecones in the essential oils.

Let the container of scented wood or pinecones sit overnight (with the lid on) to allow the wood or pinecones to absorb the oils.

The next day, open the lid and let the wonderful, woodsy smell permeate your space.

Hot tip You can use bits of wood or pinecones leftover from firewood or a camping trip, but you can also buy wood shapes from craft stores, paint them with essential oils and hang them from a car mirror or closet for an individual air freshener.

LifestyleJacalyn Beales