Thursday, July 14, 2011

Febreze....For Less!


With houses full of dogs, cats, husbands and kids we are always looking for new ways to keep things smelling fresh. We like Febreze and have used it for a while now. But, as is the norm with us, we wondered if we could make our own version for less*. Turns out we can!

What You Need:
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup liquid fabric softener
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
Simply mix these three ingredients together in a spray bottle, shake well, and get spraying! The great part about this recipe (aside from how well it works and how much money you can save) is that the scent isn't terribly strong or overpowering. Our home smells like clean laundry for a short time, then the scent quickly dissipates taking any bad smells with it!

*We can't remember where we originally saw this recipe!
Pin It!

71 comments:

  1. Interesting... I am going to have to give this a try soon :) Thanks for sharing :)

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  2. Liquid fabric softener is highly toxic. I don't recommend spraying it in your home.

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  3. "According to the health and wellness website Sixwise.com, some of the most harmful ingredients in dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener alike include benzyl acetate (linked to pancreatic cancer), benzyl alcohol (an upper respiratory tract irritant), ethanol (linked to central nervous system disorders), limonene (a known carcinogen) and chloroform (a neurotoxin and carcinogen), among others."

    http://wskg.typepad.com/everydaythinking/2008/12/earthtalk-which-is-greener-dryer-sheets-or-liquid-fabric-softener.html


    You definitely don't want to be spraying this into the air.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I found a huge container of orange rush scented fabric softener on sale today really cheap, so now I can have the house smell like oranges! Thank you so much for all the inspiration and great ideas on how to do things cheaply and more naturally!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. are you sure that stuff is meant to be ingested and is this causing harm to the people who come into your home. You might want to research that.

      Delete
    2. Im not sure ingest was the word you were looking for, unless you believe he intends to EAT it...

      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ingest

      Delete
  5. Inspired by your great idea to make your own Febreeze, I made my own and posted the results on my blog: http://fakeitfrugal.blogspot.com/2011/07/fake-febreeze.html

    Full credit and a big shout out given! Thanks for the idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, lets imitate the commercial chemical manufacturers. Seriously? Do you all really like the smell and dangers of febreeze? That stuff is FULL of terribly toxic stuff! It is NOT good for you!

      Delete
  6. I just made this after seeing it on fakeitfrugal.blogspot where they gave you full credit. This is amazing!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. http://moneysavingqueen.com/March-2011/Frugal-Living-Homemade-Fabric-Softener/

    Fabric softener doesn't have to be toxic. If you're going to present a problem, it's worth the extra few minutes to also offer a solution.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just put one or two fabric softener sheets in my bottle and it seems to work fine. Maybe there are green fabric softeners that would work as well without all the chemicals

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are several organic, non toxic fabric softeners that arent chemical laden, like Seventh Generation or Mrs. Meyers.

      Delete
  9. I came here after seeing Heather's post on Fake it Frugal. We can't wait to try it. I think my teenage daughter is more excited than I am! Love this solution! Thank you so much for posting this!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Method makes a fabric softener if you're worried about something being green.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I too was wondering if we could make it out of a more green product? Anyone give it a try?

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

    ReplyDelete
  12. Tried this yesterday using Method fabric softener. Turned out fantastic!

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  13. Can't thank you enough for sharing! Just made this and Can't stop spraying this everywhere!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great idea, thanks for the info!

    I don't normally use Febreeze because of the cost, but I just mixed some up and sprayed it all over! LOL
    I'll probably be using this every day now. =)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for the great tip! Can't wait to try it out!

    To Valerie...Just FYI
    Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center provides information on a Clinical Summary discussing the "known carcinogen" limonene you mentioned back in July.

    They write:
    Derived from the peels of citrus fruits, D-limonene is used by patients to prevent and treat cancer and has been promoted as a treatment for gastroesophageal reflux. Following oral administration, D-limonene is rapidly metabolized to limonene-1,2-diol, perillic acid, dihydroperillic acid, and uroterpenol...

    You can read further at this link
    http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/69206.cfm

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi,

    I posted this on Fake it Frugal but they deleted it. I guess they weren't actually open to comments and suggestions.

    1. Febreeze is not simply a perfume that overpowers odor. The product's active ingredient is hydroxypropyl or HPβCD, a naturally occurring molecule with a doughnut shape. The manufacturer claims that these molecules bind hydrocarbons within the doughnut shape, thus retaining malodorous molecules so that they are no longer detected as a scent. Your homemade version simply cannot do this.

    2. Baking soda isn't an effective odor absorber.

    http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/chem00/chem00388.htm

    3. Fabric softener GREATLY increases the chances of fabrics catching fire. Even diluted in the usual way in a machine wash, it increases flammability 7 times!

    http://oss.mcgill.ca/everyday/softener.pdf

    I honestly would not recommend repeatedly using it (even diluted) in the way that you would use Febreeze. If there ever is a fire in your home, it WILL accelerate that fire spreading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Take a look at some other people found for example this, which I find is interesting and useful-

      "To the PP linking to a science Q&A site that says baking soda isn't effective - you can find articles saying anything you want online regardless of whether or not the information is true. Here's a science Q&A site that says baking soda IS effective.
      http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1411/does-baking-soda-really-eliminate-refrigerator-odors"

      Also, I have heard that this "hydroxypropyl"(BTW it's really Hydroxypropyl beta-cyclodextrin), although it sounds lovely, is actually very dangerous and cancer causing etc. (everything causes cancer, but hey. Don't add one more thing to your home's list!) it has recently been discovered that cyclodextrins have an affinity for cholesterol, especially forms of HPBCD.  For decades, HPBCD was thought to be an inactive and non toxic ingredient but in fact HPBCD may act as very powerful drug in the human body.  When cyclodextrin enters into the body, researchers believe it has the ability to penetrate into the lysosome of a human cell and interact with cholesterol and potentially other things as well. Pets have been known to die from spraying extreme amounts in there beds. The manufacturer claims that these molecules bind hydrocarbons   within the donut shape, thus retaining malodorous molecules so that they are no longer detected as a scent, as you mentioned. But notice here the word "claims". THAT makes me suspicious. Hydroxypropyl beta-cyclodextrin ...
      May cause possible mild gastrointestinal irritation with nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.

      Inhalation of high concentrations of ethanol vapor may cause irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract, drowsiness, and fatigue.
      Use chemical goggles and protective gloves (rubber, neoprene) during spill clean-up.”
      May cause itchiness, trouble   breathing, headaches, dizziness and other allergic reactions to name a few. What if there could be a better, more natural way to bring in that ‘breath of fresh air?”

      see here http://addiandcassi.com/procter-gambles-febreze-product-active-drug-compound-enter-human-cell/ and here http://www.getgoinggetgreen.com/tag/febreze/.

      And to your last point that fabric softener increases flammability- It's true! MAybe not by 7 times, but it's true. Isn't this 'sposed to go in the air though? and also, you can make It using baking soda, etc. (see my post below)

      Delete
    2. The toxic properties you refer to were found with massive doses, like drinking the stuff by the bottle. The symptoms tended to be reversible, but obviously if you force feed rats enough of a strange chemical over time it can eventually lead to cancer. Bottom line, cyclodextrin is benign as chemicals go and it works as described. There are much bigger safety issues with spraying fabric softener around. This concoction has no active ingredient. It's not an odor eliminator. It's just an air freshener, except with inappropriate and potentially hazardous ingredients. Just spray scent around, not fabric softener.

      Delete
  17. How bout baking soda, water and an essential oil like lemon/rosemary or lemon and peppermint?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have made something similar in the past (as PP said, with baking soda and essential oils, and also a dash of ammonia.) I was delighted with its odor killing capabilities, but disappointed in that it left tiny white specks on everything. :(

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think fabric softener is great for perfuming, but I do worry about the chemicals. Plain white vinegar is a great odor eliminator, and won't leave spots like ammonia. A small amount (maybe three Tbs) in 2-3 cups of water, 20-30 drops of a favorite essential oil, and no toxic substances are needed, plus no added flammability risk. Vinegar even gets rid of wood smoke and cigarette smoke odors. Worth a try!

    ReplyDelete
  20. You can make a linen spray with, Vodka, Water, and any oil that you like. You use 3 1/2 cups of water, 3/4 cup of Vodka, and 1 tsp. of the oil that you prefer. Mix well and spray.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Make your own softner. 2 Cups of conditioner, 4 cups of white vinager, 6 cups water. I don't think its flammable. And yes that's hair conditioner. And as for baking soda being for oders it works great, I sprinkle some in the cats litter to help with the topamax to help get rid of my the smell.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oops got to love auto correct. "The topamax" was not suppose to be there...lol

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  23. Thanks for this post. I made this after reading this post this past weekend and I must say this stuff smells awesome and it actually works :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Baking soda has been used for years to absorb odors (remember the box in the back of the fridge)? Going to to the fake Fabreze -- sounds workable.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Just made this and the only issue I seem to have is it's really wet...way more than the "real thang". Did I miss something? I am using my old Fabreeze bottle. I do love the smell, but it left a damp film on my wood floor...

    Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Just found this floating around on Pinterest. Thank you for sharing this. I get migraines from overly heavy smells, and as wonderful as Febreze is they just don't make lightly scented stuff. I hope this works for us, yes I use unscented fabric softener. Thank you again!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Febreeze has a lot of heavily scented choices but they also have lightly scented choices. I like the very light scented ones -- the ones with "rain" or "sky" in the name. Thai Dragonfruit is also very lightly scented.

      Delete
  27. I plan on trying this with homemade fabric softener. I think it would do just as well. I have tried the other ways (using rubbing alcohol, vodka, etc) it just gave me headaches. Let you know how this does. Also I would prefer to spray the air rather than my furniture.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Interesting idea and I love diy homemade recipes for cleaning products. I'm wondering what could be substituted for the store bought fabric softener?

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  29. Okay - my 2 cents. To the PP worried about spraying fabric softener in the air, Febreeze is a "fabric refresher" so you aren't supposed to be spraying it in the air anyway, you spray it on fabrics you can't throw in the washing machine.

    To the PP linking to a science Q&A site that says baking soda isn't effective - you can find articles saying anything you want online regardless of whether or not the information is true. Here's a science Q&A site that says baking soda IS effective.
    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1411/does-baking-soda-really-eliminate-refrigerator-odors

    Now for my question - what is the reason for adding fabric softener? Seems like it's just for the smell, in which case you could just add essential oils right? Or does the fabric softener do something for it other than make it smell nice?

    ReplyDelete
  30. I've been looking at all the febreeze recipes and these ingredients are ubiquitous:
    baking soda
    vinegar
    lemon juice
    essential oils
    tea tree oil
    rubbing or other alcohol
    and yes, fabric softener. But there is many a debate out there on how safe fabric softener is... making your own might be safer. What do you put in homemade fabric softener?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Try a cup of hot water
    1/2 cup of baking soda
    & a few drops of your favorite essential oil
    Mixed up in a spray bottle. I just tried it and my house smells amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I took about 2 tbsp of my favorite smelling conditioner, 1/4 cup vinegar (both of which I use to make my own fabric softener), 2 tbsp of baking soda, and some hot water. Now, granted, I had a bit of a volcanic explosion when I first started mixing it, but I just used it and it took the cat pee smell out of my couch!

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  33. Tried this about 2 months ago and only now making some more! i love this stuff! thanks!

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  34. Just Made a batch of this! Works great! I used dollar store fabric softener which made the cost $.06 for a 28 oz. Bottle! Great info.

    Thanks

    Eric
    www.tidykeeper.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hey...it's a cheap way of getting a scent in your house and making it smell good. If you don't have any febreze and someone is coming to visit-this is a short way of making your house presentable. I will use it. As far as it not being good for you? If people are using febreze anyway-what's the difference between using it or the homemade? Everything we breathe or eat these days seem to give you cancer or some other life threatening health issues. So why not going out with your house smelling good for when the people show up after your death?

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  36. If fabric softener is so highly flamable, omg, everyone should stop using their dryer.

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  37. Pinned it, made it, LOVED it! Will be sharing on our blog tomorrow with a shout out to ya! Thanks so much! Deb @ madefrompinterest.net

    ReplyDelete
  38. I just made a cinnamon "febreze": 1 cup water, 2ml cinnamon essential oil, 1 tsp baking soda ... It smells awesome!

    We like the fall scents better than the "spring" or "fresh linen" types, but this spray doesn't save me any money 'cause the 2 ml cinnamon oil was like $3 from eBay & only made 1 cup of spray (I diluted it more and doesn't smell quite like I want it anymore.)

    Anybody know where to get some super cheap cinnamon bark essential oil?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Duh, this is a DIY kinda forum, I should've thought to first look up how to make cinnamon oil!
      I
      guess you boil 1/2 cup ground cinnamon (5-10 sticks) + 2 cups olive oil for 3 minutes, then filter through cheesecloth or coffee filter & store in a dark amber jar.

      I'll post again once I've tried this out!

      Delete
  39. Febreze is full of toxic chemicals. They are spraying it where I work and it is a small space and it is making feel extremely ill! Thank you for offering an alternative although I must say I'm not sure why you like Febreze in the first place. ;( (don't natural essential oils work best? wouldn't that be healthier than fabric softener? what's in fabric softener and is it good to inhale or ingest?)

    ReplyDelete
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