8 All-Natural DIY Air Freshener Ideas

These easy, green ideas are a breath of fresh air

DIY air freshener options

​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Smells are everywhere in our home, and sometimes they aren't too fresh. What do you do with a kitchen that reeks of fish and garlic? Or a bathroom that doesn't smell like a bouquet of roses?

Before reaching for an air freshener that may contain potentially harmful ingredients to you and the planet (and yes, even some of the so-called "natural" air fresheners are a concern as well), take a deep breath and consider using a do-it-yourself, green alternative.

Here are the top green air freshener ideas and recipes that are easy, cost-friendly, effective, and use simple ingredients often found in your kitchen pantry. A few may require a trip to the store, but they are worth it to battle unpleasant odors and keep your home smelling fresh.


Watch Now: 8 All-Natural DIY Air Fresheners

  • 01 of 08

    Aromatherapy Diffuser

    aromatherapy diffuser

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    Diffusing essential oils, many of which have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, will help not just freshen the air, but purify it as well. Simply boil a pot of water, take it off the heat, and add a few drops of essential oil, such as lemon or eucalyptus. The scent of the oils will infuse the whole room. Also, consider investing in a candle, electric, car, or light ring diffuser.

  • 02 of 08


    coffee grounds and beans

    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    Wake up to the idea of using coffee to combat odors. Whether you grind it, brew it, or bake some beans in the oven, its smell is sure to enliven your senses and absorb odors, such as onions and garlic. Try setting out a few bowls of fresh ground coffee. Or, before offensive smells, like the trash, affect the whole room, place coffee grounds in the bottom of a new garbage bag.

  • 03 of 08

    Dried Herbal Potpourri


    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska 

    Create a pleasing potpourri with a blend of beautiful dried flowers, fragrant herbs, and essential oils that are sure to fragrance any room. Discover the secrets in by reading up on how to make herbal potpourri.

  • 04 of 08

    Fresh Herbal Bouquets

    flower bouquets

    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    Lend a herbaceous scent to any room by placing freshly snipped herbs, such as geranium, peppermint, rosemary, and lavender, in tied bouquets or in small bud vases. They are especially attractive when placed in odd-numbered groupings (e.g., three or five) on a dining room table.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08


    house plants as an air freshener

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    What could be greener than houseplants? Several different plants purify the air by reducing indoor allergens and pollutants. Researcher Kamal Meattle explains how three specific plants - areca palm, Mother-in-law's Tongue, and the "Money Plant" - purify the air, reduce energy consumption in buildings, and reduce health risks, and more in his Ted Talk "How to Grow Your Own Fresh Air."

  • 06 of 08

    Pomander Balls

    pomander balls

    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    Get creative and discover the fun in making this age-old, room freshening technique of hanging cured, dried oranges studded with cloves. Orange pomanders can also be hung in the pantry or closet as pest deterrents due to the chemical constituents in the clove buds.

  • 07 of 08

    Simmering Potpourri

    simmering scent pot

    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    This air freshening idea has long been used by real estate agents, holiday celebrators, and cooks to freshen the whole house with an uplifting, spicy-citrus scent and to combat cooking odors, such as fish and onions. As the essential oils are released from the citrus and spices, their antiseptic properties will naturally disinfect the air, and recipes are simple.

  • 08 of 08


    scented vinegar spray

    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    Zap bacteria and disinfect the air naturally with vinegar. Fill an empty spray bottle with one part white vinegar to four parts water and spritz it into the air to freshen any room. Alternatively, place a bowl of vinegar in the kitchen to remove cooking smells.

Article Sources
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  1. Puškárová, Andrea et al. The antibacterial and antifungal activity of six essential oils and their cyto/genotoxicity to human HEL 12469 cellsScientific reports vol. 7,1 8211. 15 Aug. 2017, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-08673-9

  2. Liu, Qing et al. Antibacterial and Antifungal Activities of SpicesInternational journal of molecular sciences vol. 18,6 1283. 16 Jun. 2017, doi:10.3390/ijms18061283

  3. Yagnik, Darshna et al. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expressionScientific reports vol. 8,1 1732. 29 Jan. 2018, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-18618-x