DIY Non-Toxic Fabric Refresher Spray

With husbands, kids and pets, you might feel like it’s impossible to keep your house clean and your air and furniture smelling fresh. You probably find yourself washing throw blankets and pillows constantly to rid them of common odors. But what do you do with the things you can’t toss in the wash? Have you resorted to using common air and fabric fresheners, like Febreze or even Lysol? While these items might act as a quick fix to common household odor problems, they are probably doing your family more harm than good. Read on to find out why and how, with three simple ingredients, you can eliminate odor in your house naturally and safely.

 

What You Shouldn’t Be Using:

Lysol Disinfectant Spray

You’ve probably seen the most recent Lysol Disinfectant Spray commercials on TV where they boast its safe use on furniture, pet blankets and even bedding. But one quick trip to the Environmental Working Group’s: Guide To Healthy Cleaning website will have you cringing at the level of toxicity in its ingredients.

Six of its 12 ingredients scored D’s and F’s for high health risk concerns. Some of those concerns range from allergies, respiratory and skin irritants to DNA damage and cancer. And the company is saying it’s OK to spray it on your sheets before you crawl into bed at night? We don’t think so. And neither does the EWG.

Febreze

Another more common air and fabric freshener, Febreze, has concerns as well. While Febreze Fabric Refresher is made specifically for the use on upholstery, furniture, blankets and bedding, 4 of its main ingredients scored D’s and F’s on the EWG’s ranking system.

It’s also important to mention that both Lysol and Febreze list “fragrance” as an ingredient. The International Fragrance Association lists 3,163 stock chemical ingredients that can be used under the generic term “fragrance.” Of all of those, the EWG has found about 1 in every 20 to be highly hazardous.

Why would you want to expose your family to toxins just to keep your upholstery smelling fresh?

What You Should Be Using:

We’ve found a simple and effective DIY recipe that will disinfect and deodorize your home without compromising the health of your family.

What You’ll Need:

Simply mix these ingredients together and add your favorite essential oils for scent. You can replace the vinegar with vodka or witch hazel if necessary. (Note: Using alcohol on any fabric or upholstery can possibly make it flammable.) The baking soda, vinegar (or vodka or witch hazel) will act as an antibacterial, killing odors from your fabrics. The optional essential oils will leave your home smelling naturally beautiful, without artificial fragrances.

You should always test your solutions on an inconspicuous part of your upholstery when using essential oils to make sure they don’t leave marks. Also, some essential oils are toxic to pets. If you have cats or dogs, you might want to omit essential oils from your mixture.
For more great cleaning tips, check out Spring Cleaning With Essential Oils

Photo credit: With A Red Bird On My Shoulder
Sources: EWG’s Guide To Healthy Cleaning, EWG’s Not So Sexy: The Health Risks Of Secret Chemicals In Fragrance

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Danielle

Danielle is a Pittsburgh native who has been warming her “black and gold” blood in sunny Northern California for the past 6 years. On any given day, you can find her arranging ridiculous photo shoots of her one-year-old son Graeme and cat Gizmo, or working on any one of her 27,000 writing projects. She enjoys daydreaming about becoming a famous actress and starting a handful of different businesses with her husband over glasses of wine in the evenings. Someday, she hopes to travel the country in an RV with her family… but she needs to sell that novel first. You can follow her journeys through her blog With A Red Bird On My Shoulder

Comments (13)

  • Avatar

    Jolene

    |

    Hi Danielle, thanks for the recipe! Do we need to use some sort of preservative since water is part of the recipe? Water is a breeding ground for bacteria from what I have read and found. Or does the vinegar counter that? I am thinking of making this for my family and friends and was curious on your opinion on this. Thank you.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Lisa

    |

    Hi! I just wanted to check in the recipe – is “T” standing for tablespoon or teaspoon? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      M&M

      |

      Usually capital is tablespoon and lowercase is teaspoon.

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Yves

      |

      Tb is tablespoon and tsp is teaspoon

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Valerie

    |

    How much warm water?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Andrea

    |

    I thought baking soda and vinegar shouldn’t be mixed together unless needing some sort of combustion for hard cleaning

    Reply

  • Avatar

    kimithy

    |

    A bit confused by this – vinegar and baking soda create a STRONG, immediate chemical reaction when mixed. You really don’t want to put those two things together in a bottle…?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Lynn

    |

    I know baking soda is a great natural cleaner, but I’m concerned it would leave a residue that would require extra effort to remove.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Wm

    |

    Curious about something, I tried making the recipe with baking soda, and no, there’s no residue problem on the clothing, which is great. But I did find that, as I was so fearful of, this clogs up my sprayer. The sprayed mixture might not leave a residue but as it dries, I believe the baking soda starts coating the inside tubing/workings of the spray pump bottle. Is there any way to avoid this … ?? Anyone know?

    I can’t afford to be gunking up spray bottle after spray bottle.

    Thanks!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Brigette Chapman

    |

    Does the writer ever respond to comments on this blog? I never subscribe to blogs where questions consistently go unanswered. I also have a question about mixing baking soda and vinegar. My container almost exploded!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Megan

      |

      Hi Brigette,
      The writer who did this post is no longer with our staffing team, and we often feature guest bloggers. I could ask my team if anyone else has made this recipe and get back to you?
      Best,
      Megan

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Alice

      |

      You cannot mix baking soda with vinegar because – simple chemistry – baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid. When you mix them together, you get that sizzling bubbling effect which results in them both canceling each other. Separately they do great work, but together they don’t work (unless you use one ofter another, i.e. you can clean something with baking soda, wipe with water, then rinse with vinegar). You can however mix them together if you want to clean the sink drain – the bubbling effect with work well on cleaning the drain, afterwards you just pour hot water to flush it. I hope that helped!

      Reply

  • Avatar

    CJ

    |

    Just a suggestion, but do your research on ingredients further than just taking EWG at face value. Often rankings for ingredients/chemicals are out of context or not given consideration to being diluted. Some are even neutralized by another ingredient. There is a dangerous precedent lately for those who are anti-preservatives in particular. Be aware of which kind are used, all are not the same, but I would take my chances tenfold with a preservative before subjecting my family to mold and worse! There are instances where additives, regardless of the rankings, might be the safer option. Just a friendly opinion, but I always refer to more than one source and if I don’t understand, I find someone who does or leave it alone.

    Reply

Leave a comment