With four furry pets in the house, we used Febreze a lot. I mean…a lot. Unfortunately, those store-bought fabric fresheners are quite expensive, and they have lots of chemicals and artificial ingredients in them (which are then being sprayed all over your carpet, furniture, and clothes!). Plus, how do you bottle “meadows” and “fresh linen”? This homemade version is all-natural, easy to make, and inexpensive!
I made it in a 4-oz glass spray bottle, but you can certainly make a larger batch and put it into a bigger bottle. Not sure where to buy the bottle? Check here.
Be sure to shake gently before each use, as the ingredients will separate. Use this on your carpet, your clothes, your furniture, and any other fabrics in need of refreshing! Oh and in case you’re wondering, the vodka is used to help the water dissipate when spraying.
Because pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils are so potent, it’s recommended that you store your homemade products in glass containers rather than plastic. Many people even prefer to store in cobalt (dark blue) or amber glass containers to keep out the light. Depending how fast you’ll be using the product and where it will be stored when not in use, that’s a great option. My general rule of thumb is if you’ll be using the product within three months and you can store it in a cool, dark place when not in use, clear glass is perfectly ok for storage. Steel cans are also a good option.
Most health markets will carry the storage containers you’ll need for the recipes on this site. Since I make quite a bit, I buy the containers on Amazon. I’ve provided links below to the containers I use for your convenience. Since I’m a Prime member, all of the items are Prime eligible, which means you’ll get free two-day shipping if you’re a Prime member too! Purchasing through the links I’ve provided doesn’t affect your price at all, but it does help me! I have an affiliate partnership with Amazon, so I get a small commission whenever you purchase through the links. That commission helps me fund this site, so thank you for your support!
I came to a horrible realization the other day (one I’m quite embarrassed to even tell you about). For the sake of helping others, though, I’ll tell my story. After a winter of running a humidifier in my son’s room and not paying too much attention the window, we’d created a black mold monster. All around the trim, black mold was growing right there under our noses.
Our son had developed a morning cough. It reminded me of seasonal allergies–a few minutes of coughing first thing in the morning and then little to no coughing the rest of the day. At first we thought it was a cold, but he didn’t have any other cold symptoms, and it only happened in the morning. Then we thought it was allergies. Allergy medicine did seem to help, but then I wondered: wouldn’t allergies bother him all day? Then my husband saw the mold. We were horrified. I hated the idea of using a chemical cleaner on it, so I got out my doTERRA Essential Oil Usage Guide, and I did some research.
This is a simple recipe, and it works well! You’ll need a 4-ounce glass spray bottle. Not sure where to get one? Check here.
Update, March 2018: When I first started making these, I used ice cube trays and filled them about halfway. While that worked okay, I’ve since found some awesome silicone molds that are much easier! They are the perfect size, and the finished tabs pop out easily. No more fighting with the ice cube tray! Using the below recipe, you’ll yield approximately 50 of the tabs in the silicone mold. Want the mold? Get it here.
Original Post: Wow! These were easy to make, and they work! Scrap those expensive dishwasher detergent tabs, and make your own!
3/4 cups washing soda (find it by the laundry stain & odor removers)
3/4 cups Borax (find it by the laundry stain & odor removers)
1/2 cup coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup citric acid (find it in the canning aisle)
Mix dry ingredients and essential oils in a large plastic bowl, using a wooden or silicone spoon. Do NOT use a metal bowl or a metal spoon.
Slowly stir in vinegar in small amounts. If you add the vinegar too quickly, the citric acid will bubble like crazy, and you’ll never get it to settle down. Trust me–learned that the hard way!
Press into molds. I found it was easiest to do this with my fingers. Pack down slightly; some expansion is normal.
Allow to dry at room temperature. In a dry environment, they’ll be ready to pop out in 6-8 hours. In more humid environments, you may need to wait 24 or more hours.
Pop out of molds and transfer to an airtight container to store. Store in a cool, dark place.
Yield: approx. 50 tabs (in the mold referenced above)
Tabs don’t have to be placed in the detergent compartment. If your dishwasher has a special location for tabs, use that. Otherwise, you can just toss one on the bottom of the tub.
For rinse agent, I use distilled white vinegar with lemon essential oil–20 drops oil per quart of vinegar. Shake before filling compartment.
These tabs are also multi-purpose!
Drop one in your garbage disposal, run hot water, and let the disposal run for 30 seconds to a minute.
Toss one on the bottom of your dishwasher tub, and run an empty hot cycle with sanitize (if your dishwasher has that option) to clean your dishwasher tub and lines.
Have an extra-greasy load? Hard water? If you answered yes to either (or both!) of those things, add just a couple (no more than three) drops of regular dish soap to your dishwasher when you run a load.
Household cleaners are expensive and full of chemicals and harsh, artificial ingredients. This simple recipe is a great cleaner for all surfaces from your kitchen to your bathroom! And, it’s easy to make and inexpensive!
I am by no means a clean freak or crazy about germs. That said, though, I try to keep things somewhat clean (not my house, of course!) and change and wash them as needed. Here’s my recommended schedule for those things often forgotten:
Wash/Change Every 3 Uses:
Bath towels and wash cloths (I also pull the hand towels at the same time)
Wash/Change Once per Week:
Kitchen towels and dish rags
Wash/Change Once Per Month:
Bedding – blankets, comforters, quilts, etc.
Coffee pot – run white distilled vinegar through, then run water through
Humidifier filters (I also rinse them at least once between changes)
Laundry detergent is expensive! It’s also full of all sorts of chemicals and other artificial ingredients. If you’re looking for an easy, inexpensive, all-natural alternative, you’ve come to the right place! This recipe is also safe for HE machines.
15 drops On Guard (doTERRA essential oil proprietary blend)
Add all ingredients to a one-quart glass jar (or other airtight container), and shake to mix.
Many people suggest using 2-3 tbsp. per load. Since we have an HE machine AND a water softener, I’ve found 1/2 tbsp is plenty! In fact, I tried a full tbsp. with a larger load, and I had to run an extra rinse because it was still sudsy. I would recommend starting with less and adding more if necessary.
One concern many people have is soap residue left in the machine from the use of the soap flakes. I use white vinegar with Purify essential oil blend as a softener (one quart distilled white vinegar with 20 drops essential oil; shake well before each use), and I don’t have any problems with soap scum! Oh, and that same vinegar/essential oil combination is awesome for stain and odor removal!
*Alternatively, you can use one grated bar of castile soap. Using the bar soap is a bit cheaper, but it’s a fair amount of work to grate the bar. Also, if you don’t get it grated finely, it won’t dissolve well in the wash.