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Most of us are conscious of what we put in our bodies in terms of food and drink,  as well as the type of cosmetics or grooming products we use. We avoid preservatives, artificial flavours and colours, parabens, and other potentially harmful substances.

But what about the air we breathe? Lots of us don’t think twice about spending time in heavily scented environments, or using conventional air fresheners in our homes or vehicles (though if, like me, you bike most places, that ‘s not an issue!)

natural air freshener

Shop-bought air fresheners are packed with chemicals. Scientific American reported:

Some of the most offensive ingredients—volatile organic compounds (VOCs), benzene and formaldehyde—can cause headaches and nausea and aggravate asthma, and have been linked to neurological damage and cancer.

Perhaps even more worrisome, though, are dispersants known as phthalates that cause hormonal and reproductive issues, birth defects and developmental disorders. A 2007 review by the non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that 12 out of 14 widely available air fresheners contained phthalates.

This should be enough to get you to put down the spray can and consider alternatives for creating a fresh-smelling home, office, car or yoga studio.

The following super-simple recipe from The Prairie Homestead lets you mix your favourite essential oils into a natural, non-toxic spray that you can feel comfortable using any time, without worrying about the health risks.

DIY Air Freshener Spray Formula:

  • 180ml water (I use tap water, but distilled is fine too)
  • 2 tablespoons vodka, rubbing alcohol, or real vanilla extract
  • One of the essential oil combinations below

Place all ingredients in a 240ml spray bottle, shake well to mix before use.


  • 10 drops wild orange essential oil
  • 8 drops peppermint essential oil


  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops chamomile essential oil
  • Use 2 tablespoons real vanilla extract in place of the 2 tablespoons of vodka.


  • 5 drops wild orange essential oil
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops lime essential oil
  • 5 drops grapefruit essential oil

For more essential oil combinations, read the original post at The Prairie Homestead.

Share your favourite essential oils in the comments!