DIY Fabric Refresher without Baking Soda

Purple spray bottle, box of essential oils and a bottle of rubbing alcohol

Have you ever cleaned your house top to bottom, only to find out your couch smelled? Most of the time, I would grab my “commercial” bottle of fabric refresher, spray it a few times, and be done. However, what do you do when you are out of your favorite spray?

After some investigating (and being really determined not to just go to the store), I found out that you can make fabric deodorizer for some pretty common ingredients found in the home. Here is how.

DIY Fabric Refresher without Baking Soda

3 bottles of essential oils - Orange, Lemon, and Peppermint- on top of a small box

Ingredients / Materials:

  • Essential Oils – (I use Lemon for a clean fresh smell)
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Warm Water
  • A spray bottle (I use a small 8oz bottle found with travel sized toiletries in most big box stores)
  • A tablespoon


  1. Remove the spray top from your bottle.
  2. To the bottle add between 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil. You can add more or less for a stronger or softer scent depending on what you like.
  3. Now add 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol to the bottle.
  4. Fill the rest of the bottle with warm water, leaving just enough room at the top for shaking.
  5. Shake well before spraying to keep the oils mixed in. I shake between each area I spray or if I have paused for more that a couple of minutes.


  • You don’t have to use essential oils. Fragrance oils work, too. Just be sure not to add too much as the smell may be stronger than essential oils, requiring less drops.
  • Feeling bold? Try mixing a couple of your oils together. Try 5 drops of Rosemary and 10 drops Lemon for a uplifting clean smell.
  • Need a winter holiday fragrance that isn’t too overpowering? Add a few drops of peppermint to make any room smell like candy canes.
  • You can also make this in bigger batches. A 16oz bottle would be the measurements in this recipe times 2. A 24oz bottle would be time 3.
  • This also works great on smelly shoes! Give it a try!
Purple spray bottle on a wooden counter.

I tried quite a few other recipes before this one. One that I used contained baking soda, and I can tell you honestly, I didn’t like it very much. Not only did it clog the nozzle of the sprayer, but it left behind a residue that was noticeable on my furniture. I quickly stopped using it and started searching for something else.

I have used this recipe on just about everything including my kitchen rugs (after frying food) and have had great success with it. You may smell the rubbing alcohol when first sprayed, but as it evaporates, you are left with the fresh scent of your essential oils. I just love how customizable it is and how easily I can change out scents should I tire of one.

Have a really tough smell to get rid of? A sweaty gym bag or running shoes? Try adding extra rubbing alcohol to your bottle (start with 1 extra tablespoon at a time). It is the alcohol in this spray that actually kills the bad smells. Enjoy!

Please test on an inconspicuous area. Although rare, some fabric staining may occur.

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