3 Natural Odor Eliminators

3 Natural Odor Eliminators - DIY Recipes for Common Household Odors main via Clean Mama

Stinky shoes, smelly garbage cans, and stale air are common household odors.  If you’re looking for natural solutions to these odors, I have three easy to make and use odor busters.  With just a couple ingredients and a few minutes you can make these natural busters and put them to use today.

A couple notes:  You can find a lot of the products used in these recipes in my Amazon shop and I used 8 ounce spray bottles – if you have a larger size, simply double the recipe to make it fit in your spray bottle.

Lemon + Clove Air Freshener Spray via Clean Mama

Lemon + Clove Air Freshener Spray

My favorite scent combination – perfect for any time a room needs a little freshening up.  The lemon and clove is great warm scent for fall, but you can use your favorite essential oils too – get creative!

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vodka (or rubbing alcohol)  – I use vodka in this recipe because it’s odorless and evaporates quickly.
5 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops clove essential oil
spray bottle

Add ingredients to a spray bottle and shake to combine.  Spray 2-3 sprays in any room that needs a little freshening.

Lemon + Clove Air Freshener via Clean Mama

Lemon + Peppermint Garbage Can Freshening Tablets via Clean Mama

Lemon + Peppermint Garbage Can Freshening Tablets

This concoction works great in the bottom of garbage cans and diaper pails.  Place one or two anywhere a little odor absorption is necessary.  Toss when odors aren’t being absorbed any longer.

1/2 cup baking soda
1/3 cup epsom salts
about 1/4 cup water
10 drops of your favorite essential oils
ice cube tray(s)

Garbage Can Fresheners in Ice Cube Trays via Clean Mama

Combine the ingredients and make a dry paste and spoon a tablespoon at a time in each compartment.  Don’t fill to the top because the mixture will expand a bit.  Allow to dry out completely overnight and/or in the sun.  Once the tablets have hardened, carefully turn the tray over onto a clean surface.  Place 1-2 in a garbage can – it should last at least 2 weeks.  Store tablets in an airtight container for 3 months.

Fresheners in a Jar via Clean Mama

Citrus + Tea Tree Fabric Sanitizer via Clean Mama

Citrus + Tea Tree Fabric Sanitizer Spray

If you need to sanitize/freshen a pillow or a pair of shoes, this spray will become a new favorite.

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
2 drops citrus essential oil
4 drops tea trea (melaleuca) oil

Add ingredients to a spray bottle and shake to combine.  Spray on shoes and fabric to freshen – let dry completely before using.  If you are concerned about water on fabric, test in an inconspicuous area first.

Fabric Sanitizer via Clean Mama

3 Natural Odor Eliminators - DIY Recipes for Common Household Odors via Clean Mama

These (and 150 more) recipes also appear in my book, The Organically Clean Home.  It’s the perfect cleaning resource!  Like DIY cleaning and recipes?  You’ll love these posts!


  1. Wendy Swank says:

    I’ve started reading your blogs and trying your tips! On you recipes with essential oils…..are they all just added for scent or are specific scents used for specific purposes? In other words, can I use any scents in any recipe? Thanks and love your site!

    • Feel free to substitute other scents – the tea tree oil does have antibacterial properties so depending on if you want that, you might want to keep that one in the recipe.

  2. This came at a perfect time! Our house always smells like garbage and I can’t figure out how to prevent it. We follow your daily and weekly tasks (fairly well for the most part) and our house is ‘clean’ but it always smells musty and our garbage can always stinks!!

    • When my apartment smells like garbage, I make sure to take the trash out and wash my trashcan really well. I use the detachable shower head in the bathroom because I don’t have access to a water hose. That usually does the trick. I’ve found that sprinkling a little bit of baking soda into the bottom of the can also helps. I also try to keep dirty dishes out of the sink. They pile up and the old food will stink up my place really quickly. (DH doesn’t believe in rinsing his dishes, so…gross.) I hope some of this helps.

    • Morgan, I know this has been a while since your post, but it might be more than just your garbage can. You may want have the exhaust plumbing pipes that lead up to and out of your roof checked. If one of those pipes comes undone you can get a foul garbage smell throughout the entire house. I believe it’s called sewer gas. This happened to me after we built a new laundry room. One of the pipes leading up to the roof in the attic wasn’t fitted properly and came uncoupled. Once we found the problem and fixed it the pipe, no more smell. I might mention, we had a septic tank on the property. Don’t know if that makes a difference or not. I hope by now you’ve found the smelly culprit. 🙂

  3. Can’t wait to try out these recipes! Where did you get your spray bottles? Btw, I also use DoTerra EOs and LOVE them!

  4. Bonnie Jean says:

    I have to buy your oils. Also, can you substitute something for lemon ? I am allergic to lemon/lime/grapefruit and several other things. I can handle lavendar and some other essential oils… but I am hoping others will work.

  5. Garbage can solution question. 10 drops os oil. Do you do half peppermint and half lemon or 10 drops of each? I’m very new to essential oils and the potency

  6. What size ice cube tray did you use? I tried making but only had odd-shaped narrow trays and they didn’t work. Was looking to buy either 1 or 2 inch cube trays and wondered which would be best. Thanks.

    There are so many natural alternatives that are cheap and easy to do, not to mention most of this stuff is lying around in our cupboards usually.
    You are an awesome resource for DIY cleaning!
    Thank you, I will be sharing with my followers! 🙂

  8. Just made the spray and the freshening tablets – can’t wait to try them. They already smell great – hoping they help with the hamster “situation”!!

  9. I don’t have any essential oils on hand, can I make the fresheners without them to absorb the smells?

  10. Can you use a subtitute for the vodka?

  11. Karen McBrayer says:

    I purchased your book to read on my tablet but it appears to be incomplete. Has anyone else had this problem? The recipes are incomplete. Gives instructions on how to mix but not the amounts of each ingredient.

    • I haven’t heard of this happening – I’d contact the seller (Amazon?) and ask for the complete version.

  12. Hello, will you tell me, please, what is it Epsom salt?

  13. These look great! Can’t wait to try them!

  14. We just moved into a house in Florida, with marble windowsills. Apparently a cat peed on the marble and I cannot remove the smell. Have tried everything. Any ideas? Thanks!

    • Oh no! I don’t have any ideas for that – sorry!

    • If you go to a pet store, like Pet Smart they have a urine eliminator/enzyme eliminator that works well on urine smells. You will probably have to soak a towel or something like that in the liquid and place it on the marble and just let it soak. You may have to change it out a few times. I hope that will do the trick. Good luck.

  15. Is the fabric sanitizer effective to neutralise smelly shoe odor?

  16. Marlene Moritz says:

    Just a question about the trash can deodorizer. The instructions say it’s supposed to be a dry paste, but it’s so watery. I’m guessing it will dry to the correct consistency?

  17. First, I love your site. It has so many great ideas and it’s designed beautifully too!

    I would love to use the fabric sanitizer spray, but I have read that tea tree oil is harmful to dogs. Do you know of any other oils I could use?


    • Lemon and/or orange would be great!

    • Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic. Dilute a few drops in the rinsing water after you have washed your pet’s blankets etc. It isnt harmful to dogs if it is diluted first. Its also a good deterrant for fleas.

  18. I love the stickers that you put on the containers/bottles. How do you do that ??

  19. Great post, thanks! Where did your find the cube tray?

  20. what is wash tape ?

  21. How do I access your Amazon store.? The link seems to go to a blank page????

  22. What procent of rubbing alcohol do you use/recommend? I’m form Denmark and having difficulty finding the equivalent:/

  23. Heather says:

    Hi! I followed the recipe in your book to make the trashcan tabs (substituting kosher salt for epsom salt, as that’s what I had on hand), and I could never get them to dry out. Everything just crumbled when I removed them from the ice cube trays, even after sitting for several days. Any suggestions?

    • I can only recommend them with the epsom salt – I’m guessing that’s why they didn’t harden up properly. You could add a little water and epsom salt and remix and let them dry or start over.

  24. Priscilla says:

    What is the purpose of the Epsom salt in the garbage can tablets?

    • It hardens the tablets 🙂

      • 1/4 cup of water was too much in my experience. I have access liquid inside the first batch of cubes. Is it possible to bake the cubes as opposed to natural drying? Also how do I remedy the extra liquid?

  25. I noticed for the tea tree and citrus fabric sanitizer you used a dark glass, does it matter if the bottle is dark or clear?

  26. Can you substitute the vodka for the rubbing alcohol for the upholstery sanitiser?

  27. Hi Becky
    What else can we use instead of vodka or alcohol. I’m a Muslim and it’s forbidden in Islam.

    • Hi Ayesha – Is rubbing alcohol (medicinal) forbidden? You could substitute that. If it is, I would just stick to vinegar.

  28. Hi Becky! I’m new to your blog, tips, etc. Just reading this one about the DIY odor eliminators and wondering what essential oils you use?

  29. Roxanne says:

    Help. My carpet has fishy odor can anyone help with this problem

    • Maybe try the fabric sanitizer spray recipe. I’m sure there’s something on this site that can fit your needs. Good luck.

  30. Dana Davis says:

    I made the the cubes and followed the directions exactly and let them sit for 48 hours, but they never hardened??

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