4 Natural Home Deodorizers

Keeping your house odor free and toxin free seems to be a never-ending battle. If you’re like me then you’ll go to any lengths necessary to avoid spraying toxic chemicals all over your house. Thankfully, nature has provided some ways to keep your house smelling great all year long. I’ve listed my favorite all-natural items and how to use them as every-day replacements to the common toxic household cleaners. If you have some more tips or ideas you’d like to add, feel free to comment below and share them with everyone.


1. Lemons

The citric acid in lemons (and other citrus fruits) works to neutralize odors, and the lemony smell leaves a pleasant odor after cleaning. This works especially well on food odors.


  1. Deodorize your dishwasher. Add 1 cup of lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best) to the bottom of your dishwasher and run just the rinse cycle to disinfect and deodorize it.
  2. Freshen up your whole kitchen. Fill a pot with water, and add lemon (and/or orange) peels, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Simmer on your stove.
  3. Deodorize your sink. Put a handful of lemon, lime or orange peel in the sink disposal and run with water.

2. Eucalyptus

The oil from Eucalyptus is an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, which makes it a great deodorizer. It can help freshen up musty places that are often kept closed off like closets. Its fragrance can help you breathe better by opening up your sinuses.


  1. Freshen a musty closet. Place a few branches in a closet or musty room. Be sure to check it in a few weeks and simply replace it when the fresh scent starts to go away.
  2. Polish Furniture. Add 2 Tbsp. of Eucalyptus oil to 1 gallon of water to use as an antiseptic spray, or as an all natural replacement for Pine-sol or Lysol.

3. Vinegar

Vinegar is one of the most versatile liquids around. Apple Cider Vinegar has incredible health properties when consumed, which is why I made it the main ingredient in my Secret Detox Drink. It’s also a great all natural alternative for everyday cleaning around the house. Don’t worry about the strong smell, it completely goes away when it dries.


  1. Neutralize hard-to-get-rid-of Odors. Add a tablespoon of white distilled vinegar to the fabric softener of your washing machine to neutralize bad odors that tend to stick around even after washing.
  2. Clean your washer. Every couple of months, run an empty washer load with 1 cup of vinegar to keep it clean and working well.
  3. Bathroom cleaner. Combine equal parts white distilled vinegar and water to a spray bottle. Ideal for hard to remove grime in your bathroom or shower.
  4. Hair Conditioner. I’ve been known to use a tablespoon of vinegar as a replacement for hair conditioner.
  5. Clean a clogged drain. Pour boiling white distilled vinegar down a clogged drain to remove the obstruction.

4. Baking Soda

Baking Soda is an alkaline powder that’s great at neutralizing acid based smells like body odor and the smells that come from aging food.


  1. Neutralize odors in the fridge. Place an opened box of baking soda in the fridge to neutralize the bad smells created by food starting to go bad.
  2. A natural toothpaste. Sprinkle a little on a wet toothbrush and brush as normal. (I typically use approx. half a teaspoon, or a pinch)

Have your own tips for natural deodorizers? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

sources: livestrong, greenlivingtips

Update 5-23-2012:

I had a lot of great feedback and tips from Facebook, so I thought I’d include some of the best ones here.

  • Brandie – put orange and lemon rinds in a jar fill with vinegar and let sit for 2 weeks to marinate. Gives you an all purpose cleaner.
  • Linda – I use a few drops of peppermint oil in a bowl when there is an unpleasant odor in the house or when I just want a nice smell when I’m having people over.
  • I love using lemons to deodorize my garbage disposal. I also use essential oils, Purification and Thieves for cleaning. Thieves will kill mold and it doesn’t come back. I love my Young Living oils!
  • Mona – I use lemon juice and eucalyptus as a brown recluse spider deterrent. I spray lemon juice on the underside of furniture and around windows and doors. I put eucalyptus in closets and other places they like to hide.
  • Marc – I keep vinegar in my dishwasher rinse aid dispenser. It helps keep off the film that accumluates on your dishes.
  • Angelique – Tea tree oil in water with vinegar for all purpose disinfectant and for keeping away bugs add peppermint. Do not use peppermint if nursing, it could lower your supply.
  • Laura – Spray straight vodka on stinky upholstery and carpets as a natural “febreze.” it really gets out all the smells.
  • Peggy – White distilled vinegar is good for pet urine spots. Even on wood floors. After you clean the area- wash it down with white vinegar. It worked for me so far.
  • Heather – Distiller water and a good smelling organic essential oil in a small spray bottle and spray in rooms-nice (I like lavendar)
  • RaDonna – 1 quart of H2O2, 10 drops of essential oil of thyme, 10 drops of essential oil of orange, and 1/4 cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle.
  • Wally – Texas Red Cedar oil. It keeps bugs away also, and can be used as a flea repellent for animals. Smells great!

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8 comments so far - add yours!

  1. Susan says:

    Love to mix essential oils (peppermint and tea tree) to water in a spray bottle for disinfecting and it makes a lovely aroma for air freshening as well.

  2. Chrissy says:

    Peppermint and Spearmint are also excellent for deterring mice.

    • Chrissy says:

      I’ve been using the skunk remedy Mythbusters proved was best to get the pu out of the countertop bowls I use for compostables. I used to use a ceramic bowl, but it got smashed one icy day during delivery of contents to outdoor compost bucket. I replaced it with safer plastic bowls with burp lids, but they get very smelly!

      Mythbusters recipe works great. First, fill smelly bowl with HOT water. Swish in some liquid dish soap and baking soda. Let that sit until the water cools, then dump and rinse. Spray or swish the bowl with hydrogen peroxide, then drip dry. Repeat if necessary.

      I do my compost bowls every time and find they only need one treatment. But when the weather warmed up, I discovered our long unused plastic ice cube trays had evaporated and they REEKED of freezer. It took many repetitions of the treatment to get the stink out, but it did eventually go.

      • Chrissy says:

        BTW, the hydrogen peroxide sprayer is a wonder for airborne stinks, esp those worst of all cooking “aromas” … fish and “oopsie” smoke. You have to be careful where it falls, because it is a mild bleach. We have bare floors which do fine; I can’t speak to carpet safety. I also use the sprayer in the shower, under sinks and behind the toilets. It is H2O2, the extra oxygen is volatile and breaks off easily, binding with smelly stuff, killing mold etc. and bleaching this and that. Remaining wetness is just H2O, plain water.

  3. ELSA says:

    awesome advices for the people who always depends on cleaning liquids which are harmful for health .
    thank you

  4. Stephanie Guerra says:

    I heard of using white distilled vinegar with water in a spray bottle to rinse produce to remove harmful pesticides. Can you confirm that is correct or not, and the proper ratio of vinegar to water.

  5. Linda Otto says:

    White vinegar in a spray bottle and spray on weeds in cracks in pavements or driveways, kills weeds in 2 days. Take that Roundup!!

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