Hit or Miss – DIY Febreze

by Alli

It’s Hit or Miss Wednesday!  Last week I shared some really cute kid friendly pumpkin crafts that were a big hit at my house.

I always want my house to smell fresh and clean.  Don’t you?  And my husband’s nose hates plugin air fresheners. Those plugins causes him to sneeze and his eyes to water.  I thought he was just being over-the-top dramatic, so once upon a time I hid a plugin just to see if it was all in his head, but sure enough, he began to sneeze, etc.  Sigh.  Sorry.

Then I resorted to Febreze, always spraying the sofa, rugs, etc. when he wasn’t home.  It didn’t seem to bother him as much as the plugins did.  But I would go through a bottle of Febreze in no time at all!  And that stuff is expensive!

And then what happened?  I saw all the homemade DIY Febreze copycats on Pinterest.  Take me to the town square and stone me, but I just never got on board when everyone jumped on the DIY laundry detergent, shampoo and baby wipes band wagon.  Especially when I read all the reports about the baby wipes becoming moldy and I needed a 5 gallon bucket to make laundry detergent.  Well, I don’t have a baby and I don’t need 5 gallons of laundry detergent.  But the laundry detergent may or may not make my hit or miss list one of these days.

But DIY Febreze?  It’s the perfect way to ease into the DIY craze.  So I searched high and low for the easiest DIY Febreze recipe because I was bound and determined not to have to special order anything else to make it homemade (as my 3 lb. bag of beeswax pellets sit all alone on the top shelf of my pantry.  I do hope it’s never mistaken for food.)

Hit or Miss?  DIY Copycat Febreze


The recipes I found were pretty much all the same and most of the people that shared them got it from a friend (who heard it from a friend, who heard it from a friend . . . .  heck, that old favorite song is now in my head).  Can you name that song and the band?

You can find the recipe here!  It’s just 3 ingredients plus a clean spray bottle.

  • 1/8 cup liquid fabric softener
  • 1-2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Warm water

Hit or Miss DIY Febreze

Was it a hit or a miss?

The hardest part was finding a measuring cup in my kitchen that had a 1/8th measure.  Finally I gave up and just filled the 1/4 cup half full.  After pouring in the fabric softener and baking soda, slowly add hot water until you reach the top of your spray bottle.  Don’t even ask how I know that bit of information.  Place the top on the bottle and shake it like it’s hot and you’re done.

I really like the smell!  I lightly misted everything in my living room – the rug, the sofas, the pillows and I think I may have misted a grand child or two.   The smell is soft and clean, not overpowering at all.

All in all, in my opinion, it’s just an OK substitute for the real deal.  I didn’t get excited enough to call a friend.

Helpful Hint:  The day after I made the DIY Febreze, I noticed that the fabric softener had separated from the water.  I just gave it a good shake before using it.  Also, the smell doesn’t last nearly as long as the real Febreze does.

But, if you happen to spot your neighbor walking up your driveway, grab the faux febreze, give it a good shake and spray it in the air.  Your house will smell like you’ve been cleaning all day.

Will I make it again?  Probably, because I have to use up that bottle of fabric softener.  I use the store bought dryer sheets to soften my clothes.

Do you have  a favorite homemade household cleaner that really works?

Oh, and don’t forget to shout out the name of the song I mentioned and the band who sang that song! 🙂


Zan October 1, 2014 - 8:34 am

You are way too funny, Alli! Your posts always have some kind of humor..lol. I have made this before, but without the baking soda. I agree, the smell is Ok. More like a detergent smell than a Febreze smell. But it works for the moment!!!! I love spraying things, too!!!!

Alli October 1, 2014 - 10:05 am

You’re right, it works for the moment – that’s about it. 🙂

Adrian October 1, 2014 - 10:05 am

This sounds like it’s right up my alley, Alli:) I did jump on the homemade clothes detergent wagon and I’m still ridin’ pretty! Love that stuff and I DON’T use a 5 gallon bucket…I use the powdered kind! I appreciate your review and will be giving this a try in the near future.

Alli October 1, 2014 - 2:28 pm

The DIY detergent I saw was liquid and required a 5 gallon bucket. No, thanks. But maybe I’ll try the powdered kind. Does your clothes smell good and fresh after being laundered?

Adrian October 1, 2014 - 2:45 pm

They smell clean but they are not scented like you would have with the overpriced store bought detergent. Your scented fabric softener sheets will do that for you:)

Ricci October 1, 2014 - 10:10 am

i have seen this floating around Pinterest and I’m glad someone I know did it!! I love the way my fabric softener smells so I will definitely be doing this!!

Sarah October 1, 2014 - 10:18 am

This is an interesting recipe! I used to use a lot of wrinkle releaser (in college), so my roommate and I made our own homemade version that was just water and fabric softener. It’s interesting that adding baking soda would add the odor eliminating part!

Alli October 1, 2014 - 2:26 pm

I just wish someone could find a way to make the smell last. You know how Febreze actually penetrates the fabric, well, the homemade version didn’t do that. Hey, but maybe I can use it to release wrinkles and not keep throwing the clothes back into the dryer for a few minutes. 🙂

Paris (My Big Fat Happy Life) October 1, 2014 - 10:36 am

Thanks for testing this out. I was really hoping this would be great, because with a dog I need febreze a lot!!! guess I’ll keep buying the real stuff 🙂

Alli October 1, 2014 - 2:25 pm

The faux febreze didn’t really penetrate the fabric like the real deal does. 🙂

Louida October 1, 2014 - 11:05 am

Wow now that is pretty simple to make! I never knew there was a DIY Febreze spray. People sure does come up with some great ideas and here I am blowing my money on expensive stuff. SMH!!!! A Big Hit for me! Pinning!

Alli October 1, 2014 - 2:24 pm

It’s not the same as the real deal, but it’s OK in a pinch.

Jac October 1, 2014 - 11:36 am

What a great feature – I love that you are doing this!!

I have to say I’m a bit bummed that it was a miss. I love this fabric softener, but hate the price so I was really hoping it would be a great substitute! (Oh well, I should know by now that these miracle solutions don’t actually work! LOL!)

Alli October 1, 2014 - 2:23 pm

Undoubtedly, lots of people like it because there was a gazillion pics on Pinterest! 🙂 It works in a pinch, I guess, for a nanosecond.

andrea October 1, 2014 - 11:41 am

I don’t think this is the right diy for me. I’ll stick to buying overpriced Febreze. I guess I can use some of the money I saved by making my own laundry detergent. 😛 Like a previous comment mentioned, the powdered version is the way to go! Super easy to make and it doesn’t separate like the liquid kind, which require stirring/shaking each time you use it. 🙂

Alli October 1, 2014 - 2:21 pm

Maybe I’ll try the powdered kind, but I can’t see me mixing gallons and gallons of liquid laundry detergent. And, congrats for spelling Febreze correctly. 🙂 Wish I had a prize to give ya! My proofreader (aka hubs) thought I had mispelled it. As if. I googled it – duh!

Natalie October 1, 2014 - 11:56 am

REO speedwagon for the win! 🙂

And call me lazy, but I’d rather just buy the Febreeze at the store. Haha–DIYing my own household supplies is not nearly interesting enough to make me leave that $3 bottle on the shelf!

Alli October 1, 2014 - 2:19 pm

You get me, Natalie! I’d rather buy it, too. Yes, REO Speedwagon!

Shirley Wood October 1, 2014 - 11:58 am

REO Speedwagon, “Heard it from a friend” is now being played over and over in my head. LoL
I love my Scentsy Warmers. My niece sneezes and coughs with any kind of smell in the house so when she is coming over, I have to turn off the warmers and go au natural’.
It sounds pretty easy to make though!

Alli October 1, 2014 - 2:17 pm

I love those warmers, too, Shirley, just wish my husband’s nose wasn’t so sensitive. 🙂

Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai October 1, 2014 - 1:06 pm

Take It On The Run by REO Speedwagon!!! OMG, I loved this group. 🙂 I’m singing away right now. Maybe I’ll have to sing this for karaoke. 😀 Your DIY Febreeze certainly seems easy enough. PINNED for future use. Thanks for the flashback. LOL

Life With Lorelai

Alli October 1, 2014 - 2:17 pm

Yes, you guessed it correctly! The day I wrote that post, the song stayed in my head for the rest of the day. I love that group, too! My daughter is so into all types of music, so we bought her a record player a few years ago and I’ve been adding all of the oldies to her collection. Ah, takes me back! 🙂

Renee @ Renew Your Space October 1, 2014 - 1:13 pm

This is so cool – I love Febreeze & have wondered how these homemade versions held up… Will add it to my Cleaning pin board 🙂 {Oh, and I love REO speedwagon too!}

Alli October 1, 2014 - 2:15 pm

Yes, you knew my song! 🙂 I love Febreze, too, but this will do in a pinch. 🙂

Kristen from The Road to Domestication October 1, 2014 - 3:49 pm

You know what, I’m not big on the DIY cleaners, either, but I have a few friends who make them and sell them, so I buy from them in support LOL And I don’t know the band 🙁 Hopefully it was from before my time? Or else I’m slipping on music knowledge 🙁

erlene October 1, 2014 - 5:59 pm

Will this leave a residue or film? I’ve tried a couple of DIY solutions and I haven’t really found one that I love yet.

Alli October 1, 2014 - 10:16 pm

No, it didn’t leave a residue or anything on the sofa or pillows, but I used a very fine mist when I sprayed.

Carol June 27, 2022 - 12:02 am

Is there an essential oil that can be added to this mixture to prolong a nice scent?

Alli June 28, 2022 - 9:01 am Reply

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