homemade natural febreeze substitute for when the smell of your kid’s hockey equipment brings you to your knees

this is what the back of my car will look like for the next 7 months

Have you ever smelled the inside of a kid’s hockey bag? Or their skates, after they’ve gone from cleaning horse stalls straight to hockey practice and traded boots that smell like barn for skates that smell like.. well, dead skunk. That, my friends, is a level of funk that will bring a grown man to his knees. And speaking of grown men, even I am not brave enough to open his hockey bag.

My problem this weekend was two-fold; I have a car that smells like hockey bags and barn boots and a house that still smells a little like caramelized onions. And while the onions smelled great while they were cooking (and tasted even more amazing on pizza), by day 5 I was done with the smell. I went looking for something to help with it all. I don’t have any Febreeze in the house – I’m not a big fan of the chemical smell and it probably isn’t great for us anyway, plus I knew I could probably make something better for us to breathe in and possibly antibacterial as well.

I looked up a few sprays that other people have tried and this is what I came up with for my own use.

Homemade Natural Febreeze

  • 2 tbsp vodka (whatever you have – the cheaper the better)
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • 20 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 8 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1 cup filtered water

Add everything together in a spray bottle and shake well to mix. Spray on stinky stuff and allow it to dry.

The vodka serves a few purposes – it’s antibacterial, will act as a preserving agent and is an odour destroyer in itself. The essential oils you can play around with and use any scents that you like in a mixture of about 20-30 drops. Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties and would be perfect for this. I just used what I have on hand. The baking soda also helps with the odours.

It worked really well for the house – I loved the eucalyptus smell, and it dissipated within a couple of hours and took any lingering funky onion smell along with it. The car and the hockey bags are tomorrow’s job. The dad doesn’t know it yet, but he is detailing my car tomorrow.

Linked to A Pinch of Joy. Frugally Sustainable, GNOWFGLINS, Mind Body and Sole

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58 thoughts on “homemade natural febreeze substitute for when the smell of your kid’s hockey equipment brings you to your knees

  1. sj says:

    I like that you assume everyone has vodka in the house. Hee.

  2. I like the idea. Now where did I hide the vodka?

  3. I love your combination story-telling and practical advice – you have a good “voice”

  4. Thank you for this, it will make life smell better! 🙂

  5. I also hate Febreeze and love eucalyptus and peppermint. Will definitely try this, especially on middle son’s room.

  6. I’ve used a vodka recipe very similar to yours. It works great.

  7. jmgoyder says:

    Useful and funny!

  8. I am going to try this. My son (in college) will sometimes bring by laundry as he hasn’t had a convenient place to get his done….and he laundry reeks! I have tried everything I can think of and nothing works. Well, I am going to give this a shot. If this works on his clothes, it’s a freaking miracle and I’ll let you know all about it!

  9. Ann says:

    Oh…wish I had this recipe a couple of years ago for my son’s wrestling bag. But, I will search for eucalyptus essential oil and give this a try!

  10. meghan says:

    Love this idea, we just happen to have vodka in the house too. I’ve pinned it and will be trying it for sure! thanks 🙂

  11. PJ Girl says:

    I will definitely try this on husband’s smelly work boots! I recently cleaned a very old bureau with a solution of vinegar and tea tree oil as it was smelling musty… worked a treat and the mustiness has never returned.I may have to throw the boots out 😉

  12. Hubba used to play Hockey… you are so right about the stink. That’s a smell no one should have to experience.

    • 🙂 there was a Midget or Bantam team playing right after my daughter the other day – they started to pile out of their change room just as we walked past and the stink coming from the room nearly made me gag.. It’s amazing what they’ll put up with.

  13. Somer says:

    I so needed this recipe. I diffuse essential oils, but my diffuser doesn’t plug into my car, or spray into shoes! Besides, I really don’t like the artificial scents in Febreeze.

  14. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Husband’s hockey bag makes me feel ill….from at least 10 feet away. You can bet that I will be trying this freshener out. This may just save me!

  15. A Ponytail Kind of Day says:

    this is going to come in handy, thanks 🙂

  16. I just started following your blog moments ago through Pillows A-La-Mode’s sweet Good Neighbor Award post…and I giggled out loud when I saw the title of your post in my reader. I’m so glad to have found your blog!

  17. We love it Heidi. Now why didn’t we think of that! 🙂

  18. Perhaps drinking the vodka would also help??? hahahha!

  19. I’m going to try this out on my husband’s work out clothing. Nothing can get the stink out besides soaking for days…and I don’t have time for that. Hope it works!

  20. Great post with a very valuable tip, thank you for sharing!

  21. Clever! I’m lol at the vodka comments 🙂

  22. […] made a natural essential oil febreeze-type spray to deal with some leftover onion cooking smells in the house and attempt to tame the monster smell […]

  23. Ooh, great idea! We don’t have Febreeze here in Greece yet (that’s the one for fabrics isn’t it?) so I’m definitely trying this 🙂

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  26. naimavanswol says:

    I don’t keep vodka in house. If I did, I’d just end up drinking it all. This is a pretty brilliant idea, tho. I’m loving your tips and tricks.

  27. Joanne Phillips says:

    Could you use rubbing alcohol instead of vodka?

  28. Cathy says:

    Sounds good, but I wonder if I could use Isoprophyl alcohol instead of vodka? Or is there something wrong with the chemicals in it?

  29. brandeplotnick2013 says:

    Love this-I don’t like breathing in the chemicals in Febreeze AND I find the scent too strong and cloying. This sounds lovely.

  30. […] Homemade Cleaning Supplies:Homemade Febreeze: I’ve been using this homemade Febreeze recipe for a couple of weeks, and it really works! It […]

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