Friday, June 22, 2012

My Homemade Febreeze Substitute

I've started making an effort to take better care of my clothes, especially my work clothes, which are more pricey than the colorful array of t-shirts i used to buy from the t-shirt bin at Wal-mart.  When i was staying home and keeping the chickens company, i could refresh my entire wardrobe for under $100.  But in the office, i try to class it up a little.

One of my efforts toward extending the life of my wardrobe is to wash my clothes less often.  (Don't say "ew." Let me 'splain.)  One of the worst things for your clothes, besides spilling bleach on them or running over them with the four wheeler, is washing them in the washing machine.  Every time you beat the dirt outo f them in your washer, your shortening their lives a little extra.  And if you're me, and you're using a laundromat washing machine, it's even worse.  Then again, not washing your clothes is one of the worst things for your friendships and work relationships and especially bad for getting raises.  So a compromise is in order. 

I'm not advocating wearing dirty clothes, here.  But i did decide to pay more attention to whether my tops/blouses were actually dirty at the end of the day, or whether they could appear fresh for another day.  Considering that my job involves, sitting and typing for eight hours a day, in a semi-comfortable chair, in an overly-air-conditioned office, it seems reasonable that i could make my tops keep through two wears, instead of one, before submitting them to the beating of the washing machine.

One day last week, i found it necessary to make one of my favorite items last through the third wear.  And i thought it best to find the Febreeze to ensure freshness.  Sadly, i have misplaced two extra large bottles of highly priced Febreeze.  

So, to the interwebs i went.  My first search was "homemade febreeze."  I checked out two sites:
instructables and fake-it-frugal.  And every recipe i read called for fabric softener.  Well, i don't have any fabric softener 'cause i never use it.  And it doesn't make much sense to me to go buy fabric softener, so that you can make homemade Febreeze.  If i were going to do that, i could just buy the Febreeze, but i was broke, so i googled, "homemade fabric softener," and i found this recipe on discountqueens, which calls for hair conditioner and vinegar.  

Since i didn't really want to make 3 quarts of fabric softener, and since most of the Febreeze recipes called for vinegar also, i stirred up all the recipes in the cauldron of my mind, added a little personality, and came up with my own recipe for homemade Febreeze, and it doesn't involve fabric softener, homemade or otherwise.

I think it made my shirt smell good, so i thought i would share.

I started by heating two cups of filtered water on the stove.  

While the water was cooling, i poured one cup of white vinegar into my designated and labeled spray bottle. When i went to the bathroom to find conditioner, i ran across the last dregs of a bottle of my favorite lotion, which i think smells really good, so i opted for approximately two plops (a little less than 1/8 cup) of lotion, which i added to my bottle of vinegar.  Then i got creative and splashed in a generous splish of Mexican vanilla (maybe almost a tablespoon).  Then i poured in the slightly cooled water, sealed it up, and shook it 'til everything dissolved.

I sprayed it on my shirt, and i smelled great the next day.

So there you go.

Recipe for Homemade Febreeze Substitute

2 cups filtered water, heated
1 cup white vinegar
2 plops of your favorite lotion
1 generous splish of Mexican vanilla

Shake up in sealed spray bottle until fully dissolved.


  1. I rarely wash my good clothes (blouses and the like). All I really do is wear them to church or an interview or maybe a date night with the husband... as long as I hang stuff back up as soon as I take it off, it's good to go. I've trained my kids to take a good look at their own clothes before they toss them into the hamper. Sure helps to cut back on the laundry.

    Of course, this CAN backfire. Take for instance the oldest (age 18) who will show up to lunch with his mother (me) wearing dirty, dirty pants. Granted, he may just be coming from work, but if I say something the standard reply is,

    "Well, I figure I can get at least one more day out of them."


  2. Love this. I saw something similar awhile back on yahoo that made me take a double look at when it's really dirty. You should be glad to know that yahoo article says tops can go up to 3 wears before needing a wash. Hooray! I wear undershirts which helps keep dress shirt cleaner.

  3. Merit, i read your comment this afternoon, but in this heat, i'm pretty sure this particular shirt is going to have to be a one-day shirt this week. If i don't strip the minute i get home, it's a goner. ;) Thanks for the comment! It's nice to know that yahoo doesn't think i'm a slob for wearing my clothes twice.


What do you think about that?