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How to Use Household Spices as Air Fresheners

Updated on March 30, 2014
household spices make great air fresheners at home.
household spices make great air fresheners at home. | Source

Cloves and Oranges

a classic winter combination that is easy to make and display in the kitchen, sitting room or hallway that instantly provides a great air freshener.
a classic winter combination that is easy to make and display in the kitchen, sitting room or hallway that instantly provides a great air freshener. | Source

Spice Up Your Life ~

What is more inviting than to have aromatic spices wafting through your home in the wintery days and nights?

Warm fragrant smells from essential oils, scented candles and incense joss sticks are something I adore to smell at home.

Making your own air fresheners using common spices is easy and natural without any of the chemicals found in commercial products.

Store bought air fresheners have been found to have harmful chemicals, a particular worry for anyone prone to asthma and allergies, another important reason to steer clear of them.

What I love is the fact spices may be combined with herbs, fruits, extracts and essential oils of your choice to make unique signature fragrances that not only smell divine but look gorgeous as decorative features around the home.

The Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

located in one of the buildings that is part of the Yeni Mosque, this spice bazaar is the second largest bazaar in Istanbul.
located in one of the buildings that is part of the Yeni Mosque, this spice bazaar is the second largest bazaar in Istanbul. | Source

Turkish Delight ~

With so many spices available throughout the world, many of us will have some already in our cupboards that we use for cooking.

One of my most intoxicating introductions to spices of the world was in Istanbul, Turkey. Roaming through the world famous indoor Spice Bazaar, the senses were stimulated beyond belief.

The aromas, textures and colors were a powerful combination that has stayed with me through the years. The Spice Bazaar remains the centre of the spice trade in the city dating back to 1660 and worthy of a visit when visiting Istanbul.

With it's major significance in the world spice production, it is no surprise it is the third biggest spice producing country in the world behind India and Bangladesh.

Freshner With Lemon

never discard any leftover lemon from cooking as the skin alone has wonderful fragrance.
never discard any leftover lemon from cooking as the skin alone has wonderful fragrance. | Source

Easy Homemade Recipes ~

These easy, quick and fragrant fresheners may be tweaked for personal taste and for seasonal changes.

The warm spicy, oriental aromatics ideal for the winter months may be substituted for fresh, green, floral bouquets for spring and summer.

Use whatever you have growing in your garden combined with the store cupboard.

Whole, sliced, powdered or grated experiment using different techniques as they add great variety and scents to your homemade room fresheners.

These fresheners not only smell terrific but look stunning!

All you need is a glass jar with tight fitting lid, water and a heat source.

What could be easier?

Nutmeg

nutmeg is a common kitchen cupboard ingredient that works well with woody earthy  ingredients like pine twigs.
nutmeg is a common kitchen cupboard ingredient that works well with woody earthy ingredients like pine twigs. | Source

5 Of The Best ~

  1. Cloves, Cinnamon and Orange (Anise and Allspice optional additions)
  2. Vanilla, Rosemary and Lemon
  3. Ginger (powdered or fresh), Almond Extract and Orange
  4. Nutmeg, Bay leaves, Pine twigs (use other fragrant twigs like cedar as a variation)
  5. Thyme, Vanilla Extract, Mint and Lime

The Freshness Of Sliced Lime

lime provides a fresh  scent suitable all year round when combined with different spices and herbs for room fresheners.
lime provides a fresh scent suitable all year round when combined with different spices and herbs for room fresheners. | Source

Are you keen to try making your own air fresheners?

See results

Air Freshener Ideas Using Household Ingredients

How To Make ~

  • The beauty with these infused simmering water fresheners is they can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for 1 or 2 weeks. Another great bonus is there is no exact measuring needed but a matter of what you want in the jar and the ingredients on hand.
  • To start with, pick a large clean glass jar that holds approximately a pint of liquid.
  • Pick your fragrance combination and add to the jar. Slices of citrus and citrus peel combined with fresh herb leaves or sprigs look great with whole spices (cinnamon sticks, ginger root and nutmeg whole and grated are wonderful.
  • Add a few drops of your fragrance extracts.
  • When you have enough packed into the jar, fill it with water and pop it into the fridge until you want to use it. It is best to add all the ingredients, including the water for best possible fresheners and will last 1-2 weeks.
  • Freezing is also an option if your jars are freezer-safe and may be stored with or without water added for at least 2 weeks.

Fondue Pot

a fondue pot is ideal to use as a portable heat source for your air freshener. Substitute the pot with a dish or bowl that is heat resistant and put your infused water in it  and keep at a low heat after it has been boiled.
a fondue pot is ideal to use as a portable heat source for your air freshener. Substitute the pot with a dish or bowl that is heat resistant and put your infused water in it and keep at a low heat after it has been boiled. | Source

Teapot Warmer

this makes for an interesting and creative idea for introducing scent to a room and as a centrepiece.
this makes for an interesting and creative idea for introducing scent to a room and as a centrepiece. | Source

Ideas for Heat Source ~

Top Of The Stove:

This method will generate scent the quickest and furthest throughout your home. Similar to commercial air fresheners, it may not reach every room in the house. The easiest way is to pour your jar contents into a saucepan and just let slowly simmer for however long you want. Obviously you need to make sure you keep the water level good so as not to burn your pot. This will release wonderful aromas through the house and you may double or triple the quantities for a more intense fragrance. This method is great for banishing stale cooking odours, smoke and for creating an inviting ambiance when having visitors. A great alternative to the baked bread or percolated coffee aromas suggested when selling your property.

Uncovered Slow Cooker:

This method uses less electricity and releases scent more slowly. Ideal on low setting slow cookers it may be left all day if needed and will not boil dry. If you are concerned with the mixture boiling dry then you can attach a lamp timer so that it will automatically shut off at a desired time. A good tip for kick starting the fragrance is to microwave it for a few minutes before adding to the slow cooker.

Candle Warmer:

This works similarly to the mug warmer and is another great way of introducing air fresheners naturally into the home. Put your scented mixture into the bowl that normally takes the candle wax. Make sure the liquid is hot to start with before adding to the bowl. This will only give off mild scent as more heat and steam is needed for intense aromas. Candle warmers are perfect for a small room or as one of a few heat sources in a large room.

Fondue Pot:

Fondue Pots are a fantastic ready to go portable fragrance station. Ideal for small rooms they will give a subtle release of scent as it works on a low level of heat. Boil up your room freshener first before adding it to the fondue container. Small ceramic ones that work with tea light candles will only last maximum 4 hours so replace the candle if needed. Why not set this up in your hall or dining room to add interest and a wonderful mild aroma?

Mug Warmer:

If you have one, these may also be used but will only keep the mixture warm, not heat it. It will provide a subtle scent and is a great portable station to put in any small room particularly a bathroom or an office.

Teapot Warmer:

This is another great way of introducing your wonderful scents. The ones with tea lights look gorgeous set up with a bowl of colourful spices, fruits and herbs on the top. You may have room for 2 or 3 tea lights which will give a better amount of heat and steam. Remember they will only last up to 4 hours usually and will need replacing. As with any candles and open flames, pick your spot where to place them carefully. I love candles but I do not leave unattended candles around . . . . ever!

Flowers and Petals

why not add flowers or petals to your jars of scented water to add interest.
why not add flowers or petals to your jars of scented water to add interest. | Source

Best Tips ~

  • Keep a small bag of extra slices of citrus or even frozen cranberries (for color) in the fridge that may be added in to your pots and bowls to freshen them up.
  • Believe it or not these air fresheners may be re-used up to 3 times. After the mixture has cooled pour it back into the jar and keep in the fridge. Whilst the water will look cloudy, the smell should still be great. Keep checking the scent and as long as it smells good it is okay to use.
  • These make fantastic gifts for anyone! Why not bring this as a gift when visiting family or friends at Christmas or any gathering? A creative gift will be much appreciated!
  • Looking for a unique easy table centrepiece or display? These tick every box. Make up as many jars of scented water as you need a group of 3 looks good but the more the merrier! Why not have a mix of jars or pick ingredients to color co-ordinate with your room and table setting. All you have to do is remove the lids of the jars and pop on a floating candle – hey presto an instant, eye-catching natural centrepiece. Experiment with height by adding inverted jars to hold your air fresheners.

The Appeal of Orange Peel

don't let the fragrant orange skin go to waste. store it in the fridge or refrigerator for air fresheners.
don't let the fragrant orange skin go to waste. store it in the fridge or refrigerator for air fresheners. | Source

Fresh Root Ginger

sliced or grated ginger is one of the best spices to use in an air freshener at home.
sliced or grated ginger is one of the best spices to use in an air freshener at home. | Source

Savings Tips ~

There are many amount of ingredients that we can utilize from our cooking that may get thrown out or sent to the compost heap. Ever wondered what to do with that tiny bit of root ginger we did not use up or what to do with the orange skins after extracting the juice? Read on!

Old Spices – Keep expired spices as they still smell good even when they have lost their flavour for cooking. Ideal for your air freshener recipes!

Orange Peel – After eating an orange, keep the orange peel as it is packed with scent and perfect for your scented potions. Just store in the refrigerator or freezer them for future use. If you have juiced an orange hang on to the skin in the same way.

Lemon and Lime Skins – In the same way as for oranges, store leftover pieces after juicing citrus fruits, they still smell fabulous!

Expire Fruit Juices – Ever thrown these out, well from now on keep them as a replacement for water in your mixtures.

Leftover Ginger – Any pieces you have left just slice them up and pop into the freezer until you need them.

Leftover Herbs – In the same way, any fresh herbs and sprigs you plan on dumping or feel have expired will still be wonderfully fragrant so freeze them for later on. Keep an eye out in the supermarket for near expired herbs that will be much cheaper and ideal for air fresheners, homemade beauty products and cooking.

Recycled Glass Jars - Keep any old sauce, coffee, jam or honey jars and store away to use as air freshener jars. Small jars may still be made up and used or given as gifts.

Author Info ~

Information on the author, her bio and full body of works available @ Suzie HQ

Credit to homesteadbound ~

All dividers used in this hub are used with permission granted on hub, Creating Dividers to Use on Your Hubs

How to Use Household Spices as Air Fresheners Comments

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    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Deb,

      Thank you very much for commenting. Glad you found it useful and got a few ideas! I love fragrance in the home but always careful and mindful of other visitors. Have fun trying a few new ideas out!

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 4 years ago

      Loved this Hub - put together well - nice video. I have been using a couple of these ideas but will try others as well. Thank you, very nice of you.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi vespa,

      Love this idea too I have to admit and wonderful to be able to chop and change ingredients as the seasons change too. Edible fragrant flowers and petals are lovely to use in this and potpourri in summer for example. Cool idea to pick up a slow cooker in the flea market must do the same next time I am at one. Many thanks for great comments again my friend in Peru!!! :-)

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I love this idea! All of the spice combinations sound wonderful, but the bay leaves, pine and nutmeg is especially enticing. We have plenty of eucalyptus here, too, so I might add a few leaves to the mix. I've seen those tiny slow cookers just for this purpose at our local flea market, so I'm going to keep my eyes open now that I have a use for one. Another awesome Hub full of useful and interesting ideas. Thanks!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Mary,

      I agree that commercial fresheners just smell artificial and really do not hold a candle to authentic homemade scents. rose petals I love in summertime! Glad you enjoyed these examples. Today out shopping I was looking at groceries for eating and another for my beauty and fragrance items!! lol

    • Mary Merriment profile image

      Mary Merriment 4 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

      Commercial products never smell as good as the real thing. Not to mention the odor of the other chemicals within commercial products. I have often made use of orange peels and dried rose petals, but I love the variety of ideas offered here.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi vibesites,

      Orange is such a great aromatic scent and really does waft around the rooms. Like your idea for placing them in the bathroom, thanks for mentioning it! Thanks also for your votes on this I appreciate your interest and support :-)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Gypsy48,

      Lovely to have you stop by for a read and hopefully you will give them a try this winter. Appreciate you thumbs up on this!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi DDE,

      Thanks for stopping by, great to know you enjoyed and found interesting. Much appreciate your votes!!

    • vibesites profile image

      vibesites 4 years ago from United States

      Orange peels are really good as air fresheners; I know that once I peel the orange and the aroma just wafts around the house. I place those peels especially in bathrooms.

      I will gladly consider and try your methods of preparing air fresheners out of those spices. Voted up and useful and interesting.

    • Gypsy48 profile image

      Gypsy48 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing these great tips. Voted up and useful:)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Such wonderful ideas for spices , I am really impressed by our ideas thanks so very much for this hub. Voted up!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi rajan,

      Lovely to see you my friend.Delighted to hear you enjoyed! I have linked to a number of your hubs that use fresh ingredients as you are a resource for them!! Thanks for your lovely votes and share, much appreciated rajan!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Thelma,

      Thanks very much for checking this out, glad you enjoyed so much. These make great budget friendly ideas and smell wonderful so hope you try them out. Even a pot of all citrus peels gives a great fragrance and is using up bits you may have thrown out. Appreciate the votes and shares!! :-)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi LetitiaFT,

      Thanks for checking this out I would only use as air scents this way as the scent is released through steam and heat . The link I included offers some good interesting alternatives for air fresheners you may enjoy!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Wonderful ideas all Suzie! Its great to know there are a varirty of options for anyone who'd like to use natural fragrances to freshen up one's home. This hub provides very useful ideas and a wealth of information.

      Voting this up, useful and sharing it too.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Wow! I would love to try them all. I only used essential oils with water for warm candle burner for freshening my house. Now I have the cheapest way to do it. Thanks to you Suzie. Voted up and shared in FB and my followers.

    • LetitiaFT profile image

      LetitiaFT 4 years ago from Paris via California

      Hmmm. Very interesting. Can these waters be used in spray bottles like home perfumes or will they stain furniture when the mist settles?

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Ho teaches,

      Cinnamon is so gorgeous and from smelling it in cooking it makes sense it would be great as a room freshener and as you say pretty safe for anyone to breathe. I know from growing up with a brother who is prone to allergies and dust and my mum was sensitive to fragrances we were always careful what was sprayed or used. Thanks so much for reading and enjoying!! :-)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Glimmer Twin Fan,

      I know, i had forgotten about the cloves in oranges too but it makes so much sense as both are so full of fragrance and great for the winter months! Thanks so much for the votes up, I really do appreciate that :-)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I love boiling cinnamon on the stove for fragrance. It works and is safe for almost anyone to breathe. Also, I am going to look for a candle warmer. I love the one you have pictured here. It is so pretty.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      These are great ideas! I used to do the cloves in oranges years ago and had forgotten about it. Voted up!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Yes, Suz...this is something I have done for years. I like to use pumpkin spice....especially since I don't bake!! ...UP+++

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi OM,

      Lovely to see you here again, yes these easy to make jars of fragrance are gorgeous to make and deliver on scent wonderfully. With so many great ingredients to choose from and looking at what nature has to offer, the sky's the limit!! Thanks so much for the thumbs up on this!! :-)

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

      Wow, I LOVE this hub! Thanks for these amazing ideas and tips. Your "5 of the best" suggestions sound really great. Nutmeg, bay leaves and pine twigs might be my favorite combination.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Thanks Jamie!

      Delighted to hear you do this type of room fragrance and your suggestion sounds wonderful, thanks so much for sharing your tip! I love the teapot too and will be on the look out for one. Appreciate all your enthusiasm and support Jamie, have a great weekend or what's rest of it!!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful tips about air fresheners with fruits, spices and stuff like that. One my favorite things to do in the winter for home fragrance is put some water in a saucepan and add sliced apples, oranges, lemon, cloves, cinnamon (whatever you have really) and simmer it on the stove. It will feel the whole house with that sweet spicy smell. I would love to have one of those clear tea pots with the herb/plant inside.. not only does it smell great, it's SO pretty to look at. Another great hub...very useful! Thank you for sharing :)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Sounds great to hear you approve of these ideas! They really do add to the ambiance at home. Cinnamon and the citrus peels are particularly good yes, delighted you enjoy so much. Thanks so much for all the votes, shares and constant support - you are truly a great hubber and friend :-)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi faythef,

      Many thanks for dropping by and glad you enjoyed. The jars really do look wonderful done up, unfortunately I did not have a camera on hand when I needed it. As soon as I do I will add them in! Appreciate the votes!!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey Suzie. Great ideas especially for this time of year when all the windows are closed for the winter. We have actually done this a few times using cinnamon and it creates a great aroma. Orange and lemon peel work great also.

      You have another winner here. Voting up, sharing, etc....

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill!!

      LOL, well I hope you approve of what I write since you do already! I love these ideas I have to say and so apt for this time of year. I will bringing along a jar or two for my brother and sis-in-law for Christmas day as we are heading there for dinner. Something a bit different other than chocs or vino!! Sorry for all the "girlie" topics recently Bill, just been the way it's gone!! Thanks again for your input and putting a smile on my face . . . you are numero uno comment yet again, unreal!!! You must get alerts every time I publish!!

      Have a good one my friend!!

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe F. 4 years ago from USA

      Mmmm....smells wonderful...great article..voting up

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      YES!!!!! We do this already! Ha-ha...thanks, Irish, for writing about something I actually had knowledge about. It was a long, hard road, but I finally feel intelligent reading your hub. LOL

      Have a great weekend my friend.