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Laundry commercials can be pretty entertaining—images of flowers and sunshine amidst a backdrop of snowy mountains promise your laundry will be as fresh as a day in the Alps if you use their product. But those man-made chemicals may be harmful to you and your family, and they don’t hold a candle to real, natural freshness (that is actually good for you). Instead, you can make your own linen spray so your clothes smell fresh without all the chemicals.
This recipe is a natural alternative to the chemical options. It uses essential oils to leave fabrics smelling clean and fresh, without artificial fragrances.
DIY Linen Spray or… Chemical Soup?
Homemade laundry detergent gets clothes clean without chemicals, but it does have one significant drawback—the scent doesn’t stick around for very long. We all love our laundry to not only look clean and fresh but to smell that way too. And natural scents like essential oils just don’t last as long as conventional detergents’ artificial chemicals. (It’s kind of freaky how strong those scents are and how long they last!)
Laundry washed in conventional detergent may smell nice, but it hardly seems worth risking brain cell death. One study analyzing over 90 fragrances reports that these artificial scents may mutate cells in the body and may even contribute to autism.
The scent of this spray won’t last a whole week (and then some) like the conventional options, but it’s easy to reach for whenever a boost of natural freshness is needed. And you will be keeping your home safe from unwanted artificial fragrances.
And there are no harmful side effects… in fact, only good ones.
Essential Oil DIY Linen Spray: Double Duty
Linen spray is nice to have around not only for laundry but for bigger fabric items that can’t go in the washing machine: carpets, bedding, sofas, pillows… even a child’s favorite life-size teddy bear.
As a bonus, essential oils don’t just mask the scent but, thanks to their antimicrobial properties, actually work against the bacteria that cause unpleasant odors. They also provide some amazing benefits to our well-being.
A few key players in this spray are:
- Lavender – A gentle microbial essential oil that disinfects and cleanses while calming and uplifting the mind.
- Citrus oil (lemon) – It has similar benefits as lavender oil but is more invigorating and uplifting as it cleanses surfaces.
- White fir – This calming and grounding oil also boasts antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
- Cypress – Known for its ability to help ground your emotions, this woodsy-smelling oil is a great addition to help relieve stress.
These essential oils combine to create an uplifting, calming, and refreshing linen spray with notes of woodsy, citrus, and floral scents.
Other Uses for Homemade Linen Spray
This spray can be used for other things besides freshening up laundry or items that can’t be washed. You can use this any time you need an air freshener or want to spritz your pillowcases.
Before bed, you can use a lavender linen spray to spritz on your bedding. This can help you drift off to sleep because of the relaxing properties of lavender. Just add a few drops of lavender to some water in a glass bottle. Keep it by your bed and use it each night.
Do you ever have to iron clothes? One of my favorite hacks is to use this spray when I’m ironing. Not only will it help get the wrinkles out of your clothes, but it will also make them smell fresh.
Need to pick-me-up? Make some spray with peppermint or eucalyptus and use it as a room spray in the afternoon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to the common questions I get about this recipe:
How do you make your own linen spray?
This linen spray recipe is super simple to make. You might already have most of the ingredients in your home. It only takes a few minutes to mix up a few items and add your essential oils, then your fabrics and clothes will be smelling fresh. This way, you can customize your spray with your favorite scents.
You will need a glass spray bottle to store it in. Because of their potency, essential oils don’t store well in plastic. This recipe calls for an 8-ounce bottle, but you are welcome to make this in smaller batches in a smaller bottle.
Can you make natural linen spray without alcohol?
Water and essential oils don’t mix well, so the vodka works to disperse the oil throughout the spray. You can substitute the vodka for witch hazel. In addition, if you have rubbing alcohol, you can also use that.
While it won’t last as long, you can make this with just water and essential oils. Since you’ll want to use the water-only version quickly, you will probably want to make a smaller batch. You can use a 2-ounce spray bottle and reduce the water and drops of essential oils as well. Or, to extend the shelf life, you can also use distilled water.
Can you use different essential oils?
Yes! DIY recipes are flexible and you can tailor them to your needs and what you have on hand. If you don’t have any of the oils listed above or prefer different scents, feel free to mix and match and use your favorite essential oils in your DIY spray.
These were chosen for their calming and grounding properties, but other essential oils have different benefits and work well for other needs. Other ideas are bergamot, grapefruit, ylang-ylang, or cedarwood.
Is it safe to use around pets?
If you have pets, you will want to read more about using essential oils around your furry friends. It is safe to spray this around your pets, although you will want to take some precautions.
DIY Linen Spray Recipe
- 24 drops lavender essential oil
- 36 drops lemon essential oil
- 30 drops fir essential oil
- 30 drops cypress essential oil
- 1 TBSP vodka yes, rubbing alcohol will work too
- Filtered or distilled water
- 8 oz spray bottle preferably glass
- Combine the vodka and essential oils in the spray bottle, and give it a good swirl to combine. Let it sit for 15 minutes for scents to combine. Shake again.
- Add water until almost full, leaving about ½ inch of space at the top.
- Cap the bottle and shake again to combine.
What’s your favorite way to keep fabrics smelling fresh? What are your favorite essential oils for your DIY linen spray?
Discussion (63 Comments)
Will this get rid of pet odors & urine smell? Love this recipe. Going to order the oils I need tomorrow. I use Rocky Mountain Oils which are 100 percent pure, no additives. I also se Plant Therapy but haven’t tried Edens Garden. I will check them out as well. Thank you for the recipe & God bless.
Katie - Wellness Mama
I haven’t tried it on pet odors so I can’t say for sure…
I tried and didn’t have much luck with the pet odors. Figured it was unlikely, as it seems like cat urine is near impossible to get the smell out.
THE only thing that works for cat pee is made by amazon – it’s their house brand “ Amazon Enzymic cleaner” available in gallon jugs plain white label for under $ 20. IT works ….like really works. We had our poor kitty dying of renal failure, she peed a thick super sticky dark yellow horrible strong smelling urine all over our house ( we were out of town before we discovered she was ill and had peed EVERYWHERE IN THE HOUSE. I took a spray nozzle extension from an empty bottle of Sams club size Shout stain remover added a small amount of water and saturated every square inch of the house ( I actually ended up using 2 gallons). Everything was soaking wet, but we had to assume that she peed everywhere . After drying for two -three days —- To this day I swear to you no pee or cat smell AT ALL. We have gotten a new cat , she didn’t freak out and start sniffing everywhere, we have had guests for dinner , one couple in particular, we could honestly ask if there was any cat pee or cat odor and they swore they smelled nothing but a clean house that had just been cleaned with cleaning products. It also gets rids of human urine smell too. The product that no real smell just a slight fresh smell you notice when you are using it. Saved my house. Got rid of stray cats who where peeing /marking around the house outside too.
I use my #2 spray and it does wonders for pet smells. The oils I use are bergamot, grapefruit, and lemongrass with water, rubbing alcohol and vegetable glycerine.
Is eucalyptus and peppermint good essential oils to use?
About how many months approximately will this spray be good for ? & is there an expiration date ?
Thank you for this article. It is always good to understand what goes into our clothes when we launder them. In reference to the linen spray, it seems like the amount of essential oil drops is too much. Hopefully, the desire is to be sustainable with the essential oil we use so that the flowers, plants, trees, etc that we get our oil from could be around for our children to enjoy. Is there a way to use less and get the same effect?
Why deliberately not mention DoTerra brand oils? I love them!
Katie - Wellness Mama
I have tried and used dozens of different oils over the years, but my current favorite brands are Plant Therapy and Eden’s Garden. I’m not a big fan of the MLM brands, as they are over priced and I don’t like their distribution model…
You might try this one, it is a blend, but still organic. It is still a bit spendy, but not as much:
I love this company. Not affiliated but love them as they are local for me. The people there are SO helpful, and know me by name as I shop their storefront often! They also have a great blog!
Can this double as a room spray ?
The love sandalwood oil but it’s hard to find and expensive.
Katie - Wellness Mama
You can omit it and the scent is still good 🙂
Thank you for this post! I’ve wanted a safe option to appease my husband who wants scented laundry detergent.
It is scary how long some laundry detergent scents last…I pulled a shirt out of my drawer I had not worn in almost a year and a half (switched to more natural detergents after getting pregnant so I know it was in there since that point), and it was still heavily scented. Gross.
Is this spray safe for use on baby items (nursing pillows, etc.)? Wasn’t sure, with the different types of essential oils….
I was wondering if there was a good substitute for the vodka. As a recovering alcoholic, O don’t dsre have any in the housse
Katie - Wellness Mama
Rubbing alcohol will work well too
I was going to ask about the vodka, too.
Uh, if I use vodka, is there a particular kind you’d suggest since we’re not drinking it?
I see you mentioned rubbing alcohol, but isn’t that bad for you, especially if you inhale it?
I also saw a few people mention witch hazel, so I figured I’d look up a few commonly found brands. Wow, you have to be careful about the ingredients for just witch hazel, too! One of the common nice-looking ones I found had glycerin, aloe, SD alcohol, and a bunch of other stuff (that looked fine), but I’m not sure I want all that on my linens. Another one looked like a much better choice with just “All Natural Witch Hazel, Containing Natural Grain Alcohol (14%), and Witch Hazel Extract.”
Witch Hazel is what I use, it does not have the nasty smell of rubbing alcohol and is good for you skin. You add the EO into it shack then add distilled water. 1 part Whitch Hazel, 3 parts distilled water.
Grain alcohol would be the best. The purer the alcohol, the less of smell. Also, witch hazel is 80% water and thus not really good at solubilizing and dispersing the essential oils. They’ll just float at the top of the spray bottle.
what are the benefits of vodka verses witch hazel?
Yes Witch Hazel is better option than vodka or alcohol if you prefer and it makes it a safe body spray as well:)
Thanks, Katie for the article. This would help me (and many people who follow this) in preparing and using a natural and safe spray without side effects.