Frugal Air Freshener

How to Use Vinegar to Freshen Your Home

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Use Vinegar as an Air Freshener. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Are you looking for a way to freshen your home and it's contents without the help of a store-bought air freshener or spray? Vinegar is the answer.

How to Use Vinegar as an Air Freshener

White vinegar is acetic acid, and it works to neutralize alkaline odors. To use it as an air freshener, find a misting spray bottle or atomizer. You want a fine mist as it will produce tinier droplets with more surface area to remove the odor-causing molecules from the air.

Fill the mister with plain old white vinegar from the grocery store. Mist around your room. The vinegar smell should go away fairly quickly. If it is a little too pungent for you, try diluting the vinegar before spraying it. You can go as low as one tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of water.

The beauty of vinegar as an air freshener is that it doesn't leave behind cheap artificial fragrances that can trigger allergies. Your air is left actually fresh rather than covered with perfume and chemicals. If you want to add a scent, try a few drops of a favorite essential oil such as lavender.

If you don't like spraying vinegar, some people have found success in just placing a shallow bowl of vinegar in a room for several hours or overnight.

How to Use Vinegar to Freshen Carpet and Sprayable Surfaces

To freshen carpet, shoes, trash cans, diaper pails, and other sprayable surfaces, fill a spray bottle with white vinegar, and spritz wherever a freshening is needed.

It will neutralize the odors so that your home smells like your home. For this use, you don't need a mister. You can use any clean spray bottle.

How to Use Vinegar to Freshen Wipeable Surfaces

To freshen refrigerators, lunch boxes, and other wipeable surfaces, soak a sponge or rag in vinegar and use it to wipe down the entire surface of the item that you wish to freshen.

Then, allow the vinegar to dry. Once dry, the smell should be gone.

What About the Vinegar Smell?

You may ask,  "Won't this leave my home smelling like vinegar?" The answer is, not at all. The vinegar smell will vanish as soon as it dries, leaving your home odor-free. And if you'd like, you can even scent the vinegar with your favorite fragrance. Here's how to add scent to vinegar.

Why Vinegar Works

The acetic acid in vinegar neutralizes alkaline (basic) odor-producing molecules. 

Benefits of Deodorizing with Vinegar

  • Inexpensive: Vinegar is cheaper than any spray deodorizer you can buy.
  • No harsh chemicals: You eat vinegar all the time in salad dressing, mayonnaise, etc. You know what it is and you don't need a chemist to decode an ingredient list.
  • No fragrances to irritate allergies: even if you don't have allergies, your air freshener has probably been annoying some of your friends and family.
  • Pet and kid-safe
  • Removes odors, rather than covering them up
  • Environmentally-friendly: Not only do you avoid propellants, but you also aren't filling the trash or recycling bin with the used canisters and spray bottles.

Warnings

1) Do not reuse empty cleaner bottles. Buy a new bottle to use for your vinegar spray

2) Keep out of the reach of children