Homemade Fabric Refresher

I needed a homemade fabric refresher like last week because my car became so smelly.

My boys get smelly, very smelly. They play disc golf outside in the Florida heat. And then they get rained on and they accumulate mud as well. So not only do they get smelly, but their gear does too!

And then they all pile in the van. My van. So you can see how just unpleasant smelling my van seats and carpets can get just after one week. So gross!

Recently, I went to the store looking for a fabric refresher for my car, but the cheapest one I could find was $5!

I had to find a better homemade fabric refresher that I could make at home for pennies because I have a budget to keep track of.


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This homemade fabric refresher really had to work well. It has to get rid of the stink for 3 teenage boys that play outdoor sports.

Plus, I wanted a homemade fabric refresher that was all natural. I don’t want to add any more chemicals to my house because my family is precious to me.

Once I did a little digging, I came up with a great, low-cost natural homemade fabric refresher that really works. Trust me! No stinky sports smell in my car anymore!

In fact, I love it so much I actually keep a bottle in my car now.

Let’s gather our supplies and get the smelly things smelling great! This homemade fabric refresher you can easily make in just a few minutes today.

Homemade Fabric Refresher


To make this homemade fabric refresher you probably already have the ingredients on hand. It’s really just one ingredient, rubbing alcohol that you need.

Here’s exactly what you need to make this homemade fabric refresher:

  • 2 Cups Distilled Water or Reverse Osmosis Water
  • 1 Cup Rubbing Alcohol
  • 5 – 20 Drops Purification Essential Oil (I use the Young Living brand because of their purity promise)
  • Spray bottle (I used an empty Windex bottle we already had on hand, but you can also get a 32 oz empty plastic spray bottles at Walmart for 98¢ in the ironing area near the spray starch.)

A funnel will come in handy transferring the ingredients to your spray bottle.

If you want to make this recipe in a small bottle (such as an empty Essential Oil bottle or another empty bottle) simply use the 2:1 ingredient ratio and add 2 times the amount of water than alcohol. For example, if you are filling a 1 oz travel spray bottle, use 1 Tablespoons Water and 1/2 Tablespoon Rubbing Alcohol. Easy Peasy! (Then I’d only use 1-2 drops of oils for scent.)


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You could also use other essential oils that are labeled Purify or Purification for your homemade fabric refresher. These oils will be labeled for their cleansing properties and will be a great addition to your homemade fabric refresher. Most will have a combination of oils including Lemon, Lime, Fir, Pine, Melaleuca (Tea Tree) and more.

Note: Citrus essential oils can eat through plastic so it is better not to use a plastic spray bottle if you are using citrus-based essential oils for your homemade fabric refresher. You should not use a metal sprayer bottle either because oils can pit the metal. It is better to use a glass spray bottle. You can either purchase a large glass sprayer bottle like this or reuse your essential oil bottles and just buy just the sprayer for the bottle.

Homemade Fabric Refresher


To make this homemade fabric refresher, add all of the ingredients to a plastic or glass spray bottle.

Shake to combine.

Spray this homemade fabric refresher on any fabrics that you wish to refresh around your home!

Items we have used this homemade fabric refresher on:

  • Sporting equipment (especially jersey’s that have sat in the car for too long)
  • Sports bags (volleyball duffle bags)
  • Shoes
  • Backpacks (especially the shoulder straps that catch all the sweat)
  • Couch and throw pillows
  • Curtains
  • Rugs that are too big to be washed

Don’t forget your car too! This homemade fabric refresher works great on the carpet and seats in your car.

Homemade Fabric Refresher

How Much Does It Cost?

To make a small personal 1 oz travel size bottle:

  • 1 Tablespoon Distilled Water or Reverse Osmosis Water = $0
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Rubbing Alcohol = 2¢
  • 2-20 Drops Purification Essential Oil (price varies)

To make a full bottle:

  • 2 Cups Distilled Water or Reverse Osmosis Water = $0
  • 1 Cup Rubbing Alcohol = 63¢
  • 2-20 Drops Purification Essential Oil (price varies)

Total Cost to make 3 cups = 63¢ Total plus fragrance of essential oils, or something else (Compared to $5 per bottle of similar products at the store)

Note: This does not cover the cost of bottles, sprayers or the essentials oils you purchased to make your homemade fabric refresher.

Also, add 85¢ to your total if you do not have distilled water or reverse osmosis water on hand. That is about how much it costs to purchase a gallon of distilled water from my local grocery store. Or you can easily make distilled water with these simple directions.

Even after you factor in the cost of buying essential oils and the bottles, when you compare the cost of all of the homemade fabric refresher bottles you would normally buy each year, versus essentially the cost of one bottle of Rubbing Alcohol, you will save money. And just think about how much plastic you’ll be keeping out of the landfills too!

Adding this homemade fabric refresher to my DIY recipes sure has saved me some money these past months.

I can make a huge bottle of this homemade fabric refresher for my car and my home for just pennies and I love the fact that it is all natural too.

My boys also love the fact that their gear isn’t smelly after using this homemade fabric refresher. It’s a win-win for me too when they all pile in my van!


YOUR TURN: What fabrics are you most excited about using this homemade fabric refresher on? Let me know in the comments below!

Homemade Fabric Refresher

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Looking for a way to get your fabrics smelling great? Make this all-natural homemade fabric refresher for just pennies with stuff you already have on hand! #savingmoney #diy #cleaninghacks