Columnist freshens home without cleaning out wallet

Hannah Baker

Living in a college dorm or in an apartment with three other people comes with a lot of sights, sounds and smells. Yes, smells. Actually, it’s the smells that greet you first when you walk through the door. They either invite you in, or make you walk to haul it back in the other direction. If it’s the latter, there’s a cheap way to fix that by making your own Febreze spray.

We’ve all seen the commercials for Febreze where either a man or woman lays on the floor smelling the carpet with a big smile on their face. A 27 ounce bottle of the Febreze usually costs about $5 at Walmart, but if you have the necessary supplies sitting around your place, you could be making your very own homemade Febreze from little to no extra cost. On a college budget, there’s nothing better than getting or making something for free, right?

There are only three ingredients you will need:

1. About 1/8 Cup of fabric softener – whatever Mom sent with you before you came to Brookings.

2. Two tablespoons of Baking Soda. Don’t have a measuring spoon? Use a regular spoon and use two scoops.

3. Hot tap water

4. Spray bottle – I used an empty 27 oz. Febreze bottle. You might be able to score an empty spray bottle at the dollar store or at a cheap price at Walmart.

Now, dump them all together in the empty spray bottle and fill the rest with the hot water. Then shake, shake, shake them until you can see that all the baking soda is dissolved. Make sure you get the lid on tight and that the nozzle is turned to lock so you don’t spill it all over you when you’re shakin’ it. 

You can use any kind of fabric softener depending on what scent you like. Also, if your spray bottle is smaller than the one I used, just adjust the amount of fabric softener you use. I don’t believe it’s really possible to use too much. It just depends on how potent you want your spray to be. So try a little at a time and don’t fill the bottle to the brim with water until you get it to your liking.

Take your newly homemade Febreze and spray it on any and all fabrics around the house from the carpet, curtains, your smelly roommate’s comforter or the clothes in your closet. I actually used it in my car when I tested out the recipe and it stayed fresh smelling for quite awhile.

Who knows, maybe when you’re finished freshening up your home you’ll be like the man or woman from the commercials and choose to nap on the fresh smelling carpet. Maybe not. But either way it’s a cheap fix – one your nose will thank you for.