Bad odors can come from any place. Regardless of their origin, however, the good news is that they can be eliminated. Quite easily, I’d say. The best natural and simple way to do it is with the use of an essential oil odor eliminator solution. Plus, it will also have therapeutic effects on the mind and body.
In this article, I’ll be telling you more about:
- The benefits of essential oils in a homemade odor eliminator and how to use them.
- Most common odors, with the best essential oils for each, with DIY odor eliminator recipes.
- A special section for pet odor control, with oils and homemade solutions.
- A few words about the other natural ingredients you could use to fight bad odors inside the house.
Essential Oils Odor Eliminator Recipes (Types of Odors and a Natural Solution for Each)
The source of a bad odor can be just about anything. It can come from the sewer or it can come from the kitchen. It can also come from the bathroom, garage, old furniture or carpets. No matter where it comes from, it’s hard to ignore.
It is even harder to live with! Not that you have to but sometimes, circumstances may force you to deal with some foul odors on a long term.
What do you do in that case? If the smell comes from outside, at first you can close all the windows. But you can’t keep your home without proper ventilation for long. If the smell comes from the inside, it’s relatively easier to deal with. Simply find the source and eliminate it, and with it the foul odor too.
Bad smells seem to be able to go deep into everything around us, which makes it quite a chore to get rid of. The job doesn’t simply end after you neutralize the smell. You must also clean the furniture, rugs, clothes, etc.
Commercial products are very much up to the task. The best ones can smell really well and mask bad odors efficiently.
But they don’t destroy bacteria and fungi that lurk in the air. They can also cause headaches, allergies or other health problems. In other words, commercial deodorizers just mask the odor, with no therapeutic benefit whatsoever.
Why Use Essential Oils as Natural Odor Eliminators?
You’ve probably heard about Aromatherapy. Well, it is not just a fancy word for perfumes and candles. It is a therapy with many benefits to our health and beauty.
Aromatherapy describes the use of essential oils as natural remedies for pretty much everything. These aromatic essences have been around for a very long time. In our times, they’ve gained popularity only in the past decade.
But why use essential oils for odor elimination? This is where it gets interesting. Aromatic oils can be used as a natural odor eliminators because:
- They can eliminate bad odors and replace them with fresh new ones. Your home may smell like summer or winter, or anything you like. Essential oils are volatile (they evaporate) and make very nice perfume blends.
- Aromatic oils can also kill bacteria, germs, and fungi that come with bad smells. Thus, they purify the air too.
- Some of them can also help strengthen the immune system.
- Others can soothe respiratory problems.
- Most odor eliminating essential oils can affect the nervous system and the brain. This means they can make you feel better, whether it’s relaxation, sleep or better focus you’re looking for.
- They can also disinfect various surfaces you’re using them on.
- There are many aromatic oils that can prevent viral infections like the flu or a cold.
How can they do that?
Each plant extract is different. Each type of oil has its own unique and complex chemical composition. Even oils extracted from the same type of plant are different.
This difference is given by the geographical area. The soil where they’re grown and the plant part used for extraction matter more than you think. The harvesting and processing methods can also influence their chemical profile.
This difference can be obvious to anyone by the plant’s botanical (Latin) name. The botanical name of a plant will also contain its chemotype (ct.).
For example, if the plant is high in thujanol, it will be called Thymus vulgaris ct. Thujanol (like Thyme). If the plant is high in linalool, it will be called Thymus vulgaris ct. Linalool.
Even hospitals have started using Aromatherapy. It helps doctors and nurses combat fatigue and stress. It also helps the patients cope better with their condition and illness. Not to mention that essential oils can really change the way a hospital room smells like.
The chemical components of essential oils are very small and active. They give the oils the following properties:
- Mood enhancing
- Antiseptic (prevents infections)
- Analgesic (pain reliever)
For all your essential oil odor eliminator DIY recipes, you should look for 3 main properties. Your oils need to be antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. Another choosing criterion is, of course, your favorite fragrances.
How to Use Your Essential Oils for Odor Elimination
The therapeutic fragrance of oils is given by their volatile nature. They get to disperse throughout the air very fast. This is why the best method of enjoying their benefits is by diffusion/inhalation. You can use essential oils for odor control more easily this way.
You can use an Aromatherapy diffuser a few times a day to purify and refresh the air. This way it is also extremely easy to make your own homemade odor eliminator. First, decide which oil diffuser is the one for your home.
Then make a blend of up to 4 essential oils for odor elimination. Pour a few drops into the diffuser’s reservoir and turn it on. Healthy diffusions should never be continuous!
Keep diffusing aromatic oils for 20 – 30 minutes, every 2 hours (session). Each session should take place in very well ventilated rooms.
Studies show that hour-long inhalations can cause anxiety and nervousness. Also, it takes about 20 minutes for your smell receptors to become numb. This means you’ll simply waste your oils (and money) on continuous diffusion.
Ideas to use essential oils for odor control:
- Pour 2 drops on a cotton pad and let the vacuum suck it in. Vacuuming often leaves a stale odor behind. That small soaked pad will release a pleasant and fresh new scent all around the room.
- Another cotton pad can be imbued with a drop or two of an essential oil odor eliminator. Then it can be placed inside a car or its trunk. You can use the same method for small places (pantries, bathrooms, shoe boxes, dressers, etc.)
- Add a few drops of a homemade odor eliminator into the washing machine, during its rinsing cycle.
- Mix a drop of essential oil with half a teaspoon and place it in shoes and boots.
- Mix aromatic oils with half alcohol and half water and spray around to repel insects and refresh the air. You can use the same method to spray clothes that smell of tobacco.
Having said all this, it’s time we get practical! I’ve made a list if you want with all common bad odors one would feel like getting rid of. You’ll find essential oil suggestions and a DIY odor eliminator solution for each.
Tobacco smell is one of the worst, especially for those who do not smoke. It seeps into everything. The more the room is left unventilated, the harder it becomes to get rid of the smell.
Fortunately, there are a few methods you can use to prevent the house from smelling like cigarette smoke. One of the best natural odor eliminators are essential oils, of course. The best oils at getting rid of tobacco are:
- Eucalyptus (globulus) – It has a camphoraceous scent, which is quite pleasant. Most of all, this oil can soothe the irritated mucous membranes affected by the tobacco smoke. When they get irritated, Eucalyptus can also help with nasal congestion.
- Patchouli – This oil has a very powerful fragrance that can last up to eight hours. It is a deep base note (quite masculine), with citrus and menthol notes.
- Wild Mint – It contains a lot of menthol. It gives your anti-tobacco odor eliminator recipe a very fresh, “pepperminty” scent.
- Lemongrass – is a good disinfectant. It can eliminate the air polluted by tobacco smoke, or any other smoky odors. It is very useful in removing old tobacco smells. Lemongrass adds a very pleasant, citrusy aroma to the environment.
Anti – Tobacco Scent Eliminator Recipe
- Patchouli essential oil: 20 drops
- Lemongrass essential oil: 20 drops
- Eucalyptus essential oil: 20 drops
Mix all the oils together and store the blend into a dark colored, glass bottle. Diffuse as per your diffuser’s guidelines, for up to 30 minutes per session. Take a 2-hour break before diffusing again, if necessary.
Mold and Mildew Odors
These two musty odors are not just disgusting and powerful, but they can also cause sickness. Mold and mildew spores thrive in wet, unventilated environments. They can be stirred easily and inhaled, after which they cause serious health problems.
To eliminate this kind of odor, you’ll need strong antifungal essential oils. Being antibacterial and antiviral is also desired.
The best natural mold and mildew odor eliminators are:
- Lemon essential oil – This oil is great at changing mold smell into a fresh and pleasant one. It is a powerful antibacterial that can kill germs and spores.
- Grapefruit essential oil – It has antiviral and antibacterial effects, and on top of that, it also smells uplifting and fresh. Grapefruit is efficient at disinfecting the air.
- Clove essential oil – Is a very good wide range antifungal, being able to kill a lot of spores. It is also anti-inflammatory and analgesic.
- Cinnamon essential oil – This is another strong antibacterial and antifungal. It can protect against lung and candida infections. Cinnamon can also kill parasites.
Anti-Mold Scent Eliminator Recipe
- Grapefruit EO: 40 drops
- Clove EO: 20 drops
- Alcohol: ½ cup
- Water: 1 cup
Mix all the ingredients together and store the blend in a spray bottle. Give it a good shake before each use, to activate the oil molecules. Spray all over the molded area. Leave it there for 10 – 30 minutes. Rinse with a soft cloth and repeat several times a day, until the smell and aspect are gone.
Stale, damp odors can happen because of a lack of good ventilation. This can be corrected fast and easy. Use some nice smelling essential oil odor eliminators and enjoy fresh air again.
This method is especially useful in the cold season when you can’t really let the cold air circulate for too long.
The best essential oils for odor control are:
- Citronella – This essence is a great insect repellant. But it also smells fresh and sweet. Citronella oil can prevent viral infections, kill fungi and remove bad odors altogether.
- Ravintsara – This oil can stimulate the immune system. It is also a good, wide range antiviral and antibacterial.
- Citruses – All citrus essential oils can be used as natural odor eliminators. They can disinfect and uplift the spirits at the same time.
- Bergamot – a Citrusy fragrance with good antibacterial properties.
- Lavender – It has a very floral and herbaceous aroma. Lavender is great to induce relaxation and sleep among others. It also has antimicrobial effects.
- Rose – With its sweet and strong floral scent, Rose is great at removing stale odors. It is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial too.
Simply diffuse any of the above essences to change the stale smell into a more pleasant one.
Paint has a very pungent and sharp odor, up to the point where it can be nauseating. It usually lingers for a long time.
To remove painting smells, add a few drops of pure Vanilla extract/absolute directly into the paint mix. It will absorb the smell of paint and replace it with its sweet, characteristic fragrance. Vanilla can prevent the suffocating smell to spread.
Industrial activities usually emit pollutants that smell badly. Car exhaust is another big pollutant, just like tobacco smoke and other foul, offending odors.
A good essential oil odor eliminator solution will have to first purify the air. This means killing all germs, viruses, and bacteria lurking in the air. It will then have to absorb and replace the foul odors with fresh new ones.
Here are a few great natural choices for your DIY odor eliminator:
- Sweet Orange
Purified Air & Scent Eliminator Recipe
- Spray bottle: approximately 3 fl. Oz.
- Rose EO: 10 drops
- Lemon EO: 20 drops
- Bergamot EO: 20 drops
- Peppermint hydrosol: fill the bottle
Give this blend a good shake before each use. Spray all over the room(s) and make sure you ventilate the house very well, each day.
Kitchen smells are usually pleasant, especially when you’re cooking. However, once the cooking is over, some dishes or foods can leave a very nasty smell behind. Whether it’s bitter or burnt, the kitchen odor needs to be eliminated before it envelops the whole house.
The best essential oil odor eliminator for the kitchen should contain:
Citrus plus Cinnamon and Vanilla are common, beautiful aromas in a kitchen. These oils happen to also be very potent and last for a long time. They can also disinfect the air, eliminate bad odors and create a nice ambiance.
Kitchen Scent Eliminator Recipe
- Vanilla absolute: 5 drops
- Cinnamon essential oil: 10 drops
- Sweet Orange essential oil: 10 drops
You can diffuse up to 7 drops of this blend or as much as the diffuser’s manufacturer recommends. Also, don’t forget to keep the window open to let fresh air in.
Essential Oils for Pet Odor (How to Use Them Safely, and Recipe)
I left this type of odor for last because I feel it deserves a bit more attention. Our pets are very dear family members. Thus, they must also be considered when making a homemade natural odor eliminator.
Essential oils can be useful for our pets, just like they are for us. Unfortunately, though, animals are not like us. They can’t speak when they don’t like something or a smell makes them sick.
That’s why we need to pay attention to any essence we use around them. A while back, I wrote an article about Aromatherapy for cats. They are more sensitive than dogs.
Cats can’t process all volatile molecules, but dogs can. The latter can also eliminate them faster. Our pets have a very developed sense of smell. That’s why, what we perceive as weak scents, to them they’re very powerful. You can thus imagine how a truly strong essence really feels like for them.
One of the most popular and generally considered safe essential oils is Lavender. It can be used even with babies. However, I haven’t found scientific data about the effects of Aroma oils on pets.
Lavender essential oil should be good for pet odors. People reported that their dogs behaved more calmly after inhaling this essence.
In theory, Lavender could be used around cats too. It contains active compounds that they can metabolize. I suggest talking to a vet before diffusing essential oils for pet odors, to be 100% sure.
Catnip oil, for instance, can make cats feel high for 10 – 15 minutes, without causing addiction. There is no study to prove its beneficial effects though.
Regardless if you choose to use essential oils for pet odors or not, you should watch out for the following oils:
- Tea Tree
You can find more details at the link I provided above. Instead, you could try very small amounts (and always with an open door) of:
Diffuse for 10 minutes only, in a well-ventilated room. Keep the door open, so the pet can leave if it becomes too much to bear.
You could also keep the animal away from the room you’re cleaning with essential oils. Pets should not be allowed to enter at least 2 hours after the diffusion.
Simple Anti-Pet Odor Recipe
- Lavender hydrosol
- Lavender essential oil: 1 drop
- Spray bottle
Mix the ingredients and shake the blend well before each use. Spray onto the carpet, chair, etc. (wherever the pet stays).
First, let some baking soda soak up the moisture and odor and then apply the recipe. You can then vacuum the piece really well.
If you can’t really use essential oils to remove pet odors, you can definitely try hydrosols. They are aromatic water-based byproducts of essential oils extraction. They contain only trace amounts of oils.
But hydrosols contain other molecules, vitamins, and minerals that are water-soluble. These don’t normally make it into the essential oil.
Other Deodorizing Natural Ingredients
I did tell you about baking soda, and indeed it makes a great natural deodorizer. It can absorb foul odors instead of masking them. Salt can do the same. Both the salt and baking soda are alkaline and react with odors which are slightly acidic. That is how they can neutralize bad smells.
You can add baking soda or salt to your essential oil eliminator. Just give them a shake every once in a while to activate the oil molecules and the soda.
Vinegar is another good odor eliminator. But it should not be used with Citrus essential oils, unless freshly made. Vinegar can decrease the power of certain constituents found in citrus oils (like citral.)
You could also grow potted plants that smell nice. They will also absorb polluted air and replace it with fresh one, eliminating bad odors too.
Inhaling beautiful fragrances is one of the many joys in life. Smells stimulate the limbic system, which is responsible for memories. Scents can make you relax, unwind and feel better in an instant. It mostly depends on what they remind you of.
You can nonetheless, create new great memories or habits with their help. Using a natural, homemade essential oil odor eliminator is a great place to start. It can protect your home from germs, bacteria, and viruses. But most of all, essential oils can remove bad odors, whatever they may be.
Do you have a favorite odor eliminator recipe you’d like to share? Don’t hesitate to leave me your comments and questions in the space below.