How to Make a Natural, Non-Toxic Air Freshener

Did you know that supermarket “air fresheners” have more chemicals and toxins than you can count on your fingers?

The Environment Working Group conducted study in 2009 on Febreze Air Effects and found a total of 89 airborne contaminants.


These chemicals have been linked to cancer, reproductive development problems and neurotoxicity.  These air fresheners mask bad odors in the air with a host of chemicals and synthetic fragrances. The result: air pollution.

Does anyone see the irony here?

In my journey towards healthier living and a healthier home, removing chemicals from the home has become important to my husband and I in raising our little ones. Thankfully when it comes to bad odors, there’s a natural solution:

Activated charcoal.

Recently activated charcoal has become somewhat of a health craze. From water purification systems to beauty products to treating poisoning, activated charcoal is a popular natural, versatile and cost-effective alternative to so many commercial products we have on the market today.

What is activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal is made with carbon. The carbon is heated at very high temperatures and combined with different gasses. The process activates tiny pores created which make for a larger surface area. This surface area can then bind to toxins and chemicals around it and attract them to itself. This is what makes it so useful and versatile.

Activated charcoal is a powerful natural air purifying agent since it can draw any contaminant, solvent and chemical to itself.

I started using activated charcoal in my homemade tooth powder recipe. I liked the way it naturally whitened my teeth without the toxic overload.

So, how can you use it as an air freshener?

In the fridge:

A little bag of this will keep your food fresher for longer. The activated charcoal will absorb bacteria, mold and moisture from the food. Fresher food also means less money spent and less food wasted!

In the bathroom:

I keep ours in the bathroom at the moment because of poor ventilation. Keeping this in a bathroom where there is poor ventilation will help keep mold at bay.

In your gym bag/car/suitcase:

Keeping a bag of this anywhere where odors can accumulate is a good idea. I like the idea of having one when traveling to keep clothes in the suitcase fresh.

A Simple DIY All-Natural Air Freshener Tutorial

This little project will take you minutes to make and will last for about a year with some care.

All you will need is:

  1. Some good pores bags
  2. Activated charcoal


  • Scoop 2-3 heaped teaspoons of activated charcoal into each bag and tie to secure
  • Place wherever wanted
  • Note: Depending on the bag you may have to use two bags to ensure you the activated charcoal doesn’t leak out when moving it around.

How to care for your little bags:

Every month or two, place your bag/s in the sun to refresh the activated charcoal. The bags should last for at least year. When you are ready to make new bags simply sprinkle the old charcoal over your garden to improve soil quality. Researchers have found that activated charcoal may work better than manure or compost in improving the quality of soil.

And there you have it! An all-natural, cost-effective and easy DIY air freshener. Make some and/or give some away as gifts!

How about you? Have you ever tried activated charcoal as an air freshener?

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