How To DIY Your Own Budget-Friendly Poo-Pourri To Banish Bad Household Odors

If you've never tried Poo-Pourri, a spritz-before-you-go toilet spray, you might be wondering if it really works. Well, we've tried it in restrooms everywhere from our own homes to cruise ships, and it does help keep serious bathroom odors in check. While you could purchase this commercial product, if you want a DIY remedy that will leave your bathroom smelling fresh instead, one basic recipe calls for tea tree, lemon, and lavender essential oils. You simply mix 15 drops of each scent with 3 ounces of witch hazel in a dark-colored 4-ounce bottle, shake it up, and you're ready to spray away. An alternative recipe says to fill a 4-ounce bottle with ½ teaspoon of rubbing alcohol (or vodka), 30 drops of essential oil, a squirt of dish soap, and water to top it off. Both of these toilet spray recipes work in the same way to minimize bathroom odors and can save you quite a bit of cash in the long run.

The first recipe suggests some essential oils to use, but if you don't like the smell of them, you can substitute them or leave one out. For instance, just lemon and lavender could be used, or you can sub the tea tree oil with peppermint. The classic combination of clove, cinnamon, and orange is another fragrance you can try. Being able to come up with a batch of toilet spray using your favorite scents is another great reason to make your own instead of buying it pre-made.

How much you can save making your own toilet spray

It's easy just to pick up a bottle of brand-name Poo-Pourri at your local supermarket (available at Walmart) and call it a day. One drawback, however, is pre-made sprays are on the expensive side. Making a DIY spray that works in the same way can be a clever way to ease your budget. Just how expensive are those pre-mixed versions? Poo-Pourri generally sells for $9 to $12 for a 2-ounce bottle, depending on where you purchase it. AirWick markets a similar spray called V.I.P. Pre-Poop Toilet Spray that sells for about $7.50 to $9 a bottle containing 1.85 ounces. Needless to say, that expense can mount up quickly when you use these types of products regularly.

If you make your own basic toilet spray, the biggest investment will be several bottles of essential oils, which run from $5 to $10 each everywhere from grocery stores to online retailers. If you don't have a bottle of witch hazel at home, that will cost about $2.50 to $4 for a 16-ounce store-brand bottle. You'll also need a dark-colored 4-ounce spray bottle; shop around online to find them in sets of two, three, or four for $5 to $10. While these items may cost a bit upfront, they'll last for a long time. All in all, you can easily purchase the supplies needed for many larger batches of toilet spray for the cost of just two to three small bottles of name-brand product.

How the DIY toilet spray works

Now that you know you can make your own before-you-go toilet spray, you might be wondering how it works to keep your bathroom less stinky. Basically, the witch hazel, water, or other liquids in the toilet spray serve as the carrier for the key ingredient: the essential oils. The liquids are denser than the oils, causing the oil to sit on the surface of the toilet water. That slick layer not only smells fragrant, but it also traps odors below the surface of the water, allowing you to easily flush them away. Just three to five squirts of toilet spray right on top of the water is all you need.

Because these types of sprays are made with oils, it also stands to reason that they will separate as they sit in the bottle. You'll need to shake them up before each use to make them effective again. Otherwise, you're just spraying the carrier liquid from the bottom of the bottle into the toilet bowl, and it won't work properly. Your DIY spray won't fix all the phantom odors you might encounter with your toilet, but with a few easy-to-find items, you can indeed mix up a batch of budget-pourri. With a quick spritz right before you go, you'll be flushing away odors more economically before you know it.