Natural Kitchen Air Freshener

Create your own natural kitchen air freshener using holiday staple ingredients.

DIY holiday air freshener

While I love all the cooking and baking that goes on during the holidays, at the end of the day, I can’t stand the smell of the kitchen.

Let’s consider a plausible Thanksgiving scenario at my mom’s house.  I’ll arrive early in the morning with a batch of rolls ready to be baked.  By mid-morning the entire house is filled with the warm alluring scents of cinnamon rolls fresh the oven.

At noon, my mom has beef bourguignon simmering, bacon Brussels sprouts roasting and creamed corn soup on the stove.

However, by 9pm, after we’ve all eaten and the party is over, the kitchen… well, it stinks!

That’s when my mom puts a large pot of water on the stove and starts brewing her holiday kitchen air freshener.

DIY holiday air freshener

Natural Kitchen Air Freshener

The great thing about this do-it-yourself, homemade, all-natural air freshener is the fact that there really isn’t a recipe or a set of directions.  Simply mix together any aromatic ingredients you already have on hand.

Mix together your favorites:

Oranges and lemons, citrus peels, apple slices, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, cloves, rosemary, mint leaves, etc.  Put whatever inspired combination of your liking into a pot of water.

Let the mixture simmer and within a few minutes, the kitchen will be smell amazing once again!

Just remember to keep an eye on the water level of the pot.  As the mixture simmer, the water will evaporate.  Add water as necessary to keep the scent going.

Why should you have kitchen air freshener brewing during the holidays?

Whenever I make a pot of kitchen air freshener, I am reminded of Cher from Clueless.  There are so many quotable moments and teenage life lessons in that movie.

One particular Cher-ology that has stuck with me is her cookie dough burning fiasco.  She explains that “when a boy comes over, you should always have something baking.”

In the same respect, I say during the holiday season you should always have something aromatic and cozy simmering the kitchen!

DIY Holiday Air Freshener

Using ingredients you already have on hand during the holidays create your own natural kitchen air freshener. Within a few minutes, your home will be filled with a warm, cozy, and clean scent!


  • sliced orange
  • handful of orange peel
  • cinnamon sticks
  • handful of cranberries
  • cloves
  • star anise
  • water


  1. Place chosen spices, herbs, and fruit into a pot of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and within a few minutes your home will be filled with a warm, cozy and clean scent.  Add water as necessary as liquid will evaporate over time.

Do you have any tips on keeping the kitchen smelling clean this holiday season?!  Let me know, I love learning new kitchen tips and tricks!

DIY holiday air freshener

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Mmmmm…I love the idea of this! I suppose the aroma that you’ll find most wafting through our house is freshly brewed coffee. :)

    Maryanne Cabrera

    I love the aroma of freshly brewed coffee! Too bad, I’m the only coffee drinker in my family!

Becky | The Cookie Rookie

This is SO happening at my house for Thanksgiving! Wonderful idea and beautiful photos! (as always!)

Andrea @ Cooking with Mamma C

Maryanne, I love this idea! I wish I knew about this a few weeks ago when my husband was making wine in the basement. There is a point in the process where the house stinks for a day. But I’d love to freshen the kitchen any day with this. :)

    Maryanne Cabrera

    This may sound strange, but I like the smell of wine making! When I lived in Napa I looked forward to “crush season” in the fall when all the wineries would start making new wines. It’s a sour and sweet scent that reminds me the holidays are near!

Sarah | Broma Bakery

I’ve done this with apples and cinnamon, but never orange and cranberries! What a great idea.
That Cher quote tho. Classic.

    Maryanne Cabrera

    I love the scent of apples and cinnamon, but it fools me into thinking that an apple pie is on the way. lol, that’s why I prefer the orange and cranberries :)

Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

Haha – Cher would have probably had more luck if she had this on the stove. This looks exactly like the holiday air freshener my mom keeps on during the holidays! You’re making me excited to go home in two weeks:)

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Haha, I think slicing the fruits might be a little difficult for Cher. She DID put an entire log of cookie dough in the oven. I’m not sure whole oranges would produce as much aroma as sliced ones. YAY for the holidays and going home :)

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