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Can you use Alcohol to make a room deodorizer or Spray?

by Penny Keay

You can use essential oils mixed with alcohol for room deodorizer if you want.

Grain Alcohol (ethanol) is a preservative if used in high enough concentration.   It is also a great emulsifier for use in room sprays.

Do not ever use Rubbing Alcohol or other alcohols, like denatured alcohol, as they are toxic when it comes to use in aromatherapy. They have too many impurities to use safely.

There are a couple of drawbacks to using Alcohol for blending. First, is knowing how much to use and secondly, you need to know that alcohol can be an upper respiratory irritant. 

You want to make sure you never spray your alcohol based room spray in the room where pets, fish, birds and people are present. Have them wait for several minutes after you are finished spraying before reentering.  

The alcohol will evaporate and disappear into the room and of course, leave the scenting behind of the essential oils mixed in it.

In order to know how much grain alcohol to use to make your room spray, you need to know the ‘proof’ or percentage of alcohol in the bottle of vodka or Grain alcohol.

It varies with what you are using.    Vodka is usually low in alcohol percentage.  EverClear – which is PURE Grain Alcohol can be up to 100% (200 proof) - although this percentage is very hard to find.  We can get 90% if we cross into Wisconsin and purchase a small bottle.  We are able to get EverClear at 75% alcohol in Minnesota. 

Each state has its own rules for strength of alcohol they sell.  EverClear is very expensive.   We use it sparingly. Only if I decide to make a perfume that is alcohol-based. This is extremely rare, as I prefer making natural perfumes using Jojoba.

We use a lot of plain vodka here for cleaning our bottles, mixing equipment and other glassware.    The Vodka we use here is 40% alcohol (80 proof).   Again, you might be able to find a higher percentage where you live.

In order for Vodka or other alcohol to use as a preservative in a water-based product, it has to be a minimum of 20% alcohol. This means in order for our 40% alcohol vodka to be a preservative in a water based blend we would need to use  1 oz of Vodka to each ounce of water.    That gives a 20% concentration of actual alcohol in the blend before essential oils.   

If you are going to make more than a couple ounces of a room spray, it is proportional.  So to make 4 ounces of spray – use 2 oz Vodka and 2 ounces water.       If you need help figuring out percentages – just ask.  We are happy to help you with that.

NOW – before you go get started you need to know this very important rule. You HAVE TO MIX Essential oils FIRST into the Alcohol, Shake well then ADD the water.     

Because alcohol is not the best emulsifier, you still need to shake your sprays well before each use, just in case some of the EO’s did not stay in solution (floated to the top).    

We suggest you put your Vodka or grain alcohol in your spray bottle.  Add the essential oils Shake really well, then, top the bottle up with your distilled water. This alcohol based room spray should still be used within 4-6 months. Discard after that time.

You might want to consider our Room Spray base – it is fairly inexpensive and has the correct amount of preservative in it. 

You may need to use an emulsifier (we sell two different kinds) to ensure your essential oils mix with the Room spray base.   It will last 6 months when mixed with this base.

NOTE: You should not sell any product that has alcohol in it to avoid problems with the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms) Regulatory Agency. You can make this for your own use only.

Aromatherapy products listed in the article are available at our Shopping Site - see link below. We do not sell any alcohol products.


CLICK HERE to Order supplies

© 2015 Penny Keay All rights reserved Worldwide.
Please do not use my information without my permission.

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