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How to Make Your Home Smell Wonderful (With Your Crockpot)

When you walk into your home, does it smell fresh and clean? Today I am sharing an easy way to make your home smell amazing by making DIY Homemade Air Fresheners in Your Crockpot!

I’ve always loved candles, not just for the ambiance of a flickering flame in the dark, but also for the wonderful fragrance they can add to a room.  Lately, however, the scents more often seem to be “off” to me – that is, they seem to smell of artificial ingredients, and the result is unlike anything found in nature. 

I still love the ambiance of candles, but I find myself craving ways to add more natural fragrances to my home.

Also, to get rid of that stinky dog smell we sometimes get with two big puppers in the house. What can I say? I love ’em, but sometimes…stink-o.

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pineapple and coconut in a tropical background represent one great combination for homemade air freshener from a crockpot

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Can You Make Air Freshener in a Crockpot?

A few days ago, I entered my house after an afternoon walk with the dog, to the most incredible, delicious, drool-worthy aroma.  I had put dinner together in the slow cooker that morning, and a few hours later, the scent was heavenly.  

Bison short ribs were braising in a blend of coffee, cabernet, and rosemary. 

Believe me when I tell you, it smelled ah-mazing.

And the fragrance from that meal lasted into the night, long after our dinner was eaten and cleaned up. I think I could still get a whiff the next morning!

Of course, this wasn’t really unexpected – slow cookers have long been known to spread the incredible aromas of the food simmering slowly inside of them. 

Just think of all the times you’ve walked into a home where the crockpot’s been on the counter all day…filled with pasta sauce…or chili…or homemade soup…

Was it possible, then, that I could find a way to fragrance my home using a slow cooker? 

Just to make the house smell clean and fresh and comforting?  

My curiosity was piqued.

I’ve heard of stove-top simmer scents, but I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of leaving my gas stove on for hours at a time. Could I do something similar, but in the relative safety of a crockpot?

Yes, You Really can make air freshener in the crockpot

I’m happy to say that based on research and a fair amount of experimenting, the answer to that question is a resounding YES!  You can make really effective air freshener right in your slow cooker.

I started my research on the website for Crockpot, the best-known brand of slow cooker. Sure enough, there were a few recipes for simmering scents right on their website.  And very quickly, I found lots more on Pinterest and around the internet. 

The most popular recipes seemed to focus on the more intense fall and Holiday scents, but I was really looking for more fresh, fruity, clean, summery fragrances.

I started playing with some of the recipes I found, and created some new combinations, too.

I was hooked!

Now, my home is constantly scented with an all-natural fragrance that lasts so much longer than most candles, and the process is far safer than anything with an open flame.

And I’m going to share with you how I did it.

Scent is our most primitive sense, it’s the closest thing to the emotional brain. It penetrates you. You love it, and you want to be part of it.

Isabelle Ramsay Brackstone

How to Make Air Freshener in a Crockpot

Making air freshener in a crockpot is really easy to do.

It’s also a smart way to use up some produce and herbs that are a little past the point of good-to-eat. Do not use if they are moldy or rotten though – that’s too far gone!

First, add a good amount of water to your crockpot. It doesn’t need to be filled to the brim, but about half-way is good. You don’t want to worry about having it evaporate away.

I put the water on high to get things moving, and then drop it back to a simmer. Leave it on low for however long you intend to keep it simmering.

Here are some basic quantities of items I like to use in my air freshener:

  • 1-2 pieces of fruit, sliced to expose flesh and create the maximum surface area that can be exposed to the hot water. The more surface area exposed to water, the stronger the scent.  Fruit rinds, peels, stems, and fruit that’s a bit overripe (but not to the point of being moldy) are all good for this purpose.
  • 2-3 sprigs of herbs, stems and all
  • 1 teaspoon of extracts – use these to enhance other scents, rather than to stand on their own
  • 2-5 drops of essential oils – do NOT overuse essential oils as they can very easily go from pleasant to noxious to headache-causing! Start small, as you can always add an additional drop of two if desired but you can’t take it away once it’s in the pot..
  • 2 or more cups water (or other liquid), enough to cover all of the other ingredients.  You will probably need to add more water as it evaporates to maintain a consistent level.

I like to cover and set it on high until the water gets hot and the fragrance has time to build, then uncover and turn it down to low to simmer for up to eight hours. 

Check occasionally to see if you need to add additional water.

And that’s really all that is required!

Beyond the basics, it’s simply a matter of deciding what combinations of ingredients to use.

Many of the simmer recipes on the internet are geared toward fall and winter scents, but I really enjoy the freshness of citrus and herbs for more spring-like fragrances.

sliced citrus fruits including lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits, ready to go into the crockpot to make homemade air freshener

What are the Best Ingredients for a Crockpot air freshener?

Here are some of my favorite ingredients, that can be combined in any number of ways:


  • Citrus Fruits – Lemons, Limes, Oranges, Grapefruit
  • Stone Fruits – Apples, Peaches, Plums
  • Berries – Strawberries, Cranberries
  • Melon – Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Watermelon)
  • Other – Cucumber, Pineapple, Coconut, Papaya, or any fruit with a strong, appealing scent


  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Thyme
  • Lemon Balm
  • White Sage


Essential Oils:

  • All of them (maybe not all at once…)

Other Creative Possibilities:

  • Coffee (replaces the water)
  • Cider or fruit juice (add to water)
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Lemongrass
  • Ginger slices
  • Rose petals
  • Geranium petals

Essentially, any fruits, herbs, liquids, oils, or petals that smell good to you would probably make a wonderful addition to a crockpot simmer! 

Be creative and experiment with different combinations. Perhaps you will develop a “signature scent” for your home.

pineapple and coconut are a perfect combination to use for homemade air freshener in the crockpot

What are some Recipes for tried and true combinations?

Here are 7 recipes to start you on your fragrance journey.

The Classic “Williams Sonoma” Fragrance

  • this supposedly smells just like the store!
  • 2 lemons, 2 sprigs of rosemary, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Cucumber Melon

  • a classic, fresh, and seasonal aroma
  • 1 cucumber, 2 cantaloupe melon slices, 2 sprigs of mint


  • the smell that will have you dreaming of summer
  • 2 oranges, 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • bright and refreshing
  • 3 limes, 1 bunch of mint, 2-3 thin slices of fresh ginger

Strawberry Lemonade

  • another warm-weather classic
  • 2 lemons, 3-4 sliced strawberries, 2 sprigs of mint or basil

Summer Morning

  • this one is a more floral scent
  • 1 lemon, a handful of rose petals, 2 sprigs of lavender, 2 drops of rose essential oil

Tropical Cocktail

  • this one is so good as the “backdrop” for a party
  • 1 lemon, 1 orange, 1 cup pineapple juice, 1 teaspoon coconut extract

I enjoyed all of the different combinations I tried, but I think at this point I’d have to go with Cucumber Melon scent as my favorite. The aroma is just wonderful, not overpowering, but fresh and uplifting, and comforting, somehow all at the same time.

These recipes are all wonderful, but the real fun is when you start to combine ingredients into your own unique combinations.

Take a look inside your refrigerator, pantry, and spice cabinet to see what you find.  If you enjoy the scent of an ingredient, most likely you can find a few other things that will work well with it.

Let your imagination run wild!

I love a scent that can make memories come alive.

Bonus! Use Your Crockpot to REMOVE Unwanted Smells in Your home

Here’s a quick bonus tip for you, that’s pretty much the opposite of creating fragrance – let’s talk about removing unwanted smells from your home.

For this use, you can use either a full-sized slow cooker or the mini size works, too!

To remove unwanted smells, add about 2 cups of water and 6 tablespoons of baking soda to your crockpot and set it on low. The warm baking soda seems to just absorb any icky smells in your home like magic!

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Final Thoughts on The Ultimate Natural Air Fresheners: Made in Your Crockpot

My crockpot now spends more time on my counter than in the cabinet, and I’m pleased to say it gets a lot more use now that I know this fantastic use for it.

I am really enjoying playing with different ingredient combinations. It’s so welcoming to walk into a house that smells fresh!

I hope you will try some slow cooker simmer scents and see how you like this natural home fragrance.

If you come up with a wonderful new combination, please let me know – I’d love to hear about it!


pineapple and coconut in a tropical background represent one great combination for homemade air freshener from a crockpot

4 thoughts on “How to Make Your Home Smell Wonderful (With Your Crockpot)”

  1. Just today I bought a mini slow cooker for this purpose. Reinforces what I’ve always believed. Anything you think of…. Someone else thought of it also. Looking forward to trying some of these combinations. I have some in mind too.

  2. Wow! I wouldn’t have ever thought of experimenting like that. Sometimes you just have to try to new things. I’m going to test this out and see how it works for .e. I like the variety. Thanks so much for sharing!

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