I like Febreeze. I use it in the house, on the bedding, on the couches, on the carpet and in the car. At $5 a bottle, it's not exactly a rip-off... But I have found a cheaper alternative- Downy Unatoppables.
I bought the Unstoppables for my laundry once. It was great! Much stronger than any liquid softener I have used. My clothes and towels smelled fantastic- The whole laundry room was filed with the scent! But, at $8 a bottle, it WAS a rip-off. And Unstoppables are not intended to soften clothes or reduce static, you have to use a liquid fabric softener or dryer sheet as well. As much as I loved the scent, I decided that the wonderful little pellets were a luxury I could not afford.
I have seen recipes for homemade air/fabric fresheners that called for liquid fabric softener... So I wondered if the Unatoppables could be used in that capacity. Here is what I whipped up!
I used a 10 oz spray bottle filled about halfway with hot water. I filled the Unstoppables lid to the first measuring line (for small loads) and poured it into the spray bottle. I let it sit for about 5 minutes so the pellets would dissolve, then gave the bottle a good shake. That was it... Homemade "Febreeze"! Of course, this is not an exact science. Adjust the amount of water and pellets you use to create the scent you like. I have also experimented with mixing the different scented pellets (Downy makes a Fresh and a Lush) and adding a bit of liquid softener.
Breaking down the cost:
A 27oz bottle of Febreeze costs around $5, which breaks down to nearly 19cents an ounce.
A bottle of Unstoppables costs around $8, or 32 cents a load (I searched the bottle and Downy's website to see how many loads you can get out of a bottle, but it is not disclosed ANYWHERE so I measured. I got 25 small loads). That will make 25 10oz bottles, which is 3 cents an ounce. Even if you adjust the amount of pellets you use, that's pretty darn cheap!
Use caution and common sense:
The Unstoppables container clearly indicates that the product should be kept out of children's reach. I recommend testing the mixture on a inconspicuous area of fabric before spraying like crazy.