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Homemade garbage deodorizing disks

By October 23, 2013DIY

I’m head over heels in love with these homemade garbage deodorizing disks.  They smell fantastic and are the perfect addition to your garbage can, diaper pail, or pet’s litter box.  And, with only three ingredients, they come together in a flash!

Homemade Garbage Deodorizing Disks

My inspiration for making garbage deodorizing disks was the diaper pail that we keep upstairs by our bedrooms.  Sometimes it gets, well, stinky and I figured there had to be a simple solution.

I searched online for DIY deodorizing disk tutorials, but couldn’t find one that fit the bill.  (My favorites were from One Good Thing by Jillee and Diapers, Dirt, Donuts, Doodling and Digital, but I couldn’t get my disks to dry using either one.)  In fact, I experimented so much that I had to make these garbage deodorizing disks SIX times before I mastered them!

The good news is that I worked out all the kinks, so yours will turn out perfectly the first time around.  (You can thank me later.)

Homemade Garbage Deodorizing Disks Recipe

Like everything else that I make, these homemade garbage deodorizing disks are super simple and quick to make.  All you need is baking soda, water, and a little bit of essential oil.

If you’re new to essential oils, they’re all-natural, highly concentrated extracts from the aromatic parts of plants.  I buy all of my essential oils from Wyndmere Naturals.  (Wyndmere Naturals sells their essential oils online and in many local health food stores.)

In previous blog posts, I shared how I’ve eased into the world of essential oils by making super simple cleanerslotions, and sugar scrubs.

I’m thrilled to add these garbage deodorizing disks to my homemade repertoire.

Homemade Garbage Deodorizing Disks

Yields: 12 garbage deodorizing disks


  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 12 drops essential oil of your choice (I used certified organic peppermint essential oil from Wyndmere Naturals.  Lemonlavender, a citrus blend, or a homemade combination of lavender-mint would also be awesome! Each 10ml bottle of essential oil contains approximately 200 drops, so it will last you a long time.)
  • A cupcake baking pan and 12 silicone baking cups (If you don’t already own silicone baking cups, I recommend picking up a set like these from Amazon.  I love using reusable silicone baking cups when I make muffins and cupcakes, too.)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line cupcake pan with 12 silicone baking cups.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine baking soda and water and mix into a paste.
  4. Spoon paste evenly into prepared pan and smooth the top of each cup with your fingers.
  5. Place pan in oven, and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Add one drop of essential oil to each cup.
  8. Remove silicone baking cups from pan and cool completely on wire cooling rack.  (This takes about 15 minutes.)
  9. Remove garbage deodorizing disks from silicone cups and use!

Homemade Garbage Deodorizing Disks from @kellymcnelis


Store in a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag in your freezer or in an airtight glass jar.  (I like these airtight glass jars from Amazon.)

To Use

Add one homemade garbage deodorizing disk to each of your garbage cans and diaper pails.  (If your cans/pails don’t have slots to store the disks, you can place one at the bottom of the container in a plastic bag poked with holes.)  If you use the disks near your pet’s litter box, make sure they’re somewhere that your pet can’t eat them.  (Essential oils aren’t meant to be ingested.)

Each disk’s scent should last 2-4 weeks.  When the smell fades, simply crumble the disk in your washing machine with your next load of laundry.  (Baking soda is great for removing stains and odors in the laundry –  an extra bonus for making these disks!)


  • Hope says:

    I am concerned about the use of essential oils around cats. Have you done any research to be certain that these can be used in and or around litter boxes? Thank you.

    • Kelly says:

      No, I have not. I don’t have any pets, so I haven’t looked into it in detail. I would recommend contacting customer service at Wyndmere Naturals by visiting their website or Facebook page. They have answered all of my questions about essential oils. They’re very helpful! I’d love to know what you find out.

    • Venus says:

      NEVER use anything containing tea tree oil around cats! That’s toxic to them.

      • Venus says:

        Oh and please, do NOT rely on just ONE company for advice when it comes to your or your pet’s safety. You should research many sites and ask the same question to everyone you can. I will say this, you’ll get a lot of different answers, but if you ask enough people the same question, you’ll be able to get enough consistent info to make your own informed decision.

      • Kelly says:

        Thanks for sharing!

    • Marthita says:

      Tea leaves are grate for litter box, mix with it and it works grate

    • Carey says:

      It’s obviously been a long time since this was posted, however since I am seeing it, I’m sure many others may still read it as well. I’ve never heard about Melaleuca (tea tree oil) being toxic for cats. It’s one of my most commonly used oils and I am the cat lady. However, that being said, Eucalyptus is extremely toxic.
      Everyone should be cautious when using any essential oils around felines. Ingestion of any essential oils may be harmful to cats for they are missing an enzyme, which breaks them down in digestion. Your cat will tell you whether or not it likes an oil. Put your kitty on your lap and get out your oils. Let your kitty smell the oil. The normal reaction will be for the feline to turn away, but don’t move, if they like it, they will turn back to it. Cats commonly do not like citrus oils, i.e. lemon, orange, grapefruit, bergamot, lime. so are great for using as a deterrent.

  • Karen Mary says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I tried the standard recipe you find for these disks elsewhere, and no matter how thick I made the paste or how long I left them to dry they crumbled. I’ll try your directions, but I’m wondering if I can put the silicone mold I bought in the oven (to make those cute little scalloped ones you see).
    Thanks for working this out. I’ll be thrilled if your recipe works for me, too!

    • Kelly says:

      You’ll have to let me know how they turn out. This is the ONLY way that they work for me. Hope the same happens for you! I would check the manufacturer’s instructions for your silicone mild. Mine can be baked up to 500 degrees F.

  • Rose Woods says:

    I have to say that they are looking tasty! Thank you for sharing! I’ll make some tomorrow!

  • It’s an awesome posting.It is also very useful for many people like me.Wishing that u will deliver this type of post in future also. I’m going to make some of these tomorrow and I hope you’ll share more interesting DIY ideas!

  • Rebecca Z says:

    Hi! I just made these in aluminum cups because I didn’t have silicone ones and they came out the same as yours. I used peppermint oil on them. I am hoping to keep the garbage smell down in the baby’s room. Thanks for the recipe!

  • martin says:

    How can it last 2-weeks when you put one “Cupcak” in a bag with holes at the bottom of the city large trasn can the guys invert the can to dump it out and there goes the “cupcake”. Why not hang it in the can with some tape or wire contraption fashioned from a cloths hanger and take it off the night before the pick-up.

    • Kelly says:

      I think you’re going to need something stronger for the large trash cans that you put out for pick-up. I use these in the small trash cans in my house.

  • martin says:

    Don’t have silicone cupcake cups. Would teflon cupcake pan work without inserting special cups?

  • This is one of the best DIY ideas that I have ever seen! I buy such deodorizers and I had no idea that I can make them myself. Thank you for the interesting post! I will definitely try this recipe!

  • Cathy Yamashita says:

    tgese would be great, but mine fell apart too in trying to remove them from the silicone cups.

  • Naomi says:

    In reference to the question about using these near a cat box; PLEASE do not EVER use essential oils around any pet until you have completely researched the subject. There are differing opinions and I for one do not want to risk being the one who supports proof for the wrong side . There is a wonderful site , AnimalEO.com… the site is owned by a vet and she is very hands on and will answer any questions not answered on her site. However, there is extremely good info on the site about which oils are acceptable for what pets and the proper means to use them around the pet… I don’t have any stock in these statements, I assure you ; I am just mama to an Ark of pets, lmao…

  • nanageg says:

    I received a call from my grandson last week requesting some kind of deodorizer for his and his brother’s hockey bags. They are 12 and 8 years old, but the bags can get pretty stinky. I used this recipe. I also made little cotton bags to hold the disks so they wouldn’t make a mess in the hockey bags. (Very cute) I got a call from my daughter as she left work last night. She thanked me for the amazing smell in her car. She had left a disk in her car and when she left work was bathed in fragrance. She said it took her to a happy place while fighting rush hour traffic. Score for the nana!!!!

  • […] Homemade Garbage Deodorizing Disks by New Leaf Wellness. These are like a miracle disk for smelly trash cans, diaper pails or kitty […]

  • MikeA says:

    Based on the recipe, it looks like these would come awfully dry and brittle and likely to simply break up to baking powder. So why bother even baking them in the first place, rather than just putting some baking soda into a satchel.

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