21 Clever Hacks to Make Everything in Your Home Smell Amazing
Sure, fresh flowers can help a room smell lovely, but what about the rest of the house? That's where these brilliant shortcuts come in.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
Get oven-fresh smells without baking
Fresh-baked cookies and pies smell amazing, but you don’t need to make an entire recipe to fill your home with a warm scent. Brainstorming how to make your house smell good? Pour a teaspoon or two of ground cinnamon and cloves on a baking sheet. Leave it inside a 200°F oven for half an hour, keeping the door ajar. You’ll fill your home with a lovely spicy scent. If you’ve got a bad smell in the house, it could be something serious. Here’s what to check when your house smells bad.
Make fridge fragrance
You already know baking soda can neutralize fridge odors, but here’s a new trick: Dampen a cotton ball with vanilla extract and leave it on a refrigerator shelf to add a pleasantly sweet fragrance. You could also try dabbing lemon juice on the cotton ball instead. Or try this hack if you have some newspaper laying around.
Put food scraps to use
An unfortunate side effect of garbage disposals is that they can start to smell like, well, garbage. If you’re wondering how to make your house smell good, just toss leftover orange or lemon peels down the drain. Do it once a month to keep things smelling fresh. Here’s how to clean a garbage disposal so you can avoid the stink. Read more ways to tackle hard-to-clean kitchen appliances.
Or try salt
No citrus peels? No problem. Dump half a cup of salt into the disposal, then turn on the disposal while running cold water. The salt will dislodge any waste stuck inside while neutralizing their odors.
Salt’s incredible for cleaning your house, try these 20 uses for salt to clean.
Try a stovetop fragrance
You can make your own home fragrance without shelling out for expensive candles or diffusers. Add several lemon and orange peels to a cup or two of water, then let it simmer for a few hours, adding water as needed. You’ll freshen the air and the pot in one step. You could also try this trick with a handful of cloves, keeping it simmering for half an hour. Here’s how you should clean a stove top.
Take an extra-luxurious shower
Tie a few eucalyptus branches together, then hang them on your showerhead, behind the stream of water. Your steamy shower will release the aromatic oils, giving you an invigorating wash time, according to blogger One Good Thing By Jillee. Eucalyptus oils can help respiratory issues like asthma, colds, and sinusitis, so try this next time you’re sick. The scent will stay fresh for about a week. See why a lemon can do wonders in the bathroom.
Flip a switch for scent
Steal this old real estate agent trick: Turn off your lights until the bulbs are cool. Now place a couple drops of vanilla extract on your light bulbs. When you flip the lights on, the heat will gently spread the scent and make your home smell like fresh-baked cookies. This works better with incandescent bulbs, which get hotter than CFL bulbs. You could also try the Pura Home Fragrance or decide to make the switch to smart lights instead.
Catch fridge drips
Drips from bottles and containers can leave funky-smelling residue on the shelves of your fridge. To keep it contained, leave a plastic lid under each container to act like a coaster and catch the drips. Once they start getting dirty, you can easily toss them in the dishwasher to clean the mess without scrubbing. This is how you should clean a fridge so it will stay clean.
Get the stench out of Tupperware
Tomato juice is a surprising solution when soap and water won’t get the smell last week’s dinn
er off plastic containers. You can also use it to wipe down a foul-smelling fridge. Bet you haven’t heard of these genius ways to clean with ketchup.
Make it lemony fresh
Cut a couple of lemons in half, then place them cut-side-up in a dish. Leave the dish near a litter box or in a bathroom to give the room a lemon-fresh scent. Try any of these unexpected ways to use lemon around the house to clean.
Freshen a freezer failure
When a power outage makes your freezer stop working, you could be left with the smell of spoiled food. Get rid of the scent by pouring fresh coffee grounds—even used ones will do the trick—in the freezer overnight.
De-stink your garbage
To keep nasty garbage odors at bay, sprinkle a bit of baking soda or borax in the bottom of your trash can. The crystals will help neutralize the smell of those kitchen scraps. Replace the powder every time you take out the trash. Try these tricks to snuff out those tougher to place bad smells.
Don’t light every candle
No need to light the wick to get the yummy-smelling benefits of a candle. Leaving a few in unexpected spots will give you a pleasant greeting. “Try the linen closet, or anywhere fabrics might live and be able to absorb the scent,” interior designer Dee Murphy told Good Housekeeping. “Not only do you get a nice surprise every time you open the door, but your linens will carry the aroma with them wherever you use them.”
Let your vacuum do double-duty cleaning
How to make your house smell good and do the floors at the same time? Soak a cotton ball with your favorite perfume, then drop it into the vacuum cleaner bag. As you do your regular chores, the vacuum will gently release the scent into the room.
Make fires smell nice again
A fireplace is warm and cozy, but every now and then it can also cause a stench. Throw a few lemon or orange peels into the flames to kill the scent, and prevent the smell in the future by burning the peels instead of newspaper. As a bonus, the flammable oils in the peels will burn way longer than paper. Try these foolproof methods to start a fire right away in a fireplace.
Fix a stinky humidifier
When your humidifier starts smelling funky, pour 3 or 4 tablespoons of lemon juice into the water. Not only will it remove the odor, but it will give off a lemony scent. Add more every couple weeks to stop the stench from coming back. Here’s how to choose the best humidifier for your space.
Mask microwave stench
Can’t get the smell of the fish you preheated out of your microwave? Pour a bit of vanilla extract in a bowl, then nuke it on High for one minute. You can also grab one of these three items from the pantry to clean your microwave.
Waft in your scent
To get rid of furnace smells replace your furnace filter, and add a few drops of essential oils, suggests Clean My Space. The fragrance will waft through your home via the air vents. These are 12 safe, smart ways to use essential oils at home.
Reduce the smell of fresh paint
Painting a room is a fun way to spruce up your space, but it also leaves a sickly scent before the color dries. To make your home smell better, mix a tablespoon of vanilla extract into the paint when you open it. Here’s how you can use every last drop of leftover paint.
Get rid of cigarette smells
If you still can’t figure out how to make your house smell good after a smoke, try pouring white or cider vinegar into a shallow bowl, filling it up three-quarters of the way. The vinegar will neutralize the odors, so the smell should be gone in less than a day. If the smoke is fresh, wave around a cloth moistened with vinegar to get rid of the smell. Find out how to get the cigarette smell out for good after you quit.
If you’ve got smoke smell in your car, you’ll want to try this to get rid of the smell.