Have you come across unpleasant smells in a friend's home or perhaps your own home is a bit pongy? Here's how to prevent household odors and make your home smell nice naturally.

There is something wonderful about getting an instant sensory hit as soon as you walk through the front door. Whether the smell of fresh laundry, flowers or baking is what sparks joy, the natural scents that emanate from a household can help to make it feel welcoming.

And yet, it’s not always as easy as it sounds. Despite your best efforts to make your home smell amazing, there are some commonplace problems that can put a spanner in the olfactory works. These include dishwashers that have become breeding grounds for mould, mildew and rotten food (side note: do always clear your plate thoroughly into the food recycling before stacking your dishwasher); carpets that are in need of a deep clean; accumulated rubbish; sewer smells; smoke; and pet odours. If in the face of these common issues, you’re wondering how to make your home smell nice naturally, we have brought together a few ideas on how to do so, room by room.

Tips To Make Your Kitchen Smell Great

When considering ways to make your home smell good, one of the obvious places to start is in the kitchen. As anyone who spends any time in the hardest working room in the house knows, it can be really easy for bad odours to build up quickly. Luckily, the good folk at What Mommy Does have some brilliant tips for turning the bad smells into delicious ones (or, at the very least, halting in their tracks the ones liable to make you gag). Do check out their hacks here. Our checklist includes:

Oven-Fresh Smells Without Baking
We all love the smell of freshly baked bread or biscuits. But there are other ways to ensure you’re emitting oven-fresh scents without having to don an apron and grab a whisk every day. Do clean your cooker regularly using some baking soda plus a few sprays of white vinegar; allow it to make a paste and then scrub with a steel wool sponge before wiping clean. You can also place white vinegar in a bowl (make sure it’s oven-safe) and heat the oven on low for an hour. It will absorb the smells and leave your oven smelling good as new (you can also do this with oranges or lemons sliced into a bowl of water).

Make A Fridge Fragrance
It can be hard to rid an overworked fridge of lingering smells. One quick and easy way is to make a fridge fragrance. Simply fill a salt-shaker or dredger with baking soda to absorb the offending odours and then top it up with dried lavender to make it smell lovely.

Try A Stovetop Fragrance
If you want to know how to make your home smell nice, one reliable way to do so is to make a stovetop fragrance. An inexpensive alternative to scented candles, you just need to gather nice-smelling ingredients (think lemons, rosemary, ginger or thyme, for example) and place them all in a pot with water. All you need do is replace the water as it simmers down. A simple and effective way to make your home smell fresh.

Catch Fridge Drips
All fridges come with a drip pan to catch condensation from the defrost drain. However, it needs regular cleaning to ensure it isn’t trapping mould or germs. As a rule, do try to clean it every three months.

Mask Microwave Stench
If you use a microwave, chances are you’re acquainted with the bad smells they can generate, even after cleaning. As with regular ovens, using white vinegar and baking soda is an excellent way to rid it of odour. Drench the sponge in vinegar, dust it with baking soda, heat it for 30 seconds and then give it a good scrub using that sponge. Equally, heating coffee grounds in a cup for ten minutes (ensure it doesn’t boil) will counteract odours, as will leaving a cut lemon in a bowl of water overnight.

Garbage Disposal Cubes
Is your garbage disposal unit smelling bad? Perhaps grease has accumulated in it and you’re looking for a good natural method to clean it. Ice cubes are your friend. You can run it with plain ice cubes, which will clean and sharpen the blades. Or chop lemon into your ice cube tray, pour vinegar over and then simply run it.

Put Food Scraps To Use
One of the most common offenders when it comes to homes smelling less than fresh is the accrual of rubbish. If you want to learn how to make your home smell great, it pays to be savvy with food waste. Do try to use leftovers to make soup (which will make the house smell great); use crushed eggshells in your garden, and do compost if you can. The more you reuse, the less you will accumulate. And the better it is for the environment, too.

Tips To Make Your Bathroom Smell Amazing

Nobody wants a bathroom that smells bad. And yet, without due care, dirt and mould can build up alarmingly quickly. On the flip side, the bathroom is the obvious room in the house to nail the kind of scent that you might find in a spa. My Domaine has some excellent tips for achieving that, which you can find here.For example, do make sure that you ventilate the room, as excess moisture can easily cause dampness, and do ensure that you refresh your towels regularly if you want to avoid the tell-tale damp odour. As for other tips:

Waft In Your Scent
The bathroom is typically the place in which you make yourself smell lovely. So why not spread the love. Rather than spray your scent directly onto your skin, direct it into the air and waft through it, allowing it to settle on your skin and make the room smell delicious too. Surely the best air freshener for your home.

Make It Lemony Fresh
If you spend a lot of time cleaning the bathroom – or any room for that matter – you will know the drying effect that harsh chemicals can have on your hands. Why not, then, opt to use lemon juice to clean? If you’re looking for ideas on how to make your room smell good naturally, this is a great one; it’s fresh, it’s non-toxic, it’s anti-bacterial – and it smells amazing.

Take An Extra Luxurious Shower
Who needs an excuse to try this one? The delicious smell of the soap you use can equally make the whole place smell wonderful. Want to know how to make your room smell good without an air freshener? This is as good a way as any.

Tips To Make Your Bedroom Smell Great

Whilst our bedrooms don’t necessarily have to work as hard to keep out bad smells like the kitchen or the bathroom, we do nonetheless spend a third of our lives cocooned inside them. Throw into the mix pets who might sneak their way in during the night or piles of unwashed laundry, and the bedroom can suddenly smell less than fragrant. If you are dealing with a mess, there is, we’re afraid, no shortcut: you will have to do a thorough clean up. However, once you’re done, you will want to keep things nice and fresh. Do, then, regularly open the windows and wash your sheets. For more tips, do check The Spruce, which round them up nicely. You can also:

Use Dryer Sheets
Just slip one in your drying machine and allow them to do their work depositing scents and making laundry feel softer. (Do note, however, they have been linked to respiratory illness, so use with caution)

Wax Melts
Do try a wax melt if you want to know how to make your home smell nice all the time. Cheaper than candles, their burn time is typically five times longer.

Tips To Make Your Living Room Smell Good

You may think that the living room – as a place you typically just relax with a book or watch television – might be less liable to bad odours. And yet if you want to know how to make your home smell nice all the time, you’d do well to ensure that the sitting room smells peachy. Bustle has some great tips that you can check here.

Otherwise, a good checklist for how to make your room smell good includes:

Get Rid Of Cigarette Smells
An effective remedy to counteract the smell of stale smoke is to wipe down furniture and washable walls with white vinegar, which cuts through the odour. You can also place bowls of vinegar around the room for a few days to absorb the smell, too.

Fix A Stinky Humidifier
Humidifiers do an excellent job of moving moisture around, but that same moisture can also cause them to smell bad. To remedy this, place two tablespoons of distilled white vinegar in the tank base and fill with water. Leave it for half an hour to work its magic.

Make Fires Smell Nice Again
The smell of wood smoke is one of the most enticing we can think of. But if you want to up your log fire scent game even more, then try adding bundles of rosemary, cinnamon sticks and even citrus peel amidst the kindling.

Don’t Light Every Candle
Scented candles can be lovely, but do beware of lighting too many as they release carcinogenic toxins such benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein and soot into the air.

Use Essential Oil Diffusers

Essential oil diffusers will keep your room smelling wonderful day in, day out; and the best thing is that you can change the scent according to your mood.

Use Fabric Spray
Some pieces of furniture are harder to strip and wash than others. If you want to refresh, say, an old armchair, why not give it a good spritz with some fabric spray? You can make your own with baking soda and a glug of fabric softener.

Use Gel Air Fresheners
Gel air fresheners can be used to mask existing bad smells by gradually dispensing fragrance into a room.

Tips About Your Hallways And Entryways Smell

If you want to make a really good impression, it pays to know how to make your home smell fresh and clean from the off – and that means as you open the front door and step into the hallway. It may be the place you divest yourself of coats and shoes but, as the Scentillo website points out, ‘The entrance point to your home is an area of transition from the public to the private world, framing your impression of what is to come. Using scent as part of a well-designed entrance space enhances the feeling that you've left the chaos of the world behind you for a private sanctuary, welcoming you or your guests and inviting expectations of the pleasurable or memorable experiences that await.’ You can pick up more heaven-sent hacks from Scentillo now. Meanwhile, further tips include these:

Deodorise Your Shoes
This one is a no-brainer – after all, who wants to be greeted by unpleasant-smelling shoes? Do wear odour-eaters, and keep a spritz of baking soda, tea-tree oil and corn starch on hand for the job. Everyone will thank you for this simple action.

Air Purifying Plants
Plants are a win-win. If well-cared for, they make your entrance hall look lush and welcoming, while also purifying the air. Amongst the most effective for air detoxification are chrysanthemums, aloe vera and spider plants.

Scented Cleaning Vinegar
For cleaning muddy patches or anything else in your entrance hall, why not whip up a ready batch of scented cleaning vinegar? Do add citrus peel for some extra zing. Click here for instructions.

Reduce The Smell Of Fresh Paint With Vanilla Extract
If you want to paint your hallway, you can reduce the new-paint smell by adding a tablespoon of vanilla extract to the can as you go. How to make your house smell good and look good all at once.

The takeaway? The old methods are the best ones. As long as you have baking soda, white vinegar and some citrus fruit to hand, a fine smelling house is always within easy reach.

By Nancy Alsop
March 2022

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