how to make your home smell good fresh

Our olfactory sense (or the sense of smell) is very powerful. One whiff of something familiar and memories come rushing back.

If you are anything like me, you’d always want everything in your home to smell fantastic, which can be a difficult task if you have kids and pets.

Making your home smell great can be a pretty tough battle, but in the end it is all worth it.

Today we will study 25 amazing hacks to make your home smell wonderful.

Factors That Affect Your Indoor Air Quality

Before we delve into the hacks that can make your home smell amazing, let us consider some factors that tend to make your home smell bad in the first place.

  • Dirty dishes, un-disposed garbage, stinky laundry, lack of cleaning and clutter
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Dead animal or rotting meat
  • Plumbing, HVAC or electric issues
  • Mildew and mould growth
  • Gas leaks
  • Improper ventilation

Household air can be full of viruses, bacteria and microbes. These not only lead to bad smells; they can also cause diseases.

That said, even the cleanest of homes could smell nasty thanks to improper air ventilation, water leakage, HVAC filter issues or gas leaks.

If you have been smelling a fishy or an egg-like odour when none is cooking, it is important that you call a technician/plumber/electrician to investigate and fix underlying issues as soon as possible.

Once you have fixed all the obvious causes of smelly air, it's time to look at some great hacks to make your house smell awesome.​

25 Amazing Hacks To Make Your Home Smell Great

1. Clean your home

Odour is most certainly caused by bacteria. So make sure you eliminate all microbes by cleaning your home. Pay special attention to bathrooms, kitchens, sinks and toilets.

If you have pets, bathe them and clean their bedding. Empty out ashtrays. If you are a smoker, stop smoking indoors. Wash/replace all upholstery and curtains to eliminate smoky smells.

2. Use an air freshener

Air fresheners are readily available and they are the easiest way to make your home smell great. However, most commercial products are full of phthalates.

Certain phthalates can cause hormonal changes and may even impact genital development in younger children and foetuses.

Renuzit Subtle Effects air freshener comes is several fragrances and is one of the few brands of air fresheners which do not contain phthalates.

This is based on the data researched by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Renuzit provides continuous, long-lasting air freshening, lasts up to 30 days and you can adjust the level of freshening power.

Click here to read more about it on Amazon.

You can also use sprays like the top rated Ozium Air Sanitizer - fantastic airborne bacteria reducer which does not just mask odours but also eliminates them completely.

3. Boil some spices

Boil some cinnamon or vanilla in a pot of water. These smells can make your home smell very inviting and reminiscent of the Holidays. Baking recipes with these spices can also do the trick. This is a natural, though temporary, way of making your home smell great but the scents can linger for few hours.

Also add a few apple peels with cinnamon sticks and let the mixture simmer on the stove. Keep an eye on it to prevent boiling over or burning.

4. Bake

Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked apple pie. Baking is an amazingly delicious way of making your home smell fantastic. Bake a batch of cookies, or a loaf of warm bread. This trick might not work for everyone and certainly not for super busy people, but real estate agents are often known to use this method for selling homes faster.

5. Use bamboo activated charcoal air freshener/deodorizer

This is another natural hack of masking and eliminating indoor odours. Place these activated Charcoal Deodorizer Odor Neutralizer Bags inside shoes, laundry closets, on pet bedding, inside gym bags etc. to keep them smelling fresh for a long time.

They work naturally as odor removers and air purifiers to maintain a fresh, breathable environment. The also prevent mold and mildew from being formed in your cupboards

The best part: these bags are chemical free and reusable for up to 2 years!

Charcoal Odor Neutralizer Bags are 5 star rated on Amazon and sold in packs of 3, 6 and 8.

You can even pop them inside refrigerators to keep food odours at bay. These all natural deodorizer bags can also be recharged and refreshed by placing them in the sunlight. Simply leave the bag inside a smelly room overnight. Close the door. The next morning, the offensive odours will be gone!

6. Use odour removing gels

Odour removing gel like this one from Fresh Wave on Amazon can eliminate bad smells without any toxic effect on humans or pets.

Fresh Wave Gel is completely biodegradable and you can use it in any malodorous places like toilets, attics, basement, garages, kitchens and baths.

You simply open the jar and empty the gel out into a wide-mouth container. Most odour removing gels contain extracts of soy, lime, aniseed, pine, clove, cedar and other non toxic natural ingredients.

Fresh Wave odour absorbing and eliminating gel is also available in a large 63-ounce Jar and very popular 4.5 star rated odor eliminating crystals.

7. Diffuse essential oils

You can burn or diffuse natural essential oils to release their delicate fragrance in your home. This is not only a great way of making your home smell fresh; it is actually also therapeutic. Many scents of natural essential oils are uplifting and relax and rejuvenate mind, body and spirit.

Simply fill in the diffuser reservoir with your favourite essential oil fragrance and turn on the unit. Diffusers with LED lights, auto-turn on/off, automatic timer, relaxing music and other bells and whistles are also available to help you create a spa-like atmosphere in your home. This diffuser that you can get on Amazon is really amazing and I highly recommend it.

Make sure you only buy pure essential oils for diffusing. Check out me review of the best essential oil brands. Some of the best oils for diffusing are Jasmine, Sandalwood, Lavender, Chamomile, Rose, Geranium, Frankincense, Helichrysum, etc.

8. Spritz some essential oils on the light bulbs or add them to your household cleaners

As the bulbs heat up, the volatile oils will diffuse in your environment spreading their delightful fragrance.

You ca also add a few drops of essential oils to your household cleaners such as laundry detergents, dish soap, floor cleaners etc. This is a simple trick to make your home smell amazing.

9. Levoit Air Purifier

Are you after something more powerful and high tech? Levoit Air Purifier filters 99.97% of dust, pollen, smoke, odors, mold spores, and pet dander.

It utilizes TRUE HEPA TECHNOLOGY; it filters particles as small as 0.3 microns and larger and filters air pollution of PM 2.5 (pollution rate) to help improve overall health.

Perfect for pet owners, babies, children, elderly, or for anyone wanting to improve air quality. The perfect gift for anyone in your family, especially if you suffer from asthma or allergies.

Levoit Air Purifier comes with a 2-year warranty and lifetime support from Levoit.  

It's100% ozone free, does not use UV or ions which produce trace amounts of measurable ozone, a harmful air pollutant. Love fresh air? Bring it inside with the amazing Levoit Air Purifier - a true HEPA air purifier. 

It's inexpensive, quiet, looks great and has been given a 5 star rating by many happy customers. Check it out here on Amazon. You won't be disappointed.

10. Use incense sticks

These high quality incense sticks from Nag  Champa can help your home smell great for up to 45 minutes. You can get them in different fragrances including sandalwood, patchouli, jasmine and other heavenly aromas.

11. Use Windex and Pledge

Spraying some Windex Cleaner on the windows and  Pledge Wood Polish on your wooden furniture is another proven way of making your home smell fresh and clean for a few hours. Pledge is now available in orange and lemon scents and emits 55% fewer chemicals and formaldehyde. It can brighten your home whilst eliminating allergens, pet dander and dust mites.

12. Use lemons

Lemons are Nature’s gift to mankind and one can use them in numerous ways to make a home smell great. Here are a few ideas:

  • Drop a few lemon peels down the garbage disposal unit and run it. The peels will get crushed to eliminate bacteria and food odours. Alternatively you can use this product made especially for deodorizing disposal chutes.
  • Add used lemon peels to ice cube trays and pour in some water. Freeze the lemon peels. Once frozen, you can remove them from the ice-trays and toss them in the garbage chute to freshen it up every now and then.
  • Collect used lemon peels after making lemonade. Simmer the peels in water with some cloves to deodorize the home. Fill up a spray bottle with the lemony liquid and use it to clean countertops etc.

13. Use scented garbage bags

Majority of household odours come from the kitchen and the trash area. You can make these go away by replacing regular garbage bags with scented garbage bags. These trash bags from Hefty® come with a wonderful Vanilla/Lavender fragrance.

14. Add stick-ups air freshener on trash cans

Many different brands of stick-up style air fresheners are available in the market and they are perfect for deodorizing small rooms and trash bins. You can use them in bathrooms, inside cat litter boxes, closets and on trash cans. This pack of 2 from Air Wick lasts around 30 days.

15. Tie up some herbs

Fresh and dried herbs can make your home smell fantastic naturally. You can tie up some sprigs of Rosemary, Lavender or Eucalyptus in your bathroom or kitchen. These not only make your home smell fresh and clean; they can even drive away bugs like ants, roaches etc.

16. Light up scented candles

Scented candles can make your home smell amazing. They are cost-effective ways of making small rooms smell great and also can be used for making the décor look and feel romantic. Certain candle fragrances are also available in special Holiday scents like Vanilla, cinnamon, or ginger. Simply place the candles all around the house to make it smell awesome.

17. Use soy candles

Regular scented candles mentioned above are made with paraffin which is a by-product of petroleum. These tend to increase the CO2 levels in your home. Mrs. Meyer's Merge Clean Day Scented Soy Candles change all that-they are made with soybean oil and they burn cleaner.

They are also long lasting and have amazing fragrances or you to choose from. If you love DIY projects, you can also use Soy Essentials Scented Candle Making Kit and make your own soy candles.

18. Clean with baking soda and vinegar

Sprinkle some baking soda inside your smelly gym shoes and leave it on overnight. The soda will absorb all odours and prevent your closet from smelling. Likewise, spray some vinegar all over dirty soiled areas to eliminate odours. A mixture of baking soda and vinegar can be used for cleaning the dishwasher, bathrooms, sinks and other smelly places. Your house will smell good and also look clean.

19. Clip on a vent air freshener

A car and home clip-on air freshener can be attached to the AC/room heater’s vent to instantly mask and eliminate household odours.

20. Simmer some lemons, oranges and other citrusy peels on the stove

Apart from vanilla beans and cinnamon, you can also simmer lemon or oranges slices and peels. Add cloves or other spices or toss in some flower petals and soon your home will be smelling like a garden or spa!

21. Use reed diffuser sticks

Rattan reed diffuser sticks are very easy to use. You only need to stick them in fragrant oil and they diffuse the scent as they absorb the oil. They are ideal to use in small bedrooms, bathrooms, offices, salons etc. The fragrance lasts for around 3-5 months depending on the environment and weather. You need to turn the reeds upside down every once in a while to ensure that the sticks absorbs the oil.

22. Use cedar shavings

You can always use moth balls inside closets to freshen up the space but what works better is cedar shavings. Cedar shavings have a better scent than mothballs and repel moths, and other bugs.

23. Roast some coffee beans

The fumes from newly roasted coffee beans will instantaneously and effectively remove all kinds of bad odours from a home. Just place a few ounces of coffee beans on an iron pan or in a coffee roaster. While the fumes are rising, carry the roaster/pan in all the rooms. This simple hack is always on hand and works each time.

24. Use bleach or hydrogen peroxide

Diluted bleach can remove all kinds of odours and is particularly beneficial for removing bad smells from kitchens, bathrooms etc. You can also use hydrogen peroxide for these surfaces. For pets, use a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to wipe down their coats between baths.

25. Take care of stinky shoes

There are numerous hacks for deodorizing stinky shoes which can really make the entire room smell terrible.

  • Liberally sprinkle baking soda and white vinegar in them. Let sit for a few minutes, then wipe dry.

Try these amazing hacks and make your home smell fresh and clean!

About the Author

Barbara is the founder and owner of She is a former research scientist with a serious passion for health. She enjoys writing about nutrition, wellness and lifestyle and empowering people to take control of their health.

  • These are all great suggestions! I love using an essential oil diffuser and boiling spices 🙂 Those are probably my favorites

  • These are great! I remember learning from the movie Clueless that it’s always important to have something baking when you have guests arrive because it helps make your house smell good lol Who would have thought Clueless would teach me lifehacks?

  • I used those bamboo activated charcoal air freshener pouch that I got in Amazon last year and it really works for me!

  • Brilliant tips, some of these I`ve heard before, some are new to me,will really try these especially in winter when doors and windows are closed the whole day so the smells in the rooms are not always the best.

  • Thanks for your great tips. We have had massive problems with stinky shoes in our house. Since we use cedar wood shoe trees and insoles our shoe cabinet smells much better. We usually wear Zederna cedar soles in our shoes.

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