Cleaning & Organizing
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.
Get oven-fresh smells without bakingistock/JMichl
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. 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.
Use dryer sheetsistock/Bosca78
Tape a new dryer sheet to the back of your dresser to make your underwear drawer smell fresher. You can also tuck some sheets behind curtains or under chairs. Try these other genius uses for dryer sheets.
Make fridge fragranceistock/antoniotruzzi
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. Don’t miss these other clever ways to use cotton balls.
Put food scraps to useistock/zianlob
An unfortunate side effect of garbage disposals is that they can start to smell like, well, garbage. To kill the smell with ease, just toss leftover orange or lemon peels down the drain. Do it once a month to keep things smelling fresh. Read more ways to tackle hard-to-clean kitchen appliances.
Or try saltistock/ollo
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. These tricks will help you clean your kitchen in five minutes.
Try a stovetop fragranceistock/fotostorm
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. Get more ideas from these homemade stovetop potpourris.
Take an extra-luxurious showeristock/gilaxia
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.
Flip a switch for scentistock/photosaint
Steal this old realtors’ 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. Now bust out one of these hilarious light bulb jokes.
Catch fridge dripsistock/djedzura
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.
Get the stench out of Tupperwareistock/bhofack2
Tomato juice is a surprising solution when soap and water won’t get the smell last week’s dinner off plastic containers. You can also use it to wipe down a fowl-smelling fridge.
Make it lemony freshistock/Kemter
Cut a couple 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. Learn the best scent for every room in your house.
Freshen a freezer failureistock/Akirastock
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. Check out these other ways to neutralize smells with pantry items.
De-stink your garbageistock/skhoward
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. You can also use baking soda as a beauty treatment.
Don’t light every candleistock/MarsBars
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.” Find out how to remove candle wax from almost any surface.
Let your vacuum do double-duty cleaningistock/logoff
Get your home smelling extra-clean after you do the floors. 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. Don’t miss these other surprising ways to use a vacuum.
Make fires smell nice againistock/kupicoo
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.
Fix a stinky humidifieristock/rez-art
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. Learn how to pick the best humidifier.
Mask microwave stenchistock/bjenkin
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. Now leave out these foods that should never go in a microwave.
Waft in your scentistock/temmuzcan
Next time you replace your furnace filter, add a few drops of essential oils, suggests Clean My Space. The fragrance will waft through your home via the air vents.
Reduce the smell of fresh paintistock/beaucroft
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.
Get rid of cigarette smellsistock/5second
Remove the smell of cigarettes from your home with vinegar. Pour 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.