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21 Easy Ways to Make Your House 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.

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Scandinavian nordic hygge style, home interior - candle, scent aroma diffuser, small straw basket, white shelfAnastasia Turshina/Getty Images

How to make your house smell good

The coziest homes smell amazing the second you walk into them. Even though you might think your home is cozy, you might be nose blind to the smells that have accumulated. After you vacuum and dust there can still be lingering smells and knowing how to get rid of fish smells and how to clean smelly shoes can really come in handy to make sure those unpleasant odors are gone for good. Also, if you have a furry friend running around, you’re probably all too familiar with the products that help with pet odor removal. Getting the dreaded dog smell and cat smell out of your home can be tough, but these tricks will help with that.

Keep reading to learn how to make your house smell good (and stay smelling good). You can get rid of the stench in your fridge, microwave, and even garbage with a few simple tricks. An added bonus, most of the items to make your house smell good are probably already in your cabinets.

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Cinnamon sticks in a bazaarBilal Kocabas/Shutterstock

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.

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Clothes in a wardrobe - closeup shotMaryna Pleshkun/Shutterstock

Use dryer sheets

Tape a new dryer sheet, like these Lavender and Vanilla Bean ones from Downy, to the back of your dresser to make your underwear drawer smell fresher. You can also tuck some sheets behind curtains or under chairs.

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refridgeratorAndrey Popov/Shutterstock

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.

RELATED: How to get garlic smell out of your hands

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Citrusch_ch/Shutterstock

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.

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Different types of salt. Sea, himalayan and kitchen salt. Top view on three wooden spoons on black backgroundAngelus_Svetlana/Shutterstock

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.

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Gas burner on black modern kitchen stove. kitchen gas cooker with burning fire propane gasIvanna Pavliuk/Shutterstock

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.

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Nature green Eucalyptus leaves with raindrop backgroundCozine/Shutterstock

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 with respiratory issues like asthma, colds, and sinusitis, so try this next time you’re sick. The scent will stay fresh for about a week.

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Modern home interior with bedroom setting including bedside table with lamp.bmphotographer/Shutterstock

Flip a switch for scent

Steal this old realtors’ trick: Turn off your lights until the bulbs are cool. Now place a couple of 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.

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Rear View Of A Young Woman Taking Food To Eat From RefrigeratorAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock

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 as 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.

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Fresh cherry tomato sauce on rustic wooden backgroundDUSAN ZIDAR/Shutterstock

Get the stench out of plastic containers

Tomato juice is a surprising solution when soap and water won’t get the smell of last week’s dinner off plastic containers. You can also use it to wipe down a foul-smelling fridge.

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LemonsAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

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.

RELATED: The perfect fragrances for every room in your home

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Coffee Beans and Grounds from Above Close Up. coffee beans and grounds close up from aboveRevel Pix LLC/Shutterstock

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.

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Bowls and spoon with baking soda on gray table, top viewNew Africa/Shutterstock

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.

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Flowers composition. White candles and willow branches on white wooden background. SpaX-tina/Shutterstock

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.”

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Close up of the head of a modern vacuum cleaner being used while vacuuming a thick pile white carpetAlfred Gruener/Shutterstock

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.

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A brick fireplace in which a fire burnsDmitriy Halacevich/Shutterstock

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.

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HumidifierYury Stroykin/Shutterstock

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 of weeks to stop the stench from coming back.

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Modern kitchen interior. Kitchen interior with gas stove and microwave oven close upBATMANV/Shutterstock

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.

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brown bottle with aromatic herbs for essential oilJPC-PROD/Shutterstock

Waft in your scent

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 air vents.

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Peopl renovating the houseRawpixel.com/Shutterstock

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.

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Pile of cigarettes. Top viewrfranca/Shutterstock

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.

RELATED: Here’s how to get rid of smoke smell in your car

Sources:

  • One Good Thing: “Eucalyptus In The Shower? Yes! How to Hang Eucalyptus For An Aromatic Shower”
  • Good Housekeeping: “How to Make Your House Smell Good (Okay, Amazing) All the Time”
  • Clean My Space: “8 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Smell Great!”

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s Medscape.com and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.

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