When it comes to designing a home, the power of smell is often an afterthought. A home that smells good makes you feel at home while a house that smells bad, on the other hand, is highly distracting and can make you feel overwhelmed, uninspired, and embarrassed about opening up your home to friends and family. Luckily, making your home smell amazing is an achievable goal that can be attained within minutes.
Melissa Young, the founder of Moiya Scents says it’s a great idea to create zones within your home with fragrance.
But before you attempt to fragrance a home with scented candles, diffusers, and essential oils, it’s important to conquer the source of the bad odors. The most common culprits are trash cans, bathrooms, drains, and, of course, the kitchen.
“To assist in eliminating unwanted kitchen odors,” says Melissa, “Use fresh scents that have citrus notes as they give off a clean fragrance.” As for the bathroom, “it is important to stick to light and crisp scents that won’t make the room feel stuffy.”
Make your home smell divine by trying one, or all, of these handy tricks.
Keep bad smells out.
Place dried coffee grounds (or baking soda) at the bottom of your trash can to absorb nasty odors. You can also place a bowl of coffee grounds in your fridge to pick up any yucky food smells. Replace it once a month or so.
Treat your sink.
Think of everything that goes in your sink: roasting trays, blender attachments, even just those gunky dinner plates. It’s no wonder it sometimes gets a little smelly down there. So from time to time (once a week is ideal), your sink needs a thorough detox.
Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of white vinegar. Leave for five minutes, and then pour a tea pot’s worth of boiling water down the drain, too. For bonus points, cut a lemon into a segment the size of your sink, place it over the hole and pour the boiling water over it.
Whip up a batch of room spray.
Room sprays are easy to make from all-natural ingredients, so go nuts spritzing it all over the place. It’ll freshen up the smell of sheets, blankets, cushions, and lounges. If DIY isn’t your thing, try a room spray like this one we love: Stand Around Creations in Cinnamon Stick ($12.99, Amazon)
Add instant fragrance.
Simmer a pot of boiling water with cinnamon sticks, orange or lemon peel, or a few drops of vanilla essence. Or, make like a real estate agent and bake some fresh chocolate chip cookies!
Deodorize rugs and carpets.
Mix a cup of baking soda with a tablespoon of ground cinnamon, and sprinkle over carpets (omit the cinnamon on very white carpets). Leave the freshener to sit for an hour then vacuum thoroughly.
Defunk your shoes.
Think of how much better your home would smell without the scent of your kids’ yucky shoes. Amazing, right? If you can, keep them outside. If you’ve gotta have them inside, you’ve gotta clean them from time to time. Freezing them works (really! Just pop them in a plastic bag, seal tightly and freeze overnight; the bacteria will be killed and you’ll have lovely neutral-smelling shoes). If you’d like to do several pairs at once, mix two teaspoons of any essential oil with two cups of water, and spray shoes liberally. Leave to dry.
Light a candle.
Scented candles (like these favorite fall scents) are an obvious way to make your home smell great, but there’s more to them than simply lighting up. Place fragrant candles — unlit — in closets and drawers for great-smelling clothes.
Purify the air.
There are two main ways to purify the air in your home. Air-purifying indoor plants will look great and filter nasty toxins from the air. For extra points, plant fragrant herbs, such as rosemary or mint along your window.
Alternatively, there are plenty of great air purifying fans on the market that filter allergens, dust mites, and smelly odors from the air.
Air it out.
Got a whole room that just reeks, but you can’t pinpoint the source? Throw open the windows and place a bowl of white vinegar in the center of the room. Leave for a few hours and the vinegar will soak the stench right up.
Fill a vase with flowers.
It’s no secret, a bunch of scented flowers can instantly uplift a room — not only do they look great, but if you buy the right variety, they can also be highly fragrant. We recommend selecting a bunch of gardenias, roses, oriental lilies, lavender, or even eucalyptus leaves. Alternatively, if looking after and maintaining flowers doesn’t suit your on-the-go lifestyle (or you suffer from hayfever), opt instead for a set-and-forget home fragrance such as a floral-scented diffuser.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.