How to Make a House Smell Good

Reed diffuser

Make your home feel more welcoming by eliminating odors and infusing it with pleasant scents. Whether your home currently has a smell you need to eradicate, or you just want it to smell better, there are many ways you can make your home smell fresh.


The first step in making your home smell better is to search out and destroy anything that causing an unpleasant odor. Odors can be lurking in nearly any room of your home, so prepare yourself for a house-wide search to start deodorizing.

Pet Smells

If you have pets, you may have some pet-related odors lurking that can be contributing to a lack of pleasant scent in the air. Pet odors can be found around their beds and other areas where they spend a lot of time, cat litter boxes, eating areas or in areas where your pet may have decided to relieve themselves indoors.

Start by washing any pet bedding in a pet-friendly detergent and adding some vinegar to the rinse water. While the vinegar will have a strong odor while the bed is wet, when it dries the vinegar smell will disappear - along with any other pet-related odor.

Also wash any eating areas, sterilizing dishes and placements with hot water or steam, and wash out and change litter boxes. Add some baking soda to the bottom of the litter tray before you fill it back up to help cut down on new odors.

Use a pet-scent eliminator like Nature's Miracle on any areas your pet has relieved themselves to both remove the scent and help discourage them from repeating the behavior.

Shoes and Boots

If you notice a funk coming from your closets, entryway or mud room, it could be due to some older shoes and boots. If your footwear has gotten at all damp, this can breed bacteria that lead to unpleasant smells.

Deodorize them overnight by tucking dry, black tea bags into each shoe. The tea bags will leach the odor out. In the morning, just pull the used bags out and toss them away.


Old carpeting can be a depository for a lot of smells. Spilled milk, ground-in dirt or food can all leave your carpet smelling less than fresh. Deodorize it by mixing a cup of baking soda with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Sprinkle this liberally over the entire carpet, let it sit for about an hour, then vacuum it up. The baking soda will neutralize any odors, while the essential oil will add a pleasant scent.


Another area that may be harboring some odors is your refrigerator. Spills, stains and old or rotting food could be releasing odor into the air every time you open the door.

Begin deodorizing by removing everything on the shelves and washing them well. Throw away any food past its expiration date and tighten the lids on bottles and jars that may be leaking.

After you replace the food, place an open box of baking soda inside as well, and leave it for one to three months before replacing it with another. The baking soda will help neutralize and get the smells out of the fridge before they can get out of hand.

Trash Cans

Trash cans can be a constant source of bad odors. Neutralize some of the odors on a constant basis by putting a neutralizing disk in the bottom of each can below the trash bag.

Mix together 2 cups of baking soda with about 1-1/2 cups distilled water. Add about 15 drops of essential oil and mix well. Put the resulting paste into a silicone baking mold and let it harden for a couple of days. Put one of the disks below your trash bag to neutralize odors. These also work well under sinks and in diaper pails as well.

Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal can get a lot of small food particles stuck to it over time. These particles may start to smell, which can make your whole kitchen unpleasant to be in. Clean, sharpen and deodorize your garbage disposal at the same time by popping a tray's worth of ice cubes and several lemon peels down it and turning it on. The ice cubes will clean and sharpen the blades while the lemon peels battle any odor.

Introducing Scents

Eliminating odors is only one component of making your home smell great. The other half of the equation involves introducing scents into the air or onto surfaces where you want them. Using air fresheners and burning candles is a good start, but there are several others ways you can add some pleasant scents to your home as well.

Reed Diffusers

Set up some reed diffusers around your home to silently add your favorite scent to the air. You can either purchase a diffuser like the ones from Yankee Candle, or make your own by filling a jar with sweet almond oil and your favorite essential oil. Plug the top with a cork you've cut a hole in, and thread several rattan sticks through it. Place them in every room to add a fresh scent.

Freshen Fabrics

Get some linen spray in your favorite scents and spray the fabrics in your bedroom, living room and kitchen. Linen spray can be found at places like the Body Shop, or make your own by mixing 3 ounces of isopropyl alcohol with 30 drops of your favorite essential oil and a cup of distilled water. Pour into a spray bottle and use anywhere. Make sure you test certain fabrics for colorfastness first, however, to ensure they won't be affected by the alcohol.

Make a Slow Cooker Potpourri

If you want to make your home smell good relatively quickly, you can do so by plugging in your slow cooker.

Fill up the pot with a mixture of spices, fresh herbs like rosemary, essential oils and citrus juices. You may want to play around with different scent combinations until you find one you enjoy. One to try includes 1/2 cup of lemon juice, several bunches of fresh rosemary and a tablespoon of vanilla. Set the cooker on low and let it simmer all day.

Bake Some Cookies

Real estate agents frequently recommend that someone selling their home put in a tray of cookies to bake an hour or so before people are due to arrive. The sweet smell lingers in the air hours after you're done, welcoming anyone with its scent.

Make Your Home Smell Great

When you set out to both neutralize odor and introduce a more pleasant scent, your whole house will smell fresher. Use these tricks to make your house smell good and see how much better you feel while relaxing at home. For more house freshening tips, learn how to get skunk smell out of your house and yard.

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How to Make a House Smell Good