Do you ever come home from vacation and as soon as you open the door get hit with a strange….smell? You wonder, does my house always smell like? Or do you have a room in your home that you have to plug your nose when you walk by because it smells terrible? I’ve definitely cringe sometimes after opening my fridge, shutting my baby’s diaper bin, and walking by the powder room that holds the litter box. Thankfully, I’ve gotten my household smells under control thanks to this simple 7-step process to make my home smell good all the time.
Want to give it a try? You might need to pick up just a few items towards the end but otherwise, you can get started today. (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here. )
How I Make My Home Smell Good All The Time
1.) Open all the windows.
It’s fall here in D.C. so it’s the perfect time to turn off the AC and throw open all the windows. I know this seems so EASY but it’s one of my favorite tricks. It helps remove the unpleasant smell by circulating the air (make sure to open cross windows) and pulling out the unpleasant odors. And I love when that crisp air flows in making everything just feel fresher.
If it’s winter when you’re reading this I’d still say give it a try. I’d even argue that the colder the air, the better it can be at removing the bad smells.
2.) Assess the Situation
By this I mean, make a list of where all the bad smells are coming from and tackle them individually.
For me, my list usually looks like this:
- Cat Box
- Baby’s diaper bin
- Garbage can
- Couches (fabrics trap odors – yuck!)
While it may be tempting just to light a candle to remove bad smells, it’ll be like spraying perfume on a dumpster. Jasmine-vanilla scented rotting food is not any better.
3.) Give your Fridge a Deep Clean
Sorry, guys. This is the not-so-fun step. But chances are if you’re like me, you have expired food lurking in the back corner of your fridge and it stinks. Get a big garbage bag, throw out all the spoiled food, and then give it a good scrub down. I like to use my DIY cleaner with extra lemon essential oil. There is something about a fridge smelling like lemons that is just amazing.
Now here comes the easier part! Get some Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Odor Absorbers for your fridge or freezer. They are super cheap and will help absorb unpleasant odors in there to keep everything nice and fresh. They really do work. Just make sure to change them out every 30 days.
For more cleaning tips, check out my weekly cleaning routine schedule.
4.) Refresh Your Fabrics
Fun fact: couches, chairs, rugs, etc, trap odors. Yuck. Even though we can’t throw our couch in the wash, we still need to refresh our household fabrics to “clear the air.”
Please stay away from Febreeze. It is FULL of terrible chemicals, plus, if the smell is making you gag it can’t be good for you. I’m still researching the new natural brand but for now, would stay clear.
That being said, there are a couple of other great options:
- Pick up Attitude Sensitive Skin Fabric Refresher. It gets an A rating on the EWG’s website so you know it’s clean.
- Another option is to make your own homemade natural Febreeze from Brown Thumb Mama
As far as cleaning rugs go, I like to sprinkle a little baking soda mixed with essential oils on it, let it sit for 20-30 minutes, and then vacuum it up. I also own a couple of Lorena Canal Rugs which you can throw right in your washer and dryer! They come in the most gorgeous patterns as well.
5.) Take Out the Trash
Chances are you already took out the trash on Monday, Tuesday, or whenever garbage day was. But it still smells, right? Time to address it.
Every 2-4 weeks take it outside, spray it down with the hose (or if you live in an apartment just do it in your shower), and scrub it out. After it’s dry, fill the bottom of your can with a thin layer of unscented cat litter. I know it sounds strange but it helps trap smells. Go figure.
And lastly, although I typically stay away from chemical-filled scented products, I recently purchased these Glad odor-trapping bags and I cannot believe how well they work. I figure since they are not circulating in the air it’s a little better – and they work so very well.
6.) Plug your nose and Tackle the Cat Box
Man, I hate that cat box. But here are a few ways I’ve tried that keep that smell down!
- Keep it clean. Scoop out the unmentionables as soon as they happen. Wash the box out thoroughly each month. If you use a regular plastic cat box, throw it out and buy a new one each year.
- Get a good cat box deodorizer – my favorite is Arm & Hammer baking soda deodorizer! It’s seriously the bomb dot com. You sprinkle a thin layer in before the cat litter and then mix in more once you fill the box. I cannot believe how well it works.
- Pick up a plug-in air deodorizer. I SWEAR by this Hamilton Beach True Air Plug Mount Odor Eliminator. Even my husband said it’s working and he’s the biggest critic. Get one. You will thank me.
7.) Time to Make Your Home Smell GOOD!
Guys, at this point your house should smell like….nothing. And that’s a great place to be. You’ve successfully eliminated the terrible smells and now it just smells like air. Here’s where things get fun.
To me, one of my favorite senses is smell because a good smell can invoke so many wonderful feelings. Think of freshly baked cookies, jasmine flowers, campfires, and freshly cut grass. I’m already happier just thinking about them.
You could buy a candle to round out the room but I’d be careful. MOST candles are filled with toxic fumes that can be as bad as smoking. If you do buy a candle, I’d recommend Spireside which makes truly all-natural soy candles. They smell lovely too.
Otherwise, my latest obsession is Grow Fabrics Air + Fabric Refreshers. WOW! They smell incredible and I’m not one to get overly excited about things. Right now I’m loving the Apple Pomander and Ginger Pumpkin. It’s like spraying fall around your home.
They also have a lot of other amazing scents (and my husband hasn’t complained about them yet so I’d say that’s a win?) but even better they are 100% plant-based and toxin-free. I feel good knowing they are safe for my baby, ourselves, and our cat. Plus, did I mention how incredible they smell? If you use my special link you can get $10 off your first purchase, which basically makes your first bottle almost FREE.
If you follow these steps not only will your home smell good all the time, but it will smell amazing! Which tip is your favorite? Let me know which one works best, too! You might also enjoy 5 Simple Ways to Love Your Home Again.