Know Your Fragrance

24 Genius Ways to Make Your House Smell Good

Life happens. You cook, maybe you have pets — but everyone wants a clean house and fresh house. Knowing how to make your space have a welcoming fragrance is an essential part of home and apartment ownership. Not only is it pleasant to come back to a fresh space, but your guests will thank you as well.

Below are the 25 best ways to make your house smell good. Most are completely natural and all are easy to work into your daily routine.

1. Use a Candle

candle smelling good

A classic way to make your home smell good is to use a candle. This is a good option for short-term aromatics — especially if guests are coming over. Be strategic about where you place candles and be sure not to mix scents. They should be in an open space that allows their scent to permeate.

2. Wax Melts

wax melt describing how to make a house smell good

Like candles, wax melters are a time-tested way to make a room homely. Wax meant for melting is infused with essential oils and can give off calming effects. These contraptions are great for a sophisticated smell in a single room — remember to monitor them carefully.

3. Light Incense

incense holder with sticks

Popularized in the hippie-era, but more diverse than people realize, incense is a beautiful way to give your home a spicy, warm scent.

A single stick can last for hours and leaves a mesmerizing smoke trail of splendid aromatics and vibes. Get an incense holder so the surface underneath your incense stick doesn’t burn as ashes fall.

4. Use an Essential Oil Diffuser

essential oil diffuser

Essential oil diffusers are good alternatives to candles. Not only are they safer than candles, but they also last longer. Some of these can even be plugged into an outlet and will dispense at a regular time interval to ensure consistently timed puffs of scent until the oil runs out.

5. Make Potpourri


Stovetop potpourri is a fun way to boost your home’s scent. There are recipes for all seasons and they use all-natural ingredients. If you’re having company over, start simmering your materials about one hour before they show up for maximum aromatic longevity.

6. Utilize Fresh Plants

spraying plants with mist

Boasting more benefits than just smelling clean, fresh plants can boost a home’s overall livability. Depending on what flowers you choose, scents can range from deep and herbal to citrus bursts. Place plants near an open window so their perfume can travel throughout your house.

7. Open the Windows

Opening your windows may seem obvious, but it can do wonders. Any time of year, open your windows slightly every now and then to let fresh air into your living spaces.

This circulation will help circulate air and add natural crispness throughout the home. Just be careful not to leave them open in the winter — this can cause pipes to freeze and burst.

8. Bake

blueberry muffins

What gives you delicious food and flavorful scents? Baking! Putting a batch of cookies in the oven or whipping up some brownies is a good way to keep a home cozy. Let your baked goods cool out in the open so the wafts of sweetness can rise through your entire space.

9. Utilize Coffee Beans

coffee beans in jar

For a homey, wholesome scent, use coffee beans. Put the beans into a burn-proof container and light a tea candle underneath it. The beans will heat up slightly and give off the coffee shop perfume of a fresh pot, only stronger.

10. Use a Crockpot

cooking up chili in the crockpot

Like baking, using a crockpot can provide a full day of superb scents. The best part about this tip is that along with a deliciously scented house, you will get a meal along with it.

This list of easy crock pot meals can help you get started in giving your house that home-cooked scent.  If guests are coming over, a crockpot feast will yield a delicious meal and delectable fragrance!

11. Clean Your Garbage Disposal

soapy sink with sponge

As gross as it sounds, cleaning the week-old food that may be hiding in your garbage disposal is a must for keeping your kitchen in good scent. Run warm water, turn your disposal on and squeeze dish soap down the drain. If this doesn’t work, use a stronger drain cleaning product.

12. Flush Your Drains

nice faucet with running water

Just like with garbage disposals, flushing your drains is a good way to get any stinky materials out of them. Using drain cleaning products and hot water, flush your drains monthly. This will help prevent bad odors and backups.

13. Clean Your Refrigerator

cleaning fridge

Regularly cleaning the fridge is essential to make sure no food rots. If something is funky in your kitchen, check your fridge first as it’s often the culprit. Rotten fruit and vegetables will permeate through closed doors, so even if your fridge is closed, they may be stinking up your home.

14.  Find and Stop Moisture

person standing on rug in fuzzy slippers

Moisture is detrimental to a healthy fragrance profile in a home. If something’s wet for a prolonged period of time, it’s going to give off must. Look for moisture especially in basements and bathrooms. If you find something wet, dry it and identify the source — leaks in flooring and pipes may be the cause.

15. Use Shower Cleaner Daily

cleaning shower

Getting in the habit of using a daily shower cleaner can pleasantly boost the fragrance and life of your shower. Most sprays kill bacteria that will build up over time in humid climates. These organisms, like mold, can be putrid and harmful. Simply spray your shower with daily cleaner after each use to prevent build-up.

16. Regularly Wash Towels

wash machine with good smelling clothes

Towels are worth singling out when it comes to preventing musty funk. Even if you hang your towels after use, the slightest crinkle can lock in moisture. This will cause a musty scent that can show up within hours. To avoid this, always hang towels properly and wash them regularly.

17. Supplement Your Air Vents

vent with tips for smelling good

If you want to get a strong scent flowing through your entire house, use car air fresheners. Attaching these to air vents will dramatically boost a home’s aroma profile. Don’t overdo it though; car fresheners can be extremely potent and overpower all other scents — good or bad.

18. Put Essential Oils on Your Vents

essential oil with good fragrance

Spraying essential oils on your vents covers and air filters is another way to make your house smell good. It’s important to stay consistent with what scent you’re putting on vents so that nothing clashes. Start by rubbing a small amount of essential oil directly onto the slats of the vent grate and increase as needed.

19. Use Dryer Sheets

dryer sheets box

Strategically placing dryer sheets throughout your home can give subtle boosts of a pleasant scent. Closets, bathroom cabinets and in between couch cushions are good places to tuck the sheets. They can also be attached to air vents for a more subtle aromatic boost.

20. Scented Cotton Ball Bombs

cotton balls

As with dryer sheets, scented cotton ball bombs are perfect to hide in places that need a slight scent boost. You can also take these air fresheners with you on the go to put them in your coat pockets and purses. To make them, simply spray a cotton ball with an essential oil of your choice.

21. Use Baking Soda While Vacuuming

vacuum making a room smell good

Using baking soda while vacuuming is an old-school trick with time-tested results. Doing this will help deodorize stenches coming from a carpet. To maximize the results of this technique let the baking soda sit on the carpet for a couple of hours before vacuuming it up.

22. Make Scented Vinegar Cleaner

lady washing a counter top

Scented vinegar cleaner is a good way to freshen up a home with natural ingredients. To make this cleaner, choose your main scent ingredient (lemon peels, orange rind, mint, etc.), heat white vinegar to nearly boiling and pour both into a mason jar. Let the combo sit for 24 hours in a cool, dark place and then you’re ready to clean.

23. Make Pet Perfume

lady holding a good smelling dog happy

DIY pet perfume is a good way to keep your furry best friend fresh and odor-free. Using essential oils, you can create water-diluted solutions that are pleasant and may even relax your pet.

Common scents for this perfume include lavender, peppermint and chamomile. Just be sure to follow a recipe so that you don’t end up exposing your pet to too much essential oil, which can be dangerous.

24. Clean Your Shoes

shoes on a rack

No matter how clean your feet are, prolonged shoe wear will make them stink — along with where you store them. Depending on your shoe’s material, throwing them in a washing machine is usually fine to help clean them.

Certain materials may require specialized products to deodorize, so always refer to the manufacturers cleaning instructions before washing. You can also try looking at sporting good stores for scent orbs to keep in your shoes to help them be consistently fresh.

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