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Helpful Hints By Fastfreta....#2....Inexpensive Ways To Freshen Up Your Home

Updated on November 9, 2014

Come Home to a Clean House


Question, ever had this happen to you? You come in from a hard day's work, open your front door, and wonder, "who's cooking fish in my tennis shoes?" Maybe, you invite company over and they're obviously uncomfortable, as can be seen by the look on their faces. Well, I'm going to offer some inexpensive tips to remedy that.

I'd like to begin by saying, because I have a strong sense of smell, I personally have some inventive ways to eliminate or better yet prevent household odors, or rather I think they are my inventive ways, who knows, with My Phenomenal Memory, I might just be remembering somethings from long ago. Although, a couple of these I've never seen anywhere else. Oh yes, since I'm so sensitive in the olfactory department, I've also had to invent ways to shield myself when I'm not at home. One thing that I do is to, always carry a bottle of lavender oil in my purse, for headaches. I also try to carry a cotton ball or two, to saturate it with the oil for sniffing. Ah, I'll bet you know where I'm going with this. Well, yes, when I encounter an unpleasant odor, I'll just pull the saturated cotton ball out and sniff it, discreetly, and voila, my olfactory senses are shielded.

My suggestions

These are not in any particular kind of order. The first one is something that I just discovered, came up with, or invented, whatever, here it is.

  • I found a good use for the wax of scented candles. I let the wax melt onto a plate, and when it's cold, I scrape it off the plate, and break into small pieces and place in receptacles around the house. The candles must to be the kind that are truly scented, not just on the surface. The candle that I used came from "Yankee Candle." I used the inexpensive votive candles. My fragrance of choice is Sweet Honeysuckle. The fragrance lasts indefinitely, it's been two weeks and counting and the fragrance is still going strong.
  • Another air freshener, not mine of course, is, using white vinegar. Pour the vinegar in a few receptacles and place them around the room. This works particularly well when there's a smoker in the home, (however it's not just for the smokers household). I can testify that it works, because my mother was a smoker, and I used this method in her home.
  • For a warm a fuzzy feel in the winter when the house is closed up, drop a few sticks of cloves or cinnamon in a pot of boiling water on the stove and simmer.
  • Oh yes, and for the unused fireplace, a few branches from a cedar or pine tree placed in the fireplace provides a very pleasant fragrance.
  • For dresser drawers, I use fabric softener sheets, the sheets must be placed in an opened ended plastic bag, as they are oily and might cause stains. Something that I started when I first set up housekeeping, was, after I finish using a bottle of cologne or perfume I place the empty bottle in my unmentionable drawers. You can also place these empty bottles between the mattress and box springs. I just read this on the Internet, when you have a musty closet, or chest of drawers that's been out of use for awhile, crumple up newspaper and place in the drawers or closet, and close and leave for a few days, repeat as needed. This can also be used for musty books, crumple newspapers, place in a bag with the books and leave for a few days.
  • For an always fresh trash can: Cat litter poured in the bottom of the trash can, does the trick. Another trick is to put fabric softener sheet in the bag before use, the sheet can also be placed under the bag. Also under the bag you can use a fragrance saturated cotton ball, that can be left as long as the fragrance lasts.
  • Now to the carpet and vacuum cleaners: Pull out the trusty box of baking soda and sprinkle on the carpet, and let stand a few minutes, then vacuum. The baking soda can be poured in the new vacuum cleaner bag before you use it for the first time. Okay here goes the lavender oil again. Use those saturated cotton balls, place them in a new bag, with or without the baking soda, although the baking soda will make the lavender lasts longer.
  • If you, or a family member, suffer from foot odor, and every time you open your closet door you're hit with the results. Well my solution is to pour baking soda in the offending shoes after each wearing. Don't forget to pour the baking soda out before you wear them again.
  • One more, for now. The garbage disposal: Instead of throwing away your lemon peels, run them through the garbage disposal. Another tip I found on the Internet, freeze one cup of vinegar and, enough water to fill an ice cube tray, after the mixture is frozen, run the cubes through the garbage disposal.

The Best Method

After giving all the tips above, my best suggestion is to do the obvious. Clean regularly, and thoroughly. Offensive odors from cooking, smoking etc, settles on everything in the house, so a good cleaning can remove or prevent most unpleasant odors. Another often missed step is to open windows for a good airing, you'd be surprised, at the difference that alone can make.

I guess you can see two staples that I have in my home at all times, are baking soda and lavender oil. One other thing, since I am partial to lavender, while passing by a lavender plant I can't resist snapping off a few flowers and dropping them in my purse.

So these are my inexpensive tips to freshen your home. If you have any, please feel free to leave them in your comments.

Just a little aside, you can always purchase the trusty "Febreze," which does the trick on cleaned surfaces and air. There are also various and sundry other room deodorizers, stick-ups, plug ins, sprays etc. I actually use some of these products, however I find prevention is always best, and my tips are mainly used as preventative steps.


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    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 6 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks BDhire, for stopping, please come back.

    • BDhire profile image

      BDhire 6 years ago

      its great tips I will try it :)

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 6 years ago from Southern California

      Now that's the spirit, that's what I wanted, more helpful tips added to the article. I will definitely try this one. Thank you so much GmaGoldie, you're a gem. I'll be seeing you soon, on your hubs I mean. LOL!

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Smells are a nuisance - fantastic advice. If I might add a bag of common charcoal is a great absorbent of rough odors - works wonders on a wet basement smell or wet garage smell and yet is very cheap. Simply place in an open cardboard box and let the air do the rest. Haven't tried it for pet odors but imagine it would work just as well as it does on the musty smells.

      Always enjoy your work - voted up and useful. Thank you!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks again Susan, see you later.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great tips thanks so much!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you very much Camille. I look forward to hearing from you real soon.

    • profile image

      camille 8 years ago

      Hello Fastfreta, I think you're blog is really cool and more importantly, quite useful! I think your advice does make for a good book indeed.


    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks habee for stopping, and the vinegar thing does work well. See you soon.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      I'll have to try the vinegar thing. I have noticed that scented candles help neutralize the "doggy" smell.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      I've never tried that one either, however I'm sure it works, I got it from a reliable source. Thanks for stopping, please come again.

    • Karen N profile image

      Karen N 8 years ago from United States

      Very helpful tips.

      I'm going to try the cat litter in the trash can trick. :)

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Cleanclover, you and I are in the same league. Thanks for stopping, please stop again soon.

    • Cleanclover profile image

      Cleanclover 8 years ago from Piece of land!

      Thank you fastfreta for this wonderful information. For me cleanliness is a must in everything body, mind, surroundings. I actually quit a friend for he used to smoke and i was doing all passive smoking being with him. I have some lavender, rose and jasmine flowers growing in the flower pots i have at home which keep me more into the house than outside :-).

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Terrapanthera for your comment, and your advice, I actually have an orange tree, so I'll have to try this one. Thanks for stopping, please stop again.

    • Terrapanthera profile image

      Terrapanthera 8 years ago from The Netherlands

      Very nice to read and I've learned some things!

      You can also take the peel of an orange and crunch it, the smell of orange-oil (or mandarin) makes everyone happy.

      Hope to read more of you!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Hi skye2day, my computer skills are not that great either, however I'll go ahead and link our hubs. Thanks for the compliment. See you soon.

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Hi fast, Thank you for visiting my hubs, You Rock. Yes by all means we can link hubs. You can email me, so I get this right. My computer savvy is making progress, just need to be sure. Email when you have a minute. Hugs sister

      This hub is very well written. You are moving right along on hub pages. It is a great place to be. You go girl.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks again Duchess, it always overwhelms me to see someone take so much time to read what I write. I can see that you have read the whole hub, which I know is not done often. Thank you so much for that. Please come back again.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 8 years ago

      I liked your "helpful hints" idea fastreta when you posted your first one. I'm happy to see you are keeping it up. These are actually good ideas.

      Yes, I have heard of, and do use some of them, but I had never thought to put baking soda in a clean vacuum bag or in offending sneakers. I will be trying those.

      Thanks for posting such a useful hub, (oh, and I love your "sense" of humor!)

      We can keep the windows open up here in Canada for about 6 months of the year (way too cold the other 6), so I'll make sure to stock up on lemons, cinnamon sticks and vinegar.

      Thanks for posting such a useful hub with a great "sense" of humor

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Lady_E for weighing in on my, it looks like you didn't need my tips, I'll bet you can share some with us. Thanks for stopping, please stop over again soon.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 8 years ago from London, UK

      What would we do without you? Thanks for sharing very useful Tips. I love coming home to a house that smells nice and have plug in airfreshners on. When, I'm home I always have Lavender or Lemon Essential Oil in a Burner. Lovely smells float my boat. lol. Will try the Cinnamon in Boiling Water. Thanx for Sharing. :)

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks ladydijay, I know, but while we can having the windows open is so refreshing. Thanks for stopping.

    • profile image

      ladydijay 8 years ago

      Thanks for the tips. It is going to be time to close the windows and doors soon. But then, you know this.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks TamCor, I'm happy to say that you found my hub useful. Just to let you know We've been making you grandfathers sausage dish on a regular basis, at least twice a month. We all love it. Please stop over again soon.

    • TamCor profile image

      Tammy Cornett 8 years ago from Ohio

      Wow--great hub with lots of useful advice--thanks fastfreda!

      I was familiar with some of these, but the candle one and the vinegar/water in the garbage disposer are new ones that I will definitely try!

      Baking soda and vinegar--my two favorite odor getter-outers, lol...I use them all of the time!

      Thanks for a very informative hub! :)

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you NGRIA, for stopping by and reading my hub, and thanks for the comment. Please stop again soon.

      Thank you shyonegb, I can honestly say that I haven't tried that, however it does sound enticing. Thanks for stopping, and adding the tip, please come around again soon.

    • shyonegb profile image

      shyonegb 8 years ago from Australia

      G'Day Fastfreta. You have great handy tips for the house. Have you tried scented sticks in vanilla scented bottles. They are great in anyroom of the house. Great job !!!!

    • NGRIA Bassett profile image

      NGRIA Bassett 8 years ago from Bermuda

      Very practical information. Thanks for these helpful tips Fastfreta.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Oh, stop it Tammy now...............No, go ahead. LOL, LOL! Seriously, thank you very much, for your comment and compliment. Please come around again soon.

    • profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 8 years ago

      Hi thanks for the are very humorous. The first paragraph drew me in for sure. I am biased though you were my first fan and one of the best writers I know! No bull LOL

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks creativeone for stopping, and reading my hub.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Great hub and great advice , thank you for sharing it. have a blessed day fastfreta. creativeone59

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you Bk, you're so right. Thanks for reading, and come back again soon.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You know when you open that front door, well no smell is okay but a bad smell just won't ever do. Thanks for all your clean-living suggestions. Nothing like a bit of cinnamon, or lemon peel or other nice natural smells.

      Thanks fastfreta!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you Veronica, I was afraid I wasn't giving any new tips, however my fears have been assuaged with just your one comment. Thanks for that, and thanks for weighing in so quickly. I really miss your Daily Dose series, please find a way to revive it.

      Hello, Hello, hello, (love it), thanks for stopping, please stop again soon.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      Hello, fastfreda, these are lovely and very useful tips. Thank you for writing and sharing.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Very good tips. I've cleaned with vinegar, but never tried pouring it in containers and placing them around the room. I will try this one. By the way, I love your opening phrase. :) Can't wait to see what you have in store for us in the future.


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