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Make Your House Smell Good!

Updated on October 17, 2011

candles, plug-ins, home fragrance sprays, diffusers


Does your house smell? Of course, it does. But how does your house smell? Does it smell good or bad? Every house or home has its own special aroma. The problem is that you and your family can’t usually smell it because you’re so used to it. If you go away on vacation for a week or two, then you can detect the house smell, usually as soon as you walk in the door. Rest assured that guests in your home can detect its household odors  much more easily than you can.


Household odors can come from a number of sources. One of the major ones is pets. Litter boxes and “accidents,” of course, are big culprits, but dogs and other pets can have a smell all their own, too. I have two Great Danes that live indoors, and they never “go” in the house. Even so, when they spend a lot of time in one room, as they do in our office as I’m writing on the computer, I’ll notice the doggie smell.


Other household odors can come from cooking, the garbage can, dirty laundry, and mold or mildew. The drains in your sink can also be a source of household odors. If you really want your house to smell good, you’ll first have to find the stinky sources and eliminate them.


If your house smell includes a moldy aroma, you definitely need to find the source. Breathing in mold can be detrimental to your health. Mold can be hiding under carpets and rugs, on walls, or in bathrooms. Bleach water can take care of most of your mold and mildew problems, except for carpets. You don’t have much recourse there, which is why we got rid of all our carpeting.


Keep garbage that contains things like food scraps, diapers, and coffee grounds outside. If this isn’t feasible, at least keep them in a container with a lid. Always use a sturdy plastic liner in your trash or garbage can, too, and clean the can itself at least once a week with soapy water.


I keep my kitchen sink drains smelling fresh with Pine-sol. I just love that smell! It also helps mask cooking smells that might be lingering in your kitchen area. Of course, some cooking aromas, like baked bread, cookies, and cakes, can help your house smell. Others, however, like fish, meats, cabbage, and broccoli, are not fragrances you want to hang around.


Once you target the sources of the bad house smell and eliminate as many as you can, it’s time to add pleasant household odors with home fragrance!


What scent of home fragrance do you prefer?


Before going out and buying a bunch of different scents, think about your choices. You probably don’t want a bunch of different aromas competing with each other. That doesn’t mean you have to stick to just one flavor” of home freshener, however. Choose scents that compliment each other well. For example, vanilla and spices make good companions, as do coconut and other tropical fruit smells.


You might also want to consider the season. In the fall, I like to use warm, cozy aromas like pumpkin pie, cinnamon apple, and cloves. In the spring and summer, I prefer lighter scents like mango, pineapple, coconut, and lime. At Christmas, I use scents associated with the holiday, like peppermint, evergreen, and bayberry. I’ve found that lavender is a good scent to use all year.



Bath and Body home fragrance spray is great!
Bath and Body home fragrance spray is great!

Home fragrance - plug-ins


We use plug-ins a lot. In fact, every room in our home includes a plug-in home freshener. How do these work? The heat from the electrical outlet causes the home freshener container to release its fragrance. There are several brands of plug-ins, along with a range of different scents.


I really don’t have a preference when it comes to brands of plug-ins, but I do think the ones from Yankee Candle are a little more aromatic.


Home fragrance - scented candles

I use a lot of scented candles! I love them, and I think I’ve experimented with every brand ever made. Yankee Candle is my favorite – hands down. I haven’t found another brand that smells as good, or that smells as good for such a long time. That’s not to say that I like every scent produced by Yankee Candle. I definitely have my favorites.

During the Christmas holidays, I like to fill my home with Yankee Candle scents like cranberry chutney, cinnamon, Christmas cookie, peppermint, and Christmas wreath. During the fall and at Thanksgiving, I use several scents, including pumpkin pie, McIntosh apple, and autumn spice. My favorite home freshener for the warmer months is vanilla lime by Yankee Candle. This smells so wonderful that you could almost eat it!


Home fragrance - diffusers


I also use diffusers occasionally. These don’t seem to be nearly as strong or as effective at eliminating household odors as other types of home fragrances, however. I’ve tried several different types and brands, and about the only time I can catch their scent is when I’m passing right by the diffuser. Maybe I just haven’t found the right one yet.


Of course, if you have a heightened sense of smell, you might actually prefer a home freshener with a subtle scent.


Home fragrance sprays


Home fragrance sprays are great for an instant shot of home freshener. They can be sprayed in the air to add an immediate pleasant house smell to any room. Home fragrance sprays can also be used on most soft surfaces like drapes and upholstery, and some are made especially for that purpose.


Use a home fragrance spray in the kitchen after cooking to help mask food odors. If you’re expecting guests in your home, using a home fragrance spray just before they arrive will make your house more welcoming. Keeping a can of home fragrance spray in the bathroom is also a good idea.


Home fragrance sprays are available in many different brands and scents, and some are better than others. I really like the home fragrance sprays from Bath and Body Works. They’re strong and long lasting, and they smell great. A friend has used the Thyme brand of home fragrance sprays, and she says they work great.


Make your own home fragrance

Okay, you probably don’t want to make your own scented candles or can your own home fragrance spray, but you can make your own home freshener. Something I do often is to add one part apple juice to one part water and place it in a kettle. To the liquid, I add a little vanilla flavoring, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves. I let it steam on the burner for several hours, and the tantalizing aroma fills my kitchen and breakfast room.

When we have orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit peels, I often place them in small bowls and set them around the kitchen and living room. The citrus smell can be strong or subtle, depending on how much oil is contained in the peels.

Other home freshener choices

There are other ways to make your house smell good, too. Some include potpourri, sachets, and solid air fresheners. In closets, cedar chips can be used to keep clothes smelling fresh and to keep away moths at the same time. Trash bags with special odor blockers can keep nasty garbage odors in check. Stick-up home fragrance is great to pop in small enclosed areas like laundry hampers.


To get your home smelling great, get rid of the odor sources first. Then, for long-term pleasant home fragrance, use a freshener like plug-ins. Also, use scented candles frequently to keep your home smelling good. For on-the-spot freshness, use home fragrance sprays.



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