19 DIYS to Make Your House Smell Amazing

Who doesn’t love coming home to a nice-smelling space? A good home fragranceacts like an accessory and adds character, making your space feel extra homey. However, constantly buying candles and air fresheners can start getting expensive, and lots of them are actually polluting your home with chemicals. So how do you get a great-smelling home without resorting to unnatural and toxic scents? These 19 all-natural fragrances are super simple to make, much cheaper than buying fragrances and will actually improve the air quality in your home. From candles to diffusers, the best part about making your own air fresheners is that you can control the exact scent you want.

1. DIY Reed Diffuser: Candles are great for setting a mood, but you can’t leave them burning when you’re not around. A reed diffuser is brilliant for giving your home a fresh scent 24/7, and you’ll be amazed to know how inexpensive and easy it is to DIY your own. Instead of paying a lot, mix up your own concoction of essential oils to create the perfect smell for your home. (via eHow)

Room Scents

Room Scents

2. All-Natural Room Scents: If you rocked the DIY herb garden this summer, now you have a great way to use all those happy herb plants. Bring fresh ingredients like freshly squeezed lemons, rosemary and a touch of vanilla to a simmer on the stove and your house will be filled with the smells of summer. (via Thistlewood Farms)

3. DIY Beeswax Candles: Beeswax candles give off a light honey-ish scent, and they also have a purifying effect on the air in your house. They give off negative ions when burned, which neutralizes bad ions like allergens, dust and airborne toxins. So not only are you adding good smells, you’re actually cleaning the air whenever you burn these lovely candles. (via Hello Natural)

4. Homemade Lilac Room Spray: Why is it that the best-smelling blooms only seem to be around for a couple weeks? Keep the heavenly scent of lilacs within arm’s reach all year long with this amazing DIY room spray. And yes, you get to go buyvodka for this project. (via At the Picket Fence)

5. Coffee-Scented Candles: There’s no better smell than coffee in the morning. Why not chase those good vibes with a coffee candle that you can burn all day long? Use this morning’s coffee grinds to make these all-natural soy wax candles. (via The Lovely Drawer)

6. DIY Incense Holders: If you love the smokey smell of incense, make some pretty little holders that you can use to set up around pesky areas like a litter box or mud room. These simple stands are both easy and effective. And although they may not be great at catching ash, you could always sculpt a little lip around the stand if it bothers you. (via Almost Makes Perfect)

7. Citrus Room Spray: Instead of throwing out those empty perfume bottles, upcycle them into little spray containers so you can have air fresheners in every room. Use your favorite citrus and a healthy dose of vodka to make this simple-yet-effective spray. (via Raining Hot Coupons)

8. DIY Tea Scented Candles: If you’ve never made candles before, don’t worry! It’s actually really simple and the scents are so much better than the fake smells of those cheap candles from the store. Plus you get to personalize the smell. To make DIY tea-infused scented candles, all you have to do is pick your favorite flavor of tea. (via Fall for DIY)


9. DIY Scented Wax Bars: Aromatic wax bars can be put in dresser drawers to keep linens or socks smelling fresh. You can also hang them in the closet, or in the bathroom to release scent with the steam of the shower. Pick your favorite scents, like relaxing lavender or spicy cinnamon, depending on the mood you want. (viaeHow)

10. Homemade Air Freshener: What bathroom doesn’t need a little extra freshness? Perk up your WC with a spritz of lemon-rosemary air freshener that works double duty as an antibacterial without worrying about any harsh chemicals. (via Blah Blah Magazine)
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11. Fruit Rind Air Freshener: Instead of just masking bad smells, use sea salt to actually get rid of them. Fill half of a citrus fruit with sea salt and set it somewhere where it can soak up all the bad odors; just make sure it’s out of reach of little fingers or furry friends. Replace the rind and salt every few days to keep the space fresh and odor free. (via Free People)

12. Garbage Disposal Cleaner: If your garbage disposal is emitting some cringe-worthy smells, then send a burst of citrus down the drain to clean up that situation. Homemade and natural, these pellets are made with vinegar and orange peel to neutralize everything icky lurking down there. (via Hello Natural)

13. Five-Minute Reed Diffuser: If you already have a empty jar at home, you can DIY this reed diffuser for under $10. Plus, you get to make washi tape flags. Not only will you get a good smell, but you’ll have a room freshener that you won’t mind putting in a visible place. (via Sugar and Cloth)

14. Handmade Room Spray: Once you start experimenting with all the possible scents, you can give these away as lovely little hostess or housewarming gifts. This orange cinnamon combo gives a sweet and spicy room fragrance that is welcome all year long. (via Little Green Dot)

15. DIY Potpourri: Collect flowers all summer long, and then at the end of the season combine them to make a pretty bowl of potpourri that will have your home smelling lovely. There is really no wrong way to make potpourri, and you can have a lot of fun experimenting with different kinds of flowers, herbs, spices and oils. (via Free People)

16. Gel Air Freshener: Instead of setting out a gel that’s full of chemicals, let the kids help you make these awesome gel fresheners. They’ll have a blast choosing the color and scent, and you’ll love knowing that you’re making your home a tiny bit healthier. (via Homespun Love)

17. Deodorizing Disks: If you’re struggling to keep a diaper bucket or garbage can fresh, you need to make a batch of these little odor destroyers. They’re easy to make and work great for deodorizing closets, bathrooms or anywhere else you have an unwanted smell. And while they’re not the prettiest, they are hardworking, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need to fight bad odors. (via Reading My Tea Leaves)

18. Refrigerator Deodorizer: Take the little box of baking soda you’ve been using in the fridge and give it an upgrade with a dab of essential oil. Obviously you don’t want a super strong scent that affects the food in your fridge, so stick with citrus smells instead of florals and start with less and add more as needed. (via Hello Natural)

19. Lavender Lemon Candles: When life gives you lemons, it’s time to find some lavender and make these bad boys. ASAP. (via Brit + Co)

Posted by Kate Thorn on Brit & Co

It is time to Air Out that House for Better Air Quality

Summer is coming to a close and air conditioning is no longer needed. But before we head into winter, when we close up our windows and turn on our heat, we have some time to air out our homes and get them smelling fresh and clean. Opening your windows and airing out your home can improve the air quality in your home. Along with these other tips you can have a fall filled with freshness.

Clean your Home

Air quality is also dependent upon a clean house. Cleaning your floors and vacuuming your carpets will remove the dirt from the areas. Dusting your furniture and your ceiling fans will remove the dust that can build up and cause pollutants in your air, so dust your home at least once a week. Remember to remove dust from baseboards or wainscoating along walls. These areas can trap dust along their edges.

Add Plants to your Home

Plants take in our carbon monoxide and release oxygen which adds to a healthy environment. Many plants are low maintenance and can also add color and texture to a room. Plants can easily be incorporated into the design elements of your home.

Remove the Spray Air Fresheners

Air fresheners create a scent that may appeal to you, but they create more pollutants into a home. Try using natural air fresheners like boiling spices and fruit on your stovetop or using herbs and placing them in bowls around your home. Flavors can be mixed with a variety of herbs and dried fruits or using extracts. In addition to removing air fresheners, limit the aerosol products you use in your home. Limit the cleaning products and the personal hygiene products to keep your home fresh.

Change your Air Filters

Changing your air filters every three to four months can help improve your air quality in your home. Fall is a perfect time to start fresh with a new air filter. This is a simple task that cost a few dollars and a few minutes of your time.

Air Purifiers

Keeping a bit of humidity in your home and using air purifiers can also keep your home fresh. Air purifiers can be purchased and used independently in each room or you can call your air conditioning service provider to add a purifier to your system. Having an air purifier attached to your HVAC system requires that your use your air conditioning or heating units. If you are in place where you do not want to use your HVAC system, then using air purifiers in your home may work better for you.

Fall is a great time to refresh your home and try some new techniques to keep your home’s air quality pure.

Posted by HomeZada

6 Unusual Tips for Pool Care

Keep your outdoor spaces sparkling with these easy pool-cleaning hacks.

If you have a pool, odds are, you know the usual maintenance tips — vacuuming, skimming, maintaining water and pH levels, changing filters — like the back of your hand. And you probably also know that keeping up with routine maintenance can be a real pain when all you want to do is enjoy your pool.

Here are six hacks you can use to keep your pool clean — and make your summer a bit more relaxing.

1. Supercharge that skimmer

Skimmer baskets already do a great job filtering out leaves and other debris from your pool, but they also leave a lot behind.

How to make that skimmer work harder? Take an old pair of pantyhose and wrap them around the baskets. Hair, sand, and fine dirt are no match for the teeny-tiny holes in the fabric. Remember to clean out the baskets once a week, and skim the surface for large debris every few days or as needed.

2. Natural bug banishers

Bugs are not only a nuisance to sunbathers and swimmers, but after they’ve buzzed their last buzz? A pest to clean up as well.

Whether they end up in your skimmer baskets or floating on the surface, keep them at bay by planting lemongrass nearby. The plant’s skin contains citronella, which helps ward off mosquitoes. If wasps and hornets are a problem, create a decoy wasps’ nest by filling a brown paper bag with plastic grocery bags. Generally, the stinging bugs won’t build a nest within 200 feet of an existing one (even if it’s a fake).

3. Use baking soda

Baking soda is a powerhouse outside the kitchen — for cleaning, freshening clothes, and even cleaning your pool.

Check your pool’s pH levels once or twice a week and after a heavy rain. A pound of baking soda is equal to a pound of any alkalinity product and is a fraction of the cost.

Bonus: Make a paste of baking soda and water to clean the tile and grout in your pool. Do this about once a week to prevent algae from growing.

4. Toss in tennis balls

From sunscreen and makeup to hair products and body oil, grime is bound to build up in your pool. Place a few new tennis balls in the water, or stick them in the skimmers so they’re out of sight. They’ll help absorb the oil, leaving you with crystal-clear water.

5. Make bathing suits a requirement

A friend forgot a bathing suit, so he jumps in with his khaki shorts on. A pool party gets a little rowdy and soon everybody’s fully clothed in the pool. Your cousin has a sun allergy, so he swims in a T-shirt.

In small doses, clothing will do no harm. But fibers fray and dyes can bleed when in contact with chlorine, which can make your pool cloudy over time. Make it a rule that only bathing suits are allowed.

6. Go au naturel

If you really want to cut back on your pool maintenance, opt for a “natural” pool. Most are made of two zones: one for swimming, which is lined with rubber or concrete, and a zone with aquatic vegetation that acts as a biological filter. A simple pump will keep the water flowing through either a gravel filter or the natural plant filter.

It may seem like a lot of work, with all those plants in your pool, but because it’s a natural ecosystem, it takes care of itself. You won’t have to monitor pH or chlorine — just skimming the surface and occasional vacuuming to remove any debris from the bottom should do the trick.

Posted by Jennifer Gravely on Trulia