10 Tips on Keeping Your Home Smelling Fresh

Have you ever walked in your home and something was just out of whack?  A stench takes your breath away when you walk into a room. You know what we are talking about … your home just stinks! Keeping your home smelling fresh can be simple with a few tips.

Flowers

Open Your Windows

That’s right, start by opening your windows to let the fresh air in. A good cleaning out of the house with fresh air is the perfect step to removing odors.

Add Fresh Flowers

If you do not have allergies and do have a few extra dollars, practice what some European countries practice. Get yourself some fresh flowers. Fresh flowers can brighten up a room but they also make a room smell so beautiful. Choose your favorite scented flower and keep in your favorite room. Lilacs and roses are great flowers that have vibrant scents.

Change Your Air Filters

Fresh air starts with the air flowing through your ventilation system. To have clean air and to keep your home healthy, remember to regularly change your air filters. Depending on the type of air filters you have, you will change them every 2 – 6 months. We recommend changing them at least four times in the year.

Add Scented Fragrances

Adding candles or plug ins or some other scented item to your home can step up and remove the stink from your abode. There are so many scented items to make your home smell good. Try using oils and reeds. Even natural fragrances like gently simmering herbs and cinnamon on stovetop with some water can make a home smell homey.

Clean Your Trash Cans

We quickly throw out trash and use bags to store it, thinking that these bags can protect the cans they cover. But our cans carry odors from our coffee grounds, left over foods, boxes and containers from yogurt and milk. These items carry odors that stay with the trash cans. Take the time and wash out the trash cans regularly, and practice using baking soda in your bags to limit the odors.

Run a Cleaning Solution in Your Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals naturally crush food to allow the flow of water in your sinks. But food creates odors. And therefore, your sinks can smell like a trash can. Using a disposal cleaner that you buy in the store is simple to run in your garbage disposal. Also using some white vinegar or ¼ of a whole lemon to clean the disposal is a good thing. To sharpen the disposal blades, add a few ice cubes to the disposal and run the disposal.

Clean your Washer

Fine smelling clothes can smell good on our bodies and in our closets. But foul, musty, and mildew scents can exist if you have a washing machine that has not been cleaned. Simply running some vinegar in a washing cycle without any clothes can clean any odors from the washer that can cause mildew like scents.

Run a solution through Your Dishwasher

Dishwashers are another area of the homes that have lingering odors from caked on food and dirty dishes. You can buy specific dishwasher cleaners from your store and run per the directions. Or like with the washing machine, use vinegar in the dishwasher to run a full empty cycle. Once you have run the cycle, you will have a fresh clean smelling dishwasher ready to take on any grime.

Clean Your Microwave

Like dishwashers, microwaves can carry ongoing smells from food. Food can also splatter on the walls of the microwave. So time to wipe down the inside of the microwave. Using a bowl of 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar, place it in the microwave. Turn the microwave on high for 4 – 6 minutes. Remove the bowl and wipe down the inside of the oven. Now a fresh smelling microwave.

Give your Pets a Bath

We love our pets and they are family. But our pets have fur and dander and pets do not take showers and baths regularly like we do. They go outside in the rain and sun to play in the grass. All fun things for our pets, but our pets then come in our homes and our homes can smell like a wet dog. Giving our pets baths regularly and brushing their fur will help keep our homes fresh and clean.

 

Posted on HomeZada

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The Ultimate Guide to Funky Home Smells

Tim Platt/Getty Images

There are two definitions of funky: 1) something that’s cool, and 2) something that smells bad. For our purposes, we’ll be talking about the latter—and the tragic consequences if this stench is emanating from your home.

The problem is, you may be so accustomed to your home’s smell that you don’t even notice when your guests are knocked off their feet when they enter your home. And whether you’re just entertaining or are hoping to sell your home, off-putting smells can be a huge turnoff, even if your home is immaculate otherwise. To help, here’s your ultimate guide to all the odors that can assail your home and how to get rid of them once and for all.

Rotten food

Cause: Your refrigerator and garbage disposal are basically burping up decaying food.

What to do: Purge your refrigerator on a regular basis, and clean the shelves and drawers to remove rotten spilled liquid. Yes, this is gross. Do it.

“Use distilled white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide and a microfiber cloth,” says cleaning expert Leslie Reichert. To rid your sink of stink, clear rotting food from the blades of your garbage disposal by putting ice cubes down it with some salt and frozen lemon peels.

Animal odors

Cause: The most common nose-crinkling smells in a home are caused by the furry friends that live with us, usually because they don’t always relieve themselves where they should. Odors can also be due to a lingering stench on animal fur, says Frank Lesh, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

What to do: If a cat or dog uses a carpet as a toilet, use a pet enzyme removal product such as Resolve on the offending area to remove all trace of the scent and find an effective way to deter your pet from a repeat performance in a spot it may consider its own.

For litter boxes, sprinkling a bit of baking soda can work wonders. If shedding is your nemesis, vacuuming the fur (off the floor and furniture) and spot-deodorizing should do the trick.

If all of the above do not work, removal of the offending furniture or rug is often the only way to resolve the issue, says Lesh.

Smelly carpets

Cause: Think of carpets as large sponges that absorb all the smells in your home—from pet odors to sweaty feet to pungent cooking, and beyond.

What to do: For large olfactory challenges, call in a steam cleaner. For smaller yet troublesome areas, put some cheap vodka in a spray bottle and lightly mist the carpeting.

“When the vodka evaporates, it will take the smells with it,” Reichert says.

Stinky AC

Cause: Your air conditioner dehumidifies the air as it cools, but stagnant water can collect in an AC unit, allowing mold and mildew to grow in the lingering moisture. This can result in a smell similar to sweaty extremities wafting from air vents, says Richard Ciresi, a multiple-unit franchisee of Aire Serv in Louisville, KY. And, in addition, if someone in your home smokes, the fumes can get pulled into the condenser coil and recycled into your home every time you run the AC, says Ciresi.

What to do: A quick cleaning and repair to help excess water drain properly should remedy a mildew issue. Since a dirty filter can also harbor mold growth, replace filters regularly. To banish  lingering smoke smells, clean the coil.

Mustiness

Cause: Water’s the culprit! “Basement smell” can severely affect the structural integrity of your home as well as your health. Although water can accumulate anywhere, areas where dampness tends to hide include the attic, basement, and bathrooms.

“If you have a water leak behind a wall or under a floor, wood rot may occur along with mold and mildew odors,” says Lesh.

What to do: Finding small leaks early can help prevent serious water damage and offending stenches.

“I recommend looking at the underside of the attic roof at least twice a year or after heavy rain/snowfall in the spring,” says Lesh. In a basement or crawl space, water accumulation is often caused by poor drainage from the roof. Keep your gutters clean and the downspouts flowing away from the foundation. And always dry out damp areas with a humidifier.

Burnt … something

Cause: You may smell a truly weird odor the first time you fire up your furnace in the fall. But relax, it’s typically from the accumulated dirt that falls into the floor ducts, says Lesh. This scent may permeate the entire house for a while when the debris first heats up.

What to do: Simple—clean the ducts before you turn your heat on each year.

A general stale scent

Cause: Stagnant air holds on to dust, dander, and dust mites.

“This usually happens in the summer and winter as we all keep our homes closed up because of air conditioning and heating,” says Reichert.

What to do: You can battle stale air just by opening a few windows once a week to increase air flow.

“Your home needs to have the air exchanged; and if you open some windows, you allow fresh air into the house and remove those stale odors,” says Reichert.

 

Posted by Margaret Heidenry on realtor.com

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

Beyond Pumpkin Spice: 8 Easy Hacks For A Great-Smelling Home

Make any space smell amazing (without the chemicals)!

Nothing is better than coming home to an inviting, fresh-smelling space after a long day. And a great smelling home is especially important if you’re looking to list your home, whether it’s a home for sale in Chicago, IL or an apartment across the country in Dallas, TX. While fragrant candles and plug-ins tend to be overpowering (and often full of chemicals), there are plenty of natural alternatives.

From citrus peels in the disposal to eucalyptus sprigs in the shower, here are easy homemade air freshener ideas that will subtly scent every room using essential oils and fragrant plants.

1. DIY air freshener

One of the fastest, easiest ways to eliminate less-than-savory odors at home is spray air freshener. To avoid chemicals, skip the store-bought stuff and DIY it. You probably already have everything you need for this recipe from One Green Planet: citrus fruit, water, baking soda, and a refillable spray bottle.

2. Stove-top scent

Another alternative to artificially scented candles and the like: this recipe from One Good Thing By Jillee for a simmering pot on the stove full of nutmeg, cinnamon, and other seasonal herbs and spices. After just a few minutes of steeping, it’ll smell as if you’ve been baking all day.

3. Tea leaves in cat litter

Litter boxes are tricky. No matter how often you clean them, their odors can quickly permeate and linger in any room. Combat this by sprinkling a few dried tea leaves into the litter next time you change kitty’s box.

4. Other tea bag tricks

In tight spaces that are susceptible to strong smells (the bathroom, pantry, laundry room, or closets), string up a few tea bags inside. They’ll help absorb unwanted odors and give off a fresh aroma — mint or jasmine tea works perfectly. Swap in new bags every few months or whenever the scent starts to taper off.

5. Herbal wreath

Whether hung on the front door or right in the kitchen, a wreath made of fresh herbs like this one from Adventures in Making is fragrant, festive, and functional. Try oregano, thyme, rosemary, or parsley and snip off sprigs to add to recipes as needed.

6. Shower eucalyptus

Hang a few sprigs of fresh eucalyptus in the corner of the shower, where they won’t get wet. When you shower, the steam and humidity will activate the natural oils, releasing a refreshing aroma. Instant spa! (You can find eucalyptus in most nurseries and flower shops.)

7. Disposal deodorizer

Garbage disposals are awesome. Sink smells are not. These easy-to-make DIY refreshers from Hello Natural are just the quick fix you’re looking for. The ice helps knock off any built-up food debris as citrus and white vinegar leave behind nothing but freshness.

8. Indoor garden

Planting herbs in Mason jars like Mommy’s Kitchen is a great solution any time of year for apartment dwellers but especially makes sense during colder months. Line them up on a windowsill to instantly freshen the air and brighten any room. Another idea: Arrange stems of mint, sage, basil, or rosemary in a pretty vase for a fragrant, affordable alternative to a floral bouquet.

Posted by Jill Russell on Trulia