How To Make Your House Smell Clean and Fresh

August 11, 2020

Have you ever come home from a walk in the fresh air, only to be assaulted by leftover and funky odors from dinner the night before? If you didn’t smell it when you left for your outing, that’s called sensory adaptation and it’s common to all senses. The more time we spend around something – the less likely we are to notice it.

So, whether it’s wafting up from a pet bed, garbage receptacle, litter box, diaper pail or last night’s curried chicken still thick in the air, here are some tips to combat “nose blindness”. Because even if you can’t smell it – the air in your house may stinketh!

The Obvious Culprits and Cures

Be proactive and clean the inside of the garbage can – including any lid –– once a month. Apartment Therapy recommends five rethink-the-stink products that no home should be without.

Bac Out Stain & Odor Eliminator is sold on pet sites and at big box stores like Walmart because it eliminates all kinds of stinky smells. The manufacturers have been around for 35 years and the blend of enzyme-producing cultures, citrus extracts and plant-based surfactants “eats” most odors. For corroboration, read the reviews on Amazon, from dog and cat owners and potty-training pet parents! 

Vinegar will remove mildew smells from your laundry, and you can put a bowl of it in the corner to absorb odors and deodorize your kitchen. A little bit of the pungent stuff in the dishwasher will boost your cleaning agent and eliminate water spots, and you can spray the acidic stuff on stains before laundering, just like you would a store-bought stain remover.

Moso Natural bags are all-natural, fragrance-free, chemical-free, long-lasting odor eliminators (most-hyphens-in-a-sentence award!). Put them in your clothes closet, stuff them in your sports shoes, layer them in the bottom of a trashcan, or place near the litterbox — anywhere there’s likely to be some odoriferous objects smelling up your house. The magic ingredient is bamboo charcoal sealed in a stitched linen bag that can be placed on any surface for up to two years. Just put it in the sun once a month to rejuvenate. Available at The Container Store and Bed Bath & Beyond in Lone Tree, or through Amazon.

Making Your House Smell Fabulous

Den Garden offers 12 ways to make your house smell fabulous with a handy chart that reveals the sources of odors and the best eliminators. Keep scrolling to find some of the things that you know are the culprits but may not stay on your radar come cleaning days, like upholstery, pillowcases and sink and shower drains. 

Cheat Sheet has 15 ideas, a few of which you’ve no doubt heard of and/or tried, like boiling potpourri on the stove or spritzing a DIY room freshener everywhere (made from water, alcohol and essential oils). But the site also suggests a couple of quick fixes:  when company’s coming, clip a dryer sheet to a box fan to diffuse the fresh scent through an entire room. And if your sports shoes are obviously offensive to noses – and spray them with dry shampoo. 

Real Simple offers a DIY fabric refresher spray recipe: combine a half cup of white vinegar, half cup of rubbing alcohol, 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 20 drops of your favorite oil in a small spray bottle. You can use this on clothing or upholstery for an understated odor makeover. And for a baking soda sachet that will absorb bad smells and replace with good ones – take a coffee filter (basket type) filled with baking soda and add about five drops of essential oil, tie it off and toss any area that needs a freshening up.

Good Housekeeping (they should know, right?) suggests clipping a car deodorizer to your vents’ metal slats – like Febreze or Yankee Candle. When the A/C kicks on, the subtle scent will gently float through the house like a butterfly in search of nectar.

Neutralize vs. Knock-Out Scents

A word of caution from the nose pros — you don’t have to flood your home with fragrance for your home to smell fabulous. You’re after a welcoming feeling, one that smells pleasantly clean and fresh – and not just for YOUR nose, but for every guest nose that enters your space! Strong scents can set off allergies and if any of your guests have sensitivities to strong smells, you don’t want them to leave before they barely cross the threshold!

Fresh and Fabulous in Southshore

Hike and Bike at Aurora ReservoirThe location of the master-planned community of Southshore – next to the Aurora Reservoir with lots of wide open spaces and acres of water – is the place to be for fresh air exercise! Set up an appointment to tour models showcasing some of the brand new homes built by Colorado’s finest home builders – Taylor Morrison, Richmond American Homes and Toll Brothers. Life at the Lake offers floor plans for ranch and two-story designs, priced between the $400s and the $700s close to all the essentials you’ll ever need.