Tips and Tricks: 5 Cheap Alternatives to Air Fresheners

updated May 9, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

A clean house usually means a fresh-smelling house, but sometimes there are lingering or very hard to handle odors that make you consider store-bought air fresheners. Before you make the purchase, you can try one of these 5 normal household items that you most likely already own…

We found a these tips and tricks at Readers Digest:


  • Deodorize a Humidifier: Add 3 or 4 teaspoons lemon juice into the water. It will not only remove the off odor but will replace it with a lemon-fresh fragrance. Repeat every couple of weeks to keep the odor from returning.
  • In the fireplace: Dried orange and lemon peels are a far superior choice for use as kindling than newspaper. Not only do they smell better and produce less creosote than newspaper, but the flammable oils found inside the peels enable them to burn much longer than paper.
  • In the closet: Pomanders have been used for centuries to fill small spaces with a delightful fragrance as well as to combat moths. They are also incredibly easy to make: Take a bunch of cloves and stick them into an orange, covering the whole surface. Suspend your pomander using a piece of string, twine, or monofilament fishing line inside a closet or cupboard, and it will keep the space smelling fresh for years.


  • Instead of using commercial air fresheners, simply toss a handful of whole cloves or a cinnamon stick in a pot of water and keep it simmering on the stove for half an hour. Or place a teaspoon or two of the ground spices on a cookie sheet and place it in a 200°F (93°C) oven with the door ajar for 30 minutes. Either way, your house will naturally smell spicy good.


  • Garbage Disposals benefit from a regular deodorizing: Dump in 1/2 cup salt, run the cold water, and start the disposal. The salt will dislodge stuck waste and neutralize odors.


  • To remove smokey cooking smells, place a shallow bowl about three-quarters full of white or cider vinegar in the room where the scent is strongest. Use several bowls if the smell permeates your entire home. The odor should be gone in less than a day. You can also quickly dispense of the smell of fresh cigarette smoke inside a room by moistening a cloth with vinegar and waving it around a bit.


  • Cooking odors In the microwave: Pour a little vanilla extract in a bowl and microwave on high for one minute.
  • Food odors in fridge. Soak cotton balls with vanilla extract and place in fridge and freezer overnight.

    These are just a few of MANY tips on fighting smells with regular products at Readers Digest – click over to check them out.

    Photo: Sourpuss by windchime on stock.xchng