10 Ways to Keep Your Home Nice-Smelling All of the Time

published Aug 4, 2023
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A few months ago, my family and I returned from a two-week trip. I’d emptied out the trash and made sure all the dishes were clean before we left so my family could return to a clean oasis. The house looked clean, but I was hit with a weird stench the second we walked in the door. My house didn’t smell bad, per se, but it definitely didn’t smell nice. I realized then and there that you have to be intentional to make your space smell good, and I guess I wasn’t doing that. 

When I was scouring the internet for solutions that didn’t involve strong chemicals, I stumbled across a Reddit thread full of ingenious tips for maintaining a nice-smelling home — and you’re probably going to want to try them out for yourself. Below, some of the very best hacks for keeping your house smelling nice all the time. 

1. Get an air purifier. 

Even if you don’t have allergies, an air purifier can come in handy by “cleaning” the air in your home. Redditors recommend a purifier with a HEPA-grade filter, which filters out the tiniest particles. It would be expensive to add one to every room, so focus on common spaces or parts of your home where you most want fresh air. 

2. Air out your home often. 

If the weather allows, open your windows every now and then to let in outside air — otherwise, the same stale air will just circulate around your space, which could cause a not-so-great smell. This is especially important if you cook strong-smelling foods or burn something. If the air quality isn’t great or you have allergies, an air purifier is a nice add-on. 

3. Try a DIY room spray. 

Masking unwanted odors with chemicals sometimes makes the problem worse (and results in a headache). One Redditor recommends DIYing your own room spray by adding a few drops of lemongrass essential oil to water and spritzing it around your space. 

4. Regularly clean your upholstery. 

Upholstered furniture can harbor germs that cause odors, so it’s important to clean them regularly as you would any other area of your house. An upholstery cleaner machine like the BISSELL Little Green can go a long way in refreshing couches, upholstered chairs, or even carpet and rugs. 

5. Use baking soda. 

To prevent smells in your trash, add some baking soda to the bottom of the bag when you put it in. It’ll absorb unwanted odors. If you have a cat, try mixing some baking soda in with the kitty litter to keep it from getting stinky. 

6. Make a simmer pot. 

Anytime you notice bad smells — or whenever you’re in the mood to add yummy scents — try boiling water with bits of oranges, lemon, rosemary, or vanilla to create a simmer pot. A Redditor recommends using your peels to help make it economical. (Either way, it’s cheaper than an air freshener.)

7. Tweak your HVAC system. 

Your HVAC has a filter that prevents dust and other debris from entering your home through your vents. If your goal is to prevent smells in your space, be sure to change out your filter regularly (ideally, monthly). One HVAC installer on Reddit recommends buying charcoal-infused filters if you want your home to smell good (you can buy them at home improvement stores or on Amazon). 

8. Stay on top of cleaning. 

Doing the dishes and taking out the trash regularly can help prevent gross scents. But if your place still doesn’t smell great, you may need to go the extra mile and clean your floors, walls, and other surfaces, too. 

9. Get a few houseplants. 

Along with adding some flair to your home, houseplants can help filter your air. Just be sure not to overwater them, or you might end up with a musty scent (and fungus gnats). 

10. Run a dehumidifier. 

If you live in a humid climate or notice moisture in your home, you could fall prey to a musty scent (or, worse, mold that can affect your health). Several Redditors recommend running a dehumidifier in moist areas, such as your basement or a bathroom.