21 Ways to Make Your Home Smell Great

21 Ways To Make Your Home Smell Great

Isn’t it interesting how we can go to other peoples’ homes and immediately pick up on the general smell of the place? But when you walk into your own home…nothing?  We become so acclimated to our homes, we don’t even notice it anymore… it’s almost physically impossible to smell your own home.

It’s like wearing a regular perfume…after you put it on in the morning, you can’t smell it anymore throughout the day.  Every once in a while, after a vacation or a cold, I get a quick whiff of my home and I’m not happy about it!

No matter how much you clean your home, some smells just need some Ghostbuster-style annihilation.

We’ll go through my 21 favorite tricks to get your home smelling spectacular!


Vanilla Extract

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog vanilla extract baking oven cleaning

Throw about 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract in a dish in the oven at 300 degrees for an hour.  This is great if you get home before a dinner party and realize your house smells like dogs…or feet.

This is a trick a lot of realtors use for open houses.  Not only does it mask nasty odors, it makes your home smell like warm, fresh baked cookies. Win-Win.

Coffee & Candles

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Get some small bowls, place a small vanilla scented candle in the center and fill the empty space with coffee beans.

Small candle is the key because you want the candle to warm quickly to get the aroma from the coffee beans.  A tea light or something slightly larger will work. Dollar store for the win! (Bowls were $2, candles were 4 for $1)

No matter the season, there’s nothing like some Fa la la la la French Vanilla Coffee in the air!

If you’re not a fan of coffee, The Downey/Gain wax scent booster beads work the same way.

Car Air Fresheners

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Take a walk around your house.  Check out how many vents are in the walls, floors, and ceilings.  Somehow, our eyes pass right over them since we live with them.  However, this is how we get air circulated around our home.

To get a whiff of something delicious, snag a few car vent fresheners on your next trip to the store – You can write them down on your handy dandy shopping list

Place them on vents around your home, but spread them out!  They can be very strong if they are placed on every vent.

These last from 2-4 weeks depending on how much air is traveling through them.  I nabbed these at the dollar store and prefer them to the Febreze car vent clips because they’re much less of an eye sore.

Wax melter

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Grab your favorite scented wax cubes around the candle section and throw a few in your melter.

If you’re not a fan of the scents at the store or you don’t like the wax itself, grab 2-3 Tablespoons of coconut oil and some of your favorite essential oils.

Not a fan of essential oils?  Grab some spices from your pantry and throw those in there with your coconut oil.  Does it have to be coconut oil?  It has the proper texture to melt and mix with the other things you’re adding to it…splurge the few dollars then go on Pinterest to find the millions of other uses for it!

If you want your home to smell like fresh laundry (my favorite) grab some Gain or Downey wax scent boosters.

Two options for wax melters.  The plug in versions you just have to flip on and the light melts whatever is in the dish.  These are usually $7-$20 depending on how fancy you’re going.  The dollar store has candle heated melters for 1 whole dollar! And tea lights (tons of them) for a dollar.  You can choose depending on style, budget, or convenience!

Box fan

Is the air in your home stagnant?  (If you don’t have a cooling/heating system, this is great to have around!)

Grab your box fan and grab an HVAC filter.  Turn the fan on and place the filter against the back.  You’ll be grossed out by how much guck gets sucked into the filter.  Ta-Da! Home-made air purifier!

DIY Febreze

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Grab some Downey or Gain scent boosters and throw a handful into an empty spray bottle, add some hot water and swirl until mixed.  Spray to your heart’s content!

This is great for drapes or black out curtains that you can’t wash.  It makes them smell like they’re fresh out of the laundry!

HVAC Filter

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Find your main machinery for your heating/cooling system and replace the filter with a fresh one.  When you pull out your filter, write down the dimensions and run to your neighborhood Lowes or Home Depot and grab a replacement (and a few extra for next time) they’re just a few dollars.

Not only will replacing the filter help your system work well and clean the air more efficiently, you can throw some drops of your favorite essential oil on there and the air coming into your home is gaining pleasant scents along the way!

Garbage Disposal

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog lemons vinegars ice cube trays clean

Go ahead and stick your head in your sink and smell what is wafting from your drain and disposal.  Chances are it’s not flowers and meadows.

Get out an ice cube tray, 2-3 lemons, and some white vinegar.  Chop off some chunks of peel and put little bits into each cube.  Fill the tray with distilled white vinegar and freeze.

Once frozen, remove from tray and put cubes into a gallon sized plastic bag and BAM! You now have garbage disposal deodorizer cubes for any time it needs a refresh.

Grab 2-3 cubs and toss them into the sink. Turn your disposal on.  Don’t be afraid of the sound.  The ice sharpens the blades, the vinegar and lemon peels disinfect and deodorize.  NOW smell your sink!  Delightful!

Dryer Scent Beads

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Run over to the party supply section of the store and you’ll likely find a pack of these itty bitty mesh drawstring bags for a dollar or two.  Now run over to the laundry section and pick up some Downey UnStoppables or Gain Scent Booster. Throw a small amount in each bag and you have portable scent boosters.

Attach them to a hangar in the back of your closet, throw them in your shoes, in a drawer, in your linen closet, on a towel rack, anywhere!  They’ll last a couple of weeks and are easy to replace!

Tea Bags

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If you don’t want to splurge on dryer scent pebbles, scout your pantry for some tea bags.

Tea bags help to absorb smell.  They won’t necessarily give off any exciting smells to tickle your nose, but they can work great in shoes and gym bags.

Carpet Powder

If your carpet smells like dogs and feet…don’t they all at some point?… Sprinkle baking soda and let sit 10-20 minutes before vacuuming.

If that’s not doing anything for you, jump on Amazon and grab some carpet powder.  It is designed for this exact purpose, there and a ton of scents to choose from, and it helps with the lovely burning smell that comes along with vacuums.


21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog essential oils cotton balls cleaning

Speaking of that burning smell when your carpet gets hot and is sucking up all of that hair.. bluh!

Get a few cotton balls and throw some drops of essential oil on them.  Toss those in your vacuum bag or bin and that should diffuse it.

Trash Can

When was the last time you washed and disinfected your kitchen trash can?  Would you jump in it if you were dared?

This is the place where you put garbage in one of the most frequented locations in your house. It sees food scraps, clean up waste from spills, etc.

Take your trash can outside and give it a proper wash with soap.  Spray down with vinegar or bleach depending on how terrible it is.  Not only will this make it smell better, it will give you peace of mind.

Put a cotton ball with 2 drops of lemon oil and 2 drops of tea tree oil at the bottom before putting a bag in to decrease trash odor and detoxify.

Toilet Paper

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog toilet paper essential oils

Toss a drop or two of your favorite essential oil on the inner cardboard tube of your toilet paper rolls. Each time it is rolled, a little bit of scent is re-released.


21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog cleaning vinegar

If a room has recently been painted and just doesn’t seem to be airing out no matter what you do, or a smell of any kind is lingering, throw a bowl of just plain distilled white vinegar into the room.

One of vinegar’s amazing abilities is to strip scents from air and surfaces.

I used this hack when I was pregnant.  My husband had painted the nursery and I felt the need to get in there and organize and nest…but that silly rule about pregnant ladies and paint fumes! We had windows open, fans blowing, nothing was working…until we tried the vinegar bowl!


21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog coffee grounds mason jar refrigerator cleaning

How long has it been since you have wiped down every surface in your refrigerator? Changed the baking soda?  The food you feed your family is kept here.  Nasty germs could be causing food to spoil faster and even get to the point of making food unsafe to consume.

Take everything out of the fridge, even drawers and shelves.  Toss anything expired.  Wipe down your entire fridge with a safe cleaner.  Wash or wipe down each shelf and drawer before returning.  Place all food back in and organize while you’re there!

Throw a cup or jar of coffee grounds in there overnight to absorb any lingering odors!

Baking Soda

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog baking soda essential oils mason jars

Grab a mini mason jar and poke holes in the lid.  Fill with baking soda and your favorite essential oil.  If it starts to dwindle, give it a good shake or throw a few more drops in.  These are great for people with very sensitive allergies to artificial scents.

If you don’t want to splurge on mason jars (which really aren’t bad! I got 4 for $5 at the grocery store!), you can just put this mixture in a bowl.  Unfortunately, the delightful smells will ware off much more quickly in a bowl, but feel free to add more drops of oil as needed.

Toilet Brush

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog toilet brush lemon pine sol cleaning

Fill up it’s holding container with some lemon fresh Pine Sol!  Not only does it clean …can that thing ever really be clean?…no…but it also provides a lovely scent and is a deodorizer!

We need all the help in the bathroom we can get!  A lot of bathrooms don’t even have windows and they are rooms where we wash dirt off of ourselves, go to the bathroom, and are a moist breeding ground for bacteria that cause terrible odors!


21 ways to make your home smell great cleaning vinegar baking soda towels

Run your towels through 2 hot wash cycles.  One with vinegar.  One with baking soda.  DO NOT WASH TOGETHER!

This will get the mildewy smell out of them and give them a fresh, new life.  A lot of times, your towels will be fluffier and will absorb water well again.


21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog dog bath cleaning

Give them a bath and their bedding.  Would you lie in their bed right now?  Most pets enjoy their beds as nasty as they can get because it smells like them and it’s conformed to them.  They can get it back to that state in no time.

BONUS: Car Candle

21 ways to make your home smell great cleaning car candle

If your car smells like soccer shoes and spilled fast food, take that candle you love that is becoming impossible to light, throw it in your cup holder and let the sun do its work.

Obviously this works best in warmer weather, but sometimes, the sun cooking your car just a bit will be enough to release some great scent from your sad, dying candle.


I DO NOT RECOMMEND that you go and do all of these things right now.  It will be like walking into a Bath and Body Works…ridiculous amounts of smell…and strong ones at that all conflicting and you won’t be any happier than you were before.

Try a few tips and see if you like them.  Try a few more if you notice a certain smell starting to stick out.  Don’t go overboard!  And if your home maybe doesn’t smell fresh because it hasn’t been well cleaned in a while, go grab my Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist and give your home a bath!


Good Luck and Happy Cleaning!

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    1. Yay! I’m glad I can bring some original ideas to you! It’s a great way to get every single particle of scent out and you definitely get your money’s worth out of that candle! Thank you!

    1. Yes! Coffee grounds are great for absorbing odors!
      I notice a much bigger difference with fridge smells if I throw coffee grounds in overnight than if I have a fresh box of baking soda in there at all times.
      Thank you so much!

    1. Yes! I was so happy to have found some “caramel chocolate brownie” flavored coffee beans on my last trip and my home smells like a delicious, happy morning!

  1. This is a great list! Just in time too because I was just about to look up the combo on how to get the smell out of towels and saw it on here. Thank you for sharing all of these.

    1. Yay! I’m so glad I could help! We have very hard water that makes our washer and towels smell pretty funky so I use this tip all the time! Thank you for reading!

  2. These are great tips! I also love the throwing in a lemon in the disposal and running hot water to get all that gunk out and make the sink smell lemony 🙂

    1. Thank you!
      Yes! I have my gallon sized ziplock bag full of my disposal cubes and always happily take a big whiff of my sink after each treatment! Nothing smells cleaner than pure lemon-fresh.

    1. Thank you! Yes! I love that tip! Yankee makes mini candles for about $1 usually at pharmacy stores and the dollar store always has great options. I love the scent vent clips bring but those only last so long!

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