Your bathroom should be a haven to unwind and relax after a rough day. Unfortunately, bathrooms often turn into an absolutely disgusting den of odor-causing bacteria. That musty, dingy smell kind of hits you all at once. Luckily, there are several actions you can take and products you can purchase to transform a smelly, uncomfortable bathroom into a beautifully scented spa-like oasis. You may also be able to find some additional ideas in our posts on the cheapest ways to make your house smell good and how to get rid of the sleep smell in your bedroom.
(Please note that we share product recommendations on our site because we love them! To ensure full transparency however we want to highlight that we may receive a small commission from any purchases that you make from clicking on the links in our articles)
Before You Begin, Make Sure That Your Bathroom’s Clean
It doesn’t matter how many scented air fresheners or other products you use, you cannot completely mask a bad odor. Your bathroom will never smell like a spa if it’s dirty. One of the best ways to get rid of any rank odors in your bathroom is to first, clean the heck out of it. Listed below are 8 steps for a thorough deep cleaning in your bathroom.
The first thing you will want to do is remove any items at all from surfaces, such as shelves, sinks, or window sills. Place any plants and rugs in the hallway. Then do a thorough inspection of every corner, nook, and cranny and get an idea of where you’re going to need to pay special attention.
2. Shower Head
Begin your cleaning with your shower head. The pathogen called Mycobacterium avium has been linked to many health conditions, including pulmonary disease. If your showerhead is infested with this pathogen, you will inhale it every time you turn your shower on.
So now that you know what your shower head is capable of harboring, you may be wondering how on earth can you thoroughly clean it. Fill a plastic freezer or grocery bag with vinegar. Make sure there is enough vinegar to fully submerge the shower head. Now tie the bag onto the shower head and let it sit overnight. Remove the bag the next morning and run your shower to rinse itself.
3. Shower Curtain or Door
Bacteria from your shower head, bathtub faucet, and body can easily wind up lingering on the shower curtain or door. If you don’t clean this bacteria off, the bacteria can become stinky pretty quickly. A quick and easy solution involves a spray bottle or bucket with half parts water and half parts vinegar. Spray or wipe the solution directly onto the curtain or door and let it sit for 10 minutes. Rinse well.
Bathtubs can collect all kinds of odor-causing bacteria, debris, and sitting water that can cause mildew. Luckily the bathtub is not that hard to clean. First, fill the tub to the top with super-hot water. Let it soak for about 15 minutes. Then, drain the tub, and using your vinegar and water solution, spray the tub down. For any obvious spots of scum that won’t wipe off easily, add some baking soda to make a scrub paste. Rinse well and then wipe dry.
You use your sink to wash off all kinds of junk from your hands. Some of that junk ends up splashing up to your faucet or sitting in your sink bowl. You also brush your teeth in the sink and spit your toothpaste, along with any bacteria, right into your sink. This bacteria is not visible to the naked eye and even though your sink appears to be clean, it can still be harboring nasty odor-causing germs and bacteria.
Clean your sink on a regular basis to cut back on odors. The shower head bag trick works just as well on your sink faucet. Let it soak overnight. Then, using a vinegar and baking soda paste, scrub down every visible surface on your sink and faucet. Rinse well and pat dry.
6. The Toilet
A toilet is horribly effective at harboring and sharing germs. Every time it is used or flushed, a plethora of germs get splashed on and around your toilet. Over time, these germs will start to smell awful.
Cleaning a toilet is certainly not fun but it’s not difficult either. Start by pouring a cup of baking soda into the bowl and let it sit for five or so minutes while you clean the rest of the toilet. Using the vinegar solution, spray down the exterior of your toilet and wipe it well, making sure to dry up any wet areas. Now, scrub the inside of the bowl well and rinse.
When cleaning our bathrooms it’s easy to focus on the obvious areas but we often forget the walls. Walls, especially ones that get splashed on, are easy targets for odor-causing germs and over time can become quite smelly. The best way to tackle the walls is to use vinegar and water spray and cover every inch, from top to bottom. Pay special attention to areas around the toilet, shower, and sink as these areas come in contact with germs the most.
Don’t forget about your floor. As a constant collector of water from people stepping out of the shower or washing their hands, the floor can become a source of musty, dingy odors. To clean your floor, sweep it well. Next pour a solution of vinegar and water in a bucket and mop it well enough to clean the surface but not so much that water is left standing on it.
Here’s How To Make Your Bathroom Smell Like A Spa
Now that you’ve taken care of any unwanted odors in your bathroom, it’s time to add some scents that you do want around to make it smell like a spa. There are tons of products and tips out there but we’ve tried to narrow this list down to those scents that you are most likely to find in a spa.
1. Make Your Bathroom Smell Spa-Like With Baking Soda Cubes
When used with essential oils, homemade baking soda bombs can do an excellent job at both deodorizing your bathroom and releasing a wonderful aroma of your choice into the air. To make these bombs, just mix 2 cups of baking soda with about 7 tablespoons of water and then add a few drops of your favorite scented essential oil. Fill an ice tray with the mixture and let it harden overnight. When the cubs harden, add to unseen places around your bathroom such as the bottom of the trashcan or under the sink. A great way to make your bathroom smell like a spa.
2. Cotton Balls and Essential Oil – A Simple Tricked Used By Professional Spas
Cotton balls, with their natural absorbency, make great vehicles for essential oil. Just apply a few drops of your favorite essential all to each cotton ball and place the scented balls in a small bowl or cup. Put it inside your cabinets or under your sink. Add another drop or two each week to keep the scent fresh. If you really want the scents to be reminiscent of a spa, stick to floral and more natural scents, such as lavender or rose.
3. Toilet Paper Roll
Another great application of essential oil may just surprise you. If you have company coming and you want a quick trick for making your bathroom smell well, just add a few drops of essential oil directly inside your toilet paper roll.
4. The Toothpaste and Toilet Trick
You may not associate your toilet with good scents, but this trick can work wonders on any toilet. Just take a tube of the best-smelling toothpaste you can find and remove the lid. Next, poke holes all over it or cut off the end of the tube. Set the toothpaste inside your toilet tank, making sure the openings are completely submerged.
Many spas have a very citrus-like aroma. You can easily bring that scent into your bathroom with a quick trip to the grocery store. Grab up some oranges or lemons and slice them down. If you want fruits that will last longer, purchase freeze-dried slices. Set them in a dish and set on top of your toilet tank or up on a shelf.
6. Scented Candles
A scented candle can go a long way at setting the right ambiance in your bathroom and can really make it smell like a spa. There are so many scents for you to choose from, but citrus and floral scents are perfect for bringing that spa feeling into your bathroom.
7. Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets can make your laundry smell oh so fresh and relaxing, but the dryer isn’t the only place these sheets can make a difference. When placed in strategic places around your bathroom, you can bring in the wonderful floral and fresh scents that you can find on this product and incorporate into your bathroom’s whole ambiance. Perhaps the best place to put a dryer sheet is attached to the backside of your vent. Whenever the heating or AC is turned on, the entire bathroom will be inundated with the aroma.
8. Fancy Soaps
Scented, fancy soaps not only look great but smell awesome too. There are many different designs and scents in premade soaps or you can purchase a kit to make your own.
9. Scented Rice
Rice is a great natural absorber. Fill a container with rice and then add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Set the container somewhere inconspicuous like under your sink or behind your toilet. Once the scent starts to die down, you can simply give the rice a little mix and it should revive the oil.
Eucalyptus plants smell fantastic and add a freshness to the air. Hang a few sprigs from your shower head or a hook. Run the shower as hot as you can take it and just wait for the wonderful aroma to fill your bathroom.
One of the reasons bathrooms start to smell musty is all the humidity on the surfaces. Some of that humidity contains odor-causing bacteria and lead to that nasty, dank smell. Running a dehumidifier can remove that humidity. You could even opt for a model that is designed to let you add a few drops of essential oil.
12. Reed Diffuser
Reed diffusers work just as well as incense at making your atmosphere smell good. The great thing about this product is that it doesn’t need to be lit. Simply fill the diffuser with some great-smelling essential oil and insert the reed. The reed will absorb the oil and release the aroma into your bathroom.
13. Car Fresheners
Car air fresheners work just as well in your home as they do in your car. Find one with a nice strong odor and hang or clip it somewhere in your bathroom that won’t be easily visible to guests. Hanging on the back of the toilet is one option, as is the back of clothes hampers.
Scented sachets smell absolutely delightful. You can purchase many of the pre-made sachets from many home supply and department stores or you can order them online with a quick search. These guys can also be made by filling a stocking or sock with rice and then adding a few drops of essential oil.
Plants can perform a dual duty in your bathroom: they can filter the air and release beautiful aromas into the air. Make sure you do your homework before you bring a plant into your bathroom as not all plants can handle too much humidity. Lavender seems to do very well as do several (but not all) varieties of orchids.
You don’t need to spend a fortunate to make your bathroom smell like a spa. It’s not even that difficult. The first step is giving your bathroom a deep clean to remove any potential sources of bad odour. Once you’ve done that we’ve listed 15 different approaches that you can try that will give your bathroom that spa-like smell.