We all try our best to keep our homes clean, but with busy lives, pets, and children, sometimes odors hit us out of nowhere. There are many expensive sprays, wipes, and gadgets that are designed to remove or mask home odors, but what are the cheapest ways to make your house smell good? The following suggestions include the use of items you probably already have lying around your house or in your fridge. Even if you don’t have the ingredients on hand, you can find most of them in your local discount store. Be sure to also check out our article on the best plants for bathroom smells for some other great ideas on how to make your living space smell amazing.
Here’s Our List of the 22 Cheapest Ways to Make Your House Smell Good
1. Tea Bags
Tea bags do an excellent job of both absorbing odors as well as deodorizing the air. You find tea bags in a number of tea flavors, such as lemon, orange, or mint. Simply hang your bags in inconspicuous places such as behind your couch or curtains or tape them to the bottom of kitchen chairs or you can just set them inside your fridge to get rid of any lingering odors of onions or fish. They’re also inexpensive making them one of the cheapest ways to make your house smell good.
2. Scented Pine Cones
Pine cones make for a marvelous piece of decor for fall and winter months. A little bit of glue and glitter can really add some pizazz. Plus, pine cones are really absorbent, so a few drops of essential oil will leave a lasting effect. To really cover up the pet or smoking odors in your home, try dropping cinnamon oil on your pine cone, or better yet, since fallen pine cones lose most of their natural smell, add some pine-scented oil to them.
3. Orange and Lemon With Sea Salt
Citrus scents are amazing at covering up stinky odors in your house and you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen. All you have to do is take several oranges or lemons and cut them in half. Next, scoop out some of the inside with a spoon. Fill your little scented bowls with sea salt, which will serve the dual purposes of helping the scent permeate your home while extending the “life” of your fruit bowls. Now, add some herbs to the fruit-halves to accentuate the scent.
4. Vodka Spray
The next suggestion might sound a little off-the-wall but it works! Pour about a half cup of distilled vodka (the cheapest on the shelves works just as good as the expensive stuff), next add one cup of water, then add drops of essential oil. There are numerous different scents of oil for you to choose from and the amount that you add depends on how strong you want the scent. This mixture is meant to be sprayed into the air so make sure you pick a bottle that has a mist setting.
5. Candle with Cinnamon Sticks
If you love the smell of cinnamon in your house around the holidays (or any time), this idea should be right up your alley. Pick out a candle with your favorite scent, such as apple or vanilla. Grab some twine and wrap several cinnamon sticks around your candle. The scent should last you a good while, but should it start to fade you can always drop a few drops of cinnamon scented essential oil on the sticks.
6. Boiled Scents
The citrus bowls mentioned above are great for leaving a faint smell when in its vicinity. For a much stronger scent that permeates your entire house, you’re going to have to break out a pot. Fill your pot part of the way with water. Add your favorite fruit (lemons and oranges seem to be the strongest). Next, if you choose, add a few drops of vanilla extract and a couple sprigs of rosemary or mint. Bring your concoction to a roaring boil and then allow it to just sit.
7. Newspaper in Trash Can
No doubt one of the smelliest areas in your home is the trash can. Food droppings and fluids can easily drip through a hole in your bag and pool at the bottom of your can. Try folding up several sheets of newspaper and setting them on the bottom of your can. Newspaper’s natural absorbency can soak up any smelly liquid. If you want to add a little deodorizer to the newspaper, add a couple of drops of essential oil or spray with pine sol. The absorbing and deodorizing newspaper should hopefully do the trick at getting your trashcan to stop stinking up the kitchen.
8. Wax Melter
An innovative deodorizing trick is to melt good-smelling items. One idea is to take a few tablespoons of coconut oil, a few teaspoons of pumpkin spice, and half a teaspoon of cinnamon and add them all to some coconut oil. Place the mixture on a heatable, but safe, container and then set upon a wax melter. If you don’t own a melter, you can make your own by placing a candle in a mason jar and then adding the ingredients to a modified jar lid.
9. Rice and Essential Oil
A super simple way to keep your house smelling good involves just 2 ingredients: rice and essential oil. To make this homemade air freshener, just pour some rice in a bowl and then add a few drops of essential oil. Stir it up well to get the intensity of scent that you desire. If you find the scent starts to weaken, just give the rice another stir to reinvigorate the scent.
10. Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets are incredibly versatile and can be used in a number of different ways around the house. One of their most incredible uses is absorbing and covering up odors in the house. You can put these sheets just about anywhere around your house. They work well in closets, in the bottom of trash cans, and under couch cushions. They smell fabulous and absorb smelly odors at the same time. Just be weary about placing them anywhere a child or pet might have access because they are toxic if ingested. But at a few cents a sheet they are one of the cheapest ways to make your house smell good.
11. Essential Oil in Your Bathroom
One of the smelliest rooms in any house is the bathroom. It’s dingy, humid, and some stinky business goes on in there. There are lots of scented gadgets on the market but they’re not all super affordable. One low-cost trick to making your bathroom smell good is to drop a little bit of your favorite scented essential oil onto the inside of your toilet paper tubes.
12. Coffee and Candle
A very interesting trick to cover up smells involves coffee beans and tea light candles. Fill up a couple of mason jars with your choice of coffee bean and then place tea light candles right on top. The heat from the candles will help the scent of the coffee beans permeate the room. Another one of the cheapest ways to make your hosue smell good!
13. Lemon Ice
Garbage disposals are great assets to any kitchen. However, left untreated they can begin to smell pretty ripe. There are a number of chemicals you can purchase that work wonders on deodorizing your disposal, but why purchase products when you probably have what you need already in your kitchen. Simply fill an ice cube tray with white vinegar and lemon bits. Once a week, drop a couple of cubes into your drain and let them sit overnight. When you get up the next morning, just turn your disposal on to get rid of the lemon bits.
14. Furnace Filter
If you’d like to get some good-smelling air throughout your entire house, refer to your furnace filter. Add a few drops of essential oil to your furnace filter. The stronger scents like cinnamon, lavender, or lemon work the best.
Freshly dried laundry smells wonderful when dried with dryer sheets. You can bring that fantastic, clean smell into the rest of your home as well, if you try this simple trick. Just tape dryer sheets to the inside of your home’s vents. Now, every time you turn on the heat or A/C your house will be filled with that same fresh scent as freshly dried laundry.
16. Boil Items for a Great Scent
Perhaps you have guests arriving shortly but you just can’t get a stench out of the air. Turn to your kitchen cabinets and fridge for a quick and easy solution. Gather up apples, oranges, lemons, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, or any other combination of ingredients that you have at your disposal. Peel the fruits and add the peelings to a pan of boiling water. Toss in cloves and some strongly scented herbs like rosemary or lavender. The wonderful scent should permeate your home in no time.
17. Absorbing Odors from The Fridge
Some leftovers, even the most delicious, can leave a horrible, lingering, rancid odor in the fridge that wafts into your face every time you open the door. A good cleaning will almost always make your fridge smell better. However, if you’re not ready to toss out your leftovers, the odor will continue to linger. Your best solution is to seek out a way to absorb the odors. A small bowl of rice or a box of baking soda seem to do the trick. With the rice, you can go one step further and add a few drops of lightly-scented essential oil.
18. Baked Vanilla
If you’re looking to deodorize your home, but you’re more keen on sweeter scents, how about a little bit of vanilla extract in your oven. Drop about two to three tablespoons in a small, oven-safe dish and place
in your oven at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes. The sweet scent should permeate throughout your kitchen and adjoining rooms, covering any bad odors along the way.
20. Car Fresheners
If you have car fresheners in your car, then you know how strong these little gadgets can be. They come in a wide variety of the little cardboard cutouts that hang from your rearview mirrors or the clip on packs that you snap onto your vents. These products can work just as well in your home. You could tape the cardboard variety directly to your home vent or clip on the vent clips. When you turn on your AC or heat, the scent should fill your house. Beware, these fresheners are toxic when ingested so only place on vents that are out of reach of any children or pets.
21. Cotton Balls
Here’s one more use for fantastic essential oils. Gather up cotton balls or cut off a tuft of sewing batting. Apply a drop or two of essential oil directly to your cotton and place in a small dish or stuff the scented cotton in hidden spots around your home. You can place the cotton in your dresser, closets, or under couch cushions.
Fresh eucalyptus has a strong and fabulous odor. The scent is only accentuated when heat and steam hit it. If you want a heavenly experience in your shower, purchase a few sprigs from a local greenhouse for just a few bucks. Hang the plant in your shower. Run it hot and wait for the wonderful aroma to reach your senses.
Making your home small amazing doesn’t need to be expensive. Simple is best and you can achieve some ingredible results using simple items you probably have in your home anyway.