When you visit a person’s home for the first time, many of your basic senses will be engaged. Your senses of hearing, touch and taste will likely be busy, but your eyes and nose will be the most active. Strong emotions and memories tend to be attached to sights and smells.
Hopefully, the memory of this initial visit to your friend’s home will be a good one. If unpleasant odors made it less than enjoyable, you’ll want to make sure your home doesn’t offer a similar first impression. We are here with what you need to know to make your house smell good from the start.
Where To Look For Bad Smells
Some areas of your house will have their own distinct odors no matter what you do to combat or control them. Sometimes odors can be found in unexpected places. Here are some of the areas and items that may need your help to clear the air:
- Kitchen/Dining Room – Refrigerator, stovetop, garbage disposal, garbage can
- Bathroom – Toilet, shower stall, shower curtain, musty towels, clothes hamper
- Laundry/Mud Room – Dirty clothes, wet jackets, muddy boots, cat litter boxes
- Bedroom – Musty bedding, pet beds, enclosed closets, dirty laundry basket
- Living Room – Soft furniture, floor coverings, window treatments, throws
- Garage – Chemical and oil products, pet odors, sports equipment
Quick And Simple Ways To Clean The Air
There are times when you won’t have a lot of advance notice to guarantee your home is at its freshest, like last minute guests or get-togethers. Here are some simple methods you can use to give the air in your home a quick boost:
Fresh Air – Houses become stale when buttoned up for the winter or during bad weather. Throw the windows wide open on a pleasant day to circulate fresh air.
Air Fresheners – Simmer slices of citrus and spices such as cinnamon and cloves in a pot of water. The scent will meander through the house and welcome your guests at the door.
Soft Surfaces – Pillows, blankets, rugs and drapes are all odor magnets. A quick spritz of a fabric refresher will help in a pinch. Mix a few drops of lavender or eucalyptus essential oil with water in a spray bottle for a natural alternative.
Garbage Cans – Keep the trash can and compost bin emptied and clean. Sprinkling dried herbs such as rosemary, eucalyptus or mint in the bottoms will also add freshness.
Dryer Sheets – Dryer sheets tucked into unexpected places add quick and refreshing scent boosts. Place one in your vacuum cleaner canister, bottom of the garbage pail or behind couch cushions.
Lemons – Lemon slices in your garbage disposal will clean it and the air at the same time. Do this weekly to keep your sink fresher.
Bake Cookies – There is nothing more inviting than the scent of freshly baked cookies. Use this popular realtor’s trick to up the welcome factor of your home.
Make Your House Smell Good For Longer
When you have time for more than a quick fix, try these tips for long-term freshness:
Regular Cleaning – Spring cleaning isn’t the only regularly scheduled tidying you should be doing. Create a routine to help you keep each room of the house smelling nice through all four seasons.
Keeping It Natural – Baking soda and vinegar are great natural, non-toxic replacements for harsh chemicals. A paste of baking soda, coarse salt and lemon juice makes an effective scrub. Baking soda added to cat litter boxes is a healthy way to keep the stink in check.
Clutter Busting – Reducing household clutter also reduces household odors. Keep clothing, shoes and other items picked up and put away.
Laundry Room – With regular use, your washer and dryer can become a bit stinky. Keep the lint trap and dryer vents clear. Run a cup of vinegar through the empty washer at least once a month. Don’t let dirty, wet laundry pile up.
Appliances – Your dishwasher, oven and garbage disposal can all contribute to odors in the home. Once again, baking soda, lemons and vinegar to the rescue. Either as rinses, pastes or scrubs, these natural ingredients pack a lot of power.
Furnishings – Curtains, furniture and rugs all soak up stale odors. Regularly vacuum the soft items that you can’t put in the washer. If you have a clothesline, cushions and drapes benefit from being aired out.
Houseplants – Filling your home with living greenery can provide a bonus other than beauty. Oxygen-producing houseplants also act as air filters. They take in airborne toxins and bad odors and pump out fresh, clean air. It’s a win-win.
The Next Step
Now that you know what you need to make your house smell good, it’s up to you. Take our advice and put some of these tips to use right away. Make sure that the first impression your guests have of your home is a great one. It should delight all of the senses — including the taste of those freshly baked cookies.