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How to Make Your Home (and Everything in it) Smell Good

Funky smells coming from your home?  Here are Domestic CEO's 9 easy recipes for natural, homemade ways to deodorize your home and the smelly things that enter (or live in) it.

By
Amanda Thomas,
May 29, 2014
Episode #111

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Has this happened to you: You walk into your home after being gone at work or out shopping, and whoa…something smells funky! But where is it coming from? You sniff. You search. You’re stumped.

Your home can be filled with all sorts of things that can make it smell downright yucky. When that happens, you may be tempted to quickly spray a commercial air freshener or light a candle, but those are just temporary cover-ups.  You’ve really got to get to the root of the problem to remove that horrible stench from your home for good. 

Today, I’ve got 9 easy recipes for natural, homemade remedies to help deodorize and freshen your home:

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Tip #1: Homemade Room and Furniture Deodorizing Spray

This simple recipe is a snap to make and safe to use either by spritzing into the air or spraying directly on that smelly couch or recliner. This spray uses your favorite essential oil. If you haven’t used essential oils, I encourage you to check out my episode How to Use Essential Oils in Your Home to learn more about their natural, non-toxic benefits. Here’s the quick and easy recipe for deodorizing room spray:

  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 2-3 drops essential oil – I like lavender, lemon, orange, cinnamon, or peppermint. Use a scent you like or mix and match to create your own personal scent.
  • Distilled water

Mix the baking soda and essential oil thoroughly. Using a funnel to add this mixture to an 8-12 ounce spray bottle. Add distilled water to fill and shake well. Now, it’s ready to use!

Tip #2: Simmer Pot Air Freshener 

For a long-lasting wonderful aroma that permeates your entire home, try my simmer pot recipe. Use this around the winter holidays to create a warm, homey ambiance. It’s also great in summer to get rid of stinky, sweaty smells that seem to come from everywhere. Mix and match your ingredients for a unique scent. Here’s the basic recipe, but you should feel free to change it up:

  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh if possible

Add all these items to a medium pot or a small crock-pot. Add water to fill about halfway. Turn the burner on to low and let this simmer all day. If using a crock pot, set on low and let it freshen the air. Periodically check the water level and add water as needed.

Variations: Try adding pine needles and fresh cranberries at Christmas time. Use lemon and fresh mint for a light, summertime scent.  Fresh lavender and oranges make a nice combination, too.

Tip #3: Carpet Refresher

I’ve shared this tip with you before in my episode How to Clean With Baking Soda. If you don’t currently use baking soda as a natural cleaner in your home, I urge you to give it a try. It's easy, non-toxic, safe, cheap, and gets the job done fast:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

Mix these two ingredients well. Add to a shaker container – a clean parmesan cheese dispenser works well. Sprinkle liberally on your carpets and let stand for 30 – 60 minutes. Vacuum as usual. Your carpets will smell clean and fresh (and your family will think you just baked some delicious cinnamon concoction!)

Tip #4: Home and Car Fresheners

Here’s another easy way to use baking soda to kill stinky smells. These little freshener jars are great for bathrooms, closets, any room in the house, really. These make great car fresheners as well.

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 4-6 drops essential oil

Mix ingredients in a small glass jar. Either poke holes in the lid using a nail and hammer or if using a mason-type jar, stretch some fabric (I like to use burlap) across the mouth of the jar and secure with the ring lid only. Set these little deodorizers anywhere. Refresh every few weeks with 4-6 drops of new oil.

Tip #5: Natural Room Diffuser

You know those oil room diffusers that have the bamboo sticks in them? Sometimes they smell good but…sometimes they smell, well, weird. What’s in there anyway? Here’s a super simple way to create your own room diffusers for just pennies:

  • Wooden bamboo skewers
  • Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day All Purpose Cleaner (Lemon Verbena)
  • Small jar or glass

Simply add enough cleaner to the jar or glass to fill it halfway. Take 8-10 bamboo skewers and trim to the right height, if necessary. Trim off the pointy ends and make sure the skewers are no more than twice the height of the glass. Add skewers to the glass and set wherever you want a fresh, clean scent.

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