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.

Amanda Thomas
6-minute read
Episode #111

Tip #6: Natural Air Freshener Gel

Here’s another option for an air freshener that you can set wherever you need the air sanitized. This gel freshener is a good option if you’ve got small children, rowdy teenagers, clumsy husbands, or crazy pets. Since this air freshener is in gel form, it can’t spill! Here’s what you need:

  • 20 drops of your favorite essential oil(s)
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 4 packets of plain, unflavored gelatin (I used Knox brand)
  • Water
  • Empty glass food jars with screw-on lids

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, remove it from heat, and gently stir in the essential oils and the salt. Continue stirring while carefully sprinkling in the gelatin. Once dissolved, slowly stir in 1 cup of cold water. Do not stir this vigorously or it will foam up and create a cloudy gel.

Place the jars on a cookie sheet and carefully pour the gelatin mixture into each jar. Move to a location where they won’t be bumped or messed with and let sit for 2 to 3 days to set up. At this point the fresheners will smell very strong but don’t worry; the scent will mellow out once you’ve got the lids on.

Decide how many air fresheners you plan to use immediately. Poke 5-6 holes in those lids using a hammer and nail. Leave the remaining lids without holes to keep their fragrance intact during storage. For a more decorative touch, spray paint the lids before punching the holes in them.

This recipe will make 4 to 5 4-ounce room fresheners. If you like, you can add food coloring to the boiling water, oil, and salt mixture to create colorful gel fresheners. Use until the gel filling has become dry and shriveled.

Tip #7: Smelly Shoe Deodorizing Spray

This is a stink that invades just about every household. Here’s a quick remedy to spritz on those smelly shoes:

  • 2 teaspoons essential oil (thyme or tea tree oil work best)
  • 2 cups water

Mix thoroughly and add to a spray bottle. Liberally spray shoes with this mixture and allow to completely dry before wearing.

Tip #8: Stinky Pet Spray

Some dogs just have a very pungent body odor. Here is a useful pet deodorizer that helps keep Fido smelling sweet between baths or trips to the groomer.

  • 3 Tablespoons rubbing alcohol (or vodka…but who wants to waste vodka on the dog!)
  • 2 cups distilled water
  • 12 drops essential oils

Bonus: I recommend the following essential oils because they're also great bug repellents. 

Lavender oil repels fleas; cinnamon is good for mosquitoes; eucalyptus deters mosquitoes, ticks, and lice; and lemongrass wards off flies, fleas, and mosquitoes. Mix one or more to help ward off the pests in your neck of the woods.

Mix the ingredients thoroughly and add to a spray bottle. Spritz this liberally on your doggie whenever he or she is smelly! This will last in the container for 2-3 weeks.

Tip #9: Deodorizing Discs

These powerful discs work well in garbage cans, diaper pails, gym bags, and closets. This recipe is enough for 24 discs:

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1-2 cups water
  • Several drops of essential oil
  • Silicone muffin pans, enough for 24

Heat the water to boiling and add the oil.  Mix the liquid slowly into a bowl containing the baking soda.  Add only enough liquid to make a spreadable paste.  (The more water you mix in the longer the discs take to dry and harden.)  Spoon the paste into silicone muffin pans. Let the discs dry completely. This may take several days. Once completely dried, remove the discs carefully from the muffin pans. Store in a jar or Ziploc bag until ready to use.

Put a disc in the bottom of your trash can or diaper pail to absorb odors. A disc added to a gym bag or gym locker keeps stinky smells at bay. Use wherever sneaky smells tend to get overwhelming.


And there you have it - 9 natural, easy to make deodorizers that will make your home smell fresh and clean without spending money on expensive air fresheners. Try some of these effective techniques and you’ll not only save money, but also breathe in fewer chemicals in the long run. Better for you, your family, your pets, and your wallet! And for more DIY air freshener ideas, check out: 6 Easy Air Fresheners You Can Make at Home Right Now

Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home!

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About the Author

Amanda Thomas Domestic CEO
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