Life Hacks | Did You Know

10 Hacks To Keep Your House Smelling Fresh And Clean

Lauren Volo/InHabitat

Whether you live alone or you have a full house, there always seems to be a mysterious smell that lingers. You don't always have time to bring in a cleaning lady or do a full deep clean yourself, but you also don't want to live with the stench.  

The problem can get especially bad in the winter and colder months because opening a window isn't always an option. I know that my place can start to smell a little musty when you mix in gym bags, soggy boots, and no air flow.

Luckily, there are ways to keep your home smelling great without having to do a huge clean-out, and they all use things you probably have at home already!

1. Dryer Sheets

When you want a room to smell like a summer's day, you can attach a dryer sheet to your fan and just let it go all day! The fan will blow the scent of the sheets into the room, and you don't have to go buy an over-powering air freshener. You can also just leave dryer sheets in drawers or closets to make keep the scent without the airflow!

2. Vinegar and a Rag

If you come from a smoking household, or a household that burns food regularly (like mine,) then you need to pay attention to this! Smoke smell can linger in your house and be hard to get out. Try soaking a rag in white vinegar, ringing it out, and then walking around the room while swinging the rag around. It'll take the smell away, even if you look silly doing it!

3. Vanilla Extract

The smell of vanilla is one of the most popular in the world, but before you go a buy an expensive scented candle, try this first! Dab a small amount of vanilla onto a light bulb. As it heats up, your home will be smelling sweet in no time! If you don't want to apply it directly to the light, you can also cook two teaspoons of vanilla extract in the oven for 20 minutes for long-lasting scent!

4. Ice and Borax

Bob Vila

One of the smelliest places in the house can be your garbage disposal. Instead of using harsh chemicals, pour some ice in the disposal and let it get ground up. Sprinkle some borax or baking soda down the drain, and the disposal will do the rest for you!

5. Lemon, Vinegar and Baking Soda


Older bathrooms or basement bathrooms can start to smell musty and of stale urine (I know, it's gross) over time. Using chemicals can be expensive and harmful, which is why this solution is perfect. Mix together lemon juice and baking soda until it forms a paste. Scrub the mixture on the toilet seat, the bowl, and the tank if need be. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then add 1/2 a cup of vinegar to the toilet and let it sit for another 15 minutes. Use a sponge to clean up the solution.

6. Boil Cinnamon

David Avocado Wolfe

Similar to the vanilla on the stove, boiling cinnamon sticks will give your home a warm and cozy scent! You can also use ground cinnamon if that's all you have in the house, it will do the same thing! If you want the scent to travel throughout your home, carefully carry the saucepan with you around the house and bring it into each room and let the scent waft in!

7. Lemon and Baking Soda

David Avocado Wolfe

If you love cooking fish, this one is for you! The smell of fish can linger for days, so mix two cups of water, three tablespoons of baking soda, and some lemon peels together to absorb the smell.

8. Toilet Paper and Your Favorite Scent

Leah May Makes

Air fresheners can be bulky in a small bathroom. Adding a couple drops of your favorite scent to the inside of your toilet paper roll can make sure the bathroom smells great without an added fixture!

9. Kool-Aid

Newlyweds Blog

Yes, you read that right. Dishwashers are some of the worst culprits for stinky smells. A perfect way to solve this is lemon Kool-Aid! Add a handful of it to your dishwasher and then let it run while empty. Once it's done, your machine will smell lemony fresh!

10. Coffee Grounds


Stinky garbage cans make the entire house smell bad. Even if you wash it, it still stinks! Try adding coffee grounds to the bottom of the can. They soak up any lingering smells and eliminate order!

What's your best tip for getting rid of household smells?

Meagan has an intense love for Netflix, napping, and carbs.