House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Make Your Home Smell Amazing (10 Easy Methods)

Woman spraying air freshener at home

Smell is the most underrated sense, inextricably linked to our most precious memories. It’s easy to get caught up in house clutter and forget about the mysterious source of a stench, but keeping the house clean and smelling great isn’t as hard as you might think.

Let’s check out some of the easiest and most effective ways you can keep your house smelling amazing.

house divider

The 10 Methods to Make Your House Smell Amazing

1. Minimize Moisture

Mopping the floor_Polina Tankilevitch_Pexels
Image By: Polina Tankilevitch, Pexels

Moisture clinging to your home is one of the top culprits of bad smells, so keeping it dry will instantly help get rid of inexplicable mildewy smells. If you don’t have one, invest in a hygrometer, which will tell you the humidity level in your home. Ideally, you want to aim for 50% or lower, but 60% is fine in most situations.

Any higher than 60% and you may start to notice weird smells, so endeavor to control humidity levels with a dehumidifier. Removing wall-to-wall carpets can help reduce trapped moisture too, so consider going with hardwood or tile flooring instead. Finally, don’t keep moisture sources around. Wet sponges should be replaced weekly, and wet towels should be laundered immediately.

2. Brew Your Own Potpourri

White and Brown Mushrooms on Brown Wooden Bowl
Image Credit: alfredo-marco-pradil, Pexels

It’s not just in little bags anymore. You can throw some herbs, spices, and other great-smelling botanicals together in a pot to freshen the house up. Simply fill the pot up and leave it to simmer on low, and the resulting steam will carry the aroma of your ingredients.

You can use nearly anything, but some ideas are anise, citrus peels, apple slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves, or vanilla. Just make sure you don’t let the water in the pot get too low or you’ll fill the house with smoke! If you’d rather brew something drinkable, brew some delicious chai tea or aromatic cider.

3. Clean Your Dirtiest Areas

Cleaning water bucket
Image By: Myriams-Fotos, Pixabay

As we get used to our homes, the worst smells can often fade into the background, a phenomenon called sensory adaptation. Ever wonder how some people can stand to live in houses with tons of animals or trash? You might realize something is off, and cleaning the smelliest areas might be your solution.

Trash cans, diaper pails, litter boxes, and garbage disposals are things we’d all rather ignore, but taking care of them will help your house smell better. Use cat litter or baking soda in diaper pails to disperse odor, invest in an enclosed trash can, and periodically clean all three items if you have them. Much of the odor produced by this stuff is built up over time and can be prevented with regular cleaning.

4. Clean Your Fabrics

Image By: weinstock, Pixabay

Anything fabric in your home can get wet, and wiping the spill away doesn’t necessarily prevent odor-producing bacteria from breeding. If you miss a spill somewhere, the issue can get even worse. Periodically wipe down your couch cushions, window drapes, curtains, and other soft fabric items to prevent bacteria from producing mold and mildew.

Steam clean your upholstery if recommended by the fabric care label attached, and remove throw pillowcases to launder every couple of weeks. If your upholstery or fabrics get abused more often, you can clean them as frequently as you’d like. The key to cleaning household fabrics is to check and pay attention to the care label, which will tell you the best way to clean the item.

5. Use Air Diffusers

Ultrasonic Humidifier
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Essential oil diffusers have become very popular for their ability to make your home smell amazing, and they have a wide range of styles. Some are discreet while others have cozy candlelight LED lights, but they’re all compatible with lavender, peppermint, rosemary, sage, and numerous other scents.

Choose an energizing scent for the morning, and switch to a cozier type in the evening to wind down. You don’t need more than one, but investing in a couple will give you more flexibility and variety.

6. Use Baking Soda

woman hand pouring baking soda on long hair fur carpet for cleaning and stain removal
Image Credit: FotoHelin, Shutterstock

Baking soda is one of the superstars of any house. It’s cheap, sold everywhere, and can be used for tons of household chores. It’s not only used for baking but extremely effective at absorbing bad odors. You can sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom of cat litter boxes, trash cans, food disposals, and other stinky areas. For bonus scents, add a few drops of essential oil to the baking soda. It will not only absorb foul odors but make the house smell great too.

7. Tailor the Scent to the Space

scented candle in the living room
Image Credit: Sam_92120, Pixabay

As a general rule, you want to totally eliminate foul odors before introducing other smells. A scented candle with a gentle odor is sufficient for nearly any space, but an oil diffuser here and there doesn’t hurt either. A clean home has close to no smell, and that’s what we should all be aiming for anyway.

This tip is especially important for areas you intend to host guests. At most, we’d suggest a neutral aroma for big dining spaces. You don’t want to overpower your food or drinks, after all. Also, guests might have a sensitive sense of smell, allergies, or not enjoy the same smells you do. Consider saving the scented candles for when you’re home alone with a book and cozy beverage.

8. Bake Cookies

Woman Baking Cookies
Image Credit: gustavo-fring, Pexels

This is an age-old realtor trick – pop some thawed cookies on a sheet for just a few minutes to instantly make your home smell like a delicious bakery. As a bonus, you get tasty cookies afterward.

If you want the smell without the calories, opt for a cookie-scented candle or just put some cookie dough in long enough for the smell to permeate your kitchen. Everyone loves a kitchen that smells like cookies.

9. Vinegar and Activated Charcoal Neutralize Kitchen Odors

vinegar and cleaning supplies on the table
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Cooking is an essential skill, allowing you to cook the most delicious meals right at home. Unfortunately, some spices and dishes can leave an unpleasant lingering odor.

To neutralize these, leave out some activated charcoal or a bowl partway filled with white vinegar. The molecules of the bad smells will bind to the molecules in the vinegar or charcoal, completely eliminating post-cooking smells.

10. Roast Coffee Beans

brewing coffee
Image Credit: subarasikiai, Pixabay

Whether you roast your own coffee beans or not, you have to admit the smell has a distinct coffeehouse appeal. Grab a bag of coffee beans and roast a handful on a baking sheet for just a few minutes to make everyone in the house feel like a barista for the day.

Not everyone enjoys the smell of roasted coffee beans, though, so keep other people in mind before doing this.

house divider


Keeping your house clean is just a step away from it smelling great. Even just buying a dehumidifier in humid climates and judicious use of baking soda can freshen up gross-smelling houses, but it’s not hard to go the extra mile and use essential oils too! Adapt how you use the above methods to your home, friends, and family.

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools