How can I get my home to smell better?

Real Mom Problem

“Besides opening the windows to air a house out, what are your tricks for keeping the house smelling fresh and clean?”

by telecomgirl telecomgirl

Quick Tips

  • 1. Open windows whenever you're home to let fresh air in and stale air out
  • 2. Keep your house as clean as possible
  • 3. Pay special attention to "smellier" things like pet beds, litter boxes, diaper and garbage pails, and garbage disposals
  • 4. Do your best to stay on top of laundry
  • 5. Try using products that absorb odors naturally like baking soda in the fridge and sprinkled on carpets before vacuuming
  • 6. Use a dehumidifier in the basement to keep mold and mildew away
  • 7. Consider investing in an air-filtration system

Real Mom Solutions

Who doesn't want their house to smell deliciously fresh -- even when it's, um, not quite so clean? See what these moms suggest for keeping things smelling sweet!

Becky Becky

Our Expert Mom Says...

Open your windows whenever you can to get fresh air circulating. Look into investing in a whole house air-filtration system; they hook up to your furnace and can really help with odors and allergens. If you already have an air-filtration system, make sure you are changing the filters on a regular basis, and pay attention to the manufacturer's recommendation for changing them.

Some simple ideas for freshening up the smell of your house? Light a candle while you are cleaning to add your favorite scent to the air (just be sure to bring it with you when you move rooms or blow it out before you go!). If you prefer warmers or tart burners, find a signature scent that combines a couple of your favorites. You can also make a little stove simmer with four cups of water, a cinnamon stick or two, and some orange or lemon slices. Simmer it on the back of your stove (on low) and your house will have that homey smell in no time. I like to keep a mason jar filled with baking soda and 10 to 12 drops of my favorite essential oils that I use on my carpet to absorb odors and add a fresh scent when I vacuum. I just sprinkle the homemade freshener over the carpet, let it sit for ten minutes, and then vacuum it up.

Smelly garbage can or diaper bin? Be sure to empty them often and try a sweet smelling dryer sheet at the bottom of the pail for a little freshening. When you can't smell it anymore, toss it out and replace it with a fresh one.

Smelly garbage disposal? I run the hot water and squirt a little yummy smelling dish soap (I like Mrs. Meyer's Bluebell scent), let it foam up a little and then just run the disposal. Nothing fancy, but it works.

Stinky front-loading washer? Always keep the door open when it isn't in use to keep mold and mildew away. I also have a "clean washer" selection on mine that I use weekly; I toss in about a quarter of a cup of bleach (the only time I use bleach) every week after I wash dog bedding and cleaning rags.

Becky, aka Clean Mama, is a cleaning expert, list maker, wife, and busy mom to three little ones. She blogs at Clean Mama where she talks about all things clean and organized and she has a successful Etsy shop, Clean Mama Printables, where she helps others make lists, organize, and clean. She's been featured in HGTV magazine, as well as on, and Becky strives to make homekeeping fun AND easily implemented into everyday life.

The Moms of CafeMom Say...

  • toomanypoodles

    We keep our house smelling fresh with daily vacuuming, and just general cleaning and keeping up with the laundry. If you have pets, empty the cat's litter box frequently and don't let the puppy have the run of the house until he's potty trained. With babies, haul dirty diapers outside.

  • elle71186

    I love to clean with Murphy Oil Soap. It smells so good and clean to me without being overpowering.

  • Jukebox_Jenny

    When I lived in a cold climate, I'd still pick one afternoon to open up the windows and air out the house every now and then. I need fresh air.

  • telecomgirl

    In the summer, I only close my windows when I'm away from home or in bed. Otherwise they stay open. I love all the airflow.

  • FabDarling

    I clean everything with Lysol, and I always buy the one with the LEAST amount of scent. I get Yankee Candle tarts (the disks that you melt in a dish over a candle), and nothing flowery, nice crisp scents. My favorite is Jack Frost, which is a peppermint/vanilla smell.

  • Dichroic

    What also makes a difference in how your house smells is cleaning your drapes. You'd be surprised how that changes the smell of a room.