Everyone wants their house smell to be nice and pleasant. Unfortunately, many easy, cheap ways of making your house smell good to contain chemicals that can be potentially harmful to you, the environment, and even your pets.
Ditch the air fresheners and start over. Most ways of tackling bad smells are completely free or can be done at home easily.
You can make your house smell good without chemicals by ensuring that fresh air can ventilate your home regularly, even if you open your windows for a few minutes in the morning. Keeping indoor plants is a great way of introducing natural fragrances in your rooms, especially if you keep lavender, mint, or citrus plants.
What is the safest way to nice house smell?
The safest way to make your house smell nice is to draw out odors and keep your home smelling fresh.
Ventilating your home is the most fundamental part of letting fresh air in and circulating throughout the rooms. It’s also essential for combating mold. Similarly, opening your curtains to let sunlight in can help tackle smells and bacteria.
Sunlight removes odors, mold, mildew, smoke, food smells, musty smells, and even fragrance. It’s why drying your clothes out in the sun is beneficial for anyone who doesn’t suffer from allergies – the UV rays act as a completely natural bleach.
Of course, opening your windows and letting sunlight in is great for when there’s a gentle breeze or even a glimmer of sun, but sometimes it’s just not possible.
Other ways to fragrance your home include:
- Making eco-friendly candles
- Using DIY air freshener spray
- Cleaning with lemon juice
- Making dried herb sachets
- Keeping fragrant potted plants
Best natural fragrance for a nice house smell
The best natural fragrance for your home depends on what you’re comfortable with and how much time and money you have to spend on it. Natural fragrances take some preparation, whether it’s picking out and maintaining plants or spending extra time cleaning.
Buying fresh flowers regularly might be easier than growing your own plants, but cut flowers aren’t sustainable. Many indoor plants are easy to care for and caring for them can also boost your mental health.
Growing indoor plants with natural fragrances can be very beneficial for your mental and physical health while tackling smells in your home. Choosing native plants with strong smells you enjoy is best.
Some of the best fragrant plants you can grow indoors are:
Look at locally grown flowers in garden centers and pick out fragrances you enjoy, then just purchase some seeds to start from scratch or purchase the pot ready-grown. You’ll need to make sure you know exactly how to take care of them.
If you’re worried about forgetting to take care of them properly, there are apps to help with that!
Indoor plants are more eco-friendly than using essential oils to diffuse in your house and they have many other benefits. Caring for plants has been shown to increase positive emotions while reducing negative feelings and physical discomfort.
If plants make you itch or you really don’t have time to spend on them, try using lemon juice in your cleaning routine, especially in the kitchen where smells are more likely to accumulate.
Make sure it’s safe to do so with your current cleaning equipment, but if you’re using eco-friendly cleaning methods lemon juice (or lime juice, if you prefer) is a must.
Always focus your cleaning on the most common sources of smells like:
- Kitchen bins
- Front-loading washing machines
- Dirty carpets (use the baking soda method!)
- Wet towels
- Coats and muddy shoes
Tackle mildew and mold as soon as you spot any sign of either. This will help you eliminate the musty smell of mildew, avoid health problems if it continues to spread, and show you where your home needs more ventilation.
How can I get natural fragrance in my room?
To get natural fragrance in your room, you need to choose the best fragrance for your own taste. Every source of natural fragrance has its drawbacks, so finding the one that suits you is important to get started.
For instance, you might be keen on the fire risk associated with candles but you like candle scents. You could look for oil diffusers and source sustainable essential oils for your room or make homemade potpourri or dried herb bundles to emulate the same scent.
To get natural fragrance in your room, open your windows as much as possible, even if you open them when you wake and close them after you’re finished getting dressed. Even 5 minutes can make a difference!
Have a regular cleaning schedule for washing your sheets, freshening and vacuuming your carpet, and doing your dirty laundry.
Sprinkling some baking soda on your carpet once a month can help. Just leave it for an hour and then vacuum it away. For particularly smelly spots on your carpet, use a book or box to push the powder in without damaging the fibers or add some sprays of vinegar.
When you know what source of fragrance you want to use, maximize the airflow to fill your room. Anything that can evaporate should remain high and out of direct sunlight, but plants benefit most from sunlight. Test different spots in your room until you like how the scent covers your room.
How to make a natural fragrance for my home?
There are several natural fragrance DIY projects you can do to save money and customize the fragrance you want to use.
You can make eco-friendly candles, air fresheners, herb bundles, potpourri, or reed diffusers with minimal fuss.
How to make fragrant DIY candles
Fragrant candles are a great way of making natural fragrances for your home. Making eco-friendly candles doesn’t have to be hard either, and it can even be cheaper than buying synthetic candles in shops.
Look for soy wax and beeswax candle recipes to be as eco-friendly as possible. Soy wax is slow-burning, so it lasts longer and holds natural scents longer than other candle waxes.
Follow Treehugger’s soy wax candle recipe to make your own candles, though swap out fragrance oils for a sustainable essential oil instead and use a wick tab to adhere the wick in place.
You can find a list of common essential oils that aren’t safe for children or pets in my guide for making eco-friendly candles. This also includes a list of sustainable essential oil brands to purchase from.
How do you make DIY air fresheners?
While air fresheners are bad for the environment and indoor air quality, you can make DIY air fresheners to keep your house smell pleasant without doing any harm.
All you need is lime juice, water, and baking soda. You’ll need a spray bottle as well, so reuse an old, clean spray bottle or purchase a small glass bottle with a spray nozzle.
- 6 ounces or 180 ml of lime juice
- 6 ounces or 180 ml of water
- 4 ounces or 120 ml of baking soda (or 110 g if you’re using scales)
Add them to the bottle, close the top, and shake them together. Easy! Just shake before use and spray to your heart’s content.
How to make dried herb bundles
Dried herb bundles are a great decorative project that can make your house smell very nicely without using plastic.
Don’t store the herbs before the leaves are definitely dry. You can catch any falling leaves with a bowl placed under the herbs. If you see any signs of mold, start over.
Sage, roses, lavender, lemongrass, pine needles, and mugwort are some of the most popular ingredients in herb bundles. You can experiment with all kinds of herbs though! Try finding seasonal herbs so you can rotate the fragrance in your home according to seasonal plants.
You can even go out and try picking your own herbs or growing them yourself.
How do you make potpourri?
Potpourri is a mixture of dried flowers and spices used to create a natural house smell. You don’t have to buy potpourri – you could use your own flowers and spices to make it at home!
You’ll need some garden scissors, a wooden spoon, a basket or bowl, and your fragrant ingredients.
Some fragrant ingredients common for potpourri include:
- Pine cones
- Cinnamon sticks
- A fixative (usually orris root, vanilla beans, oakmoss, or myrrh gum)
- Natural essential oil
To make potpourri, you need to dry your flowers by using salt or sand. This can take a few weeks. You can also tie them together and hang them upside down in a place with no humidity for a week until they dry.
If you have spare silica gel from a parcel, you can cover a container with an inch of silica gel and press your flowers into the gel. Make sure to be gentle so they retain their shape. Then cover the container tightly and leave it for 2–3 days.
You can also simmer ingredients on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.
Here are some of the best and most fragrant potpourri recipes:
- Rose and carnation potpourri
- Orange and rosemary potpourri
- Christmas cranberry potpourri
- Spring potpourri recipes
- Fall-themed potpourri
- Lavender potpourri
- Zero-waste pumpkin spice potpourri
How to make a reed diffuser
To make your own reed diffuser, you’ll need:
- A small vase or bottle
- Sustainable essential oil
- Unscented baby oil
- Rubbing alcohol or vodka
- Bamboo skewers or diffuser reeds
- A small funnel
Spruce’s guide to making your own room diffuser recommends mixing rubbing alcohol, baby oil, and 20–25 drops of essential oil in a bowl together. Then pour the mixture into your chosen container with a funnel and add 3–6 skewers or reeds into the vase.
Keep your reed diffuser away from direct sunlight to prevent too much evaporation and check it regularly every month to check when it needs topping up.
If you have pets, check what essential oils you want to use to ensure they aren’t toxic to your animals.