6 Ways to Naturally Freshen Your Home

6 Ways to Naturally Freshen Your Home

Everybody wants a fresh smelling home. But you don't have to compromise health and safety just so that your house can smell good!

That's why it's important to think about what chemicals and toxic ingredients are lurking in conventional home freshening products, from air fresheners and candles, to carpet deodorizers and linen sprays.

The great news is that you can freshen everything in your home without all the extra chemicals and ingredients. And it's much simpler than you think.

There are so many options, so I've brought you a variety of ideas for freshening all areas of your home naturally.

1. Essential Oils to Naturally Freshen Your Home

Essential oils offer concentrated scents right from nature. They can be used in many ways to freshen your home without harmful chemicals. 

To start, here are just a few ways that essential oils can be used to freshen your home.

An essential oil diffuser is simply any device that spreads the scent and healing properties of essential oils across a wider area.

Most diffusers have either a heating element or fan element (or both) in order to distribute the essential oil into the air. Some diffusers use candles, while others plug in. There are both large and small diffusers, depending on the size of the room you will place it in.

Diffusers are a great if you want continuous scents throughout particular rooms in your house.

Homemade Air Freshener
Don’t want to give up air freshener sprays? Make your own! Just pick your favorite essential oil as a scent. It’s easy. Here’s how.

What you need:
– 1oz vodka
– 6oz filtered water
– 20-30 drops essential oil

What to do
Pour all the ingredients together in a small/medium spray bottle. Give it a good shake. The vodka helps the essential oil blend into the water, instead of separating from it. That’s it!

Whenever you want to freshen an area quickly, just give a few sprays with your homemade spray.

2. Other Ways to Naturally Freshen Your Home with Essential Oils

Diffusers and homemade air freshener spray are not the only ways you can freshen your home with essential oils, so don’t stop there. Here are some more ideas:

1.) Soak bath salts in your favorite essential oils and place the salts in and open jar or dish. The scents of the essential oil will be released over time as the salts dry.

2.) Soak a cotton ball in essential oil and place it in the bottom of your trash can when you put in a new bag. This will keep the trash smelling fresh for a bit longer.

3.) Use your homemade air freshener to spray a bit of essential oil on your bathroom light. Every time you turn the bathroom light on, a bit of scent will be released.

4.) Make your own DIY Reed Diffuser. You should be able to find all of the supplies you need at your local grocery or department store.

3. Natural Deodorizers from Common Household Ingredients

With all of the ways you can freshen your home naturally, probably the simplest way is by using a few ingredients from your grocery store. Keeping your home clean and smelling great doesn’t have to be complicated.

Vinegar may smell strong when you first use it, and you may be hesitant to use it for fear that your house will smell like a pickle. Rest assured that when vinegar dries it’s odorless. Plus, vinegar can actually eliminate nasty smells.

Have a stinking sink or trash can? Just spray some vinegar in the area and you’ll notice a big difference in smell. It can help hold you over until you can clean that sink effectively or take the trash out.

Try using vinegar to deodorize counter tops, toilets, and more.

Baking Soda
Baking soda neutralizes scents, can whiten sinks and toilets, and remove dirt and grime, which makes it an excellent cleaning agent with the added benefit of deodorizing your spaces.

Additionally, baking soda can be used to absorb bad odors by simply placing it in the offending area.

For example, a box of baking soda can be placed in the refrigerator to absorb any bad food smells. Sprinkle a little baking soda in the bottom of the trash can when you put in a new bag. It will help absorb the odors of the trash.

Orange and Lemon
If you like the smell of citrus, why not go straight to the source? Here’s a few ideas:

– Put orange or lemon peels in your garbage disposal to get rid of nasty scents and diffuse a natural citrus aroma in your kitchen.
– Instead of using essential oils, you can use citrus fruit peels in your natural air freshener spray (recipe above).
– Make a natural cleaning and disinfectant spray by filling a spray bottle with vinegar, water, and lemon juice.

4. Natural Cedar to Naturally Freshen Your Home

Natural cedar has a pleasant and earthy scent. Natural cedar balls and sticks are popular, and widely available for sale online and in stores. You can likely find some natural cedar products at your local grocery store or department store.

Natural cedar is great for reducing moisture and repelling moths from closets and storage areas.

Cedar is also a natural deodorizer. And with it’s earthy, fresh scent, it makes a great scented addition to any room. A few things to do with cedar:

– Place some cedar balls in between your couch cushions.
– Hang some cedar in your car to keep it smelling fresh.
– Put cedar in your closets, clothing drawers, clothing storage boxes, and more.
– Place cedar in your shoes when not in use to reduce moisture and odor.
– Place cedar sticks on shelves, especially in your laundry room, basement, and bathroom.

5. DIY Sachets to Naturally Freshen Your Home

A sachet is simply a small bag (or piece of fabric tied up) filled with scented materials. Sachets are most often used to place in clothing drawers so that clothing comes out smelling fresh. Sachets also make great additions to other areas of the home.

You can buy sachets already made or make them yourself at home. If you make them at home, you have the benefit of being able to pick your own scent and materials for filling. Plus, you will know that they are fresh.

Filler ideas for homemade sachets:
– Bath salts soaked in essential oil.
Dried flowers or herbs.
– Cedar shavings or other cedar material.
– Spices
– Scented Leaves
– Natural Potpourri

Try placing your sachets on shelves, in cabinets, in the closet, in your car, an your night stand, and more!

6. Using Flowers and Plants to Naturally Freshen Your Home

Bringing the fresh smell of nature directly into your home is one of the best ways to freshen it. Not only do plants and flowers smell great, but they can even improve the air quality in your home.

Buy fresh cut flowers when you can to keep in your home. If you can grow some of your own flowers, you can use your own instead of spending money on flowers that don’t stay alive very long.

Fresh cut flowers are great, but house plants are even better because they don’t need to be cut to clean the air in your home and make it smell great. Certain house plants are better at improving your indoor air quality than others.

If you’ve never had a house plant before (or you have a hard time remember to keep them alive) start with an easy to care for plant. Make a watering schedule for yourself so you don’t forget to care for your plants, and leave reminders for yourself.

If you don’t want to keep house plants, at least make sure to open up your windows and doors on a regular basis and let your home “air out”. It will help keep your home from becoming “stuffy” and will bring in better quality air from the outdoors.

How do you naturally freshen your home?

6 Ways to Naturally Freshen Your Home

Vanessa Pruitt, PLMHP, MS

11 thoughts on “6 Ways to Naturally Freshen Your Home

  1. What great tips! I love having the house smell like citrus. I like boiling apple juice (or cider) with orange slices and cinnamon during the winter months. It makes the house smell delicious, plus there is a tasty drink always ready on the stove (or at least as often as I am home). I like the tips for cleaning with citrus which should make the smell more prevalent and last longer.

  2. I bake cinnamon sticks in our oven for the summer months and during Christmas. I am thankful for the great tips, I like to make lists of techniques to keep them handy. I have used tip #1, essential oil in the diffuser, I used Lavender Oil to sent the living room in the diffuser, the Lavender fragrance scented the entire living room, it is a really big room. I was so amazed. Thank you, again, for the tips, Vanessa.

    1. Kael, thank you for sharing the cinnamon stick idea. I’d never heard of that and I bet it smells amazing. I have some cinnamon sticks in the cupboard now, and my oven is still hot from baking a chicken all day. I’m going to try it right now! 🙂

      1. I need to try to remember and use lavender oil more as it can be so relaxing. I have thought about (in the past) using it near bed time to help my children get in the right state of mind for sleeping but I always seem to forget! I love cinnamon sticks as well, they smell so good.

  3. Another most informative article. I can use these ideas in my home. I am going to get cracking with several of these as I already have several of the ingredients I need. This will save on store bought air freshener and probably be more effective.

  4. Great ideas! With two people, four pets, and no AC in these hot summer months, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to help the house smelling fresh rather than, well, I’ll leave that up to your imagination! I got a lot of useful tips that I can’t wait to try. Thanks!

  5. I’ve used vinegar to deodorize the sink and trash cans in the past and it is very effective. I make my own sachets with cinnamon and cloves, and I put them drawers and bins where I store out of season clothes. The scent is not overwhelming and it really helps keep the clothing fresh.

  6. I haven’t really done much with essential oils, but this post has made me eager to try. Is there a good quality brand that’s reasonably priced that anyone can recommend? I’d love to try out some of these ideas. It’s hard to keep my house smelling fresh!

  7. I normally use deodorizers and diffusers at home, and that makes it wonderful when I get back home after a long days work. A problem that occurs a lot at my home is the smell from my trash can. I actually tried putting vinegar in my trash can to get rid of some fish and other smell. And what do you know, it actually works. Actually using deodorizers in such a situation makes the smell a little funnier, but with vinegar it smells cleaner. I think I will make use of orange and lemon peels now to naturally neutralize the air in my kitchen. Thank you for your very lovely tips.

  8. Some great tips here, Vanessa – thank you! I have all or most of these ingredients to hand in my house all the time, so I really ought to make these tips part of my routine.

    I love the idea of making my own reed diffusers – I’m thinking they’d make lovely Christmas presents, and I’d love to make some of those sachets with lots of different combinations in them. The possibilities seem endless!

    1. Reed diffusers as gifts sounds like an awesome plan. Particularly if you make up a set of scents that most people enjoy, nothing too strong. The sachets would make a neat stocking stuffer, plus everything else in the stocking would smell good.

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