This post is sponsored by Walmart.
16 odor-improving recipes, cleaning tricks, and room freshening ideas for how to make your house smell good naturally with non-toxic ingredients.
Ask me what it’s like to move into a 60+ your old house, and I can sum it up on one word: musty.
You know how you can just walk into a house a go, “Yep. This place smells old.” (Old book smell is awesome. Old house smell? Not so much.)
But nowadays, when we walk into our house after a long trip, we LOVE the smell of our house because I’ve learned a lot of tricks to chase away the gross odors. So here is how to make your house smell good using only natural ingredients.
The best part is using these natural ingredients for odor eliminators and air freshening is actually much CHEAPER than going out and buying specialty products that basically coat the stinky smells with a layer of artificial chemical perfume.
To make the job even more budget-friendly, you can use low price quality private brands from Walmart.
We stretch our budget further for household supplies and groceries by swapping name brand labels for Walmart brands like Great Value, Marketside, Sam’s Choice, Equate, and Freshness Guaranteed, including organic options.
For cleaning and air freshening our whole house, this is all we really need…
How to Make Your House Smell Good Naturally
The VAST majority of cleaning to make your house smell good can be done mostly with just baking soda and white vinegar. There are so many ways to freshen your house with just those two ingredients because they neutralize bad odors. (Remember making those DIY volcanoes in middle school?)
If you love infusing fragrance in to your home, but don’t want a fake perfume-y punch in the face as soon as you walk through the door, turning to herbs, spices, produce, and essential oils make your house smell amazing.
Natural Whole House Fragrance Ideas
1. DIY Stovetop Potpourri
Simmering this stovetop potpourri for a day or two makes your house smell like crisp leaves and warm apple pie. It is quintessentially the smell of fall in a pot!
- Large pot filled 3/4 of the way with water
- 2 apples, sliced
- 2 lemons, sliced
- 10 cinnamon sticks
- A small handful of whole cloves
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
Mix all of the ingredients in the pot and simmer it (not boil) on the stove with the lid off. You can also keep it heated in a crockpot without the lid on low for up to 48 hours. Just add more water if the water level gets low.
Get creative if you want using whatever ingredients you might already have like rosemary, thyme, mint, oranges, limes, cranberries, cardamom, or ginger.
You can also use fruit peels to repurpose food waste. Make a pot an hour before guests arrive and your house will smell extra inviting.
2. DIY Room Spray
I don’t love using room sprays with artificial scents (they sometimes tend to give me a headache), so making a DIY room spray is the perfect solution.
- Glass 16 oz spray bottle
- Small funnel
- 3 Tbsp witch hazel
- 60 drops essential oil of your choice
- Distilled water
- Label maker (optional)
In the spray bottle, add the witch hazel and essential oil drops. Fill it the rest of the way with distilled water. Give the bottle a good shake to mix it well before misting around your rooms for a natural scent boost.
3. Add Essential Oils to Air Filters
This little trick works great for infusing your entire house with the scent of essential oils! Just add 15-20 drops of the essential oil of your choice all over a clean air filter before placing into your air return vent.
Natural Ways to Make Textiles Smell Good in Your Home
4. DIY Linen Spray
It’s a good idea to spritz your linens right after putting on clean bedsheets or on bedding in a guest room before loved ones come over for a stay.
- Glass 16 oz spray bottle
- Small funnel
- 1 1/2 cup distilled water
- 3 oz unflavored vodka (or rubbing alcohol)
- 40 drops of your essential oil of choice
- Label maker (optional)
Mix all ingredients in a glass spray bottle and add a “linen spray” label, if desired. Give the bottle a good shake before use and lightly spritz pillows, blankets, and sheets. If you’re substituting the vodka with rubbing alcohol, it will require a little more shaking to properly mix the ingredients before use each time.
I love using eucalyptus, lavender, and bergamot together for a fresh, clean, relaxing scent on bedding (don’t forget living room blankets and pillows too). You can get creative with custom oil mixtures or stick to just one type for a natural home fragrance.
Wash bedding, towels, and other linens (on warm, if possible, depending on the fabric) with 1 cup of white vinegar poured directly into the washing machine drum. After the cycle is finished, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drum and wash like usual with your regular laundry detergent.
Linens will smell fresh and must-free, plus they’ll feel extra clean!
6. DIY Carpet Deodorizer
If you have a pet who has accidents sometimes (or a potty training toddler) or older carpets, there are probably all kinds of smells hanging out in your rug fibers, especially in rooms with high humidity levels.
- Spice shaker canister
- Baking soda
- 12-16 drops of essential oil of your choice
In a 4 oz shaker bottle, fill it halfway with baking soda. Add 6-8 drops of essential oil to the baking soda and stir well. Repeat, filling the shaker to the top.
Sprinkle the DIY carpet deodorizer liberally on carpets and rugs. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Then, vacuum it up. Poof! Smells are gone. (Steam cleaning carpets once a year can help too.)
How to Make Clothing Smell Better
7. Get Rid of Musty Smells in Drawers and Closets
I buy a lot of old, secondhand furniture around here to fix up, so I deal with musty odors in dresser drawers on a regular basis.
If you have the same issue, charcoal bags are your friends! Just place a couple of charcoal bags in your drawers and closets to absorb any bad smells. After a month or two, set the bags out in direct sunlight for 2-3 hours per side to “recharge” them so they can keep absorbing odors from your clothing for you.
8. DIY Shoe Deodorizer
Robert and my kiddos are super active all day so our shoe bench and laundry room where they kick off their shoes every day can smell… ripe.
How to Make Your Kitchen Smell Good
9. Add Baking Soda to the Trash Can
The kitchen trash can is usually a big offender. Sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom of your trash can before adding a trash bag to help fight off smells.
10. Add Baking Sofa to the Fridge, Freezer, and Pantry
While you’re at it, place a cup of baking soda in an open container in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry to neutralize food odors. You can place a small bowl of coffee grounds in a fridge or freezer to absorb smells too.
11. Simmer White Vinegar After Cooking
Lingering after dinner smells can be pretty rough, so before sitting down to eat, combine 2 cups of water with a 1/2 cup of white vinegar on your stove to simmer. By the time you’re finished eating dinner, the cooking smells in your kitchen will be eliminated. Any vinegar smells will dissipate in a few minutes.
12. Clean the Garbage Disposal
The garbage disposal is one you probably don’t think about as often, but it can be a big reason why kitchens smell bad.
- Disconnect the power to your garbage disposal and remove any food debris with tongs. Reconnect the power.
- To deodorize, pour the 1/2 cup baking soda down the disposal and let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Pour in 1 cup of white vinegar (and watch the bubbles work their magic). Wait 3 minutes, then rinse with hot water.
- To freshen and sharpen the blades, add 2 cups of ice, 1 cup of salt, and the peel of 1 lemon in the disposal. Turn it on and let it run until the ice is ground up.
Other Ways to Make Your House Smell Good Naturally
13. Open the Windows
Let fresh air in and push stale air out by opening your windows for a few hours.
14. Get a Houseplant or Two
I kill literally every houseplant that crosses my path, but they can be really helpful in revitalizing the air in your home.
15. Use Essential Oil Diffusers
We have one in each of our bedrooms that not only make rooms smell good, they’re great for diffusing lavender oil to help our kids sleep better or diffusing eucalyptus when we have colds.
16. Clean Pet Areas
Wash pet bedding regularly and scoop out litter boxes daily. You can try this DIY pet deodorizer between baths too.
According to Lola though, this whole house is her pet area. She just gives us permission to live here. 😉
If you’ve never used Walmart’s online grocery service, you can use promo code TRIPLE10 on your first three pickup or delivery orders to get household essentials for less. ($50 minimum. Restrictions and fees apply.)
Got any other tricks to add to the bunch to make your home smell good? Ever tried any of these yourself? The stovetop potpourri is a favorite for our family this time of year to make our home smell extra cozy.