Remember when you’d just bought your new home in Portland, Oregon? You were so excited when you began to move everything in, setting up your home exactly the way you wanted it. One of the experiences you savored during those early months was the smell of your new home. Everything just smelled fresh! We’re here to give you a few tips on how to recreate that “new home” smell so that you can keep your home spelling fresh and beautiful for years to come. Here are ten ways to keep that new home smell:
1. Potted Plants
Houseplants do a lot more for your home than just serve as decoration. In addition to their beauty, they actually act as natural air purifiers! Plants will draw in carbon dioxide and release oxygen while providing a pleasant smell for your home. Not only that, they also release moisture into the air, boosting the humidity in your home. They’re even good for your health; researchers have discovered hospital rooms with houseplants boast faster recovery for patients, in addition to reduced fatigue and anxiety. And they help students stay focused when studying, too! We recommend fragrant plants such as gardenias, corsage orchids, Cuban oregano, eucalyptus, and Arabian jasmine.
2. Stovetop Potpourri
Another way to suffuse the air with a pleasant aroma is by adding some citrus, herbs, and water to a saucepan and simmering it on low heat (you can use a crockpot as well). You can also add the liquid potpourri to some gelatin and essential oils to create your own air fresheners. Consider the time of year when deciding what scents to use. During the holidays, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg will give your home a Christmas scent; during summer maybe some lemon, orange, pineapple and coconut to give your home a tropical smell! (Just remember to turn the stove off whenever you leave the house.)
3. Keep The Garbage Disposal Clean
The garbage disposal has a lot of things run through it that don’t smell too good altogether, so you’ll want to make sure that you run a little soap and water down there periodically to neutralize the smell. After that, run some citrus peels, such as lemon or lime, down there to bring out a fresh scent. If that doesn’t work and your garbage disposal still doesn’t smell great, try running a 1/2 cup of baking soda down there to further eliminate all those nasty odors.
4. Place Unlit Candles in Unexpected Areas
Burning scented candles is a fairly expected way to make your home smell nice, but you can actually get more of a benefit if you don’t light them and put them in areas where the scent will be absorbed. For example, putting them in the linen closet will allow the fabrics to absorb the smell of the candles and spread the fresh scent throughout the entire bedroom. Make sure that you’re careful about which scents you choose; pick the right scent for the current season and don’t opt for something too powerful in a small area. Subtlety is key with using scented candles.
5. Make Your Own Room Diffuser
Room diffusers are another great way to spread a fresh scent throughout your home, but they can be expensive and the store bought ones often contain artificial and unhealthy chemicals (which also might smell a little strange). Luckily, it’s easy enough to make your own diffusers without spending much at all. Some essential oil, and some carrier oil (such as sweet almond or safflower) can suffuse a fresh and pleasant odor through your home very easily. Try lavender, orange, peppermint, cedarwood, frankincense, and jasmine to support a positive mood while making your home smell wonderful!
6. Deodorize Your Carpet
Often, the fibers in your carpet are what trap unwanted smells in your home. These odors are easy to get rid of, however and there are a few ways you can do it. First, try sprinkling baking soda across your carpet. This will absorb the unwanted scent. After a while, vacuum up the baking soda and your carpet should be nice and fresh.
Another option you can try is vinegar. Add a little vinegar to a spray bottle with water and spray it around your carpet. It will smell strongly of vinegar at first but once it dries there won’t be any more odors. Make sure also to vacuum your carpets regularly so that bad odors don’t have time to accumulate inside of them.
7. Get Rid of Pet Odors
Who doesn’t love their pet? You want to keep your cats and dogs around but it’s dealing with the smells they create that’s causing problems. Luckily, there are many natural ways to deal with pet odors. The aforementioned baking soda and vinegar can be used to clean areas that pets frequent, but you can also create your own citrus enzyme cleaner with lemon peels, brown sugar, and water. Try also adding tea leaves to your cat’s litter box to do away with a lot of the obnoxious smells that come from there.
8. Scent Your Light Bulbs
It’s even possible to utilize your light bulbs to bring a pleasant scent to your home. All you have to do is put a few drops of vanilla onto the bulb once the lights are off. Once you turn the lights on, the bulbs will heat up the vanilla and fill your home with that delightful scent!
9. Scent Your Pillow Cases
You can also scent your pillow cases for when you sleep! Just take a cotton ball and dip it in lavender or chamomile essential oils and then place it in your pillow case to provide a relaxing scent.
10. Freshen Your Bathroom
Using a cotton swab dipped in your favorite essential oil, you can provide a fresh scent to your bathroom. All you have to do is attach the cotton swabs inside of toilet paper rolls and behind the toilet bowls to get a nice, fresh scent into your bathrooms.
Guest Post by:
Kelly Helmes, Vice President of New Tradition Homes, has over three decades of experience in the homebuilding and construction industry. Helmes has extensive design and green building construction knowledge, helping propel this company to the leading ENERGY STAR homebuilder in the Northwest region.