It’s so much easier to feel happier when your house smells good. These 10 smell hacks will teach you how to make your house smell good all day, every day. This post contains affiliate links.

Wouldn’t you love to wake up to a home that smelled so good all you wanted to do is close your eyes and ponder the smell for hours?

Instead, you’re left waking up to a house that smells like foul socks and makes you waste time scavenging through cupboards to find the source of that moldy-bread smell.

Keeping your house smelling good can be a tough task – from dirt and mud to smelly shoes, there’s a whole array of things that can contribute to having a house that smells like anything but a spa, no matter how hard you try to diffuse scrumptious smells throughout your house.

How to Make Your House Smell Good 

Before we get to learning how to make your house smell good, let’s address the real issue:

What’s making your house smell bad?

If it’s something obvious like soccer shoes or smelly work clothes, eliminate those smells before you start working on trying to make your house smell good. (Because lighting a few candles may not even be enough to mask the odors escaping from those shoes…)

If the culprit of your smelly home is something more difficult to pin-point, like a moldy-bread smell you just don’t know where it’s coming from or a musty old house smell, it can be a bit more work to make your house smell good (but don’t worry, it’s still doable).

And, lastly, maybe the air in your house just smells stuffy and anything but fresh. Fixing this problem could be as simple as opening a few windows and letting fresh air take over before lighting some candles to achieve that spa-like aroma you’ve been dying for.

10 Ways to Make Your House Smell Good

DIY, affordable, and definitely worth your time.

1. Coffee, Coffee, and More Coffee

Coffee is a great way to mask smells and replace them with a warm aroma. Coffee absorbs smells and replaces them with a fresh coffee scent. A few ways you can use coffee to make your house smell good are:

  • Burning coffee scented candles. This Village Candle Coffee Bean is a top pick.
  • Placing a bowl of coffee beans in rooms of your house.
  • Fill a cup with coffee beans and place a vanilla scented tealight in the middle of the cup (do not let the flame touch the coffee beans – ensure the flame is well above the beans). The heat from the candle will release a pleasant coffee aroma from the beans.
  • Diffusing coffee scented oils.
  • Using coffee hand and body soap.
how to make your house smell good using potpourri

2. Potpourri

Potpourri is a blend of different scent-bearing things like: dried flower petals, spices, oils, and herbs, which get placed in a bowl, a sachet, or boiled on the stove-top to release an all-natural, appealing smell in your home to offset odors. 

This lemon zest and thyme potpourri is a best-seller and will bring your stale home to life. If you prefer to DIY, you can learn how to make homemade potpourri here.

how to make your house smell good using charcoal bags

3. Charcoal

These charcoal odor-absorbing bags trap bad odors in and release clean, fresh smelling air. If you have a particular room in your house that always struggles with unwanted smells, using charcoal odor bags is a 100% natural and green way to kick the smells and freshen up your home without using and breathing in toxic chemicals.

make your house smell good with homemade citrus air freshener

4. Citrus Air Freshener

Citrus air fresheners are a natural way to mask unpleasant smells and help your house smell fresh. An affordable option for these 100% natural air fresheners is making your own at home, using natural ingredients that you likely already have in your house like a fresh citrus fruit – grapefruit, lemon, orange, etc. – sea salt, and essential oils (optional). If you’re less of the DIY-er type and just want to get it done, this Pure Citrus Air Freshener is a store-bought alternative that is also 100% natural.

make your house smell good with a reed diffuser

5. Reed Diffusers

Reed diffusers fill rooms with fragrance by placing soaking fragrance oils up into the reeds and slowly diffusing them into the room. Unlike candles, reed diffusers typically last a long time – around 3 to 4 months is pretty average.

While reed diffusers don’t give off as strong of a smell as candles, they will last much longer and are safe to leave “on” when you’re out of the house.

This Cocodor Real Flower Reed Diffuser smells like pure cotton (with other scent options available) and uses real preserved flowers to release a cozy, fresh smell into your home. It’s an obvious best-seller with it’s appealing aroma and design that is very pleasing to the eye thanks to the real flowers. This Orange Blossom & Lotus Scent reed diffuser is a runner-up thanks to its appealing non-toxic scent made with natural essential oils.

diffuse essential oils to make your house smell like a spa

6. Diffusing Essential Oils

Diffusing essential oils is a much healthier option than burning candles or even using a reed diffuser, since reed diffusers use fragrance oils. Essential oil diffusers use natural oils.

Much like a reed diffuser, essential oil diffusers release scents into the air through scented oils, however unlike a reed diffuser, essential oil diffusers are battery or plug-in operated (whereas a reed diffuser doesn’t need any power source).

If you want your house to smell like a spa, a few spa oil blends are:

LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Bedroom, HEPA Fresheners Filter Small Room Cleaner with Fragrance Sponge for Smoke, Allergies, Pet Dander, Odor, Dust Remover, Office, Desktop, Table Top, 1 Pack, White

7. Air Purifier

Masking smells by lighting a candle doesn’t solve the problem of a smelly house, it just temporarily covers it up.

Using an air purifier eliminates the smell altogether, so you can start with a clean slate, making it easier to make your house smell good by lighting a candle, diffusing essential oils, or anything else from this list, rather than just temporarily covering up the problem smell.

8. Essential Oils & Rice

Adding a few drops of your favorite essential oils to a small bowl of dry rice will let off a gentle scent in whatever room it’s in. 

The dry rice absorbs the scent and slowly disperses the smell into a small room – this smell hack doesn’t work great in bigger rooms unless you have several bowls of essential oil rice, as it only lets off a subtle scent.

how to make your house smell good with scented sachets

9. Sachets

Tucking sachets into your drawers and closets is a wonderful way to keep your clothes, linens, and musty drawers and closets smelling good. 

A few areas you can use these lavender sachets are:

  • Under the sink
  • Inside garbage cans
  • On the shoe rack (or in smelly shoes)
  • In your purse
  • In drawers
  • In closets

10. Freshen the Vents

While not the healthiest way to make your home smell good, clipping car air fresheners to the vent registers in your house is a fast way to make any room fill with the aroma of your choice.

Anytime air moves through the vents, the scent of your choice will get pushed into the rooms with no effort on your part – all you have to do is clip the air freshener to the vents and leave it.

(It’s important to note that this is not recommended if you have pets or small children as it poses a choking hazard or could be poisonous if they decided to put it in their mouth.)

The Best Products to Freshen Up Your Home

Essential Oil Diffuser & Oils
50,810 Reviews
Reed Diffuser
13,847 Reviews
2,837 Reviews

How to Eliminate Bad Odors

Bad odors coming from smelly shoes and stinky work clothes can easily be eliminated by:

  • Placing a dry tea bag in each shoe and letting it sit overnight. The tea bag will absorb the odor – be sure to throw the bag in the trash once it has consumed the foul smell.
  • Regularly washing work clothes with an odor-eliminating detergent and sprinkle about 1/4 – 1/2 c. of baking soda into the washing machine to add an extra boost of odor-eraser (plus baking soda acts as a natural fabric softener). You can also keep the clothes stored in a plastic tub between washes.

Unpleasant odors that you can’t pin-point can be eliminated by:

  • Placing a bowl partially filled with dry baking soda in smelly cupboards and drawers. Baking soda absorbs odors from the air.
  • Sprinkling baking soda on the bottoms of the garbage cans throughout your house to absorb spilled liquids and keep odors at bay.

Stuffy, thick air can be fixed by:

  • Regularly opening several windows in your house to achieve a cross-draft that will carry the stale air out and bring fresh air into your home.
  • Using a LEVOIT air purifier to remove 99.9% of odors, dust, mold, smoke, and pollen.

The Biggest Contributors to a Smelly Home & How to Fix Them:

The following places are some of the biggest contributors to bad smells in homes. If you can keep these places clean and fresh, you can keep your whole house smelling good:

  • The fridge. Fridges harbor all sorts of smells thanks to spilled liquids and old food. If your fridge lets out a waft of musty air anytime you open the door, it’s time to give it a good scrub down and place a fridge air purifier bag in the fridge to eliminate odors and help it smell fresh.
  • A smelly garburator. If the smell is coming from your garburator, freeze lemon juice, salt, and water in ice cube trays then send them down the garbage disposal and turn it on for a good clean.
  • Smelly shoes. Solve the shoe smell problem by storing shoes outside the house, or placing a dry tea bag inside each shoe. (The tea bag acts as a natural odor-eliminator by absorbing the bad smell.)
  • Garbage cans. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda inside each garbage can in your house. The baking soda will absorb spilled liquids, eliminating mess, as well as absorb odors from the garbage can. Be sure to dump out and refresh the baking soda every so often.
  • The washing machine. Keep the washing machine door cracked open when it’s not in use to stop moldy growth and dank smells. It’s also a good idea to give your washing machine a good clean from time to time. Here’s how to clean a washing machine (plus one common product you should never use).
  • Fabric furniture. Fabric furniture traps in all sorts of dirt, crumbs, and bacteria that contribute to a smelly house. Clean the fabric furniture in your house often with a handheld steam cleaner for the deepest clean. After cleaned, spritz a fabric freshener spray on the furniture daily to keep them smelling good. (This stuff is odor-eliminating.) 
  • The bathroom. Give toilet bowls a quick scrub every other day and wipe the base of the toilets down with a homemade vinegar cleaner to keep smells at bay. You can also keep a Febreze in the bathroom to spray in the air daily.
  • The dishwasher. Funky smells wafting out of the dishwasher? Keep the dishwasher door closed when dirty dishes are in there and run loads regularly, don’t let the dishwasher sit full of dirty dishes. You can also place a bowl full of white vinegar in the dishwasher and run an empty load to give the insides of the dishwasher a good clean.
  • It just doesn’t smell good. If you can’t pinpoint it, but your house just doesn’t smell good, using an air purifier will eliminate bad smells, and keeping good scents floating around your house (candles, essential oil diffusers, air fresheners, potpourri, etc.) will take your house from old and musty to fresh and clean in no time.

How to Make Your House Smell Good – Conclusion

The most important thing to remember when trying to make your house smell good is to remove the bad smell first then implement a scrumptious scent into your home. There’s no use in trying to cover up a bad smell – in the end, the stink always wins.

Your best bet to a home that smells so good your guests can’t stop marveling is to eliminate the bad smell altogether.

I’d love to know – what do you do to make your house smell good? Feel free to share your tips and tricks in a comment below.

how to make your house smell good