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11 Secrets from People Who Always Have Amazing-Smelling Homes


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Curious how folks keep their homes smelling amazing? Here are some of those people’s best tips.

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Absorb bad smells with baking soda.

Sometimes, keeping your space in amazing-smelling condition means preventing the odors that don’t smell good from taking over the atmosphere. The secret? A few bowls of baking soda scattered around the house and replaced weekly.

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Make a DIY room spray.

Steve Schwartz, a master tea blender, swears by a DIY concentrate of botanicals such as eucalyptus, lavender, and lemon myrtle. First, he steeps the herbs in hot water then transfers the mix to a spray bottle for freshening up the kitchen.

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Simmer spent lemons.

Chef Carla Contreras use lemons after squeezed out the juice to make her kitchen smell amazing. “I place the lemons in a giant stock pot and fill it up with water, then let them simmer on low on my stove for hours.” 

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Roast coffee beans.

Just take a couple of coffee beans and place them in the oven at 400 degrees for seven to 10 minutes, then leave the oven door open afterwards for an energizing, coffee house smell. 

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Warm up vanilla extract.

Put a few drops of vanilla extract in a dish, then bake it for half an hour in the oven. The vanilla releases a subtle-but-cozy scent that’ll *almost* trick you into thinking someone baked a delicious cake.

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Whip up a stovetop potpourri.

Simmering warm, spicy herbs on the stovetop is one of the best ways to make your home smell good while adding a touch of seasonal nostalgia. Try apple slices, orange peels, cinnamon sticks, and cloves.

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Purify air with activated charcoal.

For a quick fix in a smelly kitchen, hang a pound of activated charcoal in a porous bag by the kitchen window. Activated charcoal is electrically nonpolar and can absorb most common kitchen vapors and gases.

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Bake cookies (yes really).

Author and naturalist Lora Hein learned one of her favorite tricks from a realtor, who would pop a sheet of chocolate chip cookies in the oven minutes before an open house for an enticing, homey smell. 

Image Credit: Sarah Crowley

Use a cup of vinegar.

“After cooking, simmer white vinegar on the stove to help remove the smell. You can also leave a glass of vinegar on the counter overnight for a fresher-smelling kitchen.” — David Cusick, chief strategy officer at House Method

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Diffuse essential oils.

Essential oils, or concentrated plants and herbs, are a common way to lend a fresh smell to your space if you’re not a fan of perfumed candles or air fresheners. 

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Hang dried herbs.

Tie a bunch of dried herbs like olive branches, sage, and bay leaf and hang them at face-level somewhere in the kitchen. Not only will your space smell and look amazing, but you’ll also be able to grab the herbs as needed for cooking!

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