Seven Ways to Make Your Home Smell Good, With Tips for Doing It Safely

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reed diffuser

Our home contains plenty of stuff that can make it smell a little funky. From last night’s dinner to stinky socks in the laundry room, old spills that have soaked into the carpet, pet smells, and more, it’s normal for your house to smell a little stale.

The good new is that your house doesn’t have to smell bad! There are plenty of ways you can make your house smell much better. Just make sure that whatever method you choose, you do it safely.

Light Candles

One of the easiest, most popular, and oldest ways to freshen a room is to light a scented candle. They come in any scent you can imagine, and the dancing flames will add a warm and inviting ambiance to any room.

The biggest trouble with candles is that they can be a fire hazard. Pets and children can accidentally knock them over and start a fire, but sometimes the candles themselves are a problem. For example, 29 incident reports involving thee-wick candles from Kohl’s involve candles in glass containers where the container itself breaks when it is exposed to heat.


Always place your candle out of reach so it can’t easily be knocked over, purchase safe candles, and if you often forget to blow out your candles, set a timer so you blow it out before you go to bed or leave the house.

Plug in a Wax Warmer

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of an open flame, or if you live in a rental home that doesn’t allow candles, you might want to plug in a wax warmer instead. They plug into the wall, and as their name implies, they melt a square of wax in a bowl that fills the room with fragrance.

Choose a spot to plug in your wax warmer carefully. It should be plugged into an outlet that is out of the way of normal traffic. That way, no one accidentally bumps into it walking down the hallway and dumps hot wax all over the place.

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Decorate With Reed Diffusers

Reed diffusers were once extremely popular. They aren’t so popular anymore, but that doesn’t make them a less effective way to fill your home with fragrance! One of the best reasons to use this method is that it’s one of the least fussy methods you can choose. Unlike candles that have to be blown out and wax warmers that need to be turned off, reed diffusers can be left out in your home safely.

If you’re worried about the chemicals in the solution you soak your reeds in, opt for a homemade mixture instead. Mixtures you buy at the store often contain harmful chemicals that you can avoid by using essential oils and other ingredients you mix yourself.

Light Incense

Incense probably doesn’t come to mind when you’re considering ways to add fragrance to your home, but it’s a great option. It’s often associated with spirituality and meditation. It is also often used by artists, so it’s a great option if you want to get your creativity flowing.

Just make sure you’re careful about how you burn your incense. Always use an incense holder so that the burning end of the incense stick never touches the table. Place it somewhere in your home where it can’t easily be knocked over, and make sure you put out the flame on the end of the stick if you go to bed or leave the house.

Spray the Room

Room sprays are a popular way to boost the smell of a room quickly. A pleasant smell will fill the room immediately, even if it does wear off quickly. Choosing a room spray that neutralizes odors can help. That way, they don’t return as soon as the fragrance wears off.

Be aware of how the air freshener makes you feel. Over 20 percent of the US population reports adverse health effects when room sprays are used, including migraine headaches, asthma attacks, and breathing difficulties. If you experience any of these symptoms, or you’re simply concerned about the chemicals that air fresheners contain, consider purchasing a fragrance-free spray that simply neutralizes odor in the home.

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Simmer Fruit and Herbs on the Stove

If you’re worried about the chemicals that are present in many commercial fragrance products, or you simply don’t want to have to run to the store because you don’t have what you need to get rid of that nasty smell, you can use items in your kitchen and simmer them on the stove!

A few fun simmer pot recipes include:

  • Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg
  • Apple peels, cloves, and cinnamon
  • Orange rinds, anise, and cloves
  • Sliced lemon, rosemary, and bay leaves

Simmer your ingredients low in the pot, adding water if you need it. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn, and make sure you turn the handle towards the back of the stove. That way it isn’t accidentally knocked over by curious little hands or adults walking by.

Decorate with Dried Naturals and Potpourri

Another option, if you’re looking for an air freshener idea that doesn’t require your constant attention, is dried naturals. This includes dried potpourri!

Sprigs of dried eucalyptus can fill your home with a relaxing scent, while mixtures of dried fruit, rose petals, and other dried plants that are enhanced with essential oils can make your home smell nice without the need for fire and harsh chemicals.

However, that doesn’t mean they don’t come with their own risks. Some dried flower arrangements can be poisonous to cats and dogs. If you have an animal that loves to chew on things they shouldn’t, you’ll want to keep any dried flower arrangements or potpourri out of reach.

Having guests over and want your home to smell nice? Or maybe you’re tired of that stinky smell? There are many ways you can make your home smell great, enabling you to find one that works best for your family.