There's something about a clean, fresh-smelling home that feels a little like heaven, but most of us also don't want to go to town on harsh chemicals to keep it that way. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make your home smell great naturally, and many of them include things you likely already have around the house.
Not only does a good-smelling house feel cleaner, but the right aromas can also affect our moods and sense of calm. A 2009 study published on PubMed.org found that teens who received aromatherapy were significantly less stressed than those who received a placebo, indicating that it could be a very effective treatment for stress management. Additionally, according to the National Institute of Health, aromatherapy is even used to help cancer patients, based on the theory that certain scents can have an impact on the brain's emotional center and provide sedative effects.
Basically, a good-smelling home can also help us de-stress, and who doesn't need that? If you're looking for ways to have a great smelling home naturally, whether because you love amazing scents but don't want a dose of chemicals, or are even just looking for ways to feel calmer, here are nine helpful tips to go about it.
1. Essential Oils On Pine Cones
Natural lifestyle enthusiast and blogger Lori Klein suggested using essential oils and pine cones for a super pretty, great-smelling decoration. She said to just add a few drops of essential oils, like lavender or cinnamon, to pine cones gathered from your yard and arrange them in a basket. She says you only need one to two drops of oil per pine cone, and can easily move the basket from room-to-room if desired.
2. Oranges and Cinnamon In Water
Klein also recommended simmering water in a pot on your stove and then adding orange slices and a few tablespoons of cinnamon or cinnamon sticks. Turn off the heat and just let the pot sit on your stove; a delicious scent will emanate throughout your kitchen and into other rooms in your house.
3. Essential Oil Room Spray
Another tip recommended by Klein and on a number of other healthy living sites is to replace harsh chemical air fresheners with an essential oil spritz. All you need to do is add three or four drops of your favorite essential oil to about a cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake before use, and you're ready to go. "You can spray it in the air, on fabric items such as pillows, a comforter, or even your couch," said Klein.
4. Deodorize Carpets
On her website OneGoodThingbyJillee.com, lifestyle expert and blogger Jill Nystul said that carpets are often a place in our home that trap unwanted odors. She says to mix borax, baking soda, and essential oils or spices in a bowl, and then shake over your carpets. Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes and simply vacuum up for a fresher room. You can find her more detailed instructions here.
5. Q-tips And Oil
It's time for more essential oils! In this super simple trick, just dap each end of a Q-tip into your favorite oil, and hide it in the toilet paper roll in your bathroom. You'll have a nice-scented, super space-efficient air freshener. Don't be afraid to use more than one Q-tip if a stronger scent is desired.
6. DIY Gel Air Fresheners
DIY gel air fresheners are not only relatively easy, but they can look super cute as a home decoration. Nystul says to mix 10 drops of essential oil for every two cups water, and mix in a bowl with salt and packets of gelatin. Once the mixture is dissolved, pour into mason jars or another heat-safe container, and allow to harden. Place in any room of your home for a pleasant aroma. Also, Nystul says you can put in flower petals, food coloring, or anything else you'd like to make the containers look pretty and appealing. Check out her full blog post on them here.
7. Baking Soda Jars
Head of QuickandDirtyTips.com's Domestic Section Amanda Thomas recommended creating air freshener jars that work anywhere in your home, as well as your car. Just poke holes in a small mason jar lid and add 1/2 cup baking soda and four to six drops of essential oil to the jar. Cap it, and place wherever you want your house to smell fresh. Thomas said you can also use cloth and a rubber band if you don't have a jar cap, and advises to "refresh every few weeks with four to six drops of new oil."
8. Natural Room Diffuser
Thomas also says you can easily make your own room diffusers using a jar, water, essential oils or a natural, fresh-smelling cleaner, and bamboo skewers. "Simply add enough cleaner to the jar or glass to fill it halfway. Take [8-10] EIGHT TO 10 (change quotes to our style as long as it doesn't change meaning) bamboo skewers and trim to the right height, if necessary. Trim off the pointy ends and make sure the skewers are no more than twice the height of the glass. Add skewers to the glass and set wherever you want a fresh, clean scent," she said.
Plants and flowers are another super easy and incredibly aesthetically pleasing way to freshen a room. An article on OneGreenPlanet.com about hacks to make your house smell great sites it as one of their top tips, and Nystul also mentions plants in general as a natural way to purify the air in a room. "Some of the best are different kinds of palm trees, orchids and peace lilies," she said.
A fresh-smelling home doesn't have to mean a million mystery chemicals or buckets of bleach. A few creative solutions can leave your house smelling amazing, and often times will make for super inviting home accents as well.