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How to Make Your Bedroom Smell Good

Three Parts:Cleaning Your BedroomEliminating OdorsUsing Natural Air Fresheners

Ideally, your bedroom should be a place of peace and comfort. But if odors build up in your quarters, it's hard to feel at home. Conventional air fresheners are often full of toxic chemicals that can be harmful to your health when inhaled (phthalates, for example, are thought to be endocrine disruptors in humans and wildlife).[1][2] Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get your bedroom smelling good again without harm to yourself or those around you.

Part 1
Cleaning Your Bedroom

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    Open your windows. There's no better air than fresh air; plus, direct sunlight can kill mold and other odor-causing bacteria. Contrary to popular belief, outdoor air can be less toxic than indoor air, where things like lead dust, radon, and other toxins can build up. Open your window(s) once a day for at least five minutes.[3]
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    Clean the bed. Wash your sheets and pillowcases once a week, and clean your comforter at least once a season (every three months). Bedding can be odorous if you don't wash it regularly.
    • Instead of making your bed immediately after getting up, pull the sheets down so that the mattress can air out for at least 30 minutes. We release moisture when we sleep, which can dampen the bedding, making it a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.
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    Wipe down surfaces. Use a microfiber dust rag to trap dust, or consider using the homemade lemon rags for an added fresh scent. Make these dust rags in advance, and use them to dust your bookshelves, window sills, electronics, etc.
    • Mix 1 cup (236 ml) water, 1 cup (236 ml) white vinegar, and 1 tablespoon (14 ml) olive oil.
    • Soak a few dust rags in the solution. (Old t-shirts, underwear and socks can gain a second life as star cleaners!)
    • Wring out the rags so they are damp-dry, and then place them in a glass jar, layering them with the rind of one lemon cut into a few pieces. Close the jar tightly.[4]
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    Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. After cleaning your room, vacuuming ensures that you have cleaned everything off your floor. Don't forget the corners, under the bed, upholstered furniture, and even the walls, where dust can accumulate.
    • The HEPA filter helps trap allergens like dirt and dust, preventing them from being released into the air.
    • Vacuum two to three times a week if possible, and wash out the HEPA filter regularly.[5]
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    Apply vinegar to the walls. The walls of your room can trap and store many odors, which vinegar helps to kill. Mix 1/4 cup (60 ml) of vinegar with 2 quarts (2 liters) of water. Dip a sponge or washcloth into the mixture and clean your walls.
    • Don't worry about the smell of the vinegar: it goes away once it dries.

Part 2
Eliminating Odors

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    Make your bedroom a non-smoking room. Cigarette smoke clings to clothes and furnishings, and is a major contributor to air pollution in the home. Consider quitting altogether for maximum health benefits to you and those around you. Or, at the very least, limit smoking to outside.[6]
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    If you have a rubbish bin in your room, remember to empty it and give it a good clean by wiping it with an old rag and commercial spray. Also try spraying it with some air freshener to get rid of all the smelly toxins.
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    Don't wear shoes into your bedroom. Shoes can track in a whole host of unsavory things, from traces of fecal matter to toxic chemicals that settle on city sidewalks. Leaving your shoes at the door helps keep your bedroom a healthy and better-smelling place.[7]
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    Use a carpet freshener. Carpets can often be the source of odors. Sprinkle a commercial carpet freshener onto your rug and vacuum up (follow the instructions for the specific product you're using). Alternatively, consider making this homemade solution, which gets your rug or carpet smelling fresh in no time.
    • Mix 1/2 cup (110 g) baking soda with 1/2 cup (100 g) borax in a plastic bowl, and then add 1 teaspoon (20-25 drops) of your favorite essential oil (wild orange is a natural flea repellent) or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon or cloves (the latter deters moths). Stir together until the mixture is free of lumps.
    • Sprinkle the solution onto the carpet and let it sit 15-20 minutes, then vacuum it up.
    • If you're worried about staining a light-colored carpet, skip the cinnamon or cloves. You can use cinnamon or clove essential oils instead.
    • If you or someone else is sensitive to smells, use plain baking soda instead. Simply sprinkle on the carpet, let sit for 15-20 minutes, then vacuum.[8]
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    Keep pet habitats clean. If you share your bedroom with a pet, make sure that you clean their living spaces, as well. Dispose of solid waste on a daily basis, and clean litter boxes, cages, and aquariums regularly.

Part 3
Using Natural Air Fresheners

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    Add some plants to your room. Not only do plants liven up your decor, research shows that they also filter out toxins released by synthetic materials.
    • If you have pets or children, make sure that the plant is not poisonous if ingested.[9]
    • Make sure you choose plants that are right for the conditions in your room. Some plants need lots of direct sunlight, while others like shadier spots. Check temperature and humidity needs as well–these are often included in a care tag when you buy the plant.
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    Dab a few drops of vanilla extract on a cool light bulb. When you turn the light on, the warmth from the bulb will release a pleasant smell.[10]
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    Make your own natural room spray. While commercial air fresheners can contain a whole host of harmful chemicals, a simple mix of essential oils and water is a great alternative. Simply combine 1/4 cup (60 ml) distilled water and 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil in an empty spray bottle.
    • Lavender is known for its calming properties, while citrus scents like lemon, tangerine, wild orange, and grapefruit can be very refreshing.[11]
    • A variation on this is to add 1 tsp (4 g) baking soda to the mix: this makes a great deodorizing spray for furniture.[12]
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    Try naturally scented soy or beeswax candles. Candles add atmosphere and fill the air with an inviting scent. That said, you need to be choosy when picking your candles. Many contain paraffin, which releases carcinogenic chemicals when it burns; plus, material for the wick often has lead, and artificial scents may contain harmful toxins. Look for soy candles scented with essential oils, or beeswax candles, which release a subtle honey fragrance.[13][14]
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    Put out a dish of potpourri. Potpourri is a mixture of aromatic things like dried flower petals, leaves, and spices that fill your room with a long-lasting scent. You can buy potpourri at a drugstore, home décor store, or online. Alternatively, it's easy to make your own: just mix together star anise, cinnamon sticks, and cloves into a small jar or dish, and place the dish in your room.
    • If you're feeling ambitious, you can dehydrate apples and oranges in the oven and add them to the mix. Cut the apple and orange into very thin slices, place on a cookie sheet in a single layer, and bake in the oven at 250 F (120 C) for about 1 1/2 hours, or until dry.[15]


  • Listening to your favorite music while cleaning your room makes the process more enjoyable.
  • You can place a cup of baking soda in one of the corners of your room to absorb unwanted odors. Change the baking soda every once in a while.


  • If your bedroom's smell does not get any better, consider calling a plumber: something may have gone wrong in the pipes or an animal may have died in your walls.

Article Info

Categories: Bedroom Cleaning | Home Remedies