How to Make Your House Smell Good Quickly

Two Methods:Eliminating Existing OdorsCreating a More Pleasant Scent

Odors in the home can be a nuisance and embarrassing if you have guests. Sometimes, it is even difficult to pinpoint what is causing an odor. It is important to track down the odor source and take steps to eliminate it. However, in the short term you can use scented products to cover up a smell. This article addresses how to find the sources of odors, eliminate certain common sources of odor, and how to make your home smell wonderful.

Method 1
Eliminating Existing Odors

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    Determine the source of the odor. In some cases it may be obvious, but if you aren't sure, check around your home to see if you can find where it is coming from. There are some common sources of bad smells in a home and solutions to fix them. [1]
    • Some problem areas include closets, cabinets, the refrigerator, bathroom, sinks, laundry room, or basement.
    • Check pet areas. Accidents in the house can cause horrible odors.
    • Plumbing can also be a source of smell. If you have an odor that smells of rotten eggs, it is likely a dried up or clogged u-pipe.
    • Smoking will also caused smells to build up in a home.
    • Check the trash as well. Sometimes kitchen or bathroom garbage can start to smell after a few days.
    • Eliminating bad odors is often all you need to do to make your house smell good quickly.
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    Eliminate pet odors in your carpets. There are several strategies to help you do this quickly[2]
    • A quick fix to this problem is to clean the carpet with baking soda. Baking soda will absorb a bad smell. Sprinkle the carpets with baking soda and let it sit for at least 15 minutes before vacuuming.
    • Wet messes will require a different approach.
    • Soak up any urine or other liquid mess with newspaper. If it becomes saturated, get fresh paper. Do this until you can only blot a little moisture up.
    • Rinse the area with fresh, clean water.
    • Remove excess water with a cloth or wet vacuum.
    • Try a commercial carpet cleaner, pet stain remover, or pet odor neutralizer to remove the odor from the area.[3]
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    Look for signs of plumbing issues. A rotten egg smell can indicate a dried out u-pipe from your sewer. [4]
    • To test for this, poor a teaspoon of peppermint oil down the drain. This will not only help you locate the source of your plumbing issue, but it will help to mask the unpleasant odor coming from a drain. Peppermint oil has a very strong scent.
    • Run hot water.
    • If you can smell the peppermint in another part of the house, it is likely the drain trap.
    • Pour a lot of water into the drain to remove the smell. While this may not be a permanent fix to this problem, it will help remove the odor quickly and for the short-term.
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    Eliminate smoke odors. Cigarette smells are one of the most noticeable odors in a home. [5][6]
    • Place bowls of white vinegar or ammonia around your home to remove a cigarette smoke odor.
    • Vinegar is a wonderful odor neutralizer. Once you notice the smell has dissipated you can throw the vinegar away.
    • Wipe down hard surfaces with a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 5 parts water to remove a cigarette smell.
    • Vacuum mattresses and upholstery. Then allow these items to air out, preferably outside.

Method 2
Creating a More Pleasant Scent

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    Use scented products. Candles, oil burners, or air fresheners can diffuse a pleasant smell throughout your home quickly.
    • Light a scented candle or use a scented oil burner if you have one available.
    • Use plug-in or stand alone air fresheners.
    • You can also spray air freshener throughout your house, but the smell won't linger long.
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    Try incense. This is strong smelling, but not unpleasant. It comes in hundreds of different scents. [7]
    • To light incense, you will need to light the coated end of an incense stick, holding it by the uncoated end.
    • Wait for the flame to penetrate through the incense, then blow it out.
    • The end of the stick should be glowing red and will produce a strongly scented smoke.
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    Put a reed diffuser in rooms where you need a more pleasant smell. These are jars filled with scented oils. [8]
    • Reed diffusers use bamboo reeds to soak up scented oils. The reeds then diffuse the scent into the air.
    • These can have a very strong, but pleasant smell.
    • You can buy reed diffusers at home decoration stores, and they come in many different scents.
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    Use scented sachets around the house. These are packets of dried herbs or scented rice.
    • Sachets are nice additions to clothing drawers. They will give your clothes a pleasant smell.
    • Try placing satchels of dried lavender or cinnamon sticks around your home for a more natural aroma.
    • An easy DIY method here is put dried flower petals or potpourri in a little fabric sack and place these around the home in various places. [9]
    • You can also make a wreaths out of rosemary and hang them throughout the house. [10]
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    Bake a batch of cookies. To create a pleasant scent quickly you can use prepackaged dough.
    • Choose a type of cookie that you think smells good.
    • This might not be the best solution in summer time when the weather is warm.
    • Take care not to burn your cookies, or this will cause more bad smells!
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    Simmer herbs and spices on the stove. The boiling water will fill the air with the smell of spices.
    • Fill a pot part way with water and bring to a boil. Add pleasant smelling herbs and spices like cinnamon and cloves. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer.[11]
    • Make a pot of homemade chai tea.
    • Boil 3 cups of water and add 20 cardamom pods, 15 whole cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, and 1 T of fresh ginger.
    • Simmer for 5 minutes, then add 3 tea bags.
    • Brew tea and spices, then strain the liquid. Add milk and sugar as needed.


  • These tips may eliminate or mask odors quickly, but additional steps may need to be taken to permanently remove odors from your home.
  • Do not overdo it when creating pleasant scents. Try to stick with one or two methods at a time.
  • You can also try adding water, cinnamon and vanilla into a small pot. Then put it on the stove. It makes your house smell like a bakery!


  • Use caution with scented candles and oil burners. Never leave them unattended, especially around pets and children.
  • Stubborn smells that do not go away may indicate a more serious problem. If odors persist you should have your home inspected to rule out any dangerous mold or decay issues.
  • Check labels to make sure cleaning products are safe for pets and children if you have them.

Article Info

Categories: Housekeeping