A smell can make or break a space.
What’s better, entering a home that has a floral scent or one that smells like last week’s garbage? The answer is pretty obvious. Products like candles are a popular solution — but they come with their own problems.
Candles, as commonplace as they are, can actually emit chemicals. And although there’s little evidence that these chemicals can lead to any serious health risks, it may be nice to find more natural alternatives, especially since candles can get pricey.
There are plenty of methods for making your home perfectly fragrant that you may not have thought of before. The following methods can be more cost-effective, and you may even have them sitting in your home already.
1. Garden herbs
Growing aromatic herbs in and around your home can create natural, relaxing and energizing scents without chemicals or pricey recurring costs. Plant them by your doors, windows, walking paths or in any other elevated spots where you can take in their scent.
If you have a spot in your home that can provide the right amount of light and temperature for the herbs, consider potting and growing them there as well. You can also pick and dry these herbs. This way you can place them throughout the home.
Some great choices include rosemary, mint, chamomile and lavender — but there are plenty of others to choose from. Watch This: 10 Herbs You Can Easily Grow Indoors.
2. Baking soda
Most of us can become “blind” to the scents around our home. Those smells can come from pets, cooking, garbage and more. While baking soda doesn’t create its own scent, it can make your home smell cleaner by neutralizing any scents you may not even realize exist.
The chemicals in baking soda counteract the acids that lead to bad smells. This process can take 24 hours or longer.
3. Drawer liners
That fresh laundry smell can be comforting, and the smells you carry with you can affect the entire area. But that fresh scent can dissipate.
Scented drawer liners can keep your bedroom and your clothes smelling fresh. Opening up your drawer in the morning or before bed and getting a nice whiff of lavender can be quite refreshing.
4. Tea bags
If an area of your home is getting stinky but you don’t have any baking soda, it might be time to brew some tea. That used tea bag can also do the job. Open the bag and spread the leaves or grounds into your trash bin or litter box to help neutralize poor smells.
If it’s the fridge that’s bothering you, put a couple of used tea bags in a bowl and place them in the fridge. You can even sprinkle the used tea leaves on your carpet to neutralize those scents. You’ll just have to vacuum afterward.
5. Simmer pots
Simmer pots, or stovetop potpourri, are a great natural and affordable way to create custom scents in your home. All you have to do is take your desired ingredients, place them in a pot with water and simmer the pot on your stove.
You can even minimize food waste by taking scraps like lemon peels, leftover herbs or peeled fruits and using them in your simmer pot.
6. Use your garbage disposal
Run some cold water in your sink and simultaneously put a cut-up lemon through the garbage disposal. Not only can this neutralize any bad smells emitting from your garbage disposal (which your nose may have become “blind” to), but it can also make your whole kitchen smell fresh.
7. Make your own air freshener
Sure you can pick a name-brand (and probably overpriced) air freshener off the shelf, but making your own can be much more satisfying. DIY scented sprays are a great way to avoid any unknown chemicals, save money and customize scents to your personal taste. You can use them all over your house and even your furniture.