10 ways to make your house smell fantastic

Banish stinky odors in every area of your home with these easy ideas.

Alina Bradford
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
dog in snow
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Pets (wet dog smell!), funky leftovers, dirty drains... there are so many things that can make our homes stink. Here are 10 ways to keep every area of your home smelling fresh and clean.

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Freshen up with a dryer sheet

You can make any room smell fresh with just a dryer sheet. Remove the air conditioning grate and tape a new dryer sheet over the slats. 

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Fresh air

Now, every time your AC or heater kicks on, your room will smell awesome. This is a particularly good trick for bathrooms.

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Nix odors from vacuums

If your vacuum emits a less than pleasant smell, dryer sheets can fix that, too. Just pop a dryer sheet into the canister. For more things you can do with dryer sheets, here are 20 unexpected ways to use them.

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Essential oils

A couple of drops of essential oil into your vacuum cup or bag will make the room smell amazing, too.

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Carpet freshener

When your carpet has a funky smell, mix one cup of baking soda with one tablespoon of ground cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture on your carpet. Let it sit for 30 minutes and then vacuum. 

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Fix putrid drains

If your kitchen or bathroom drain is smelling peculiar, pour one cup of white vinegar down the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then flush the drain with hot water.

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Fix disposal odors

When your garbage disposal stinks, there's an easy fix. Run a few cubes of ice and a chopped up lemon through the disposal while running the cold water tap. Your kitchen will smell like lemons and the odor causing gunk will be cleaned out of the disposal. 

Instant Pot
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Slow-cooked scent

Your slow cooker is a better deodorizer than anything you can buy at the store. Fill your slow cooker halfway with water, add three sticks of cinnamon, a quarter of a cup of cloves and two tablespoons of nutmeg, and mix. Then turn your slow cooker to the lowest temperature setting and leave the lid off. Just add a cup or two of warm water every now and then to keep it from drying out. 

Here are some more unusual things you can do with your slow cooker.

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Pot scents

If you don't have a slow cooker, don't worry. You can use a cooking pot and your stove. Just set the burner to the lowest setting and make sure that you add fresh water from time to time.

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Additional slow-cooker scents

You don't have to follow that recipe, though. Throw dried herbs, citrus peels or coffee beans in the water to create your own scent sensations. Here are some ideas.

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Brighten your office

The air in your home office can get a boost by placing a scented sachet by the computer vents. The air will warm and intensify the scents coming from the pouch and spread it throughout the room. Just make sure you don't block the vents or your computer could overheat.

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Make baking soda spray

A spray made from baking soda is highly effective for solving a multitude of smell issues. To make it, mix half a cup of baking soda with four cups of warm water. Pour it into a spray bottle and you're ready to fight odors.

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Banish pet smells

The best thing I've ever found to get rid of pet urine smells is baking soda spray. Clean the area and then spritz it with the spray. Let the area dry. The smell will be completely gone in a couple of days.

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Another pet spray

Another spray mixture I've found works really well on cat pee is what I like to call "pee-be-gone spray." In a spray bottle, mix 16 ounces (about 500 ml) of warm water with 10 drops of peppermint essential oil or two tablespoons of peppermint extract. This mixture will get rid of the smell permanently in just a few hours. Here are more ways to get rid of cat pee odor.

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Cure a smelly fridge

The plastic in your fridge absorbs the odors of the foods you put into it, making for a stinky soup of smells. You can make your fridge smell normal again by spraying the inside down with baking soda spray. Let the spray sit for a few minutes, then wipe the surfaces down with a clean sponge or rag.

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Mold, rotten vegies and more

There are many other things that can cause your fridge to smell funny. Here are some culprits and how to fix the problem.

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Keep it fresh

Once your fridge is smelling normal, keep it that way. Put everything into sealable containers or jars to lock in the smell. Even herbs! The only exception is produce you put in the crisper drawer since most fresh fruits and vegetables don't emit strong odors.

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Don't forget your containers

Those stinky foods can make your plastic containers less than fresh, too. To get rid of smells, fill the container with warm water and two tablespoons of baking soda. Let it soak overnight, then wash it like normal.

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Scent up the bathroom

To keep your bathroom smelling fresh, dab a couple of drops of essential oil or vanilla extract inside the cardboard tube on the toilet paper roll. This works especially well in smaller bathrooms.

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