21 DIY Ways To Get Rid of Smells In Your House & More

Have you ever walked into a home that just didn’t smell right? And the homeowners don’t even seem to notice! We’ve all been there, haven’t we? That one persistent odor that hovers around like an unwelcome houseguest. Maybe it’s the musty scent of last week’s fish dinner or the unique aroma that your beloved pet is sharing a bit too generously. 

You somehow live in a smell so you don’t realize it smells. When you think about it, that’s kind of scary! How many people have walked into your house thinking it stinks but you’ve carried on like nothing is wrong? Nobody wants that to happen so we’re going over some DIY ways to get rid of smells in your house.

21 DIYs To Get Rid Of Bad Smells In Your House

1. Using Kool-Aid to Clean Your Dishwasher

use kool-aid to clean dishes, DIY Ways To Get Rid of Smells In Your House

There’s another reason to buy Kool-Aid and that’s for cleaning your dishwasher. Because we live in Nevada, our water is liquid rock and leaves terrible stains over time. Throwing a pack of lemonade Kool-Aid instead of dish soap and giving it a run-through will clean that dishwasher right up. You might want to do this without any dishes or else you’ll be wondering why tomorrow night’s spaghetti has a sweet lemon appeal to it. We found this tip on Real Simple which also happens to be one of the world’s most popular magazines so it has to be true, right?

2. Eucalyptus For Your Shower and Bathroom

eucalyptus to freshen shower

I’m going to be honest with you. I thought Eucalyptus was something Koalas ate. And they do but I thought that was its only use. Apparently, you can hang it in your shower using a rubber suction cup or a Command hook.

How does this work? Assuming you like to take hot showers when the steam hits the Eucalyptus, its oils are released into your bathroom.

3. Use an Old Candle to Freshen Your Car

use old candle to freshen car

You already have candles laying around. I know you do. You know you do.

Unfortunately, candles don’t last but that doesn’t mean you need to throw them away once they get close to their end. Instead, just take the candle and place them in the cup holder of your car. You’ll deodorize your air and look like the fancy person who uses candles in their car.

4. Clip a Car Air Freshener to Your Vents

car air freshner clips used on house vent

Nothing beats that new car smell except for every other car air freshener on the market. Why should your car have all the fun? Simply take a car air freshener and attach it to a vent in your room. You might never go back into your car ever again.

5. Essential Oils on Air Filter

I try my best to stay away from chemicals simply because I have so many living things in my house. For some products, it can be tough to avoid but that’s why I love essential oils so much.

Another great hack that I found via Kids Activities Blog is adding essential oils to your air filters. You are replacing your air filters every 90 days right?!

6. Ventilation, The Breath of Fresh Air

First things first, give your house a good old-fashioned airing out. Nothing gets rid of bad smells like Mother Nature herself. Throw open those windows and doors and let the fresh air rush in. Be it the smell of burnt popcorn or just general stuffiness, a cool breeze from open windows and fans can whisk them away quicker than you can say “Whoosh!”.

7. Baking Soda, Your Deodorizing Darling

Let’s start with the humble baking soda, a household hero hiding right in your pantry. This marvelous white powder is an excellent natural odor absorber. Sprinkle a bit on your rugs or upholstery, wait about 15 minutes, then vacuum it up. Even your fridge, trash, and pantry can benefit from a box of baking soda left open on a shelf. It’ll quietly combat any food odors that try to stage a coup.

8. Use Dry Shampoo on Stinky Shoes

using dry shampoo on shoes

It’ll make your hair smell good.  But, more importantly, it’s great for clearing out that obnoxious odor that is coming from your flats.

Yes, your flats smell. It’s what happens when you don’t wear socks and please don’t tell me you’re wearing socks with your flats. Another great tip from the excellent The Krazy Coupon Lady.

9. Coffee Bean Candles

coffee bean candles

Simply get a jar, fill it with coffee beans, drops of vanilla extract, and a small tea light. If you want to go crazy with things you can try to find a scented tea light that complements the vanilla coffee beans.

Once the beans start to heat up they will release a wonderful aroma that everyone in your house will love. I picked this tip up from the awesome Smart Schoolhouse.

10. Garbage Disposal Cleansing Cubes

lemon cubes for garbage disposal

These compact powerhouses pack a punch when it comes to refreshing your garbage disposal. Here’s a simple DIY recipe: mix 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of salt. Gradually add 1/3 cup of lemon juice (it will fizz!), then spoon the mix into a silicone ice cube tray. Let it dry overnight, and voila – disposal refreshers! Drop one into your disposal once a week, run it with a little water, and enjoy the fresh, clean scent.

11. White Vinegar, The Pungent Powerhouse

Vinegar is a cleaning all-star that can tackle a variety of odor issues. Stinky sink? Fill it with warm water (or boil the water first), add a cup of vinegar, let it sit for a few minutes, then drain. Voila! For stubborn smells, place a bowl of vinegar in the offending room and let it work its magic overnight.  Also, you can use it for laundry that smells like mildew by putting it in the washing machine. 

12. Coffee Grounds, The Scented Saviors

Coffee isn’t just for jump-starting your morning. Its strong aroma can counteract odors too! Put some fresh or used coffee grounds in a bowl and place it in a problem area. Bonus points for this tip: your house will smell like your favorite local café!

13. Citrus, The Zesty Odor Zapper

Here’s a refreshing DIY solution. Slice some lemons, limes or oranges and simmer them in a pot of water. This creates a delightful, fresh fragrance that permeates your home. For the garbage disposal, a few citrus peels can help banish any lingering smells.

14. Pine Cone Fresheners

using pine cones as air freshener

If you live in a place that provides you with easy access to pine cones then you’re in luck because you can use these nature bombs to create some awesome air fresheners.

Gather the pine cones and add a couple of drops of essential oil (yaaasssss, essential oils again) and you’ve got yourself a wonderful melody of scents to make your home wonderful.

15. Houseplants, The Green Machines

Houseplants not only add a touch of life and color to your home but some, like the English Ivy, Peace Lily, or Boston Fern, can also improve indoor air quality. It’s a win-win situation!

16. DIY Room Spray, The Personalized Perfumer

In a spray bottle, mix distilled water, a spoonful of baking soda, and a dozen drops of your favorite essential oil. Give the ingredients a good shake and spray it around for a custom scent that would give expensive chemical air fresheners a run for their money!

17. DIY Home Scents

DIY Home Scents

If you love creating things then this one is going to be right up your alley. Really, there is just too much goodness here to try and summarize so simply check out The Yummy Life for how to create these wonderful things of wonder.

18. DIY Scented Candles, The Cozy Companion

Who doesn’t love the flicker and fragrance of a scented candle? And you can easily make your own! Melt some soy wax flakes in a double boiler, add your favorite essential oils, then carefully pour the wax into a heat-safe container with a wick positioned in the center. As the candle burns, it releases your chosen fragrance, adding a cozy ambiance and a great smell to your space.

19. Pet Area Overhaul, The Furry Friend Fix

Pets are family, but sometimes they bring along some smelly baggage. Regularly washing your pet’s bedding and toys can keep pet odors at bay. For litter boxes, baking soda can be a godsend. Sprinkle it at the bottom before adding litter to keep things fresh. Remember, grooming your pets frequently will also help curb any unwanted odors.

20. Carpet Freshener, The Underfoot Uplifter

Carpets and rugs can trap odors, but a simple DIY freshener can help. Mix one cup of baking soda with 15-20 drops of your chosen essential oil, sprinkle the mixture over your carpet, let it sit for 20 minutes, then vacuum. Your carpets will thank you (and so will your nose)!

21. Dryer Sheets For Days

This is my own tip, but I clearly didn’t invent it.  But, I will place some dryer sheets in my linen closets, suitcases, drawers, and anything else that is smelly.  

Remember, a home that smells good is inviting and comforting. These handy DIY tips will not only save you some pennies but also offer plenty of room for customization. So go ahead, let your home tell a story, one where each chapter opens with a beautiful, fresh scent. Embrace these natural, effective, and fun ways to turn any ‘ewws’ into ‘ahhs’ and make your home smell fantastic!

Are the DIYs not going to cut it?  Is the smell in your home too hard to get rid of and you need something more powerful?  

What is the most powerful odor eliminator?

There are several effective odor eliminators on the market that vary based on application and need. Here are some of the most powerful and widely recommended ones include:

Activated Charcoal

This is a potent material for absorbing a wide range of odors. Products like the Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag use activated charcoal and can be effective in various environments.

Biocide Systems Room Shocker

This is an industrial-strength odor eliminator that works well for strong, persistent smells. It releases chlorine dioxide gas that penetrates into porous surfaces to remove it.

Ozone Generators

These are machines that produce ozone gas. Ozone is a powerful oxidizer that can neutralize hard-to-kill smells, including smoke, mildew, mold, and pet odors. However, it should be noted that ozone can be harmful to breathe and should only be used in unoccupied spaces. This is used by professionals y’all! 

Enzyme Cleaners

These cleaners, such as those made by brands like Nature’s Miracle or Rocco & Roxie, use enzymes to break down organic materials that cause odors. These are particularly effective on things like urine or vomit.

Air Purifiers

These machines, like those produced by brands such as LEVOIT or Coway, can help remove odors from the air by using filters to capture particles and impurities. Some air purifiers also feature activated carbon filters, which can absorb odors.

Note that while these methods can be effective at reducing or eliminating odors, they don’t replace good cleaning and hygiene habits. The best solution is often to find and address the cause. Remember, the “best” odor eliminator for you will depend on your specific needs, the type of odors you’re dealing with, and the environment where they’re present. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety warnings when using bad odor eliminators.

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