Spring Cleaning: 5 Simple Ways to Make Your Home Smell Amazing
All the crazy rain we had yesterday is reminding me that it’s absolutely spring here in Southeast Pennsylvania. It was just hammering rain last night and crazy windy. Even though it’s no fun being out in it, I think we’ve finally turned the corner on spring here. April showers bring May flowers, right?
Speaking of spring, this post is Part 3 of a four part series on Spring Cleaning. I love spring cleaning, so I thought spending two weeks writing about it would be fun and motivating for me. I’ve been doing a few projects here and there, but these posts are reminding me that I still have some work to do.
One thing I try to do every day is find ways to make my home smell amazing! Did you know that something like “clean” is really culture bound? In some cultures, “clean” is not touching your hands to anything physically unclean or even speaking about physically unclean things. In other cultures, daily upkeep and deep disinfecting until things are sparkly and shiny is the best way to keep clean. Some cultures have ritual baths so people feel clean inside and out.
Here in the West, especially in North America, we tend to equate “clean” with “fresh smelling.” Think about it: if true disinfecting were clean, then would something like Febreeze be in our laundry rooms? What about dry shampoo? I mean, I love shortcuts like those as much as anyone, but maybe they are just an excuse to put some pretty smelling things over the top of things that are unwashed. I know I’m all about the lazy clean…
I encourage everyone to get down and dirty with a spring clean, and actually wash things of course, but just smelling clean is a great way to get that spring cleaning lift and motivation. It’s also the first thing people notice when they visit, and first impressions are important!
Here are just some of my ideas and things that have worked well in my home!
I love making sachets out of rice, essential oils, and little burlap bags. They smell amazing and stowing them away in your dresser drawers is a great way to keep less-frequently-washed items like jeans smelling fresh. Any scent will keep it smelling great, but I like more traditionally “clean” scents like lemon and mint. You can also add a little tea tree oil to the mix to help actually disinfect that area. These need to be refreshed from time to time, so I like to shake out and air out unused clothing items whenever I add additional scent to the sachets. These are great in sock drawers, underwear drawers, hanging near suits and jackets, and in between folded pants. Look for sachets at a local craft store or online and any variety of rice will do!
+ essential oil diffuser
I couldn’t live without my diffuser! I’m actually considering buying a few to keep some areas of my home fresh-smelling more often. It’s fun to mix up scent combinations depending on your mood or the seasons. Look online for essential oil “recipes” for different seasons or even different stores… There is even an essential oil recipe for the Anthropologie store believe it or not! I can have reactions to non-soy candles sometimes and with a little one crawling around, I’m not super fond of open flames anyway. I feel like essential oils give the same fresh scent without the toddler danger. Of course, I lock up my oils so he doesn’t start ingesting those too… Don’t they get into everything??
+ room spray
I just posted a DIY for homemade Febreeze recently. It’s great to have a custom scent that doesn’t cost a lot of money. If you’re in the market for ready made, you can get less toxic room sprays from Mrs Meyers and JR Watkins at Target. I don’t like using artificial scents in my home so I can avoid my VOC levels going through the roof. There are so many good alternatives that are worth seeking out. If you want to make the air smell better than just using a room spray, try putting essential oils on a cotton pad and then vacuum up the pad. The exhaust from the vacuum spreads the scent throughout the room you are vacuuming. I just did that recently and it’s brilliant!
+ bring the outside in
Did you know you can clean your home with plants? Some plants are amazing natural air filters. Peace lilies, aloe plants, English ivy, and Dracaena are just a few of the plants that are known to purify the air in your home. And pure air = nice smelling air! I just picked up a Dracaena plant at Walmart for my son’s room that was labeled “air cleaner.” As the weather warms up, I plan on adding a few more plants around our house. If your plants are cleaning the air, it allows all those amazing scents in room sprays, diffusers, and sachets to stand out more. It’s also good to open the windows for a few hours every day if possible to allow all the nasty smells out. Cooking and pet smells can stick around homes that aren’t well ventilated. If you have a new construction home, you know how true this can be. By airing out your home every day, those not so nice scents can find their way outside.
+ baking soda for everything
I posted another DIY on using baking soda for a carpet cleaning powder. I use baking soda all over my house for a million different reasons. It’s especially important for my fridge and freezer. From time to time my ice cubes start smelling and tasting weird. I just pop in a new baking soda box, and those funky odors disappear. I like baking soda for kitchen disposals too to grab scents and rinse them away. You can also put a baking soda box in the bottom of your garbage pail before you put a fresh bag in. Natural charcoal works well too! Look for boxes at your local Asian grocery store or online. They haven’t quite caught on in the US yet, but they’re really worth seeking out.
Those are just 5 simple ideas to make your home smell amazing. I’m sure you have your own tips and tricks to add. Comment below with your great ideas!