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How to: Make my home smell better, permanently?

Liquid HellzLiquid Hellz Registered User regular
edited March 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Can't seem to figure this one out by myself. I live in a ~1100 sq. ft. condo no pets of any kind. Hardwood floors/tile throughout except in the bedrooms (carpet). My home does not smell bad at all, but it also doesn't smell good. Some peoples homes when I walk in just smell pleasant and nice throughout and that is what I am looking for.

I have tried the little battery operated aerosol thingy that sprays every 15 min to 1 hour, didn't work. Tried Renuzit (plastic rock looking smelly things), didn't work. Tried lighting a scented candle in the living room almost nightly, only works while lit. Tried scented oil in the little vases with wood sticks in em, didn't work. What works?! Help me H/A

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Posts

  • NinyuNinyu Registered User
    edited March 2011
    They make these scented screens you can put on the heating air filter. It seems that would help the smell permeate the house. You'd better really like the smell though. It will be everywhere.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Also, by the way, you get used to a smell if you've been in it for more than 30 minutes. Ever left your condo and come back an hour later and smell your air freshener? That's why. Your nose is exceptionally good at filtering "background smells."

    Also, learn to bake cookies and cakes. Scented candles tend to work fine. The ones form wal-mart, in my experience, tend to be the most "smelliful."

  • Dropping LoadsDropping Loads Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    It's always a good idea to try unscented Fe-breeze - it's simply suspended cyclodextrins that absorb odor causing molecules out of the air and then settles to the floor. It lasts for longer than most air fresheners and has no inherent smell itself, so you can avoid using cover-up scents. It might not be what you're looking for, but if your problem is just a "stale" scent in the air, you should try and get rid of it before you add additional scents.

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  • E.CoyoteE.Coyote Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Potpourri would also be worth looking at for something a bit more subtle. Airing out your place every once in a while is a good idea as well.

  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I don't know how you feel about Incense, but in my experience the smell lasts quite a while.

  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Get scented candles, but don't burn them. Get a coffee cup warmer and put the candles in a glass jar on that. Don't get candles that come in plastic sleeves that can't be removed, or the whole plan will fall flat when the whole place smells like burnt plastic. They last much longer this way, though the smell takes a while to build up after you start one. A candle that would normally burn a couple hours you can use this way every night for a couple weeks before you stop getting any smell from it.

    Somebody said it above, but I've also found the cheap ones from Wal Mart have a stronger smell than most. Which is a good thing, because you won't get quite as strong a smell this way.

  • ElinElin Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    One thing that makes houses/apartments smell bad is people don't open their windows. Open every window in your place to air it out at least once a month, I tend to do this right before a storm because it's windy and pre-storm air smells good.

    If your place is carpeted, steam clean the carpets to get any smelly ground in dirt particles. Some people like carpet powders when vacuuming, but others say that they just help to grind in more dirt and smells.

    Another smelly place is your trash can. Trash bags can leak and the can itself can be smelly on the inside. Wash your can periodically.

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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Plants are good too.

    Adding a low-maintenance potted plant or two can do wonders.

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  • Liquid HellzLiquid Hellz Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I open the windows pretty regularly, at least once a week I think. I never really liked incense. I like the not lighting candles idea, I may have to try that. Yeah the garbage gets pretty bad sometimes, I have started to take it out sooner than I used to. Its not even a full bag sometimes. The plant idea sounds intriguing, any specific plants better than others for cleaning my air?

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  • dukederekdukederek Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    i hear Spider Plants are pretty great at absorbing stuff, they're pretty much impossible to kill and they breed like rabbits so you can pot up some babies and give them as gifts to friends if you feel that way inclined!

    Regarding the acclimatisation to smells, why not just get a friend who you know to be fairly honest about stuff and just ask them how your place smells.

    I recommend Spider Plant anyway, since they're awesome. Maybe Aloe Vera as well, another pretty indestructible plant and handy for healing burns etc (break a leaf in half and squeeze the goo out)

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited March 2011
    Get garbage cans with lids, if you dont already have them.

    My recommendation would be to take a day and do a spring clean. Wash all your linens, including couch covers, curtains and sheets, Vaccum floors, clean bathrooms down to behind the toilet, wipe down the surfaces in your fridge. Do all that with the windows open so that the cleaning products don't over whelm your house, but really wipe down everything and see if you don't get a fresher smell that sticks around.

    Personally I don't really like candles, So My regular routine revolves around keeping extremely fresh linens. Your whole bed room will smell better if the bed stays fresh. I throw a few dryer sheets in my drawers when I do all my laundry, and occasonally place a few in my closet. Taking some pledge to your floors freshens up the house too.

    If you dont have any ceiling fans, a few little desk top fans in places can help push air around, you can put your air fresheners in front of them, or throw a drier sheet on the back for a bit.

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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I really think the main issue here is that you assume people with nice smelling homes are smelling this themselves. You get used to a smell very quickly (think of your deoderant or cologne, or people with body odor), so you might not think your house smells nice, but a fresh nose does.

    Also, many people smellify their homes when they know guests are coming. I know my fiancee lights up the scented candles when company comes over, so you might think your friend's house smells like apple pie all the time, and what a delightful existence that would be, but it was probably solely for your benefit that day.

    Lastly, regarding the comment on making candles last, if you buy good quality scented candles, they should last a long, long time. I think the ones we usually have last around 80 hours. Cheap ones from Walmart might have a strong smell, but they're done in a couple of hours.

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  • oncelingonceling Registered User
    edited March 2011
    I use plugins and air sprays and people usually comment that the place smells good. You have to be really, really diligent about garbage/bathroom cleanliness. I have a plugin near the front door purposefully so it psychologically makes people think the whole house smells good and in every bathroom. Without carpet, you'll have a hard time getting most types of scent to stick because fabric holds it much better. You can spray the furniture or you can use plugins.

    If you want to buy candles, the Slatkin ones at Bath and Body Works are about the most consistent and reliable I have seen. Wait for the 2/$20 sale on the big ones. In a small space you could probably just leave the candle open but otherwise they are only going to work really when lit or warmed, the scent never sticks around.

  • SkyCaptainSkyCaptain Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Ninyu wrote: »
    They make these scented screens you can put on the heating air filter. It seems that would help the smell permeate the house. You'd better really like the smell though. It will be everywhere.

    Don't do this. It can burn out the unit due to airflow restriction or something. At least that's what the HVAC trained guy said roughly.

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  • NewtronNewtron Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The only time I notice bad smells is when they are especially bad. Like with ferrets or cats, or when people cook spicy foods daily. Otherwise I'm so used to odors that it doesn't bother me much anymore.

    Ditto on the open windows thing though. If I keep the windows in my apartment closed for more than a week or two at a time, my place starts to smell really bad from all the accumulated dust, food, and body smells.

    If your especially serious about smells, You may consider replacing carpeting in some rooms with tile or linoleum. I've found it's much easier to clean, spills aren't as big of an issue, and they don't hold smells like carpeting can. Tiling can be an expensive process though, and it doesn't lend well to heating, and can be cracked by super heavy things, so be wary.

    Otherwise, I would suggest exploring incense more if you have only a casual experience with it. Some incense can smell pretty bad or generic, but some incense can smell as good as those plug-ins you buy.

  • NeylaNeyla Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Iruka wrote: »
    Get garbage cans with lids, if you dont already have them.

    My recommendation would be to take a day and do a spring clean. Wash all your linens, including couch covers, curtains and sheets, Vaccum floors, clean bathrooms down to behind the toilet, wipe down the surfaces in your fridge. Do all that with the windows open so that the cleaning products don't over whelm your house, but really wipe down everything and see if you don't get a fresher smell that sticks around.

    Personally I don't really like candles, So My regular routine revolves around keeping extremely fresh linens. Your whole bed room will smell better if the bed stays fresh. I throw a few dryer sheets in my drawers when I do all my laundry, and occasonally place a few in my closet. Taking some pledge to your floors freshens up the house too.

    If you dont have any ceiling fans, a few little desk top fans in places can help push air around, you can put your air fresheners in front of them, or throw a drier sheet on the back for a bit.

    This will help alot ^ covering a smell up with scents is only a temporary solution. When you do your "spring" cleaning. Think of places you neglect normally. Like "under" things. Fridge, stove, couch. Also helps if you wash out your garbage cans from time to time, some people tend to neglect this. Kitchen cans can get nasty over time.

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  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Could you have a mold issue perhaps? if it's so persistent i wouldn't think it's a cleanliness issue.

  • TL DRTL DR Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Nag Champa is great incense and isn't very expensive or overwhelmingly potent. Also, cooking is a good way to introduce pleasant aromas into the air.

    Really, with scents, less is more. I tend to shy away from the plugins and aerosols, and even scented soaps and hygene products, etc. Keep fresh air circulating when possible and keep the place clean, and your place will naturally have a subtle, appealing odor.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Seriously, cooking is like the best way to do it. Like I said, your nose is increasingly good at removing "background smells." The same way you can filter out white noise and conversation not pertaining to you, your nose can filter out smells that are present.

  • SneakertSneakert Registered User
    edited March 2011
    I am a grownup, but I've never felt more mature than when I read this thread and decided it might contain good ideas for my place. What's next, saturday shopping at ikea? Make up my bed? Borrow sugar from my neighbour? This might be the day I've dreaded all my life. :lol:

  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I think one of the best things you can do to keep some kind of fresh smell in your place is to clean regularly. Vacuum, dust, sweep, etc etc.

    I like the candle approach as well, personally. I have hardwood floors though, so vacuum powders obviously wouldn't work in my case.

    If you have cats, I've found it's a daily task cleaning up their hair to avoid any scents related to them.

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  • Liquid HellzLiquid Hellz Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Heir wrote: »
    I think one of the best things you can do to keep some kind of fresh smell in your place is to clean regularly. Vacuum, dust, sweep, etc etc.

    I like the candle approach as well, personally. I have hardwood floors though, so vacuum powders obviously wouldn't work in my case.

    If you have cats, I've found it's a daily task cleaning up their hair to avoid any scents related to them.

    It is kept clean regularly, once a week, that's what I got a wife for :lol: . I also have hardwood floors which hold no smell at all, no cats. I never notice a bad smell, it just never smells like anything at all. Good nor bad. Was hoping to find a way to imprint a smell into the home with this thread. Looks like candles/open windows/ maybe a plant is the best way to go.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I keep clicking on this thread, and then stopping myself from posting one of the dozen or so smart-ass remarks I think of whenever I read the title...

    ... but it's getting harder to do...

  • ceresceres Just your problem OoSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited March 2011
    You just keep on trucking there, spool.

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  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Heir wrote: »
    I think one of the best things you can do to keep some kind of fresh smell in your place is to clean regularly. Vacuum, dust, sweep, etc etc.

    I like the candle approach as well, personally. I have hardwood floors though, so vacuum powders obviously wouldn't work in my case.

    If you have cats, I've found it's a daily task cleaning up their hair to avoid any scents related to them.

    It is kept clean regularly, once a week, that's what I got a wife for :lol: .


    Heyoo!

    Seriously though, sounds like you just need some candles/incense then. Having a neutral scent isn't really a bad thing though.

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  • griffinwolf2008griffinwolf2008 Registered User
    Do some spring cleaning. Clean the curtains, maybe clean your carpet, scrub down the walls and get into the corners, get rid of food that's been sitting in your cabinet for a few years, scrub down your trash cans, get on your hands and knee's and clean the floor really well. Just over all give your home a really deep clean. Replace all air conditioner filters and replace them on a regular basis. And maybe indulge and buy a new mattress. I remember at one time, I could never get my room clean enough and it would still smell. Once I got a new mattress, it stopped smelling. I also found that having an air cleaner seems to help keep smells down too.

    I also clean my house weekly to keep the house from smelling and I am constantly burning candles and incense or I have the windows open to avoid that "stuffy" smell. I'm one of those people that is just really OCD about the way my house smells. *lol* I can't stand the smell of coffee, so coffee never enters my house. I can't stand the smell of pets, so I make sure my pets get bath's regularly and their cages are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected on a weekly basis.

    I also take my trash out on a daily basis. That's why I usually just use grocery bags for my trash bags, so I'm forced to take it out more often. Trash is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to smell.

  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Wash the walls, wipe the ceiling. Have your carpets, couch and drapery shampooed professionally.

    And open your windows as much as you can. If you're at home and your windows aren't open to let fresh air in, it had better either be snowing outside or you're dead.

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  • GalFridayGalFriday Community and Social Media Manager NovatoRegistered User regular
    edited November 2011
    If your home does not smell bad but also not good I would avoid perfumes. You have a smell coming from somewhere and covering it up won't help.
    I strongly suggest an Ionic Breeze. It neutralizes all smells. Once your house smells like nothing you can decide if you want it to smell like something ;)

    Also, try to figure out what smells you are introducing. Cooking a lot with garlic or fish? Those smells stick around and despite commercials I have not had luck removing them with any spray or candle smells. Do you use cleaning products regularly? If so do their smells match or contrast? (I use Method because their line goes together well, all bathroom is mint for example) Sometimes cleaning the house can result in an odd smell because of the mix (Pine-Sol+Mint+Citrus+Windex = funky)

    Just some food for thought.

    Get a steam cleaner. A shampooer. One of those Rug Doctors that you can use at home. Mine is broken right now and I can't tell you how much I miss it. So easy to just give the carpets a quick clean, and so so good for the sofa. Febreeze is nice, but actually cleaning things is better.

    Oh! I also like everything chrishallett83 said. I do not wipe my ceilings as they are textured and a pain, but I do open the windows when I leave for work. It can be a bit chilly when I get home, but the hosue heats up quickly and nothing beats having air circulation.

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