15 simple ways to make your home smell fresh and clean

Things getting a little stale?
Bright and inviting coastal home with white and natural colour palette.(Credit: Photographer: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Whether you’re returning from holidays to a closed-up home in need of a little air, or you want to bring the beach home with you, here are some ideas for effecting an ambience in the air at home that will transport you to fresh new levels of bliss.

1. Light a candle

There’s nothing like lighting a candle in your home for an instant fragrant burst, with the added bonus of a warm, ambient glow. Stock up when you see your favourites on sale and only burn for a few hours at a time. This will extend the life of your candle and the softened wax will continue to fragrance the air.

Heavenly-scented candles

2. Set up a diffuser

Great for long-term fragrance, diffusers with slender reeds wicking fragrant oils from a glass or bottle will provide a consistent aroma of your choice. Commercial ones are available with special blends to evoke seaside smells or fresh forest blends, or make your own with skewers and your own special aromatic mix.

3. Purify the air

Particularly for persistent or stubborn odours, the operation of an air purifier with a few drops of essential oils will circulate around your home at the touch of a button.

4. Tend to indoor plants

Natural air purifiers, indoor plants filter toxins and carbon dioxide and produce fresh air in your space. Remember to place one or two in the bathroom!

Outdoor entertaining area
(Credit: Photography: Jacqui Turk / Styling: Alanna Smit)

5. Clean and de-grease your exhaust fans

By soaking first in boiling hot soapy water for 10 minutes, then gently scrubbing with a brush in a circular motion. Allow to air dry in the sun if possible.

6. Mop the floors

With the addition of 10-12 drops of essential oil in your bucket. Lavender, peppermint and eucalyptus work well.

7. Do some baking

Cook a loaf of bread, batch of muffins or your favourite cake. The smell of fresh baking is an instant pick-me-up. Use citrus if you can as zesting the peel will instantly fragrance the air.

Timber kitchen
(Credit: Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

8. Make your own fragrance sachets

With a collection of dried flowers such as buds or lavender head gathered inside. Refresh from time to time with a drop or two of quality essential oil.

9. Wipe out the bins

Empty the bins and wash them out with warm soapy water. Allow them to dry in the sun before taking them back inside. For extra freshness, add a few cotton wool balls scented with essential oil into the bin before replacing the liner.

10. Upgrade your kitchen spray

Clean your kitchen benches and perfume your kitchen while you’re at it with a premium spray made from quality ingredients. We love Ecoya’s juniper berry and mint fragranced surface spray or Koala Eco’s Multi-purpose kitchen spray in lemon, myrtle and mandarin.

white kitchen plantation shutters white benchtop
Butler’s Pantry: Talostone in Calacatta Luxe on the kitchen benchtop is stylish and practical. (Credit: Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Jamee Deaves)

11. Fresh flowers

Fresh flowers can transform the look (and smell) of your home. Pick fragrant varieties, such as roses, gardenias, jasmine, lilies or lavender for the highest impact.

12. Open the windows

Never underestimate the power of a cross breeze. Open as many windows and doors as possible and allow your home to ‘breathe’. A well-ventilated home is less likely to succumb to musty smells caused by mildew or damp from condensation.

13. Make a simmer pot

US-based gourmet food store Williams Sonoma is famous for its delicious scent. The secret? A simple stovetop ‘simmer pot’ you can make at home. Simply fill a large pot with water and add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, whole black peppercorns, thinly sliced lemon and a few drops of vanilla extract. Bring to a simmer over a low heat and allow the scent to reinvigorate the senses.

14. Place an open jar of rolled oats in the fridge

Strange whiff emanating from the fridge? Give it a clean out, ensuring the shelves are free from mysterious spills and spoiled food then place one cup of oats in an uncovered dish and allow it to soak up any lingering odours.

15. Deoderise with bi-carb soda

Freshen up mattresses, sofas and rugs with bi-carb soda. Sprinkle generously over the item, and allow to sit for a few minutes before vacuuming the excess away.

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