Winter Detox: 12 Easy Ways To Banish Stale Odors

Beat the dreary, cold winter blues by brightening your home with pleasing scents of summery citrus, herbs & spices. This is such a budget friendly, easy method for uplifting your mood…and without using hard to find ingredients or harsh chemicals!

Here are 12 quick and easy DIY ideas that can help make that happen…

  1. Fragrance Bowls: Fill large decorative bowls with clean sand then top with citrus peelings, potpourri, cinnamon sticks and bunches of fresh herbs or aromatic flowers. This will fill the room with both a pleasing and natural fragrance.
  2. Simmering Spices, Herbs & Citrus Peels: This is a lovely way to help your home smell warm and inviting. Just fill a pot with water, add your favorite ingredients and simmer low and slow all day. This also helps humidify the home a bit. See Simmering Pot Instructions for all the details and plenty of recipes too!
  3. Crafty Gel Air Fresheners: Using plain gelatin, water, salt, essential oil and food coloring, you can make your own gel air fresheners with scents customized exactly how you want them. See Smelly Jelly Recipes for instructions.
  4. Sweet-Smelling Bedroom Sacks: Fill small fabric sacks about the size of a shoe bag with Homemade Potpourri and tie closed with ribbon to make large-sized sachets. Arrange them with the pile of pillows on your bed for a pretty decor effect.
  5. Warm & Relaxing Cinnamon: Wrap tea lights or glass votives with sticks of cinnamon for a pretty display–the aromatic cinnamon will fill the room when the candle is lit and sticks are heated. A tidy way to do this is to glue cinnamon sticks around a glass votive then wrap the bundle tightly with twine or string around the middle. The twine will help keep things secure in case the glue melts from the heat.
  6. Salt Packed Citrus Shells: The salt absorbs stale and nasty odors while the citrus shell releases an uplifting orange scent. So much better than harsh chemical sprays, don’t you think!
  7. DIY Floating Candles: Fill a class container or jar with aromatic items such as lavender, orange peels, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, lemon peels, rosemary sprigs, etc. Cover with olive oil or water. Top with a floating candle or floating wick. Wrap glass container with more fragrant items that will release a pleasant scent when warmed. So nice!
  8. You can make a homemade version of reed diffuser oil with just a few simple ingredients that you can easily find locally: Mineral or Sweet Almond or Safflower Oil, Vodka, Essential Oils & Water, Liquid Potpourri. See DIY Reed Diffusers: How-To & Tips for directions.
  9. Stale Odor Buster: Simply fill small containers half way with household vinegar and place them in areas that are out of the way and won’t be bumped or spilled. The vinegar will dissipate the area of stale smells and rejuvenate the air in the room. You could also use bowls of baking soda with dried herbs or flowers mixed in for extra fragrance.
  10. Perfumy Bathroom: Dip a q-tip in your favorite perfume or essential oil then tape it inside a roll of toilet paper. Each time the roll is used the fragrance will be released.
  11. Fragrant Kitchen: Grow herbs indoors not only for their culinary uses, but to also add lovely scents to the kitchen. Simply brush leaves with your hands to release the plants natural aroma. See 9 Methods For Growing Herbs for tips.
  12. Homemade Room Sprays: Vanilla & Cloves: This is so easy to make and a delightful way to treat the senses! 1 cup water, 1 cup household vinegar, 1 TBS vanilla extract, 1 tsp cloves…directions here: Recipe. You can also try this Lemon Scented Spritz from the same article: A quick mix with 2 cups hot water, 1/8 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup lemon juice. Or whip up some good, fresh smelling spray with just two ingredients: water or vinegar and essential oils.

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    • Anna B

    I recently moved into a condo previously occupied by a long-term chain smoker. When I turned on the heat today (first time since moving in), the whole place smelled like old tobacco. Any ideas on how to deodorize/clean the heating system? I did not notice this problem when I ran the central AC, just with the heat.

      • AJ

      Try placing a fabric softner sheet in your heat registers.

    • Heidi N

    My gramma taught me this one. If you have the heater vents you can put fabric softener sheets on them and if you have a large floor vent hang them in there with a bit of string. The lavender and vanilla ones are really great at covering smoke smells.

    • catmom

    Set out several saucers of vinegar before trying to scent the air. The odors will be gone and there is no lingering vinegar smell. Then you can scent your home with a scent you enjoy.

    • Bridie

    Hi,I have just been given a great camper van awing but as it was lying in a shed for quite a while ,it has a really bad old musty smell. any ideas for cleaning and freshening would be much appreciated.

    • Bridie

    Hi, just another bit about the awing ,it is heavy canvas material with windows pretty large ,so would need something to deodourise that would not make it too wet as i would not be able to lift it. Thanks.

      • Gem

      We used to hang our awning over the washing line or put it up to air, if you can’t maybe lay it flat outside to air with maybe some bicarb to help absorb?

    • Melissa

    Dont forget to open your windows! On a clear, sunny da. y, go through your house and open all your windows. After you open the last window, go back to the first window you opened and close them all ib the same order. It freshens the air in your house without letting the temp drop too much.

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