5+ natural ways to freshen any room

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Keeping your home smelling fresh is an ongoing battle. We are all constantly dealing with musty basements and bathrooms, living rooms overrun with kids and dogs, and kitchens that seemingly feed armies.
Often, cleaning up these spaces is the main focus. But even after a good cleanup job, there are smells that linger. Of course, you can reach for the branded air sprays, but those really aren't good for your home. They're packed with chemicals that stick to your rugs, furniture, and clothes. Yuck!
There are actually some really effective home remedies out there to keep just about any room in your house smelling airy and fresh. And the best part is that you already have most of the necessities lying around in your cupboard. There's really no excuse! Check out the list and get started on your next simple do-it-yourself project.
1. Simmer pot
This is an awesome solution to freshen up your kitchen after cooking a big meal or to make the whole house smell good if you have a wide-open floor plan. You simply need to bring a pot of water to a boil, and add some of your favorite essential oils, fruits or herbs.
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Here are a couple favorite combinations to try:
1. Orange and cinnamon
2. Lemon and rosemary
3. Lavender and grapefruit
2. Gel jars
Don't pay for those expensive (but great-smelling) gel jars any longer. You can make your own at home quickly and easily with some unscented gelatin.
First, grab a clean jar and fill it up with about 30 drops of your favorite essential oil and some food coloring. Follow the instructions for the gelatin — which is usually just combining hot water and the powder — and once that's ready, pour it into your jar. It has to sit overnight to thicken, but the next day it'll be ready to make any room smell fresh.
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3. DIY oil diffusers
Ever looked at one of those scent diffusers and said, "I could make that," but didn't know how? Grab some bamboo skewers, a small vase, and your favorite essential oil. Fill up the jar with oil (to your preference), and then fill the rest with baby oil. The bamboo will absorb the mixture and leave your room smelling wonderfully fresh.
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4. Baking soda air freshener
This is an awesome — and totally simple — DIY for rooms that need a little extra help staying fresh. Think bathroom, mudroom or basement. Simply fill a mason jar with 1/2 cup baking soda and a few drops of your essential oil of choice. Then, top the jar with a piece of paper or cardboard that has holes cut out. The baking soda will absorb any nasty smells, and the oils will diffuse into the room.
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5. Coffee shop candles
This idea not only smells great but it also adds a decorative touch to your room. To get the soft scent of coffee drifting through your home, fill a dish with coffee beans. A small tea candle is all you need to gently warm the beans and release the subtle smell of coffee. Want to make these for your home? Get the full tutorial here.
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6. DIY Febreze
If you already use your favorite scent of Downy Unstopables for your clothing, this is an awesome DIY for you. Here is the recipe:
1. Combine 1/4 cup of Downy Unstopables with 4 tablespoons baking soda and 1 cup hot water.
2. Let it all dissolve for about 30 minutes.
3. Pour in an old spray bottle and squirt around the house!
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7. Essential oil air filter
Use your air conditioner and heating system to push healthy scents throughout your entire home. This chemical-free air freshener uses the power of essential oils to keep your home smelling great. A few drops on your air filter keeps your home smelling great!
8. Cotton ball refresher
For this simple trick, just soak a few cotton balls in vanilla extract and hide them in places around the home. The smell will waft into rooms for a gentle, but pleasant, cookie-baking aroma.
Note: Vanilla can stain. Make sure to put the cotton swab in a place you aren't worried about or lay a sheet of paper or tissue under the ball to absorb any excess vanilla.​
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9. Lightbulb refresher
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Dip a cotton swab in vanilla extract and rub the vanilla over the top of the light bulb. When you turn the light on, the heat from the bulb helps distribute the vanilla smell throughout the room.
Note: If you're using the new swirly bulbs (incandescent bulbs), this trick may not work as well because the bulbs don't get quite as hot.
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