Even if you work a 40-hour work week, your home doesn’t need to suffer. It can still look great, smell fresh and be a welcome place to kick back with little effort.

But let’s face it; sometimes there are circumstances that hold this possibility at bay. For example, kids, dirty laundry, pets, preparing highly seasoned foods for dinner, or even dicing an onion can all contribute to a messy and frankly, smelly home.

Here are few helpful ideas to help you enjoy a home that smells clean and welcoming rather than old and stinky.

  1. Keep ugly smells far away. It may be hard, but try to keep distasteful smells away from the house or at least away from the high traffic areas i.e., Media Room, bathrooms and of course, the kitchen. Make sure the kids and other family members leave stinky shoes and sporting equipment in the garage. Don’t let smokers smoke in the house, if they must, send them outside. Keep the bathroom doors shut and be sure that no trash builds up under kitchen sinks.
  2. Fresh-smelling cleaning products. One of the simplest ways to keep bad odors out o the home is to use cleaning products that smell nice. For example, trying sprinkling a scented powder on the carpet before vacuuming. Put a drop of your favorite essential oil in buckets of water used to clean the floor. Any citrus oil like lemon will give your home a fresh scent.
  3. Add candles. Burn strong smelling candles or add aromatherapy diffusers to a room filled with your favorite essential oil.
  4. Kitchen flooring. In a bucket mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with 1-gallon hot water. This is safe for hardwood, linoleum, tile, and any washable surface.
  5. Easy oven cleaner. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1-tablespoon salt, and add 1/2 cup hot water. Make a gritty paste, apply to the oven, heat slightly, cool and then wipe away with a damp rag.
  6. Clean refrigerator seals. The plastic seals of refrigerators can be wiped free of debris with a rag dabbed in white vinegar and a few drops from a freshly-cut lemon.

For stinky laundry, there are three products to use: washing soda, white vinegar and salt.

  1. Simple laundry detergent for white clothing. Use 1/4 cup washing soda (sodium carbonate) in place of bleach. Bleach is one of the most toxic substances for the environment. Washing with baking soda costs only a few pennies per wash load, and it is far less expensive than bleach. Along with the baking soda, add 1/4 cup of white vinegar.
  2. Simple laundry detergent for dark clothing. Use 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 1/4 cup of salt. Salt helps restore faded colors, and removes dirt and grime.

Bathrooms can also benefit from homemade cleaning solutions. The same cleaning products used in the kitchen can also be utilized in the bathroom; white vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. However, if you use rubbing alcohol, you’ve got a good glass cleaner.

  1. Bathroom class cleaner. Use 1-2 tablespoons of white vinegar mixed with 1- quart of water in a spray bottle. To remove oily fingerprints and hairspray from the mirror, dab on a little rubbing alcohol and wipe with a linen rag.
  2. Bathroom/bathtub glass doors. Use 1/4 cup white vinegar mixed with 3/4 cup of hot water. Those hard water stains will wipe away like magic.

With a little thought, and some elbow grease, your home can smell fresh, clean and devoid of any foul or bad odors!