Make A Tiny Apartment Smell Amazing, No Candles Required

What smell hits you when you walk through your apartment door? Is it a fresh, welcoming scent of home? Or wet towel + yesterday's Chipotle burrito? Yum.

min read

What smell hits you when you walk through your apartment door? Is it a fresh, welcoming scent of home? Or wet towel + yesterday's Chipotle burrito? Yum.

Nobody wants to come home to a dirty AF apartment. If you’re sick of thinking, “What is that smell?” when you walk through the door, it’s time to go on a scenting spree.

Fortunately, you don’t have to buy a $30 Yankee Candle to have an amazing-smelling apartment. I’ve compiled a list of sneaky tricks to make your apartment smell like heaven on earth.

Oh, and it doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Impress your pals, judgmental parents, and even the Amazon delivery guy with a whoosh of amazing aroma when they walk through the door.

1. Bake vanilla extract

Want your kitchen to smell amazing? Bake. Who's got time to bake (and the self-control not to devour a dozen chocolate chips cookies fresh out of the oven)? No one. So, get that fresh-baked smell without lifting a finger: bake vanilla extract. Real estate agents actually use this trick to sell more houses.

Put two capfuls of vanilla extract in an oven-safe container. Bake the extract for 1 hour at 300 and enjoy the comforting smell throughout your apartment.

2. Poo-Pourri

Well, we had to say it: bathrooms can smell like a nuclear disaster, especially if you have that one roommate. Instead of covering up the devastation with a cheap can of air freshener that smells sticky sweet, go with Poo-Pourri.

Holy hell, it’s the only thing I’ve found that works. Just spray the toilet water twice before you do your business. When you flush, it will smell like lemon pie (it actually does, we promise).

3. Stovetop potpourri

Whether you burned dinner and need a quick coverup or just want a tasty-smelling kitchen, try stovetop potpourri.

Just fill a pot with water and add stuff that smells good to it. Consider tossing in sliced oranges, lemon, a cinnamon stick, cloves, vanilla, or apples. That’s it! Simmer that bad boy and watch as your apartment transforms into an oasis of perfume.

If you want to leave the pot unattended, a crockpot will get you the same effect—just leave the crockpot lid off so the smell permeates your apartment.

4. Wax warmers

Candles are nice and all, but a) they’re expensive if you want them to actually work to scent your apartment and b) they can start fires. A safer alternative is wax warmers, which you can buy at the store for, like, $10.

Best of all, you can change out the wax scents easily without investing in a pricey new Yankee Candle once a month to fit the season. Just drop a wax melt in the warmer, turn on the little lightbulb, and wait about an hour. Your apartment will smell awesome!

5. Citrus in the garbage disposal

If you’ve cleaned your apartment and can’t pinpoint the source of that smell, check your sink. If you have a garbage disposal, it needs regular cleaning to stay fresh.

Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Just cut a lemon into quarters and run it through the garbage disposal. Run plenty of water through your sink afterward for a pleasant citrus aroma.

6. Get some plants

Plants can freshen up the air inside your apartment. And hey, you’ll get to become a #PlantParent, which is fun, too.

Get something that doesn’t need a ton of light and that’s hard to kill. Try herbs as well: basil, mint or lemon verbena, which are known for their crisp aromas and often do well in lighted kitchens. It's also a pretty inexpensive way to spruce up a boring space.

If you don’t want the responsibility of caring for a plant, you could just buy fresh-cut flowers. It’s bougie, but fresh roses smell freaking amazing.

7. Keep your stuff clean in the first place

You can’t Febreeze away yesterday’s trash. If you want an apartment that smells as good as J-Lo (she purportedly smells amazing), you’ve got to keep your stuff clean in the first place.

After all, you can’t convince folks that your apartment is neat if there’s a greasy pizza box and funky socks in the corner.

You don’t have to be a neat freak, but it should be reasonably clean (If you're the messy one in your apartment, we've got advice on de-cluttering your space for good, too)! Otherwise, your apartment will smell like Febreezed trash.

Listen to your mom and keep stuff clean. Wash bedding twice a month, minimum. Mop or vacuum once a week (ok, you can get away with a few more days, depending what’s been going on in your apartment - but don’t push it). Take out the trash. Don’t let dishes sit in the sink. Don't let empty beer bottles and pizza boxes stick around for more than 24 hours. These are common-sense adult actions to give you a much-needed blank slate to get your apartment smelling awesome.

To sum it all up...

Apartments are notorious for funky, stale air. Instead of accepting your fate, take any of these 7 steps to make your apartment a mecca of heavenly scent. Before you know it, your friends and random Tinder dates will remember you as the friend who's home smells amazing. Now, isn’t that worth boiling some orange slices?

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