StinkyHomeSolutions

In the last 12 years of my real estate career, I have been into hundreds if not thousands of homes. In my opinion, the homes that show the best are those where the homeowner pays close attention to the cleanliness of the environment and those that have a clean or pleasant smell. The worst is when I walk into a home with a buyer and you can smell last night’s dinner and this morning’s shower. Even worse is the homeowner that owns three or four big dogs that are not bathed often enough and allowed to infiltrate every room and piece of furniture. After a while, the homeowner gets used to the smell and no longer notices it, but believe me coming from the fresh outdoor air to the stale indoor air everyone else takes note even if subconsciously.

Being a pet owner myself, I am acutely aware of how difficult it can be to juggle pet maintenance, home maintenance, work, and I can’t imagine children on top of all of that. In today’s world we take on more than ever with the assistance of technology. Time is now the most valuable resource we have and every minute counts.

To keep my office and house smelling fresh and clean I have tried just about every product available including: plug-in oils, room sprays, candles (Yankee, Bath & Body, Wallmart, Dollar Store, Michaels and more), concentrated room sprays, diffusers, and essential oils, house plants, baking bread and/or cookies. Obviously, I don’t still use all of these at once or the problem of too much of a good thing comes into play. After trying just about everything I have come up with a few helpful hints to keep your home smelling fresh and your pocketbook full.

CANDLES: I love candles, but not all candles are created equal. Some do not smell great, some do not burn long enough, they put off heat which in Florida we do not need any more of (especially in the summer months), and their by products are carbon dioxide and soot. Not to mention they can be super expensive and dangerous if you forget to put them out! I still use them occasionally but they are no longer my first choice for a fresh office and house.

yankee_candle

PLUG-INS: I have used Glade, Yankee and Bath and Body Works oil plug ins and all are good, but I do prefer the Yankee and Bath and Body oils because of variety of scents. I keep them plugged in at my office as a nice consistent yet subtle release of fresh smells. They fall short of giving a great fresh feeling though and will not cover bad smells if you have a pet or in a bathroom. Diffusers are very similar to the Plug-ins.

bath-body-works-wallflowers

ROOM SPRAYS: There are concentrated room sprays that can be found at Yankee candle and Bath and Body works and your regular room and fabric sprays such as Febreze and Glade that can be found at the grocery store. I really like using the Febreze for carpets and/or fabric furniture but outside of that both concentrated and non concentrated can have an overpowering smell that borders unpleasant and overwhelming. The concentrated room sprays are good for a bathroom situation, but outside of that can be too overwhelming.

RoomSpraysFebreze

BLOGGERS CHOICE: My favorite solution to date to keep a fresh house is a combination of opening the windows on either end of my house and office to get a good cross wind going and clear out any stale air (which I do at minimum once a month but preferably weekly).  In addition to clearing the stale air once a week I also use a humidifier with a few drops of essential oils. It’s a great solution to choose your air freshener based on your mood by using a hint of oil in the humidifier.There are different types of humidifiers including cool mist (which I use) and heated humidifiers so pay close attention and the differences between the two I will have to save for another blog.

Below you will see some of my favorite flavors of essential oils. Mostly, I use the mint & lemon flavors and sometimes I mix the two. It is so fresh and clean smelling and perfectly pleasant. Sometimes I will go plain mint and others mint and lemon. I also have a weird fascination with Pine Sol, so sometimes I mix pine needle with lemon scents. You can buy just one essential oil pretty cheaply online or you can buy a package of them to mix and mingle. There are many health claims online and other uses for essential oils so they will not go to waste. I use a little oil in my vacuum to keep a pleasant smell when I vacuum. I use them underneath the trash bags in trash cans to keep a fresh smell. I even add a little to the mop when I clean my floors. By far, I mostly use them in my humidifier and since the humidifier purchase I haven’t been using candles nearly as much. I still use the plug-in’s but that is mostly because I still have so many left from when I bought them on sale (I hate wasting money).

 

EssentialOils

 

 

Below is a picture of my humidifier, a few of my oils that I keep at the office and my hygrometer which I use to tell the humidity levels in the room and the temperature. This meter also tracks highs and lows on both humidity and temperature levels. It tells me if the humidity is high, low or OK which is great for me as a beginner. It’s important that your hygrometer read both temperature and humidity to tell you whether the humidity levels are high, low or just OK because different air temperatures hold different amounts of humidity.  Knowing your indoor humidity is important because humidity affects comfort, health and the condition of your household possessions. When the humidity is high (over 55%) the room can feel hot and stuffy even if the temperature is at a typically normal temperature. However, in contrast when the humidity drops below 25%, the dry air can reduce the comfort of the room. Keeping the humidity in a healthy range between 30-50% can help to control bacteria, viruses, fungi (including mold), allergies and asthma. As you can see my humidity levels are on the lower side of that spectrum which I found out when I ended up making the hygrometer purchase. I made the initial purchase when I noticed my skin was dryer than normal (which lead me down this rabbit hole of essential oils and humidifiers and even learning about hygrometers).

TheSetup

 

I did a lot of searching to find humidifiers for each room that might better match the decor of that room while providing the functionality that I needed in the respective rooms. Below is another humidifier that I use. It also allows me to change the oil used based on the person who is occupying the room most often (since we all find different smells appealing).

ZenHumidifier

 

I have yet to have a problem with my humidity levels in my house or office, but you can bet that I will be looking for a solution to that problem while being able to maintain the fresh smell of the essential oils that I have come to enjoy. As a side, note I have had less dry skins since I purchased the humidifiers for my house and office.

I would love to hear your essential oil or humidifier secrets or even recipes. Feel free to share with me in the comments below 🙂 If you have another fresh home idea please share as well and I will do some testing to see if we can find an even more refreshing way to keep the home smelling pleasant.