There’s nothing like freshly baked cookies or pie to make your house smell all warm and inviting. But when you are pressed for time and holiday guests are dropping by at a moment’s notice, how do you make sure your home has a pleasant aroma? Modern kitchen hoods can help whisk away any stinky smells as you cook, but go that extra step and infuse the rest of your home with the scent of spiced apple cider, pine trees, and refreshing citrus. Here are some DIY (do-it-yourself) ways to freshen up your home naturally and in no time at all!
Simmering Spiced Cider
It’s easy to fill your kitchen with the fragrant scent of apples, cinnamon, citrus, and cloves when you have spiced cider simmering in your kitchen. This DIY freshener can be made on the stovetop or in a small slow cooker. Pour in one quart of apple juice or cider and toss in two sliced apples or a cup of dried apple peels. Add four cinnamon sticks to the pot, a few pieces of star anise, and a tablespoon of whole cloves (for a spicier scent, feel free to add more). Top it off with slices of fresh orange. Simmer on low when company comes to call, and add more liquid as needed.
Homemade Orange Spice Potpourri
This potpourri takes a little advanced prep work to dry out the oranges, but once it’s done, the scent will last for weeks. Preheat your oven to 225 degrees. Slice fresh oranges a quarter-inch thick and place them in a single layer on a rack within a rimmed pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake for three hours or until your oranges are dry, turning occasionally. Cool your oranges and place them in a bowl with star anise, whole cloves, and cinnamon sticks, and sprinkle with nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.
Fresh-cut pine branches just smell like the holidays. Bring the outdoors inside by placing pine branches in a galvanized jug, or a vase filled with pinecones for a decorative touch.
Everyone knows how to clean a kitchen sink, but while the surface may look sparkly, down the drain is a whole different story. Sometimes food debris and bacteria can linger in your drain or garbage disposal, and this can leave your kitchen smelling less than fresh. If your sink is the source of the stink, pour equal parts white vinegar and baking soda down the drain — a cup of each should do the trick. Let that sit and bubble for about ten minutes and then flush the drain with hot water. If you have a garbage disposal, toss in two cups of ice, a cup of course salt, and one or two bits of citrus rind, and fully run it through to deodorize and clean the blades.
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