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Are You Nose blind?

How to make your house smell good.

Denise Sleeper

Denise Sleeper - May 2023
Owner of Delta Home Staging & Redesign

Home cleaning supplies

Smells in homes are a sensitive topic when selling your home, however first impressions matter.

We all become “nose blind” with the smells in our own homes, so it’s very important to take the time to determine if your home has any smells that should be neutralized as it can affect your homes equity.

Ask others outside of your home to be completely honest. Pets, smoking, spices, garbage, mustiness etc. may add a scent to your home that future buyers may not appreciate.

So, what can you do to neutralize the smells in your home? It really depends on the smell. Here are some of our home staging tips that will make your home fragrance appealing to potential buyers.


Clean, Clean, Clean

The number one recommendation is to do a deep clean. This helps with dirt and dust, but it also creates a great smell for your entire home. Use as many natural products (e.g. baking soda, lemon, vinegar, coffee grounds etc.) as possible.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a versatile household product that can help get rid of odours in your home. It works by neutralizing acidic odours and absorbing moisture, making it an effective deodorizer.

One way to use baking soda is by placing an open box of it in a room where there is a persistent odour. The baking soda will absorb the odour, leaving the room smelling fresher.

Another way to use baking soda is to create a baking soda air freshener. To do this, mix baking soda with a few drops of essential oil and place it in a small container with holes punched in the lid. The essential oil will add a pleasant scent while the baking soda absorbs any odours.

Baking soda can also be used to deodorize carpets and upholstery. Simply sprinkle baking soda on the affected area, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up. This will help eliminate any lingering unpleasant odours.

Baking soda is an affordable and natural solution for getting rid of odours in your home.


Although dinner can smell delicious, it may not smell as good the following day. When selling, be cognizant of the meals you are preparing. Try to avoid strong smelling meals the night before a showing.

Clean thoroughly after each meal. Open the windows to get some fresh air circulating.


These are tough smells to get rid of because they permeate fabric and walls, but there are several effective methods that you can use to minimize the overall smell.

One way to do it is by airing out your home. Open all the windows and doors and let fresh air circulate throughout.

Another way to remove the smell of smoking is by using odour-absorbing materials such as baking soda or activated charcoal (see tips above).

You can also use air purifiers with HEPA filters, which can help remove smoke particles and other pollutants from the air.

Additionally, deep cleaning your home can help remove smoke residue. Wash curtains, upholstery, and any other fabrics that may have absorbed the smell of smoke. Wipe down surfaces with a solution of vinegar and water, which can help neutralize odours.


By using these methods, you can effectively get rid of the smell of smoking in your home and create a fresh and inviting living space.

However if these methods do not work, you may need to paint or replace rugs/drapery.

During your listing, it is recommended that you do not smoke/vape in the home.


I know, pets are adorable, however pet(s) may be giving off a smell that is not as pleasing to the future buyer (who may not even like pets).

Clean out your cat litter often and make sure that any other pet towels and toys are cleaned and tucked away. Ideally remove all evidence of your pet. You love your pet, but the future buyer may not. You may want to consider having your pet stay elsewhere during the listing period.


Scented Candles

Scented candles can smell wonderful but not everyone loves the smell of Lime Basil or Campfire Marshmallow, so keep these as neutral as possible. Also, if the smell is too strong, the buyer might think you are trying to hide a smell.

Ideally make a natural air freshener that can make any room smell fresh:


  • 2 cups of water

  • 1 lemon

  • 3 springs of rosemary

  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract

Air Purifiers

These have gained popularity of late. A good air purifier will help reduce or eliminate odours and will make the air you breathe healthier and fresher.

Garbage and Recyclables

Try to avoid putting strong smelling products (e.g. onions, raw food, garlic, etc.) into your waste or garbage disposal. Remove your garbage and recyclables often.


It is important that you address the root cause of the mold, so it doesn’t keep reappearing. Mix white vinegar, baking soda and hot water into a spray bottle. Spray onto areas with mould and mildew.

Dirty Laundry

Damp towels or a workout shirt will start to smell over time. Wash your laundry often to avoid any lingering odours. Keep your laundry bins empty when listing.

Professional Steam Cleaning

Hire a professional to steam clean drapery, furniture, and rugs to remove any lingering odours and to give your home a thorough cleaning from top to bottom.

Fresh Air

Last, but not least, open your windows for even a few minutes each day and fill your home with fresh air. You will be amazed at how Mother Nature can improve indoor air quality.

When it comes time to selling your home, be proactive in addressing the smells that you may not even notice. It does make a difference with buyers and how they remember your home.

Visit our blog for more home staging and design tips that will help your home equity on the real estate market.

Home stove with food
Golden retriever with head on table
Pan on stove with lemon and rosemary
Garbage and recycling
Laundry basket with white shirt
Women opening window for fresh air
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