Fresh, clean and perhaps gently fragranced with a natural aroma… ideally, that’s how your bedroom smells. If instead, you’re spending a third of your life breathing air that is musty, dusty or just plain stinky, you’re diminishing the restorative power of a good night’s sleep, and reducing the tranquility of your living quarters.
It goes without saying, of course, that no bedroom is going to smell good if there are piles of dirty dishes near the bed or reeking gym socks overflowing the laundry basket. Nor is a room likely to be pleasantly fragranced if Fido’s bed is right next to your own, stinking of dirty dog. If your bedroom is home to anything clearly smelly, you’ll need to start with a thorough cleanup. Then, once you’ve rid your room of the obvious culprits, use some of the following tips and tricks to get your bedroom smelling its best.
Open the Windows
The fastest way to a fresh-smelling room is opening the windows and letting the sunlight and fresh air come pouring in. Unless you live near a busy freeway or industrial area, the air inside your home is likely more polluted than the air outside, due to cleaning products, mold and pollen, fuel-burning appliances and harmful gases such as radon, VOCs and carbon monoxide. So make it a habit to open your bedroom windows each morning for as long as privacy and weather permit.
Wash the Sheets
There’s nothing quite as comfy as clean, soft bedsheets… but those same sheets absorb a considerable amount of bodily oils, fluids and shed skin particles each night. Go too long without a laundry day, and your sheets can start to smell funky. To keep the air fresh, strip your bed and wash the sheets every week – more often if you let your pets sleep with you or you are particularly susceptible to allergies.
Freshen the Carpet
Carpet is the most popular choice for bedroom flooring for obvious reasons – it’s comfortable to walk on, it muffles sound and temperature swings, and it adds considerable impact to your bedroom’s décor – but the downside of carpet is its tendency to hold onto bacteria, mold, pollen and grunge from your feet or the bottom of your shoes. Over time, those nasties can create a bad smell. But don’t automatically reach for harsh chemicals to deodorize your carpet. Instead, try baking soda. It’s cheap and it’s easy. Just sprinkle a thorough coating over your carpet, let it sit for at least an hour, then vacuum the powder away, along with the stink.
DIY Reed Diffuser
Sure, you can buy a reed diffusor, but they can be pricey. Why not make your own instead? All you need is a glass jar or vase with a narrow top, several bamboo kebab skewers, a quarter-cup of sweet almond or safflower oil, and 15 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil – choose ones that help you sleep, such as lavender, jasmine, vanilla or sandalwood. Stir the carrier and essential oils together in the jar, arrange the skewers into a “bouquet,” and set the diffusor on your nightstand. Be patient – it’ll take a day or two for the scent to make its way up the skewers.
DIY Air Freshener
Maybe a reed diffusor isn’t your thing, but you still want to freshen up your bedroom with a pleasing fragrance that isn’t made from lung-irritating chemicals in a can. Not to worry, you can make your own spray air freshener from natural ingredients. You’ll need a clean spray bottle, a cup of distilled water, three tablespoons of rubbing alcohol (you can use vodka if you prefer) and at least 20 drops of your favorite essential oils. Use a single scent, or combine relaxation-enhancing oils like bergamot, lavender, chamomile, vanilla or rose. Simply mix the ingredients in the spray bottle and enjoy!