Never underestimate the power — especially the staying power — of scent, particularly when it comes to the entryway of one's home. "It’s important to have a good-smelling entryway because it sets the tone, not only for visitors, but for anyone living in — and therefore regularly entering — the space," said Jessica Samson, a professional cleaner with the Maids. "When you have a good-smelling entryway, it can also evoke positive feelings — depending on the scent, a sense of calm, nostalgia or excitement and happiness."
Scent is so important that real estate agents are known to rely on certain smells, such as fresh-baked cookies, to entice potential buyers. "A big part of controlling entryway odors is keeping moisture, which can grow bacteria and fungi, in check," Samson said. "Everything should be left to dry out properly prior to storing in the entryway, including shoes, coats and anything else that gets wet." Then, with the common culprits out of the way, you have a blank canvas for a fragrance boost. Read on to uncover eight tips for achieving a cleaner, more aromatic entryway you’ll relish coming home to every day. find more expert advice on how to make your house smell good all the time).
How to make your entryway smell good:
1. Insulate and ventilate.
A good first step in stopping moisture in its tracks: making sure your doors and windows are properly insulated so water can't seep through, Samson said. And on nicer days, don’t discount what a little ventilation can do. "If you’re able, try to crack doors or windows occasionally, especially when it’s sunny and, most importantly, not raining to air out your entryway," she advised. "You can also utilize fans, such as small, standing or ceiling options, depending on your space. Purifier-fan hybrids are another great resource for eliminating pollutants while keeping the area dry."
2. Stop odors at the door.
Another way to keep odor in check and your entryway dry is by stowing shoes and coats away from the area, preferably outside. "These items can prove stinky, especially when wet and muddy, and contribute to additional dirt and mildew buildup, which is tough to clean," Samson said. "Consider storing these items in bins if you're unable to safely store them outside or in the garage. And during snowy and rainy seasons, make sure everything is dried off properly before bringing them inside."
3. Take the garbage out.
It might be tempting to place a trash can near the entryway, but Samson said a full (and especially wet or food-filled) bin can be a sneaky source of stench. If you must keep a trash can near the entryway, such as in a nearby kitchen or garage, using bins with secure lids and scented trash bags can help control smells, Samson said. "Aim to take your garbage out frequently and to clean your bin at least once a week. The same goes for lunch boxes, which you should clean daily to remove rotting food or residue."
4. Let nature in.
According to Samson, "incorporating plants can improve your entryway air quality, as certain species double as a natural filter for airborne pollutants." Researchers at the University of Florida says aloe vera, peace lilies and spider plants are among houseplants that boast air-cleaning capabilities. Mix in your favorite flowers, such as gardenias, sweet peas or lilies, for an extra fragrance boost and another welcoming touch.
5. Dust fixtures regularly.
It may not seem as intuitive to dust your entryway as often as, say, your living room table, but because it's a high-traffic area, it should be a high priority. "When dusting your fixtures, you want to get as much surface area as you can. Use a duster with an extension to access tough-to-reach places, then condense it to really home in on the easier-to-reach (read: easier-for-guests-to-see) places," Samson said. As a bonus tip, Samson suggests dusting from top to bottom — starting with higher items like ceiling fans — so you’re collecting all the dust and not having to redo lower areas in the final stage.
6. Clean floors diligently.
With dusting out of the way, it’s time for the nitty-gritty. "If you can, try to sweep and surface-clean floors a few times a week to help keep dirt and bacteria from traveling through the rest of the home," Samson advised. "For carpets, consider a deeper cleaning once a month, and for hardwood floors, using throw rugs as a way to prevent the wood from getting damaged or dirty from outside elements or heavy walking." (Even better if the rug is washable.) For especially wet and muddy floors or pet accidents, you’ll want to act especially fast.
7. Give things a quick spray.
A reliable disinfectant or deodorizing spray can come in handy for quickly nipping airborne odors and sprucing up your entry. "Try to look for sprays that don’t just cover up the odors, but attack and eliminate the source of the odors so you’re not left with a fusion of funks, but rather air that’s truly clean," Samson said. "You can then layer a room spray to add a fragrant note to spruce things up, in general or when you’re expecting company."
8. Layer fragrances intentionally.
Finally, consider incorporating candles, plug-ins or candles (pure essential oils are another great resource for making your house smell good naturally). These will not only enhance your home's fragrance, but complement your decor and warm up your space. For a calming aroma, Samson recommends soothing scents like sandalwood and lavender. Brighter scents such as citrus or seasonal scents like pine are uplifting and great for parties, she added. Of course, there are also food-related scents for those looking to evoke a little cookie-baking nostalgia or, well, sell a property.