11 Alternative ways to Freshen up a Smelly Bathroom

Having great bathroom aromatherapy is something that we all desire.

However, most of the options we are presented with for freshening up our bathroom involve the use of air fresheners some of which contain harsh chemicals that can do more harm than good in the long run.

bathroom cleaning hacks

Fortunately, like with most things in life, we are surrounded by several great alternatives that can help get rid of that unpleasant lingering smell from our rest chambers. And fortunately, again for you, we have compiled a list of 11 great alternatives to freshen up a smelly bathroom.

1. Deep clean your toilet

deep clean toilets

This may sound like the most obvious solution for bad odor but there are crevices that most of us tend to miss when deep-cleaning our toilets. This is especially true for the hinges that connect the lid to the bowl and around the tank O-ring seal.

You can use a toothbrush to clean under these areas using vinegar that contains acetic acid crucial for killing bacteria and getting rid of the dirt that may be the root cause of your odor problems.

The vinegar can also be mixed with a few drops of your favorite essential oil such as lavender and lemon to improve the aroma. You can mix this DIY cleaning solution is a spray bottle to spritz the areas you intend to clean.

2. Improve bathroom ventilation

Chances are that your bathroom either has a window or a fan to let out humidified air together with any funky smell.

Humidity is bad news for any bathroom since it is the biggest culprit for mold and mildew build-up that can cause your bathroom to have an unpleasant smell.

However, if the bathroom is not well ventilated, it will have no way to vent the humidity out.

Having a window, a fan, or a combination of the two does not always equate to great ventilation. You will need to keep the window open most of the time and the fan will need to be kept dust-free, well-maintained, or replaced if need be. If you have a curtain or door for the shower, you should also leave them open to enhance air circulation.

3. Clean your toilet brush

lady cleaning a smelly bathroom

This is another area that most of us tend to gloss over when doing general cleaning for our bathrooms.

A toilet brush is a handy cleaning tool but it also picks up dirt and other particles in the process. That is why it is important to keep it clean and dry.

You can mix 1 part vinegar and 1 part baking soda and use the mixture to clean the brush. Spray it with rubbing alcohol and leave it hanging between the toilet seat and lid to dry.

4. Clean the shower curtains and towels regularly

Shower curtains and towels can build-up mold if left unattended since they come into direct contact with moisture a lot. If there is a funky smell emanating from your bathroom, you may need to clean them.

The good thing is that you can use regular detergent, baking soda, and vinegar to clean and leave them with a fresh fragrance.

First, put them into your washing machine and add about 1 cup of baking soda and your cleaning detergent. Use warm water to do the cleaning. As the rinse cycle begins, add 1 cup of vinegar and allow the cleaning cycle to go through to the end before hanging to dry. This should do the trick.

5. Remove mold and mildew from your bathroom walls and grouts

remove mold

As I have mentioned above, mold and mildew are the two biggest culprits for a foul-smelling bathroom. So, here is how to get rid of them from your walls and grouts.

Mix vinegar and water into a spray bottle at a ratio of 1:1 and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil into the solution. Spritz the parts you intend to clean with the solution and go over them with a cleaning cloth. For the grouts, you may need a grout brush or a toothbrush. After cleaning, rinse with clean water and use a microfiber cloth to dry.

6. Get rid of odor from drains

This should be fairly simple since you will only need to pour about half a cup of baking soda into the sink and bathtub drains. Add vinegar into the drain and let it fizz out. This will not only get rid of the odor that may be coming from what is trapped underneath the drain but will also go a great way in unclogging the drain.

7. Use baking soda as a natural deodorant

cleaning a bath tub with baking soda

Baking soda is a great natural deodorant that can be used to absorb unpleasant smells in and out of your bathroom.

To use it, find a mason jar or any other clean jar with a lid. Punch some holes into the lid. Add the baking powder into the jar and close the lid. Find a strategic position to place the jar, somewhere where it will not come into direct contact with water from your shower/bathtub, toilet, or sink.

The baking soda can be left there for about a month absorbing odor and keeping your bathroom fresh.

8. Harness the power of a DIY diffuser

To make a DIY oil diffuser you will need a vase or small bottle, diffuser reeds, your favorite essential oil, and baby oil.

You will then need to fill your vase/bottle with a quarter cup of baby oil, add about 20 drops of your essential oil to it, arrange about 5 or 6 diffuser reeds into the vase/bottle ensuring that you leave an opening at the top and place it somewhere in the bathroom.

9. Prepare some fizzy toilet bombs

Making toilet bombs is also fairly easy using the following steps.

Take two separate bowls. In one bowl, mix baking soda and citric acid (lemon juice) to form a mild paste, and in the other mix vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Add the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide solution into the baking soda mix drop by drop before adding about 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Scoop the paste using a spoon to make half-ball shapes and place them on parchment paper and let them dry overnight.

After drying, add the scoops into a mason jar, tightly close the lid and place the jar somewhere in your bathroom.

These toilet bombs can then be used for your toilet every time you deem it essential creating a fizzing effect that not only kills some bacteria but also leaves behind a fresh fragrance.

10. The toilet paper roll hack

Using your favorite essential oil, add a few drops of it to the inside of your TP roll cardboard tube every two days. This will ensure that every time the toilet paper is unrolled, a fresh aroma is released into the bathroom.

11. Prepare a homemade air freshener using Vodka

Vodka is not only used as a mind-altering substance but also comes with a myriad of uses such as the preparation of a DIY air freshener.

For this, add 3-part water and 1 part vodka into a spray bottle. In this mixture, add some drops of your favorite essential oil and close the bottle.

This homemade recipe can be used as an air freshener to mask the cloud of smell each time you drop a Stanley Steamer.

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