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How I Keep My Home Smelling Fresh (Even With Pets)

Last weekend, Josh and I buckled down to spring clean our entire house in one day. You can read about that entire experience right here. Along the way, I tested a new trick to keep our home smelling fresh that I think you’ll really like!

How I Keep Our Home Smelling Fresh (Even with Pets)

99% of the time, I think that cats are really hygienic animals. We’ve never had a huge problem with Andy shedding and, because he’s an indoor kitty, he doesn’t track dirt or other allergens inside the house (although kitty litter can be a problem).

However, no matter how sparkling clean (and absolutely darling) he may be, there is still evidence in our home that we live with a pet. 

Luckily, I’ve discovered a pretty fantastic little recipe for a natural upholstery freshener that I think keeps our house smelling fresh, no matter what! It’s simply a combination of baking soda (bought in bulk) and the essential oils of your choice. (We like lavender!) Here’s how to use it.

1 | Assemble your natural upholstery freshener in a sugar shaker or other dispenser. 

Add 30 drops or so of the essential oil(s) of your choice to one cup of pure baking soda. Mix well, then let sit for an hour or longer to let the fragrance settle in. Pour into a sugar shaker or other dispenser that you can store easily with your cleaning supplies (be sure to lock them away!).

2 | Shake the powder mixture onto mattresses, rugs, couches, and other upholstered furniture.

Fabrics tend to collect pet hair and odor, which is why companies like Febreeze focus so heavily on furniture sprays. However, you don’t need chemicals packed in a throwaway bottle to keep your home smelling fresh.

Just sprinkle this baking soda mixture directly onto your mattress, rugs, and upholstered furniture and leave for 15-20 minutes. The baking soda will latch onto odorous particles, allowing them to be vacuumed away when you’re done.

3 | Vacuum wherever you’ve applied the baking soda mixture.

Use a clean brush attachment to vacuum the baking soda away from your upholstered couches and rugs. All that will be left is the delightful scent of whatever essential oil you used in your recipe! Cool, huh?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it hard to get the baking soda out of fabric?

Not at all! It’s super easy to vacuum up when you’re done. Just make sure your vacuum is operating properly and that you’re cleaning out your filters like you should.

Will the essential oils leave a residue on my furniture?

Nope! I’ve been using this recipe for a few weeks now and I’ve never experienced this at all. It’s really impressive, actually!

Do these oils pose any risk to my animals?

In this case, no. While some essential oils contain properties that may be toxic, the main issue comes with ingestion. Just keep your oils locked away where your mischievous pets can’t access them, and vacuum properly when you finish! No need to worry.

Are there any other ways I can use this recipe?

Baking soda is a miracle product. Other than as a natural upholstery freshener, I’ve used this exact recipe to cleanse and deodorize my garbage disposal, tennis shoes, and even the toilet bowl!

What do you think? Would you try it? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Desiree Medina

Wednesday 18th of October 2017

I am loving this idea. We use the plug ins (which I hate because of the chemicals used), but we couldn't find any other alternative to help our pet friendly home smell good. Other than candles and we cant leave those on while were not home....Im gonna try this out....How long does the smell linger /last?


Wednesday 18th of October 2017

Yes, we swore off plugins a long time ago! I just couldn't stomach the fake smell and knowledge that chemical particles were floating around my house. Some other non-candle ideas I would recommend would be an essential oil diffuser/humidifier combo. A few drops of essential oils in mine lasts for hours and they're totally safe to leave funning while you're away from the house! I'd also recommend dusting more than usual and using the baking soda method once or twice a week. I've found that the baking soda handles any smells for a couple of days. Good luck!


Sunday 14th of May 2017

Am anxious to try it! Thanks!

Nan Sea Love

Tuesday 25th of April 2017

Like this good info but you failed to mention some essential oils are toxic to cats. Doing a little research i also saw an article titled Oils Toxic to Dogs but did not read it so don't know about that however i have read more than one article about oils being toxic to cats:


Tuesday 25th of April 2017

Hi there! I appreciate your comment, but the essential oils used in this recipe are so diluted that they really don't pose any concern for pets. The issue comes more with ingestion, which is next to impossible if you properly vacuum after you use it. Thanks for reading!