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Scentsational solutions for drawer and closet odors

By on October 28, 2007

After a bath or a shower, it’s refreshing to pull open your dresser drawers or closet doors and enjoy the fragrance of scented liners, sachet envelopes, cedar blocks or candle tarts. Problem is, all of these luxury solutions tend to be costly. Why spend more when you can add scents to your home for less?

SOAP SCENT: Opening up a few cakes of bath soap that you already have and putting them in your drawers to dry out will make them last longer in the bath or shower — plus, the perfume will act as a drawer fragrance. — Ozfreebird, Australia

COTTON-BALL BOOST: I use cotton balls with a bit of perfume or essential oil on them. You can also use excess bath salts in your washer’s rinse water to give your laundry extra scent. — Laurie, Florida

BLEACH OUT ODORS: If you have a chest of drawers that smells musty, put cups filled with bleach in each of the drawers and shut them. Leave them there for one week, and the smell will be gone. Note: Do not leave the chest in your bedroom or living areas; do this in the basement or garage as the bleach odor can be overwhelming if the room is not properly ventilated. — Pkellyc, Connecticut

VINEGAR ODOR-BUSTER: If you have a bad-smelling drawer, empty it, put a small container (I use custard cups) with a little white vinegar in it, and close it overnight. It takes the smell out. I use white vinegar all over the house to get rid of the musty smell we always seem to have here. A small sachet of baking soda with some essential oil added will also make your drawers smell sweet. — Jaded, e-mail

DRYER SHEETS: Tuck scented dryer sheets into your drawers to add scent. — Missy, e-mail

FREE SAMPLES: Save the free perfume samples from magazines, and put them in your dresser drawers. — Kathi, e-mail

BORAX: Borax is one of the best scent absorbers I’ve found. Just sprinkle it in the bottom of a drawer and then put a layer of paper between it and your clothes. (Tissue paper works well.) For scent, I just add some essential oils to the furniture polish I use. — Edna, New Mexico

HOMEMADE SHELF LINERS: Make your own fragrant drawer liners with wallpaper and essential oil. — Chris, e-mail

NATURAL SCENT: I use natural items such as eucalyptus, cinnamon sticks and lavender to scent my dresser drawers. — Lisa, e-mail

LINEN SPRAY: I make my own linen spray.
a brick or piece of one big enough for a Pyrex bowl to sit upon
a large stock pot
1 gallon of rose petals, lavender or honeysuckle blooms
enough spring water to cover blossoms/petals in pot
2-quart Pyrex bowl
1 teaspoon high-proof vodka

Set brick in bottom of pot. Add petals and enough water to just cover. Set Pyrex bowl on brick. Put lid on pot upside down. (That’s important.)
Turn stove on very low heat, just enough so the water barely simmers and makes steam. I put the lid on upside down so the steam will condense and the water will drip into the Pyrex bowl. When enough water has collected, add 1 teaspoon of high-proof vodka to each pint. Store in tightly sealed jars or bottles. — Gwynyvyr, e-mail

photo by meanestindian


  1. Lloyd

    7/22/2009 at 12:43 pm

    My mother taught me a handy trick to keep my dresser drawer’s and clothes smelling good. When her perfume bottles were empty, she would take the tops off and place them in the drawer’s. There is enough in the bottles to evaporate and it leaves the drawer contents smelling really good. I have been doing this for over 40 year’s.


  2. RCote

    3/25/2010 at 6:24 am

    My Memere grows lavender and the other year she gave me a bottle of dried blossoms. I have been slowly using it for everything. Using cheese cloth, I make little packets, filled them with the lavender and put them in my drawers. I put a handful of lavender in each vacuum bag, so every time I vacuum the room smells nice, not like hot air blown through dust. The other thing I use the lavender for is in the bathroom. I will crush up a small handful and sprinkle it in the toilet bowl. I figure there is enough oil left in the blooms to create a layer on the water and hopefully trap most of the bad smells. (this also helps if you’re trying to save water and not flush every time)

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