With friends and roomies coming and going, it’s easy for student housing to smell less than wonderful. Between parties, meals, study groups and other get-togethers, student spaces can easily be overrun with odour.
If you are a student living with others, you may already be wondering how to improve the situation. Depending on how smelly things already are, you may be looking for ways to get rid of offending odours or, if you’re lucky, how to make your place smell inviting and fresh.
Considering how much time you spend in your student housing — eating, sleeping, studying and socializing — it is worth the effort to find fresh-smell solutions for your space. The first step is always to get rid of the obvious odour-offenders and then slowly improve by deodorizing and using scents you like.
If you are a student, try out this list of ideas on how to make an apartment smell good:
1. Clean up the smelliest messes
Let’s face it: garbage and beer bottles might be the most common odour offenders in student apartments. If you have a collection of empties sitting in the corner, take the time to return them to the beer store. Be sure to use soap and water to clean the space where they were stored.
Beer is easily spilled onto the floor and can leave a lingering, stale odour. While you’re heading out, take the trash with you, even if it doesn’t have an obvious scent.
2. Clean up food in the apartment
In a student apartment, food can be found in unusual places. Cleaning up after every meal is a great way on how to make a student apartment smell good. Late night study sessions can result in food finding its way onto couches and into bedrooms.
If you are on a mission to improve the smell of your student housing, make sure you clear the space of food garbage, including garbage cans in the bedrooms and bathroom. Don’t forget the pizza crusts between couch cushions.
3. Attack the fridge
Yes, even food that is stored where it’s meant to be—in the fridge—can be the source of food odour. If you have meat or cheese that has gone off, for example, every time you open the fridge door, the smell will escape. Once a month, go through your fridge to get rid of expired products and make sure nobody has been saving those leftovers a little too long.
4. Fan out the apartment
When the weather gets too cold to open the windows for fresh air, it’s time to look for a fan. Thank goodness, there are a number of fans designed to remove odours. If they are out of your budget, consider a low-cost, short term fix: attach a dryer sheet to your fan and let it spread the fresh smell throughout your room.
5. Wash bedding weekly
As a student, life is busy. It may be hard to get to your laundry until you are desperate for clean clothes. Washing your laundry removes dirt and odour-causing bacteria, while injecting fresh scents. Remember to add laundry time for your sheets and duvet cover, as well. These items should be washed weekly. They not only feel great when they are freshly-laundered but they smell clean, too.
6. Spray clean
Of course, there are plenty of items in an apartment that you can’t simply throw into the washing machine. For soft surfaces that can’t be machine-washed, consider using a spray fabric cleaner. While you can create a mixture on your own, using a combination of warm water, vinegar and dish soap, you can also buy a wide range of bottled cleaners. For deep cleaning, consider renting an upholstery cleaning machine to pull out as much dirt and grime as possible.
7. Be picky about your candles
Almost everyone loves the scent of a good candle, but if you are thinking about candles to improve the smell of your student apartment, keep in mind that not all candles are created equal. Most scented candles contain paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum, coal or sometimes shale oil.
As it burns, it can release known toxins into the air, including carcinogens. Soy or beeswax candles are a good alternative; some come in delicious, inviting scents.
8. Try essential oils
If you are willing to go the extra mile for fresh scents and can fit a diffuser or two into your budget, think about placing one in your main living space and one in your bedroom. Diffusers gently emit cold steam, carrying essential oils throughout your space.
While you will need to experiment to find the scents or blends that work best for you, some oils known to absorb odours include lemon, wild orange and other citrus blends. You might also like the smell of ylang ylang, peppermint, lavender, cedarwood or eucalyptus.
We hope this list of ideas for how to make a student apartment smell good has given you some inspiration as you set out to freshen up!