Your Lightbulb Is The Secret To A Fresher-Smelling Home. Here's How

We all have that one friend or family member whose home smells amazing all the time. Even pets, messy children, dirty laundry, and kitchen odors might seem like no match for the underlying natural, clean scent of their home, yet you never see them cleaning frantically or lighting scented candles everywhere. So, how do they do it? While regular cleaning and the occasional fragrance spray may help, it's possible that your friend could be using small habits that make their home smell better than ever — and the secret could be in their lightbulbs. No, you don't have to buy special lightbulbs for a fresh-smelling home. Instead, one popular hack suggests adding drops of essential oil to the surface of your bulbs.

This lightbulb hack is so simple and clever that it's even used by real estate professionals to help showcase houses for sale. "When you're selling your home, you always have every light on possible. So anything with a lightbulb, I put a few drops of lemon essential oil on there," says interior designer and home staging expert Terri Cumming (via TikTok). She describes the scent as "not overpowering. It just has the overall feeling of clean!" Here's how to make your home smell great with this lightbulb trick, some cautionary notes, and the best scents to use depending on the room. 

Gradual warmth releases subtle scent

While the lightbulb is off and cold to the touch, apply a few drops of essential oil to a paper towel or cotton ball and rub it on the surface of the lightbulb. Wait for it to dry completely, then when you turn the lamp on, the gradual warmth from the bulb will reactivate the scent and diffuse a gentle fragrance throughout the room. However, be careful, as essential oils shouldn't be used near high heat or flames such as a stovetop, oven, or candle. Be cautious about which type of lightbulbs you use too, as some high-wattage bulbs can reach above the average flash point of essential oils, roughly 122-140 degrees Fahrenheit. LED lights and lightbulbs 40 watts or below that don't get too hot are much safer to use, and their lower temperature can help your scent last longer. The same concept also works with radiators and Himalayan salt lamps!

Without the need for candles, diffusers, or wax melters, this hack is a brilliant way to save counter space. Further, because candles can make it seem like you have something to hide, this is one of many realtors' favorite staging tricks that will help your home sell faster. For scent ideas, try using zingy citrus in bathrooms, cozy cinnamon or vanilla in the kitchen and living room, and soothing lavender in the bedrooms. You can also use vanilla extract instead of essential oils to give your home a bakery-fresh scent.