Use Fixer Upper Star Joanna Gaines' Easy Trick For The Freshest-Smelling Home

Remember the old Febreeze commercials where people walked into garbage-filled rooms and didn't notice because they'd gone nose blind? Well, nose blindness is a real phenomenon. Chances are, whether your home is stinky or immaculate, you've got it too. So, before you find yourself reaching for the chemical-filled air freshener again before friends come over, consider an alternative courtesy of Joanna Gaines and moms everywhere — the trusty simmer pot. That's just one of the tricks HGTV stars use for a fresh-smelling home

"A simmer pot is essentially a stovetop potpourri," Gaines explained on the Magnolia blog. "I love the ease of throwing these ingredients into a pot of water and letting it fill our house with clean scents all day long." Simmer pots are an ancient practice that reinvigorates the fresh scents of nature. They are also a terrific way to breathe fresh air into a home for hours or even days.  While they shouldn't ever be left unattended, a simmer pot is a low-stakes, old-school way to keep your home smelling fresh.

What you put in a simmer pot determines its ability to last for days. If you're using fresh fruit or other things that will spoil, it's best to only use the pot for a day to avoid tracking in critters. Otherwise, things like sprigs, cloves, or other vegetation and spices are better for longer-lasting simmers. 

How to make a simmer pot

Although commonly associated with the holidays, there is no wrong time of year to make and savor the scent of a simmer pot. You can make the aroma seasonal or stick with your favorite blend for that familiar comfort. On the Magnolia blog, Joanna Gaines shared a simmer pot recipe that would be fantastic any time of year. All you need for this is two sprigs of rosemary, a tablespoon of dried lavender, two or three lemon slices or peels, and a few drops of both lavender and rose oil. 

Take your pot with a few cups of water and allow it to rise to a simmer on your stove. Once the water is simmering (small bubbles created at the bottom), add your ingredients to the pot. Keep the heat on low, and Gaines advises checking the pot every half hour. If you see that the water has evaporated away, feel free to add more to keep using your simmer pot. 

If Gaines's ingredients aren't to your taste, you can add a wide range of things to a simmer pot to make it your own or follow other simmer pot recipes to give your house a refresh. You can toss in whole cinnamon sticks, cranberries, orange peels, rose petals, or whatever scents make your heart happy. The bottom line is that this is a simple, inexpensive, and non-chemical way of freshening your home. How you do that is up to your creativity!