How to banish your home of ‘boy smell’

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Indoor plants in the bedroom can help banish boy smell

Sweaty boy smell… need I say more?

Sorry you weren’t eating were you?

Seriously it is right up there with pongy feet in my top list of things that make me gag. Also on the list would be dog farts, kid farts, husband farts, ham and egg sandwich left in a schoolbag over the holidays smell, deep fryer oil, dog poo on a hot day and prawn juice spilt on the carpet in the car smell.
 
There’s just a peculiar way that boys’ rooms smell – all sweaty and gross during the warmer months especially. It’s a must to de-stink the house of boy smell. Or kid smell. Girls actually smell pretty bad too!!
 
Here are 10 ways to make your home smell fresh, as well as a DIY room deodoriser for you to try. Try as many of these as you need to annihilate the smell of… youth. 
 

1.  Fresh flowers

Who could ever tire of looking at and smelling fresh flowers around the house? Pick some from your own garden, visit your local florists or supermarket, or do a midnight raid on your neighbour’s garden with a pair of secateurs … jokes … kinda. Just get your hands on some sweet-smelling flowers and scatter them in jars or vases around your home and left their fragrance waft.
 
How to get rid of boy smell
Lovely smelling blooms:
  • Jonquils
  • Lavender
  • Hyacinth
  • Gardenia
  • Freesia
  • Jasmine
  • Rose
  • Peony
  • Sweet pea

2. Freshen sheets with essential oils

There are two ways I recommend adding essential oils to freshly washed sheets:
  • If you use a clothes dryer, add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to an old face washer and throw it into the dryer with your sheets. The heat of the dryer will diffuse the scent and transfer it to your sheets.
  • If you line dry, fill a spray bottle with water and add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil. Give the bottle a good shake and spritz the damp sheets with your fragrant mix. You can also use this spray on your mattress.
 
You could also encourage your son to spray his bed with fragrant linen spray each morning to freshen between washes. After all, that boy smell starts accumulating the minute the fresh sheets are on the bed…

3. Candles

Light scented candles and breathe in the beautiful fragrance while you soak up the atmosphere. Some favourite Australian brands to try:

Try lighting scented candles to banish boy smell

4. Freshen him up

Buy your son his own set of body wash, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and foot deodorant. He might like a range that’s aimed at ‘men’. Yes, Lynx smells exactly like an over-zealous teenage boy, but this is infinitely better than a zero-care-factor teenage boy. Remind him about good hygiene and actually using soap when he has his 25 minute shower.
 

5. Use a fabric freshener spray

Freshen up the soft furnishings in your son’s room by spraying the crap out of them with a fabric deodoriser like Febreeze. Curtains, pillows, linen, cushions and carpets can become stale long before they are due to be washed, so a quick freshen up makes sense right? Right. 

Besides any one who has ever had a disaster when it comes to cleaning upholstery and curtains (like I have) will tell you that this is a far less painful way of freshening things up and you can use it safely on couches, curtains, rugs and cushions.

6. Sweet-smelling pillows

Add a few drops of your favourite essential oils to a cotton wool ball and place it inside your son’s pillow.

7. Add indoor plants

Plants are natural deodorisers, so add one to your kid’s bedroom and let it go to work. Madonna lillies, palms and orchids are some of the best natural air purifiers.

Indoor plants in the bedroom can help banish boy smell


More useful hacks: 25 best household tips your Grandma wants you to know


8. Dab vanilla extract on light bulbs

Dab a little vanilla extract onto your light bulbs. When you turn your lights on the heat will warm up the vanilla and have your son’s smelling divine in no time at all. Be warned though, the side effects may see him scoffing a tray full of custard tarts like no man should. Vanilla is potent stuff.

9. Remove the source

Let it be known I am not suggesting you pack up your sons and shove them out the front door… although I’d be lying if I said the thought hasn’t crossed my mind. Anything to get rid of the boy smell, right? Jokes!

What I mean look for the source of the smell and peg it. Is your son shoving dirty undies and socks under the bed? Piling his laundry in a heap behind the door? Failing to use soap in the shower or deodorant each day, four times a day preferably?

Have ‘the chat’ about personal hygiene with him again and see what you can do to make him more mindful of where he, ah, shoves his stink. 

10. Make your own room deodoriser

Make your own natural deodoriser to place in your kids’ bedrooms.
 
Bicarb soda absorbs the odour and if you fragrance it with essentials oils it not only kills the bad smells, it replaces them with a heavenly one instead. Just follow the instructions below to make your own deodoriser.
 
 
 
 
 

You can leave a bowl of deodoriser on a shelf in your son’s room. Or sprinkle it on the carpet or mattress, leave for 10 minutes, then vacuum.

Boy smell can be hard to eliminate, but with these strategies, your home should soon be smelling much better!

Um, do girls actually smell as much as boys?

Feature image by Annie Spratt ; candle by Alexandra Fuller; all other images by Sonia Stackhouse

boys | hacks | home

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Written by Sonia Stackhouse

Sonia Stackhouse is the founder of Little Lane Workshops, an art, craft and lifestyle studio on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. She is also mum to three boys - two teens and a tweenie. Sonia shares her fabulously flawed attempts at being a mum and business owner on her popular blog Life Love and Hiccups.

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