I tried this 4 ingredient hack to banish bad odours that everyone's raving about, here's what actually happened

Here's what I added to this influencer's hack to keep my bathroom smelling fresh...

A collage of lemon and rosemary and a pot of boiling water
(Image credit: Getty / Future)

I put a DIY air freshener hack to the test. I'll be trying it again, but with one extra ingredient...

Social media these days is awash with Mrs Hinch cleaning tips and hacks that promise to make household chores easier. But not all of them are worth your time - and some of them aren't even safe, like this air fryer cleaning hack - which is why we decided to start putting some of the internet's most popular tips to the test, so you can find out whether they're really worth the time of a busy parent. 

And as those with young children will know, as much as you love them they're not always conducive to a fresh-smelling home - which means a quick fix to banish bad odours is a helpful hack to have in the bank. That's why I tried out this DIY air freshener hack, which uses just four ingredients and promises to have your home smelling clean in minutes.

The hack was shared by cleaning influencer and mum-of-two Chantel Mila, who boasts 1.7 million followers on her Instagram account where she posts home styling, organising, and cleaning tricks. In the video, she boils a pan of water with lemon, rosemary, clove, and vanilla essence to create a natural air freshener, writing in the caption: "This stovetop simmer has been a favourite for so many years, and works so well to add natural, calming fragrance to your home".

I put Chantel's hack to the test and it worked... when I added my own twist. When I initially tried the hack, it only took five minutes or so until I could smell the mixture around the home. However, it was very subtle, and I'm not convinced that it would cover up any lingering bad odours, which is why I decided to add a couple of drops of essential oil.

A pot of boiling water with lemon, rosemary and star anise

(Image credit: Future)

If you want to try my method, it's worth bearing in mind that you'll need to take the pan off the heat first, because heating essential oils too fast or adding them to water that is too hot can break them down and make them less effective.

With this in mind, I turned off the cooker and added a few drops of rosemary essential oil once the water had stopped bubbling. I then placed it in the bathroom with the door shut (on a heatproof mat, of course!) and left it there for around half an hour.

The bathroom is a problem area for smells in my home because it doesn't have any windows. I've spent a fortune on reed diffusers to try and keep it smelling fresh, so I was interested to see how well this trick would work.

It only took a few minutes for the room to be filled with the scent, and even after I'd removed the pan the pleasant smell lingered, only fully disappearing the next morning after I showered. So, while perhaps not a long-term solution, it's something I think I'll be trying for a quick and easy refresh the next time I'm expecting guests.

How to make your home smell fresh with Chantel's hack


  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1bsp vanilla extract
  • 1sp clove


  1. Bring the two cups of water to boil on the stove.
  2. Add the lemon, rosemary, vanilla extract and clove.
  3. Let the mixture simmer and allow the fragrance to fill your home.

Chantel's followers were impressed by the hack, with one commenting, "Will definitely try this😍👏" and another writing, "Love this!!! Love lemon 🍋 and rosemary".

But many social media users were more interested in her see-through saucepan than the hack itself, with several asking where it's from and one follower commenting: "Too distracted by the saucepan 😂 I'm off to buy to do exactly this 😂".

Luckily, Chantel has provided the link for the exact pot she uses:


ERINGOGO Glass Saucepan with Lid | Amazon - £45.07/$35.99

This transparent glass saucepan measures 8x7 inches and has a capacity of 1900ml. The dual-thickened glass handles avoid burns, and heat-and-cold-proof borosilicate glass means you don't need to worry about cracks. Plus, it's dishwasher and microwave safe too.

While I didn't follow Chantel's hack exactly - opting for star anise instead of clove and adding essential oils at the end - it's definitely a hack worth trying for a quick refresh in your home. And the great thing about it is that it's customisable too. Why not try orange and cinnamon instead when the festive period rolls around?

If your home isn't open plan, and you have another room that you want to banish odours from, then perhaps try my tip of adding essential oils once you take the mix off the heat, and shut it in the room you want to make smell nice. 

Looking for more cleaning hacks? Why not try Nancy Birtwhistle's tip for cleaning oven racks while you sleep, this two ingredient trick to banish stinky drains, or 14 non-toxic methods to get rid of ants.

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Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.