How to Make your Patio Smell Good (13 Simple ways)

Summer is the time for parties, barbeques, and other gatherings while the weather is warm. But what happens if your patio has a stench coming from places unknown? Or maybe it doesn’t smell like anything, but you wish it could smell more inviting? This guide features 13 ways to make your patio a scent-based sensation. 

Ways to Make Your Patio Smell Good

Locate the Source

If your patio has a bad smell, your only option is to find out why. Animals may choose to die beneath your deck; you may need a wildlife removal service to handle them. Mold and mildew can be difficult to deal with; look up ways to eliminate them. If you cannot identify the source of the stench, all the scents in the world will only be short-term solutions.

When locating the source, it may help to invite someone over. It is easy for someone to get accustomed to the bad scents in their house, and two noses are better than one.


Regardless of if you already had a bad smell on your patio or not, cleaning your patio will help it smell good. Scrub your patio from top to bottom. Check for patches of discarded food, dead leaves, animal waste, and so on. There is a decent chance that whatever is causing the smell will be eliminated during the procedure. Remember to air your patio out if need be; vinegar and bleach are not pleasant scents. Do not replace one bad smell with another.

While you are cleaning, try to get the gutters as well. Improving your drainage will only make your home and garden smell better. If you need to make changes to prevent waste from reaching your patio, it will be for the better.

The Power of Lemon-Lime has an astounding list of “hacks” to make your home and garden smell good, but we would like to focus on one (or two) in particular: the prevalence of lemon and lemon-lime scents. Simply cutting a lemon in half and putting it in a room can give the area a fresh, citrusy scent. Sprinkling lemon rind can eliminate odors if you can find the source. The website also has a mix for a lemon-basil cleaning solution and recommends using garden lime for animal urine. Many cleaning products offer varieties in a lemony-fresh scent, so there is no reason not to use lemons.

Air Fresheners

If your patio has an outlet, using an air freshener can be one of the simplest ways to add a pleasant scent. This is a great choice if you need a quick solution (e.g., surprise guests) and do not mind that air fresheners are heavy in chemicals. However, it is not good in the long run, and the scent will vanish if your patio is outside. This strategy is best for indoor patios.

Add Salt/Baking Soda 

Salt is both good at neutralizing other scents and as a scent on its own. It has been used for decades as a way of removing odors from your fridge.  Sprinkle salt in areas that you clean. This is a tried-and-true method of odor elimination.

Baking soda will work similar wonders to salt. It has also withstood the test of time. Please do not use baking soda with a vinegar cleaner; it will defeat the purpose.

Make Some Coffee

Like lemon, coffee grounds are an all-natural way to eliminate odors. Sprinkle some coffee grounds wherever a bad smell might be coming from. They are also highly abrasive, meaning that they can be used to clean greasy spots on your dishes, too. has five great ways to clean using coffee grounds. Try them all when cleaning your patio!

If you have guests and are concerned about smells, making coffee may be wise for other reasons. Brewing coffee will both put the earthy aroma into the air and excite your guests. It’s a short-term solution, but nobody will complain.


The next few points will be very similar, but largely differentiated between how much mess you want to clean up. They will also vary by how much you want to risk.

Burning incense and spices, for example, both involve lighting objects on fire, but are not quite considered open flames in the way candles are. Herbs such as lavender, mugwort, and sage are among the best to burn in this manner; if you do not wish to make your own herb bundles, there are many varieties of commercial incense on the market to achieve a similar effect. People who are sensitive to smoke may not wish to try these methods.


Scented candles are another great way to make your patio smell like a log cabin, beach, fruit, or anything else. If you have an outdoor patio, a citronella candle will keep biting insects away. Generally speaking, candles have more variety and are more readily available than incense. There is also more of a risk with an open flame. 

If an open flame scares you, flameless candles have improved with time. Scented wax chunks are another option. You can also make candles to get a conversation started. Of all the options on this list, this is the easiest to get creative with.

Solid Scents

This section covers dried or fresh plant specimens. Potpourri is a good way to introduce a new scent onto your patio. If you need a touch of Christmas, bringing a pine cone in can add that scent. Fresh tree branches can serve a similar purpose. 

Seal the Patio

This tip mostly applies if you have an indoor patio, but sealing the walls, if nothing else, prevents your scents from getting out and air from getting in. On outdoor patios, algae and other unpleasant life forms can gather between the cracks of bricks. By not sealing your patio, you are allowing unwanted air and possibly animals into your space.

Grow Aromatic Plants

Making your patio smell like roses is another option. Many flowers, such as lilac, primrose, plumeria, hyacinth, and lavender, have legendary scents. Try adding some flowers the next time you host a gathering. If you prefer function over fashion, grow fresh herbs like basil, sage, and lemon balm instead. You can have them handy for salads as well!

Smoke Your Food

If you wish to add a savory scent to your patio, consider purchasing a smoker. In contrast to a grill, a smoker allows you to cook meat, fish, and other foods for a long time. Different types of fuel (such as wood or charcoal) can add different flavors to your food. Most importantly, the scent will slowly build up in the air around your patio, inviting people to come in and building their appetites. If your smoker or oven uses charcoal, that can eliminate odors, too!

Get a New Oven

On the heels of smoking your food is the general point of “cook outside.” Cooking outside is one of the best ways to eliminate bad scents from your patio parties. It will also whet your guests’ appetites.

 There are two specific types of ovens that will liven up any outdoor event: outdoor ovens and tagines. Mediterranean outdoor ovens are great for cooking pizzas and stews for your friends and can add their respective aromas to the air. Tagines are Middle Eastern slow cookers that release aromas into the air and often utilize charcoal. Unlike grills and smokers, they are also aesthetically pleasing; tagines have a conical top that stands out in any garden or on any patio.

Whether grilling, smoking, or using a slow-cooking oven, cooking outside is one of the best ways to enjoy an outside patio. Eliminating unpleasant smells is a bonus. Some passersby may even ask, “what’s that delicious smell?” Along with eliminating odors, getting an oven that slowly releases the scent of food into the air might make more friends than you were expecting.


Whether you have an indoor or outdoor patio, there are many ways to add delightful scents to your summer parties. The first thing to do is always clean, regardless of if you have a bad scent or not. Once you have scrubbed your patio down, it is all up to you. What will work best for your patio? Are you willing to get a new oven, or would you rather keep it simple? You have options; these are just 13 of them.

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