Daily Dose of Thrifty: Vacuum Beads vs. Homemade Scented Cotton Balls

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cotton ball jar

Today’s Daily Dose of Thrifty is dealing with your vacuum.

Many retails sell expensive vacuum beads that you add to your vacuum bags to leave a fresh smelling aroma all over your house.

I have seen these beads sold for a pretty penny (like around $15 at many places) and love the idea of having fragrance in your vacuum bags.  so, instead, just soak a cotton ball (or a few) with vanilla extract (nearly everyone has this in their kitchen pantry already) for a very lovely subtle fragrance each time you vacuum.  This thrifty tip will cost you a fraction of a penny and infinitely cheaper than the beads.

PLUS – when we were selling our house a few years ago, our Realtor told us to use only vanilla scents as they are a neutral fragrance that appeals to the most noses! Interesting, but probably true!

This is another quick tip! We actually soak about 3 cotton balls in vanilla extract for this purpose as we buy the bags of 300 small cotton balls vs. the bags of 100 large for the same price.  The reason: many jobs we use them for only require a small cotton ball. Then in the cases where we would like to use a large one, we just double or triple the cotton balls in those special cases, ultimately reducing the amount of cotton balls we need and saving a few more pennies!


  1. Kim says

    You can also place a drop or two of peppermint oil on a couple cotton balls to place in the bathroom or nursery to neutralize less than pleasant odors!! Be VERY stingy with the drops though or the peppermint will be OVERPOWERING! A little goes a long way!

    • says

      That is a great idea! I didn’t realize that Peppermint is a neutralizing smell. We have used several different oils for neutralizing, but I do have Peppermint I think! Thanks!

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