Ever step into a house only to feel like running out of the room holding your nose? While tackling common 'house odours' can be tricky, but it's certainly not impossible. Below is a quick guide on how to keep your home smelling fresh:
Identify the source The key to odor removal is removing the source of the odor. Spraying air fresheners and burning candles is not going fix smells caused by mold, mildew, faulty plumbing. For that, you'll need to remove and fix the source of the problem.
Washing machine mold smells If you own a front-load washing machine, take a look at the door compartment. Chances are that there's mold and mildew settling in, which can really stink up a laundry room.
The best thing is to get rid of the smell is to wash away the mold. Do this by running a cycle with only two cups of bleach and warm or hot water. And try to remember to always leave your door open between washings when doing laundry to keep the machine ventilated.
Foul dishwasher smells A quick trick is to fill a dishwasher-safe cup with white vinegar
and place it on the top rack before running your dishwasher through a
cycle without any dishes. You can also just pour two cups of vinegar
into the bottom of the dishwasher. Obviously, the vinegar smell might
stick around for an hour or so, but the upside is that all the other
smells will be gone.
Ventilate temporary kitchen odors This holds true especially for foodstuffs like burnt toast and fried
bacon. Turn on the exhaust fan, open the windows and spray an air
If your fond of spicy or fried cooking, then you'll know how these smells can become
engrained in your cabinets. For immediate relief after cooking, boil a cup of vinegar
on the stove. The vapors that release into the air cut the other smells. Stinky garbage disposals Just because you can't see the garbage doesn't mean it can't foul up your kitchen. Keep things fresh by cutting a lemon, lime or orange into chunks and dropping them into the running disposal. Follow up with half a cup of white vinegar with cold water.
Deodorize the fridge The easiest way to tame fridge odors is to open a box of baking soda and stick it on a shelf or along the back. Sodium bicarbonate has a unique chemical property that attracts and absorbs odors. Remember to change it annually and avoid sticking it next to the vegetables since the sodium bicarbonate in the baking soda can cause leafy veggies to wilt quickly. Tame pet odor Nothing is worse than the smell of week-old kitty litter. Stock up
on activated charcoal, a form of porous carbon which works great for
absorbing a range of odors, especially those caused by pets. Put them in
or near your litter box to help mitigate the stink. Urine and bacteria smells in carpet Other than toilet training your pets, it's always handy to have a bottle of vinegar in the house. The acid enables it to kill bacteria and also remove urine smells. Mix one part vinegar with three parts water and rub it on the carpet with a cloth. Then rinse the carpet with water and let it air dry. Remove cigarette smoke stink While an air freshener and open windows will eliminate temporary cigarette smells, heavy smoking over a long period requires more washing, sealing and painting the walls. In some cases, it may also require cleaning the duct system. And don't even bother with air purifiers and ozone machines, as they have been found to produce dangerous levels of ozone that can kill plants, deteriorate rubber and cause eye irritation and other health problems at high concentrations. Hide embarrassing bathroom stank The best trick is to keep a scented candle in the bathroom, or better yet, use a long-term odor remover like a Glade PlugIn.
Make it a habit For long-term odor management, make it a point to regularly use an air freshener like Febreze and misting curtains or couches in a room. But make sure you check the label, as some products will stain cotton.