February 10, 2023
Did you know that most people are able to distinguish at least one trillion distinct scents? So, when your house isn’t smelling quite right, your nose knows.
Hard and soft surfaces in your home can hold surprisingly unpleasant odors. Rather than mask them, here are some tips on how to identify and remove pesky household odors.
You can only attack home odors efficiently if you know where they’re coming from. Some are obvious—like stinky refrigerators—and some can be a bit more mysterious and require a hunt.
After you’ve found the source, it’s time to clean. Most odors can be eliminated with household items such as lemons, coffee grounds, baking soda, and vinegar, but some tougher smells may require harsher cleaners.
If the air in your home feels stale or musty, open your windows! Let your house breathe; push bad smells out, and let fresh air in. Another easy remedy for scenting the air is to simmer things like citrus peels, vanilla, cinnamon sticks, or mint on your stovetop.
If it can’t be thrown in your washer and dryer, how do you clean it? Soft surfaces such as couches and carpets are heavy-use items that often start to smell unpleasant—and spraying them with fabric deodorizer isn’t a long-term solution.
Spot cleaners and special upholstery cleaners are great options for cleaning these items. Another tip is to sprinkle baking soda on carpets, rugs, and upholstery a few hours before vacuuming if they are particularly odorous.
Tough stains like urine or vomit can be especially difficult to deodorize. Start by blotting the area with a towel and then spray 3-parts cold water and 1-part vinegar on it and blot again. Repeat the process until the smell disappears.
Kitchens and bathrooms are a common source of home odors. They’re both popular areas for germs, so cleaning them regularly can help keep your entire home smelling fresh. Here are some tips for eliminating odors in these areas:
Appliances are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning. Sure, you wipe off your cooktop and clean your microwave occasionally, but did you know most appliances require frequent maintenance? Most appliances have filters you should be cleaning regularly.
Additional appliance maintenance:
Odors that come from pets or cigarette smoke, and musty smells in older homes may require more than just a healthy scrubbing. Consider replacing carpets or coating the walls with fresh paint to eliminate these odors.
If you find signs of mold, mildew, or rot, you may need to call the professionals. Beyond the unpleasant smells they emit, these issues can be serious health hazards.
Being a homeowner is a lot of work, and cleaning and deodorizing your home should always be included on your list of important home maintenance tasks. After you’ve deodorized your home, sit back, relax, and breathe in the fresh air!