How to Get Rid of Bad Smell in the House
Our sense of smell is often considered the most powerful, and it plays a significant role in how we perceive the world. It guides us on what to eat and can even influence who we feel drawn to kiss. In our homes, a fresh and pleasant scent is a positive indicator. Conversely, an unpleasant odor can make us feel uncomfortable and uneasy.
First Off, Aim for Zero Odor
Maintaining a nose-friendly space doesn’t involve masking unpleasant odors with fragrances. In fact, a truly clean home should have no discernible scent. While some individuals may prefer a neutral environment to avoid fragrance overload, especially those with allergies or asthma, others may desire a pleasant aroma. For those who enjoy scents, we have some ideas to share.
Tackle the Bad...
(1)Deal With Moisture.
Excess humidity is a primary culprit behind unpleasant odors in a household. Using a hygrometer can help you assess the humidity levels in each room. If a room registers humidity above 60 percent, consider employing a dehumidifier. It’s advisable to begin with one unit and observe its impact, as dehumidifiers can be energy-intensive. In regions with high humidity, it’s wise to opt for hard flooring like tiles rather than wall-to-wall carpeting or rugs, as the latter can retain moisture, especially in places like the kitchen and bathroom. Additionally, consider placing moisture-absorbing products in smaller, damp-prone areas such as bathrooms and certain closets. Keep an eye on smaller sources of moisture, like sponges and towels. Replace sponges regularly (every one to two weeks), make sure towels are completely dry before storing, and hang bath mats over the shower rod to facilitate drying.
(2)Out With the Obvious.
Certain areas like litter boxes, garbage cans, pet beds, and diaper pails are notorious for emitting unpleasant odors. However, due to a phenomenon known as “nose blindness,” we tend to acclimate to these scents over time, making it difficult to realize just how pungent they’ve become. While this adaptation is a natural survival mechanism, it can also mean that our surroundings might smell worse than we think. That’s why it’s essential to take proactive steps. Clean the interior of your garbage can, including the lid if applicable, at least once a month. Placing a layer of kitty litter at the bottom of the pail can help absorb odors. Regularly wash pet beds, and make sure to scoop the litter box daily. If possible, opt for smaller garbage pails in your home to encourage more frequent disposal of trash.
(3)Open the Fridge.
When dealing with a malodorous fridge, the initial step is quite straightforward: dispose of anything that has exceeded its freshness. Often, condiments and leftovers are the main culprits, as people tend to assume they last indefinitely. Next, embark on a thorough cleaning of the fridge’s interior. If you have removable shelves and drawers, take them out and soak them in hot, soapy water. Clean the inside of the fridge using a mixture of equal parts hot water and white vinegar, with a small drop of dish soap. Use a damp cloth to rinse the surfaces. It’s important to utilize only cleaners that are safe for food contact inside the fridge. Avoid using bleach, as it can be challenging to dilute and rinse properly.
[Related article: 5 Things to Keep Your Fridge Organised]
(4)Clean Soft Surfaces.
Carpets, throw pillows, upholstery, bed linens, and window coverings have a tendency to hold onto odors. Even after a spill or dirt is seemingly cleaned up, odor-causing bacteria may still linger. In carpets, an overlooked stain can lead to the growth of mold or mildew. The manufacturer advises having a professional steam-clean your upholstery and carpets on an annual basis. For throw pillows, bed linens, and window coverings, refer to the fabric care labels to determine if they can be machine-washed.
The most effective way to prevent odors in carpets is to promptly address any spills. For biological stains, such as those caused by a pet or child, it’s recommended to use an enzyme cleaner.
Bring in the good...
(1)Open the Window.
(2)Try a Neutralizer.
If you prefer a home that maintains a neutral scent, consider using odor neutralizers that do not introduce an additional fragrance. Our experts recommend activated charcoal filters, conveniently available in small bags that you can hang in areas prone to odors or place in a gym bag. They work effectively, particularly in places like diaper pails, garbage cans, and litter boxes. In case of urgency, you can also fill your sink with hot water and add a few drops of bleach, then drain it before guests arrive.
(3)Find Subtle Ways to Scent.
Apart from using diffusers, there are several creative DIY methods for utilizing essential oils. Firstly, consider crafting a fabric refresher spray. Combine half a cup of white vinegar, half a cup of rubbing alcohol, one teaspoon of cornstarch, and 20 drops of your preferred essential oil in a small spray bottle. Before each use, give it a good shake, then mist it over clothing or upholstery. Make sure the fabric is fully dry before folding.
For a natural and fragrant touch, experiment with baking soda sachets. Take a coffee filter, fill it with baking soda, add approximately five drops of essential oil, and tie it off securely. Place it in a drawer or any area that could use a refresh. Additionally, when you change your furnace filter next time, try adding 10 to 20 drops of essential oil. The circulating air will help evenly disperse the delightful scent throughout the space.
By exploring these alternative methods, you can infuse your living spaces with the soothing scents of essential oils in unique and effective ways. These DIY solutions offer a delightful and natural approach to achieving a refreshed and inviting atmosphere.
(4)Strong Scents Aren't Always Best.
Absolutely, it’s a widespread misunderstanding that for a home to smell “good,” the scent must hit you the moment you step inside. In reality, it’s quite the opposite. What you’re aiming for is an overall ambiance that aligns with the energy, mood, or purpose you intend for the space. This approach also demonstrates thoughtfulness towards your guests. Some individuals might have allergies or sensitivities to potent aromas, and it’s essential to ensure everyone feels comfortable and at ease in your home.
(5)And Finally...Use Sweet Scents Strategically
Opting for scents that are not excessively sweet or cloying is a wise choice when it comes to fragrance in your home. While you might adore the aroma of your sugar apple cinnamon candle, it’s best reserved for moments when you’re alone.
When you’re sharing your space, it’s advisable to avoid overly sugary scents and opt for more natural fragrances like woodsy, floral, or citrus notes. You can still achieve a similar ambiance, but the effect will be longer-lasting and more pronounced. In essence, your home will smell as delightful as it looks.
You may also visit our recent blogs for more cleaning tips and ideas.
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