“Clean” is not measured by sight alone, our sense of smell can play a huge role in how clean we perceive a space to be. Of course, just cleaning on a regular basis contributes to a clean smelling house, but what about those stubborn odors? It can be frusturating and even down right embarrassing but not to worry, we have tips for the most common yucky smells you might come across:
Bad Smell Culprit #1 – The Garbage Can
Ok, so taking the trash out regularly is the most obvious fix. Also try using cans with lids or tops as opposed to open top styles. Don’t throw anything that already has a strong bad odor in the indoor trash, better take it outside! If there is a lingering bad smell even after you take the trash out it’s time to scrub the can with a good disinfectant cleaner or if you’d like to go natural try vinegar!
Bad Smell Culprit #2- Pet Odors
This is really a polite blanket term for a couple different smells. If it’s your pets themselves that stink, then it’s bathtime. But if Fido smells like roses it could be the carpet or the furniture that is harboring the smell. Take action by washing what you can in the washer: cushions, throw pillows, slip covers, mats. Anything that can’t be washed could be taken outside and aired out on a sunny day, beating the dust out and vacuuming with a good quality HEPA filter vacuum can help too. If the smell is in the carpet try sprinkling baking soda, letting it sit and then vacuuming it up. Now, if the smell is from puppy or kitty accidents on the carpet you will need a good enzyme cleaner. We have a post coming up about that one (video too!) so stay tuned!
Bad Smell Culprit #3- The Fridge
There is nothing as unappetizing as a stinky fridge! Firs try taking everything out, tossing anything that’s expired or questionable then cleaning the interior with vinegar. Don’t worry, the tangy salad smell will vanish as soon as it dries. For really tenacious smells try a tray of coffee grounds or baking soda, the bigger surface area makes a tray a better container than a bowl or dish.
Bad Smell Culprit #4- Shoes
Funky gym shoes are a common perfume in teenager’s rooms. If they are washer safe toss them in! If not, or if you aren’t sure you can still battle the shoe sweat smell. Make sure they are totally dry by putting them out in the sun, then you can try putting a bunch of baking soda inside the shoes and leaving them overnight. You might also try putting them in a plastic bag and popping them in the freezer for the night!
Bad Smell Culprit #5 Cigararette Smoke
If you or a family member smokes there has never been a better time to quit! At the very least there should be no smoking in the house. That said, for tough smoke smells in the furniture and carpet try our friend baking soda; just sprinkle, wait a few hours and vacuum. You can try washing harder surfaces like walls with lemon water, add a few drops of lemon oil or a half a a cup of lemon juice to a bucket of warm water. *Bonus* For smoke smells in a car try kitty litter! Slide a shallow box of kitty litter under one or both of the seats and leave it for a week.
Bad Smell Culprit #6 Musty Closets and drawers
Storage smells are best cured with kitty litter or baking soda, just pick one and set a dish of it in your storage space. If you have access to fresh wood shavings that is the ultimate storage deodorizer. To keep clothes smelling fresh and sweet in the drawer stick little bars of scented, wrapped soap amongst the clothes.
Bad Smell Culprit #7 Mildew
To avoid mildew in clothes make sure you don’t put anything wet in with the dirty clothes, and the more often you do laundry the less likely you are to have mold and mildew. For mildew in the restroom a good scrub with a disinfectant cleaner is key, again if you prefer vinegar you can use it just not diluted. Ventilation is important too, open windows and vents when possible.
Your Clean Smelling House
Now that you’ve busted all of those nasty hidden smells you can take it to the next level with a scented candle, I also like to wipe surfaces down with my favorite essential oil in a diffuser bottle with water. You can even just spray it into the air and the scent will last and last!