How to Get Offensive Odors Out of Your Home

No matter how often you clean and deodorize, you’re bound to run into unpleasant odors from time to time – even if you have a regular housekeeping service that keeps your home always guest-ready. As long as you cook, eat, sleep and use the bathroom, odors will creep into your home. Sometimes it’s not easy to get rid of them!

From commonly missed cleaning areas to culinary experiments, foul smells can linger in specific rooms or throughout your home. That means wrinkled noses for you and raised eyebrows for guests unless you stop those odors in their tracks. 

Quick and Easy Hacks for Everyday Odors 

Whether it’s a visitor’s perfume or taco night aromas, some scents seem to reach every corner of the house. Here are some methods to freshen the air and deodorize your home.

  • Open the windows if the weather is nice. Nothing gives your home a breath of fresh air and pushes odors out like the cross-ventilation you get when you open two or more windows. 
  • Cut a lemon in half and place each piece in an inconspicuous spot. Lemon gets rid of bad smells naturally, and leaves a pleasant aroma, too.
  • Place a light dab of vanilla or your favorite essential oil on a light bulb to create a mini-diffuser that will deodorize for hours. This idea is especially great for holiday scents and soothing aromas. 
  • Sprinkle baking soda on your rugs and carpets and leave it for two hours. The baking soda absorbs offensive odors and is easy to vacuum up afterward. This works great on upholstery and other textiles, too. 
  • Mix up your own natural spray deodorizer to use throughout your home. Grab your favorite essential oil, two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and ¾ cup of water and put them in a small spray bottle for an instant air freshener you can use at any time.
  • Pour white vinegar on a hand towel and wring it out. Walk through your home and wave the damp towel vigorously as you do. Vinegar stops many odors in their tracks, including the stench of cigarette cigar smoke.

Getting Rid of Odors Room by Room

Sometimes you encounter a very distinct odor in a specific place or room. If you don’t want that unpleasant aroma to spread throughout your home, you better tackle it at the source. 

Wash Away Laundry Room Odors

It’s either the trash, the dirty clothes or your washing machine that are the offenders here. Here are some tips to get your laundry room smelling fresh and clean. 

Clean your top-load washer by running a hot water wash while the machine is empty. Add a cup of baking soda to the water, fill the fabric softener dispenser with white vinegar and wash those musty smells away. Be sure to leave the washer lid open when you’re not using it to keep odor-causing moisture at a minimum. Do this every couple of weeks so your home and your clothes will smell fresher.

For front-load washing machines, clean the rubber seal with baking soda and water every two weeks. Perform the same routine with baking soda and white vinegar. Leaving the door open between loads keeps the interior dry and helps protect the rubber seal from mold. 

If you keep a trash can in the laundry room, wash and rinse it out weekly to prevent lingering odors. A little baking soda in the bottom will help absorb strong odors and minimize dampness until you take the trash out. Make sure you wash damp or sweaty clothing as soon as possible to prevent mold and musty odors in the laundry basket.   

How to Tame Offensive Kitchen Odors

Sometimes it’s not the fish you just cooked that’s causing unpleasant aromas. Kitchen odors can come from your fridge, oven and trash no matter how sparkling clean your kitchen looks. Use these tips to deodorize the smelly culprits and leave your kitchen smelling fresh

Your refrigerator can smell pretty bad if it has open containers of food, multiple spills or just hasn’t been cleaned in a while. If it needs a good cleaning, mix a half-cup of baking soda with two quarts of water and use that solution to brush clean and deodorize your refrigerator naturally. Once your fridge is clean, keep an open box of baking soda on a shelf to absorb odors. Double-wrap food with strong odors and keep the lid on containers to help prevent unpleasant smells from returning.  

To deodorize a stinky garbage disposal, stop up the sink and mix two tablespoons of baking soda with three inches of warm water. Turn on the disposal and immediately pull out the stopper. The resulting suction pulls the baking soda solution down into the disposal, where it cleans and deodorizes. For quick and easy odor control, toss in some fruit rinds and grind them up for a burst of citrus aromas. For the kitchen trash, baking soda and a clean trash can will keep odors at bay until it’s time to take out the trash. 

Your microwave, stove and oven get a daily workout and endure spills, grease and lots of “aromatic” meals. The first step to prevent odors from lingering is to clean your oven or microwave. Line the bottom of your oven with tin foil to prevent odor-causing buildup between cleanings and let your oven air out after cooking. To get lingering odors out of your microwave, boil one quart of water with lemon slices for three minutes and then let your microwave dry out with the door open. 

How to Keep Your Bathroom Smelling Fresh and Pleasant

You already know where a lot of bathroom odors come from, even if your bathroom is sparkling clean. A rule of thumb for toilets is to clean them before they start to look dirty. To clean, deodorize and get rid of stains, pour one cup of white vinegar into your toilet bowl and let it soak for ten minutes. When the time is up, scrub the bowl, flush it and enjoy a whiter and fresh-smelling toilet.

Even if you clean your bathroom and toilet like a pro, you’ll still encounter some unwanted aromas. A fragrant candle, diffuser or other non-chemical deodorizer keeps your bathroom smelling fresh without the danger of toxins. Bamboo charcoal is an eco-friendly odor fighter that absorbs smells and harmful chemicals while it dehumidifies moist air in bathrooms. Just place a few pieces in a dish on the vanity and let it get to work.

Since less moisture means less odor-causing mold, use ventilation to help keep the bathroom dry and smelling fresh. Whether showering or using the toilet, keep the exhaust fan running to pull odors and moisture out of the bathroom. When the weather is nice, be sure to open any bathroom windows for a burst of fresh, clean air.

Say Goodnight to Bedroom Odors

From midnight snacks to perspiration and dead skin cells, your mattress accumulates a lot of odor-causing stuff you’d rather not think about. Give your mattress a quick deodorizing by sprinkling baking soda on it. Let the baking soda sit for two hours and vacuum up the excess. To keep your bed smelling fresh, clean and vacuum your mattress at least twice a year. Change your bedding at least once a week to help prevent odors; you can also air out the bedroom by opening up the windows whenever it’s practical.

The clothes we wear and even the places we keep them can create unpleasant smells that give our bedrooms a musty or stale odor. Don’t let dirty clothes stay too long in your bedroom hamper, especially damp, sweaty items. Wash dirty clothes as soon as possible to prevent foul odors and mold. To keep clean clothes from developing odors when they’re hanging in closets, use crumpled up newspaper to absorb the sweat and odor from shoes and keep the closet door open as much as possible for ventilation. 

Use these tips to get rid of offensive odors and keep your home smelling pleasant and clean week after week. If you need help getting your home clean and odor-free, The Maids is standing by to give your home a fresh start.



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