Odor Elimination Tricks to Freshen your Home
How to Eliminate Odors in the House
My house smelled bad for weeks. I had no idea where it was coming from and dreaded the thought of friends or family coming over because of it.
It wasn’t the cat box, my refrigerator, the dishwasher or my old running shoes (although I’m sure they might have contributed to the smell to some degree).
I was sniffing everything in my house trying to find the source of the odor, in fact, a few people might have thought I had gone a little bonkers as I was sniffing everything trying to pinpoint the smell.
The odor could have been caused by a number of things. I love cooking homemade meals and I also have to admit that I have a little, tiny, tiny tendency to be a hoarder of old and antique things. I have to be on red alert enough and make sure things don’t creep up or creep behind me.
Poor ventilation, bacteria, mold, cooking, smoking, humidity, body odors, fresh fruit and vegetables long past their prime – take your pick, there are so many reasons why the air in my home may have had this odor and smelled bad and I didn’t want to just mask it with store bought sprays or candles.
Open Windows and Let in the Fresh Air
Before you get started tackling the odors in your home, you need to consider there may be poor ventilation and not enough air flow. If there isn’t adequate ventilation in your home, you are practically inviting odors in.
So, begin by opening up your windows to allow air to flow to circulate through your home, even in cold weather as this will help remove musty odors. It is ideal to have windows open for twenty minutes twice a day as this will certainly help the smell dissipate.
Change the Air Filter
The air filter in the HVAC (your heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system helps catch contaminants and maintains a clean and comfortable indoor environment for the family.
The main function of the air filter is to capture airborne particles like pollen, dust, mold spores, dander and other allergens, preventing them from circulating through the HVAC system and entering into living spaces.
A clean air filter:
- Improves indoor quality by reducing irritants and allergens in the air.
- Allows for proper airflow within the HVAC system.
- Will extend the life of the HVAC system and ensure optimal performance.
A dirty or clogged air filter restricts the HVAC systems airflow which makes the system work harder, uses more energy and reduces the efficiency of the system. It’s important to check and replace the air filter on a regular basis, at least every three months or as the manufacturer recommends.
The Power of Sunlight
Sunlight can help remove odors from certain types of materials and surfaces, how effective sunlight works depends on the odor and material involved, so for anything that smells and can easily be moved, try moving it outside into direct sunlight.
The ultraviolet rays of the sun has a natural deodorizing and disinfecting effect that can kill mold, viruses, fungi and bacteria that may contribute to the unpleasant odor you are smelling.
When using direct sunlight for removing odors, the item will need to be exposed to the sun for extended periods of time and not all odors can be eliminated by sunlight alone; strong persistent odors may require additional help such as calling in a professional cleaner.
Using Baking Soda to Remove Household Odors
Baking soda is a miracle worker when it comes to deodorizing. Smoke, pet smells, you name it and baking soda can help get rid of odors.
A solution is to put a few bowls of baking soda in the problem areas of the house you are dealing with such as the bathroom, kitchen, garbage can, bedroom etc. Baking soda will absorb odors but it will not work overnight, you must be patient and you will notice a difference.
For rugs and carpets, simply sprinkle baking soda (I like to use a sifter), on the area, let it sit a bit, then vacuum it away. You can also leave it overnight, just cover it with a towel so nobody walks on it.
Removing Odors with Distilled White Vinegar
Vinegar is a great, all natural and safe deodorizer; although it doesn’t smell the greatest to some, that effectively kills germs, mold and bacteria and the smell will dissipate.
Cleaning the Garbage Disposal
If the garbage disposal stinks, simply freeze distilled white vinegar in an ice cube tray and when you need to freshen up the smell, simply put one down the drain, run cold water then turn the disposal on. Mark the remaining cubes so you know they are vinegar and pull one out the next time you need to.
Eliminate Cooking Odors
Sometimes we cook things that – although it tastes delicious – the lingering smell of the dish may not be so yummy smelling. Even when you use the fan, it does not completely get rid of odors so give white vinegar a chance. Fill a small bowl about half full and set it next to the stove while cooking and leave there until the next morning. This should help absorb and neutralize cooking odors.
These are just a few ideas to help remove odors from your house, I hope we’ve been able to help you out of a stinky situation.