How to Rid Your Home of That Strange Smell
Every time guests step over your threshold, they crumple their nose. You might not smell it, but your house contains a strange, off-putting odor that everyone else seems to shrink from. Even if you have gone nose-blind ― a condition marked by an inability to notice certain smells due to continued exposure to them ― you can still get rid of that offensive smell without resorting to harsh chemicals (which often smell just as bad as the original odor!). Here are a few natural solutions to rid your home of stinky odors.
Clean Like Never Before
Your shelves may be dust-free and your kitchen counters spotless, but your weekly cleaning probably isn’t deep enough to address the source of many household odors. Grime accumulates everywhere, and the places you usually miss will start to rot and smell in time. Here are some locations you probably need to hit with a scouring pad:
- Underneath trash bags in garbage cans.
- Between kitchen cabinets and large appliances.
- Under and between couch cushions.
- Along grout lines in floor and wall tiles.
- Around shower liners and curtains.
- Inside large appliances, especially the dishwasher and refrigerator.
Lose the Humidity
Whether you live in a damp place or you just enjoy long, steamy showers, humidity fosters some of the worst odors in your home. Moist air encourages the growth of mold, which smells just as disgusting as it looks. Worse, warm, wet air allows smells to move faster and farther, which means a small stinky region will infect the rest of your home in no time. An excellent solution is to remove the humidity from the air with a dehumidifier. Placed in bathrooms and basements (usually the dampest spaces in any home) the dehumidifier will suck up the foul odors along with the humidity, leaving your home more comfortable all-around.
Reassess Smoking Habits
Tobacco cigarette smoke accumulates in fabrics and on paints, and it doesn’t take long before it is impossible to simply air-out a room. Heavy smoking damage requires washing, sealing, and repainting as well as replacing carpets and draperies.
To avoid this process, you might want to change your smoking habits. Using a smokeless vaporizer or e-cigarette is an excellent way to eliminate damaging secondhand smoke. Alternatively, you could go outside whenever you need a cigarette break ― but you must be careful to step at least 25 feet from any doors or windows to prevent the smoke from seeping inside.
Relocate Guilty Animals
You may love them like furry children, but you can’t deny that your pets often stink. Though it helps to keep your pets well-groomed, a good bath won’t always solve the smells emitted by your furry friends. Instead, the best solution is to move pet paraphernalia to an unused region of the home. Instead of placing the litter box in the middle of the bathroom, you should relocate it to a low-traffic space, perhaps a laundry room or a spare bedroom. Dog beds also tend to accumulate smelly filth, so keeping them in a similarly out-of-the-way location helps.
Mix Natural Smell-Killers
No matter how many precautions you take, your home could still develop a strange stench. To combat lingering odors, you should have an arsenal of natural smell-killers, each of which is particularly strong at defeating certain types of smells.
Despite its distinctive smell, coffee is often used as an olfactory palate cleanser. Studies show that when sniffed between samples of perfume or cologne, coffee works to negate cloying scents trapped in the nasal passages and help refresh our sniffers. Thus, you can put coffee to work in your home, sprinkling unused grounds in reeking trash bags or tying sachets to place in drawers or cupboards.
Activated charcoal is another natural odor eliminator. Quite unlike the bricks you use in your outdoor grill, activated charcoal is intended for various uses inside the home. You can use activated charcoal like coffee grounds, and because it is non-toxic, it is specifically useful around pets and kids.
Baking soda is highly regarded as the most powerful vanquisher of stink. Simply placing a few open containers of baking soda around your home ― particularly in your fridge and pantry ― is enough to maintain a fresh, scentless environment. You can also mix baking soda with other odor-catchers, like unused coffee grounds, activated charcoal, or even essential oils, to create a scrub or a sachet that counteracts exceptionally nasty smells.
For even more protection against funky odors, try these 9 DIY Air Freshener Ideas. Your house will thank you!
Have your tricks to rid your home of offending smells? Let us know! As Einstein said, “Creativity is contagious.”