Even the most beautiful home can feel uninviting if it’s full of unpleasant odors. In some cases, it may take being out of your home for a while or a painfully honest guest to clue you in to the fact that your house smells stale or sour. Lingering odors in the home can be embarrassing and can take away from the atmosphere you’ve thoughtfully worked to create through your furniture, decor and personal touches throughout each room.
The good news is, you can deal with stubborn home odors. Though you may be tempted to mask the scent by spraying a room freshener spray, to really get rid of bad smells in your house, you want to find more lasting solutions that truly deodorize and not just cover up odors temporarily.
Let’s take a quick tour through your home to find some common culprits and explain how to get rid of bad odors in your house like a seasoned cleaning professional. Then, we’ll talk about the cleaning products you’ll want to keep on hand for deodorizing, what can absorb bad odors and, finally, what to do if you can’t get rid of bad smells in your home.
When you, your family and guests step into your home, their first impression will come from your entryway. For some, this is a formal foyer, and for others, it’s a mudroom. In either case, objects like shoes, umbrellas and bags can tend to collect near the door. The primary source of odors here is typically shoes. Especially when shoes become damp, they can breed bacteria that cause them to stink. There are a few ways you can take care of the issue. A straightforward method to soak up deodorize shoes is to tuck dry tea bags containing black tea into each shoe and leave it overnight.
You may also want to consider adding a source of fragrance like a reed diffuser or an essential oil diffuser in your entryway, so you can greet anyone who comes through the door with a pleasant smell.
Let’s step into your living room, great room or wherever you and your family tend to hang out. There are several potential places where odors can hide in these rooms, so let’s briefly talk about each one.
- Sofa: You may not think about cleaning your couch unless someone spills something on it, but sofas tend to experience a lot of wear, and they need refreshing from time to time. A great way to do this is to sprinkle baking soda on all the upholstered parts of your couch, let it sit for around a half hour and then vacuum it off. This trick will leave your sofa, and any other upholstered furniture in your house, smelling cleaner than ever. If your couch needs a deeper cleaning, consider hiring a professional cleaner to steam-clean it.
- Carpets: Like couches, your carpets also experience a lot of wear and can develop unpleasant odors. Steam cleaning is a popular method of cleaning for carpeting and area rugs. You can also get your carpet shampooed for a deep clean. If you want to freshen your carpet a bit, the baking soda trick works here, as well. In this case, you want to use plenty of baking soda to make sure it penetrates the fibers of your carpet and absorbs any odors hiding out in there.
- Curtains: Curtains are another item in your home you may not think to clean. As with all fabrics, curtains will absorb and hold onto odors present in your home and can become dusty. For these reasons, you should take your drapes down and wash them about once every three months. In the meantime, use your vacuum’s brush to clean your curtains weekly.
Most people don’t just want to know how to prevent home odors, but also to get ideas for replacing them with pleasant ones. There are plenty of ways you can do this in your living room. In addition to conventional ways of filling your home with fragrance, such as candles, wax warmers and oil diffusers, you can also try using a fabric refresher spray on your upholstered furniture, carpet, and curtains to keep them and the whole room smelling fresh. For a unique smelly house remedy, try lighting a tea light nested in a glass bowl of coffee beans. The warm aroma is sure to please your guests.
Let’s now step into the bathroom, a place where odors can easily take over if you don’t proactively work to prevent them. Again, we’ll look at a few common sources of odors in your bathroom and how you can deodorize, so your bathroom smells pristine every day.
- Toilet brush: You already know to clean your toilet frequently, but what about your toilet brush? For most people, their toilet brush sits in a brush holder where gunk and grime can collect and begin to smell. An ideal solution to this problem is to pour a small amount of scented cleaning product into the container that holds your brush.
- Used towels: Reusing towels is a great way to save water, but after a while, used towels can begin to smell musty, especially if the air in your bathroom is moist. To prevent the issue of musty-smelling towels, put them in the laundry after about three uses. And don’t keep a hamper in the bathroom without frequently emptying it. Damp towels in a hamper won’t get much aeration, which will make the mustiness a lot worse.
- Bathtub/shower drain: Drains can often become clogged due to a buildup of soap, hair and other materials that form a layer of smelly gunk. To get rid of the smell, you need to clear out your drain. You can purchase products specifically designed to do this, or you can try using some scented bleach. If you want to use natural ingredients you already have around the house, pour a cup of baking soda into your drain, let it sit a minute, then follow it up with two cups of vinegar. After about 30 minutes, wash it down with hot water.
People tend to prioritize adding fragrance to their bathrooms, but they often stop at just placing a can of air freshener on a shelf or the back of the toilet. These sprays present a couple of problems. One is that they only disperse fragrance when someone sprays them, and the other is that the chemicals in these sprays can be harmful to your health. In a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council, 86 percent of the air fresheners they tested contained phthalates, a group of chemicals a growing body of research has found to have potentially negative health effects.
If you want to avoid these chemicals and keep your bathroom smelling fresh, try using essential oils. One way to do this is to dab some essential oil onto cotton balls and keep them in an open container, like a small jar or bowl, on a shelf in your bathroom. You can also dab some essential oil onto the inside of your toilet tissue roll. A little bit goes a long way toward making your bathroom smell wonderful.
Your bedroom should be a haven where you can relax at the end of the day and get a peaceful night’s sleep. The air quality in your bedroom can either help or hinder the atmosphere. Here are a couple of areas to pay attention to and how to get rid of odors in the bedroom.
- Mattress: Considering you spend about a third of your life on your mattress, it’s no wonder it can get pretty dirty. Of course, washing sheets or duvet covers frequently is essential for keeping your bed fresh and clean, but you should also clean your mattress periodically. Otherwise, it can become covered in sweat, dust mite droppings, mold and fungi. Pour a box of baking soda over the mattress, leave it for 24 hours and then vacuum it.
- Closet: Closets and wardrobes can become dusty and musty. Wash clothes that have sat in your closet for a long time to keep dust from piling up. A good way to keep your whole closet smelling fresh is to hang some herbal tea bags or porous bags of coffee beans around your closet.
To remove indoor house odors and improve the air quality in your bedroom, run an air purifier periodically. This step is especially important if you have pets or if you smoke in your home. If white noise helps you sleep, run your filter at night. You may also consider having an essential oil diffuser in your room. Dropping in some eucalyptus or lavender oil at night will help you relax.
Your kitchen can be a source of some wonderful smells, but it can also be a major source of odors in the home. Let’s look at a few common sources of bad smells in your kitchen.
- Trash: Emptying the trash when it gets full usually isn’t enough to keep it from smelling. Bits of debris will inevitably cling to the inside of your trash can and cause it to smell. To fix this, periodically wash the inside of your trash can with hot, soapy water. Then, place one or two fabric softener sheets in the bottom to absorb odors in the future.
- Garbage disposal: If you have trouble finding the source of a bad smell in the kitchen, it could be your garbage disposal. For easy odor removal, toss in some rinds from lemons, limes or oranges and let the disposal run. It will leave your kitchen smelling fresher than ever.
- Fridge: Spoiled food or pungent foods like cheese can make your fridge a major source of odors in your kitchen. Make sure to throw out spoiled food and to sanitize the shelves of your fridge periodically. Additionally, placing an aerated container of baking soda or a half a lemon on the middle shelf of your fridge can help deodorize and leave your fridge smelling fresh.
- Cooking: While they can be delicious, certain foods, like garlic or fish, can overwhelm your kitchen and other parts of your home with strong odors. Odors from cooking not only linger in the air, but can get absorbed into upholstery and fabric. If you’re cooking fish especially, place a bowl of vinegar on the stove for easy odor removal. The best way to deodorize your house is to leave some open containers of baking soda around your kitchen to help remove lingering food odors from the air.
If you want your kitchen to smell delicious, try simmering water on the stove with fragrant spices or fruits floating in it. For example, during the holiday season, oranges, cranberries and cinnamon create a warm and festive aroma. Brewing coffee is also a great way to fill your kitchen with a smell everyone loves. Filling your home with warm, wonderful scents is one of the best smelly house remedies.
Basements are usually cold environments that promote condensation and mold growth. They tend to be dank and musty and can leave everything you store down there smelling strongly of that unmistakable “old house smell.” A great way to combat this issue is to run a dehumidifier in your basement. Eliminating moisture will fight off mold and help the smell big time. You may also want to use an air purifier to help filter out dust and other pollutants in the air.
When Odors Can Be Dangerous
It’s important to note that, sometimes, odors can be a red flag that something is wrong. Here are just a few hazards that can cause bad smells:
- Gas leak
- Spilled chemicals
- Blocked chimney
If you’re not sure what is causing a bad smell in your house, don’t just shrug it off. Do your best to find the source, and if you can’t, investigate these issues specifically. If you think your house may have a gas leak or other serious problem, evacuate immediately.
Must-Have Supplies to Deodorize
While keeping your home clean is an important step to keep odors away, using cleaning products that are full of harsh chemicals can do more harm than good. Not only can these products have a strong, sharp smell, but they can also be bad for the environment and for your health. That’s why, at Thai Cleaning Service, we only use Green Seal-certified products to clean your home. Using green and natural products is the best way to deodorize your house. Here are a few must-have supplies to keep on hand.
- Baking soda
- Sanitizing spray
- Fabric refresher spray
- Fabric softener sheets
- Essential oils
How to Prevent Home Odors
If your house never smells fresh, or if you try and fail to get rid of odors, you may need to hire a professional cleaning service to scope out the issue and give your home a good, deep clean. Maintaining cleanliness in your home is one of the best ways to prevent home odors.
At Thai Cleaning Service, the hard work and expertise of our employees, along with our green cleaning methods, will leave your home feeling cleaner than ever and smelling wonderful. We proudly serve many communities in the greater Baltimore area. We understand that, no matter how much you want your home to stay clean and to smell nice, life can be busy. So consider calling in the pros. We will treat your home with the same level of respect and care as our own. A clean, inviting home that smells as good as it looks is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your family, so why wait? Contact Thai Cleaning Service today!