How to Tackle Home Odors Like a Pro

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.

Living Room

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:

  • Mold
  • 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.

  • Soap
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Sanitizing spray
  • Fabric refresher spray
  • Fabric softener sheets
  • Essential oils
  • Lemons

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!

What Is the Best Way to Clean Pet Stains?

Pet stains are unavoidable around your home. Even the most well-trained dogs and cats will have accidents or fall ill, leaving a mess. All pet owners struggle with the dilemma of how to clean pet stains — while there’s no one clear, cut-and-dry answer, we do have a few pet stain removal tips to ease the process.

Blot, Don’t Rub

Before you even think about which product to use on your stain in question, the first thing you need to do is blot the area. Soaking up excess liquid like urine will allow your cleaner to penetrate the soiled area in a deeper and faster way. And instead of rubbing the stain, which could cause it to further seep into your carpet, remember that blotting the area lifts the stain.

Vinegar Is a Miracle Ingredient

The ability for vinegar to lift and treat old stains allows it to work like a miracle drug. It’s non-toxic and leaves behind no residue, ensuring a safe area for your pet to be around after cleaning. Vinegar will also neutralize the ammonia found in urine — which causes odors to formulate — treating not just the stain but also the source of the smell.

Multiple grocery, drug and pet stores sell stain removal for pet owners, but there are natural cleaners that can be made at home. One simple recipe is to combine one cup of white vinegar, one cup of lukewarm water and two tablespoons of baking soda. You can apply the mixture directly to the stain, or you can treat the stain with the baking soda first, allow it to sit for five minutes and then add the liquid mixture on top and blot.

Allow Baking Soda to Sit

When you want to clean a pet stain that’s the source of some bad smells, throw in baking soda to whatever cleaner or mixture you’re using. It will soak up the current stain and penetrate through your carpet fibers to neutralize the odor and keep it from spreading.

Rinse the Area After Treatment

Once you’ve applied your cleaner or mixture to the stain and blotted it away, you’re going to want to rinse the area. This routine is especially important for spots that may have had exposure to bleach-based products, as the chemicals can be harmful if ingested by your pet. Simply fill a bottle with lukewarm water, spray to thoroughly dampen the area and use a clean towel or cloth to blot away the excess water until dry.

Avoid Steam Cleaning

While vacuuming over your carpet after treating stains is an excellent clean-up method, avoid using any steamers for urine stain removal. The heat that resonates from steam cleaners can penetrate into the urine and bind the protein into the fibers of your carpet, which will make it much harder to remove the stain as well as the odor.

Use these pet stain removal tips the next time you need to do a quick spot treatment. If you need a more substantial removal from your home carpet, contact Thai Cleaning Service for a free estimate to receive a personalized and professional cleaning.

House Cleaning Tips for Pet-Owners

In the United States, a lot of people have a lot of pets. Specifically, 43,346,000 households are caring for 69,926,000 dogs, and 36,117,000 households are taking care of 74,059,000 cats. That’s a lot of hair, dander, dirt and germs potentially scuttling around your homes. Sounds a little scary, but don’t worry.

It is possible and even somewhat easy to keep a clean house when you have pets. There are a lot of housecleaning tips for pet owners out there. We’ll guide you through some useful pointers, including preventative measures, items you’ll need for cleaning up pet messes and how to use them, and other useful tips for keeping all the dog and cat hair at bay for a clean house with pets.

Pet Cleaning Tips

Preventative Measures: Useful Tips to Lessen the Pain of Inevitable Pet Messes

Every pet owner has been there. You come home from work, and your angry cat has urinated in your shoe or your dear sweet lab has reupholstered your family room with his springtime shedding. Things like these are bound to happen at some point, but there are ways to head off the household pain of cleaning with a cat or cleaning with a dog and have a little more control. It takes a little bit of planning — and these preparation tips are helpful supplements to your usual list of tips for how to clean your home with pets:

  • Confine Your Pets to Specific Areas in Your Home: Using baby gates or just the simple act of closing doors will effectively restrict your pets’ access to certain rooms, and there will be less stress regarding cleaning a mess. It’s one of the best tips on how to keep a house clean with pets. If you only allow your dog or cat access to the carpet- and rug-free kitchen, family room and outdoor patio, you have control over where your they could potentially make a mess. Also, if they do make a mess, you can rest easier knowing that there will be no rug or carpet to scrub, just a hard surface floor to clean.
  • Use Only Indoor/Outdoor Rugs: There are dozens of stylish, beautiful rugs in this category. They come in a vast range of colors and designs so it will be fairly easy to find some that blend in with your home’s décor. Place a small indoor/outdoor rug before every door leading indoors from the outdoors. These rugs will grab most of the grime or water your pet may trek into the house. Additionally, place these rugs throughout your home, wherever your pet likes to hang out. These rugs are very easily cleaned with a damp cloth. They can even be hosed off outside if needed.
  • Bathe Pets Regularly: This tip mostly applies to your canine companions. Timely baths and grooming are essential preventative steps you can take in keeping your home clean, smelling fresh and, importantly, keeping your dog friends smelling great. Remember not to bathe them too often. A bath every three to four weeks is ideal to prevent their coats’ essential oils from being stripped away.

Timely Baths

  • Brush Your Pets Often: Regularly scheduled brushings are important. Brushing your pets’ fur lessens shedding and redistributes your pets’ essential oils in its skin. Brushing keeps the fur healthy, and it makes your pets look great!
  • Wipe Your Dog Down Once or Twice a Week: In between your pets’ baths, take a damp washcloth or wipes that are made for pets, and wipe Fido down. Doing this will get rid of dirt and dander, and will make them smell fresher. Look at it as a freshness recharge in between their baths. Your home will continue to smell fresh as well.
  • Vacuum Often: We know it’s no fun hauling out that vacuum — it’s heavy, cumbersome and noisy. If you make the effort to vacuum your floors and furniture at least once or twice a week, you will find less dog or cat hair floating around, or stuck to your clothing. If you buy one of those lightweight cordless vacuums, it will be even easier to vacuum more often, maybe even daily around the spots your pets like to frequent. The vacuum, and how often you use it, is one of the best tools to improve how you clean your home with pets.
  • Be Choosy About Fabrics: Choosing sofas, armchairs and loveseats that are upholstered with microfiber or leather make cleaning easy. These fabrics are wiped down easily. Cleaning off stains and pet hair is easy to do on these fabrics as well.
  • Launder Your Pets’ Bedding Frequently: Pet beds, or the bed covers, can get smelly. Their blankets can be odor magnets as well. A weekly wash helps your home smell fresher.
  • Keep the Grime Outdoors: Cleaning a home with pets can seem like an endless cycle thanks to the outdoors coming in with your dog’s feet. If you have a yard that can get muddy, keep a towel — preferably an old towel you won’t mind getting stained — by the door your dog uses to come in and go out. When the pup is getting ready to come in, wipe his feet beforehand. Easy to clean runners help keep your abode dirt-free as well.
  • Hire a Cleaning Service: Of course, it’s understandable that this isn’t really a doable option for everybody’s budget. However, if you can afford it every other month or so, bringing in a cleaning or housekeeping service for a “deep clean” can effectively help keep the dander, fur and grime in full check.
  • Paint Lower Cabinets With Dark Shades of Paint: Darker shades of paint will disguise the smears, stains and smudges your pets leave on your cabinets. Take prevention up to a higher notch by using paint that can be used both indoors and outdoors to make it even easier to clean.
  • Use Placemats Under Your Pets’ Food Bowls: This is just common sense. Instead of mopping up the floor, you can bring a messy placemat to the sink to clean very easily. Take it up a notch and look for placemats with a rim to contain spilled water.
  • Invest in Some Inexpensive Decorative Throw Blankets: Cover up your furniture, bed, or armchair with these budget-friendly throw blankets. You’ll be glad you did this when you see how much longer your furniture will last because of them. Using an acrylic/cotton blend, or even 100% cotton is best. These materials are machine washable and relatively easy to maintain. They also can take the effects of pet paws and hair.

Items That Will Help You Get Rid of Stains and Odors

Let’s start at the beginning. You’ll need tools. A variety of cleaning implements and everyday items are the first things to acquire if you’re going to be prepared to keep your home spotless. Cleaning a home with a cat is pretty close to cleaning a home with a dog.

cleaning implements

  • Lint Removers: Lint removers for your clothes are essential for every household that has dogs or cats. Refillable rollers that come with the sticky-sided paper are the kind you should pick up. They truly do great work in removing pet hair. There are reusable lint brushes available as well. These are also sold in pet stores or pet sections of your local supermarkets or drug and discount stores.
  • Enzymatic Cleansing Sprays or Pourable Solutions: When your pet makes a stain on your floor, there is a pretty good chance they will do the same thing again in the exact same spot unless you remove the stain and all traces of the stain completely. These stains have to be neutralized to prevent pets from re-staining these spots. Enzymatic cleaners are the best at removing pet urine. There are several brands on the market and are easy to find at your local pet store or from pet supply websites.
  • A Sturdy Cleaning Brush With Stiff Bristles: Some rugs can really hold on to pet hair. Sometimes, a vacuum won’t pick up all the hairs that become trapped and entangled in the fibers. Use a sturdy brush to scrub your carpet or rug quickly in a back and forth motion until all the hair and dirt come loose. Then the hair and dirt will be easily removed from the carpet’s fibers.
  • Old Towels and Rags or Paper Towels: These are useful for blotting fluids unceremoniously left by your pets.
  • A Standard Paint Scraper, Spatula, Disposable Paper Plate or Stiff Cardboard: This sounds like a redundant list, but these items are all similarly useful when you need to scrape and scoop up solid waste before the cleansing and disinfecting process starts. You don’t need every single one of these items, but it is very useful to keep one or more of these items handy in case you need to clean up a poopy mess.
  • A Stain Remover Made for Pet Messes: You’ll need a good stain remover. A stain remover makes cleaning with a pet a lot easier than with plain water. Stain removers come in different forms, but a spray or liquid is best for precise placement on the stain or stains. Make sure you get one that’s non-toxic.
  • A Wet and Dry Vacuum: If you can make an investment in a wet/dry vacuum, you’ll have a gadget that can vacuum up wet messes easily. This vacuum can also be used on pets who are willing to sit still and be vacuumed of loose hair.
  • UV Fluorescent Tube: Adding an ultraviolet (UV) light to your cleaning box is a bit high-tech, but worth it if you can get one. The portable ones are powered by batteries, and can easily travel with you all over the house and beyond. These lights will help you find dried, forgotten urine stains, which will make it easy for you to eliminate the stains once and for all.
  • White Vinegar: Most households have this in their kitchen already. Mix up a natural cleaner by combining a half cup of vinegar with a quart of water in a spray bottle. This handy cleaner will help remove new and recent pet stains.
  • Incense: Burning a little incense to remove your pets’ odors post-litter box use is a great idea if you don’t want to wait for the odor to dissipate on its own. Use it on a rainy day, when your dog is bound to be damp from going in and out of your house several times a day. It produces quick results. It’s an effective way to keep your house from smelling like a wet dog.


  • Lemons or Any Other Citrus Fruit: Citrus fruit is another superb natural tool for getting rid of pet odors. Cut up a couple of lemons or limes, put the cut pieces in a bowl, and place these bowls anywhere near the litter box or your dog’s bed area.
  • Latex Gloves: Put on some latex gloves and use them like a lint roller. If you run your hands over any pet hair-covered surface, the fur and hair will stick to the latex. This method can be used on your furniture, bed covers and your car’s upholstery. When you need to get rid of the hair, run your gloved hands under running water, and this will clean off your gloves.
  • Shaving Cream: Foamy shaving cream —not the gel — can be used in place of a standard pet stain cleaner. Clean up any debris or solids then spray the shaving cream on the stain and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes. Then wipe the foam away with warm water.

How to Remove Pet Hair From Everything You Own

It feels like an endless fight, doesn’t it? As a pet owner, you’re constantly finding dog or cat hairs everywhere. It seems almost impossible to keep the scourge of pet hair under tight control. The best defense against accumulating pet hair is to have an effective offensive game plan.

It sounds corny but it’s true. Not only do you have to stay on top of removing dog or cat hair as you encounter it, but it’s more effective to be ahead of the hair that’s building up in your home. The following are ways to effectively get rid of pet hair:

  • Hair on Your Floors: Stop vacuuming your wood or tile flooring. When you use a vacuum on these floors, most of the pet hair is just flying all over the place, not being sucked up into the vacuum. Instead, buy a duster mop, preferably one that’s electrostatic. These trap hair really well. Vacuum afterward, to get the dirt that’s still there. If dust bunnies are a constant issue, dust-mop your floor two to three times weekly. Aim for daily.

don't vacuum wood floors

  • Hair on and in Your Rugs and Carpets: If your rugs or carpets are starting to look dull, and the color looks off, it could be your pets’ hair getting stuck or woven into the carpet’s piling. Vacuuming doesn’t always work well. Remember that stiff-bristled brush we talked about earlier? Grab that brush, and scrub your rug. Don’t use soap or water — just the dry brush scrubbing the rug or carpet will loosen hairs. Once you loosen those hairs, you can collect them with a dustpan or break out the vacuum again. Doing this weekly can keep your carpets and rugs looking fabulous.
  • Hair on Your Furniture: Use a dry squeegee or a latex glove to easily remove pet hair from your furniture. If neither these nor a vacuum work, get that lint roller out. Another way to remove hair from furniture — take a paint roller and cover it in duct tape, sticky side out. Roll the paint roller over your furniture. You’ve just fashioned yourself a nifty, larger lint roller.
  • Hair on Your Clothing: Usually, a lint roller works well on your clothing. The problem is that sometimes we might not have a lint roller handy when we most need one. When this occurs, find some masking or duct tape. Wrap a 4 to 6 inch piece of tape, sticky side out, around a few of your fingers. Pat the hair off your clothes with this makeshift lint “roller.”

Maintaining a Clean Home With Pets

We truly love our pets. They are an important part of our household. Many pet owners even treat their dogs and cats as furry children. Even so, there is a good chance your fur baby is trekking dirt, grime and germs into your home. We’ve provided some useful cleaning tips, but you may have some more concerns that were not addressed here.

For more information about cleaning your home from top to bottom, Thai Cleaning Service can help. Thai Cleaning Service is a trusted cleaning company in the Baltimore area. We have maintained a 97 percent customer retention rate during our eight years in business. Feel free to contact us to let us know how we can help you reach your home cleanliness goals. For a free estimate, please fill out the form on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.