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Common Bad Smells Around the House and How to Get Rid of Them

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Common Bad Smells Around the House and How to Get Rid of Them
4 min. read
Bad smell in the home

Image: Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

When your whole family is home all day, every day, a lot of unpleasant smells can build-up. But if you’re looking for ways to put an end to bad odors and make your home smell fresh again, we’ve got you!

We’ve taken six of the most common household odors and found the best ways to tackle them. Try these simple tricks to get rid of bad smells around the house.

1.      Strong Cooking Odors

No matter how delicious some food is, being able to smell it days later is not appealing. Many common favorites such as fish, tacos, curry and grease can hang in the air far longer than we’d like. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop cooking your favorite foods at home.

To help combat food smells, always run the hood fan while cooking. And when possible, open a window after you finish cooking to help circulate the air. If that doesn’t do the trick, try leaving baking soda out in a small bowl on the counter overnight. The air should be noticeably fresher by morning.

2.      Lingering Pet Smells

While cats are generally known for their cleanliness, cat litter is one of the most unpleasant household smells. Using a clumping litter and scooping regularly can help control the problem. But for even more smell-stopping power, switch to a littler with active carbon in it to neutralize odors.

Getting the dog smell out of your house can take considerably more work. Start by cleaning any hard-surface floors and vacuuming all carpets thoroughly. Next, vacuum the furniture and wash all blankets, pillows and cushion covers the dog sleeps on. And don’t forget the dog beds! If the bed isn’t clean, you’ll be right back in the bad-smell cycle as soon as your dog curls up in its favorite spot.

3.      Cigarette Smoke

Even if you’ve never smoked in your home, you can still have lingering cigarette smells if past owners smoked inside. You might think a coat of paint will take care of those smelly, yellowed walls, but ridding your home of old smoke can take a bit more effort.

Start by scrubbing walls to remove any built-up tar and nicotine. Look for a cleaning product containing trisodium phosphate (TSP), or you can use white vinegar for a chemical-free option. After thoroughly cleaning the walls, be sure to also shampoo carpets and drapes. Then, when everything is clean, leave bowls of vinegar out for a day or two to help draw out any remaining smells. If the problem persists, an odor blocking paint may be your last option before calling in a professional.

4.      Funky Fridge

With all those different foods mixing in one enclosed space, it’s no surprise the fridge can sometimes have some strong smells. To help keep normal food smells at bay, try leaving an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator.

But for those really unpleasant smells, you first have to find the offending item. Once you remove the source, cleaning the shelf or drawer where the item was sitting should solve the problem. If the smell persists, cleaning the rest of the fridge may be necessary. To leave the fridge lemony-fresh, cut a lemon in half and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

5.      Smelly Drains

Standing water and small food scraps can leave your drains with an unpleasant smell. Luckily, drains are fairly easy to clean. Pour a cup of baking soda into the drain, then add two cups of vinegar. Let the mixture bubble for 5-10 minutes, then flush with boiling water until clear. For persistent smells, leave the baking soda and vinegar in the drain overnight.

6.      Mold and Mildew

You can often smell mold before you can see it, so if you notice a musty odor, it’s best to act quickly. Mold is almost always caused by a leak or excessive moisture. First, locate and fix the source of the leak and allow the area to dry completely. Then scrub any visible mold off of hard surfaces and allow to dry before covering the area back up. Absorbent materials, such as carpet, ceiling tiles and wood, should be removed entirely and replaced to ensure the problem doesn’t spread.

These tips will help you get rid of bad smells around the house. Try them out and let us know how it goes!

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