“Peeyew!” “What is that smell?” “Oh, yuck!”
Do you hear these comments every time someone walks in your door? Could it be that you have a severe odor problem in your home? Well, have no fear. Here are several tricks to help you sweeten the smell of your house.
DON’T JUST MASK IT
There are a number of products and sprays available that claim to eliminate household odors, but the truth is most of them simply mask the smells. Truth also is that a lot of those products contain potentially dangerous ingredients, especially if used over and over again. However, there are a number of items you probably have in your refrigerator or pantry that can efficiently and safely eliminate odors.
A number of products on the market boast an orange or citrus scent, so why not go right to the source. Grab a lemon, orange or lime and cut it into quarters. Then place one piece into your garbage disposal, turn on the hot water and grind away. (Save the other pieces in a closed baggie in the refrigerator for another day) You can also eat or use the inside for a recipe and just grind the peel. Any way you look at it, those ground up fruits will keep your kitchen smelling delicious. This is especially helpful if you’ve put something with a pungent smell in the disposal recently.
If you have a wooden cutting board or countertop that smells, consider pouring some lemon or lime juice on a wet rag and wiping the board or counter with the rag. Leave it there for a few minutes and then wipe the counter again with a clean, wet rag to keep the surface from getting sticky.
IDEA: BAKING SODA
Everybody knows about placing an opened box of baking soda in the freezer or refrigerator to eliminate odors. Here are a few other uses for baking soda to consider as well:
- Sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of the trash can before placing a bag in.
- Sprinkle a generous portion of baking soda in the disposal before turning it on.
- Place a box of baking soda behind the toilet in the bathroom, behind the diaper pail or in a corner of the crawl space.
- Sprinkle baking soda on your carpets or rugs, leave for a half hour or so and then vacuum up.
IDEA: INFUSE WATER
If you still have odors in the kitchen, consider placing a pot of water on the stove to boil. You can throw in a variety of items depending on your preference-citrus peels, a cup of vinegar or cinnamon and cloves. Once the water is boiling, set the pot to simmer and enjoy the aroma! These items not only eliminate odors but make your house smell great as well.
Ever get a nasty smell from your washing machine? I did and none of the suggestions from the company got rid of the stink. It was vinegar to the rescue.
Fill the tub of the washing machine and add about a cup of vinegar to the water. If you want you can throw in some stinky exercise or gym clothes as well and continue through the wash cycles. The smell should be gone.
IDEA: SWEET SMELLS
Do you like different aromas? Do you have any cooking extracts in your pantry? Soak a cotton ball in an extract and put the cotton ball on a saucer or lid and place it on the kitchen counter, in the bathroom, in the front room and even in your car. The best part is there are many different flavors to choose from including vanilla, coconut, mint, raspberry and chocolate.
With just a few household items your house can smell wonderful in no time at all and those negative comments will turn those of praise.
I like the approach of non-chemical oder removers. The lemon juice on the counter technique is one I am going to try.
i threw mothballs in my attic when storing winter clothes in plastic bags. the aroma has pulled thru the a/c duct work and my entire house smells of moth balls. how can i get rid of the smell?
Great question, Carolyn! You’re definitely on the road to a smart selling process, as you’re looking into these important issues now!
We did a little research for you and have found the following articles online, all detailing ways to get rid of that horrible mothball smell. Let us know what works for you!
1. Online forum at thriftyfun.com.
2. Some suggestions at Yahoo! Canada forum.
3. “Removing Odors” from HGTV.
I recently had a sewer back up under my home. The previous owners had that problem as well. Now i have the icky smell trapped in some cupboards and under the vanity in the bathroom. Any way of eliminating these odors without replacing vanity?
The vinegar option might be your best bet in this case. You’ll want to clean throughout the house with the vinegar wash, and allow it to dry near a fan.
Also, try pouring some down the pipes and around the drains. It should be able to rid the smell. Good luck!