Home isn’t just a place, it’s a feeling. It’s your zone to relax, wind down, and enjoy the positive vibes. However, all of that serenity can fly right out the window with something as minor as an unpleasant smell. It ruins the ambiance of a home in seconds, and there’s no way you should put up with that.
Bad smells can occur for many different reasons around the house, most of which aren’t in your control. For instance, a house that’s subject to mould, dampness, or mildew can give off a musty smell. Moreover, old furniture and rotting wood can also produce an off-putting odour. Possibly the most common reason is having a pet at home. Even when your furry friend is well-behaved and potty trained, just their existence can sometimes leave a not-so-pleasant, lingering scent on your furniture.
Some other causes of smells at home can be cooking spicy foods, cigarette smoke, or bathroom smells—which can all be dealt with quite easily by using the right tools. Along with long-term odours, there are many short-term smells you may need to get rid of fast, especially if you’re about to host a party, or expecting visitors.
Bad smells don’t just hang around in the air, they can find their way into your carpets, making it even more difficult to get rid of them. A build-up of dust and dirt will also make the situation worse if you don’t regularly clean your carpets.
Luckily, there are plenty of home remedies you can use to quickly get rid of a bad odour around the house. There’s no need to spend extra cash on buying special products when you can produce an equally effective cleaning agent at home, using nothing but the ingredients you already have lying around!
Let’s look at 13 ways to eradicate lingering odours from the carpet and around the house.
1. Remove the source
No matter how hard you try to get rid of an odour with air fresheners, if the source isn’t addressed, the bad smell will come right back.
If mildew, bad drains, or mould are the cause of the stink, then scented candles will only be a temporary fix. No matter how nasty it is, you need to find out and remove the source of it all as quickly as possible.
2. Add lime or lemon to your bins
A smelly waste bin can also easily bring about an annoying odour to the kitchen. You may think you can’t do much about it, as the kitchen will always have smelly waste to put away, but that’s not true.
The bad smell of kitchen bins can be masked by using citrus fruits like lemon or lime.
Simply cut up a lime, lemon, or even an orange into chunks and throw the pieces into your bin. The citrus can get rid of (or at least reduce) most odours. If you still don’t feel a difference, follow it up with a water-vinegar mixture to help cover the smell up.
3. Use a baking soda carpet cleaner
Baking soda is just what you’re looking for when it comes to getting rid of the nasty smell accumulated into your carpet over the years. It can be due to pet urine, drink spills, smoke, dust, and all other sorts of gunk.
Not only is baking soda an essential element in dessert recipes, it’s also an effective cleaning agent that can absorb moisture. Experts suggest that it can also ‘trap’ unpleasant odours when used properly.
To give it a go, all you need to do is sprinkle a generous amount of it over a smelly carpet and make sure it gets into its fibers. Leave it to work overnight, then vacuum it well the next morning to suck all the soda up. Hopefully, you’d be left with an odourless and clean carpet!
4. Use baking soda in your fridge
Since baking soda has miraculous potential in being used as a cleaning agent, there’s no reason why you should limit it to carpet cleaning. You can also use it to make sure no annoying smells linger in an old refrigerator. Simply open up a box of baking soda and leave it on one of the fridge’s shelves. It’ll passively work to suck up all the unpleasant scents in there.
Luckily, baking soda doesn’t go bad as easily, so you can set it and forget it! You’ll need to change it once every year. But keep it away from veggies, as sodium bicarbonate can cause them to wilt quicker.
5. Let vinegar overpower other cooking smells
Vinegar is also an ingredient that’s usually found lying around in every home’s kitchen. If you’re a fan of cooking Indian food or frying up other spicy recipes, you’ll have smells ingrained into the environment of your kitchen; from all your worktops to every single cabinet.
To ward off those scents, wash the surfaces and appliances in your kitchen with soap and warm water, and wipe them down thoroughly. For immediate relief, a cup of vinegar can work wonders. Simply boil the vinegar for just about 5 minutes and let the vapours release into your kitchen’s atmosphere. It cuts all sorts of smells, but it does have a smell of its own—so be prepared to deal with a short-term pungent vinegar scent.
6. Use vinegar as a carpet deodorizer
Vinegar can also be used to deodorize carpets, just like baking soda. If you’re not a fan of the acidic smell that comes with it, don’t worry – as soon as the vinegar dries off, it becomes odourless.
To absorb unpleasant smells, white vinegar works best. Pour some into a spray bottle and spray it around evenly across the carpet’s surface. Wait until it completely dries off, then sniff to see if that got rid of the carpet’s bad smell. If not, repeat the procedure once or twice more.
7. Wash your windows and walls
Cigarette stench is also an annoying cause of lingering odours around the house, and if that’s what you’re dealing with, prepare yourself for some hard work. The scent of nicotine can remain ingrained in your furniture, carpets, and walls for long periods, even after you quit smoking. That odour can sometimes cause people to relapse as well, which makes it even more important to get rid of.
Firstly, try your luck with washing your home’s windows, furniture, and walls well. If that doesn’t do the trick, painting over walls with a high-quality primer and sealant can also block odour. Consider disposing of and replacing any smelly furniture that can’t be cleaned. As far as the upholstery and curtains around the house are concerned, get them dry-cleaned to make sure the air remains clean and fresh.
8. Try out a vodka carpet soak
While cleaning is one of the last things that come to mind when you think of vodka, it can be a pretty effective option to clean off bad odours from your carpets. Vodka also fights and kills bacteria, thanks to its strong stain-removing properties.
If you’re working against stubborn smells like pet odours, using vodka could help you out. Add some into a spray bottle and spray it over the smelly area. It’ll take about 10 to 15 minutes to cut away the smell, and then you can use paper towels to absorb the excess moisture. Lastly, wait for it to fully dry and vacuum the carpet. Hopefully, the stain and smell should both be gone—just like that!
9. Use apple cider vinegar in your drains
Bathrooms can face smelly drain issues all the time, as most of us will be very familiar with. While there are lots of products you can buy from the store to deal with this problem, you probably have one of the best natural de-clogger sitting right at home—apple cider vinegar.
Just like white vinegar, apple cider vinegar is also incredibly useful in cleaning away dirt and odours, or declogging drainage. The mixture of vinegar and baking soda results in a bubbling effect that’s great for addressing slight clogs in the bathroom drain.
To deal with a clogged drain using apple cider vinegar, start by sprinkling some baking soda down the drain and wash it down with some water. Add the vinegar and avoid using the bathroom to let the formula work overnight. Do this as part of your weekly cleaning routine for your bathrooms and you’ll never have to face smelly drainage issues going forward.
- Neutralizes odors from pets, mildew, mold, urine, sewer gas, cleaning solvents, latex and oil paint fumes, formaldehyde, ammonia and even human decay
- Does not need to directly come in contact with any odor sources to eliminate them
- Non-toxic and non-flammable; safe to use around your family, your pets and your children
- 2 Pack of 14 ounce Bad Air Sponge
- Revive - Works like a sponge to capture & destroy unwanted odor, moisture & other harmful pollutants
- Productive - Activated charcoal absorbs, neutralizes & adheres offensive odors to the surface of charcoal
- Convenient - Effortlessly freshen your home for up to 60 days to deliver a refreshing, clean smell
- Effective - Eliminate unwanted smoke, cooking, urine, paint, mold & auto odors in a 300 square foot area
- Fresh Wave Gel is an odor absorber & neutralizer for your kitchen, bathroom, or any other room. It eliminates odors from cooking, trash, and more.
- Our odor eliminator gel works great as a pet odor eliminator, getting rid of smells from dogs & cats, and as a bathroom odor absorber.
- Place the odor absorber where the odor is strongest to remove it. Fresh Wave even works on cigarette smoke smells.
- Fresh Wave Gels have earned a Safer Choice label from the EPA! They're non-toxic, non-GMO, and non-hazardous, and safe for people, pets, and the planet. No harsh chemicals, synthetic perfumes, alcohol, or phthalates. Manufactured in Rising Sun, Indiana.
- CUSTOMIZE YOUR SOLUTION: R86 is a single product that eliminates a range of industrial odors and gives you a choice of application methods which ensures you have a quick solution when and where you really need it. Ships in a 2-pack, made in the USA.
- INGREDIENTS: 98.75% Sodium Chloride (salt), 1.25% Pure Fragrant Plant Oils.
- WET OR DRY APPLICATIONS: You’ll find specific applications and mixing ratios on the label and on the instruction card. Sprinkle R86 in its dry form or mix the quantity you need in water for a spray or washing. Works on all hard or soft surfaces, fabrics, indoors or out.
- HOW IT WORKS: The fragrant scent from the Pure Plant Oils naturally breaks apart odor molecules. As a result, odor is completely eliminated. Initially, the fragrance of R86 will be strong but disappears along with the malodor.
10. Rinse your dishwasher with vinegar
Smelly dishwashers can often be the root cause of kitchen stench. Over time, the tiny bits of food that are left on your dirty dishes can build up in the dishwasher's filter, which leads to bacteria growth, ultimately causing it to smell bad. If you don’t regularly clean out your dishwasher filter, that’s probably why you’re dealing with this problem.
To get rid of the smell, start by removing all the gunk and food particles from the machine’s bottom. Next, remove the dishwasher’s filter and pour two cups of white winger into it, directly inside the drum. Run the appliance through a cycle of hot water, and pause it about 20 minutes in to let the vinegar break down any leftover residue. Resume the cycle and let it complete.
11. Deodorize your smelly shoes
If there’s a distinct type of stink in the air that usually comes from dirty socks or feet, especially around the shoe rack area, sweaty shoes are the suspects to look out for.
Once you find the smelly shoe pairs, instead of throwing them away, try a home remedy to eliminate their odour. You can do this with some baking soda, a coffee filter, and a rubber band.
Put several tablespoons of baking soda into a coffee filter and add some essential oil drops in there for a refreshing scent. Close the filter tight with a rubber band on top to secure it shut.
Store one of these arrangements in each of your smelly shoes and let it absorb the smell and moisture overnight, By the next morning, you’ll be surprised to see how well it has worked.
12. Buy a couple of air-purifying plants
Indoor plants can be your best friends when you’re looking to find natural ways to detoxify the air in your home. After all, what’s more natural than a plant?
While improving the air quality inside your house, you can also improve its aesthetics by picking pretty-looking houseplants that work a tad bit harder to clean the air you breathe.
There are several good examples of air-purifying plants that can detox your place from dust, airborne toxins, and germs. For instance, the English Ivy is particularly effective at reducing faecal particles in the air, making it the best purifier plant for your bathroom.
13. Fill your home with scented candles
Once you’ve done your best to get rid of all the bad odours that had lingered in your home for months, it’s time to introduce some good scents to improve the ambiance. We’re talking, of course, about scented candles.
You can never go wrong with lighting up a few scented candles to instantly lift the home’s vibe. While they aren’t effective at addressing the source of bad smells, they can still temporarily mask them with a refreshing scent of your choice. If you’ve got guests coming or simply need a short-term solution to quickly cover things up for a bit, scented candles are your best bet.
Candle manufacturers offer you plenty of choices, allowing you to customize your home’s scent according to your preference. Lavender, fresh linen, and vanilla are all great examples of scents that bring a refreshing vibe without being too overpowering.
On the other hand, scents like coffee, blueberry, berry cinnamon, or salted caramel are much stronger—so if you’re trying to cover up a particularly pungent odour, they’re the ones to go with.
Remember though, some people may be sensitive or allergic to certain types of scents, so make sure you account for that while choosing a scented candle for your home. You can purchase scented candles here.
In conclusion, the best (and only) way to permanently deal with a bad smell is to find and deal with its source. In some cases, this might mean the need to replace or throw away items that can’t be cleaned.
Moving forward, you can also focus on taking preventive measures to make sure such odours don’t build up in the first place. This includes following a strict cleaning schedule, declogging drains regularly, and constantly looking out for leakages or mould build-up around the house.
Following the advice in this article, you’ll hopefully not only be able to deal with lingering odours, but also promote fresh and pure air through scented candles and air-purifying plants. All the best!