Pastrami, Pets and Perfume: How to get rid of household odors

Get Rid of Odors

Nobody likes household odors but they’re a fact of life. Animal, food and musty smells can settle into your rooms and refuse to leave. Air fresheners usually only mask odors for a little while. Rather than lighting a ton of scented candles, use a few household staples such as baking soda, distilled white vinegar, coffee grounds, vanilla extract and lemons to get rid of odors once and for all. Here are natural remedies for six of the stinkiest things in your home.

Your trash can smells bad

Eventually, trash will make your trash cans stink. To freshen them, wash them with warm soapy water, rinse clean, and dry. Then to prevent future odors, try one of these solutions: Dust the bottom of the garbage can with scented cat litter or throw a few citrus peels in before you insert your garbage bag. You can also dust the bottom of your garbage can with baking soda or unused coffee grounds — either will neutralize odors. Beware metal trash cans; you don’t want the baking soda to corrode the can’s bottom, so instead of sprinkling the baking soda over the bottom of the can, make a sachet by placing about a half-cup of baking soda in a paper coffee filter, close it up with a rubber band or twist tie, then place in the bottom of the can. Replace it every month.

Your sink or garbage disposal smells like rotten things

To clean your disposal, drop a cut-up lemon, a few tablespoons of salt and several ice cubes into your disposal. Turn on the disposal and run it until the lemon and ice are pulverized. The lemon deodorizes and the ice and salt clean away scummy residue.

Burnt microwave smell

Uh-oh! You zapped those leftovers for a lot longer than you should have. Now everything smells like burnt food. We have the fix for you and to use vinegar. Wipe down the entire microwave with vinegar. Then fill up a microwave-safe bowl with equal parts water and vinegar, about 2 inches high. Heat for 90 seconds and let sit in the microwave to steam.

Old Carpet

Whether your carpet is old and stinky or something spilled on it baking soda to help get rid of that unwanted odor. Sprinkle baking soda all over the carpet, and in areas where the smell is strong, brush the area with a broom to get into the fibers. Let sit overnight, and then vacuum up the next day. Repeat if needed.

Smelly bathroom toilet roll hack

One of the easiest ways to add a refreshing fragrance to your bathroom is by using essential oils.  Add a few drops to the inside of your toilet roll tube and they will fight against unpleasant odors and leave your bathroom smelling fresher.

Vanilla extract for freezers

Soak a cotton ball in vanilla extract, then wipe it around the inside of your freezer. Boom! The scent of fresh ice cream instantly replaces the smell of freezer burn and sadness.

Musty or Moldy Smell 

A smell like mildew or mold is a common ailment of HVAC systems. When the AC is running there is a lot of condensation within the unit. If moisture doesn’t drain properly, it can escape into the ducts and cause mold. Finding where the mold buildup is and getting it cleaned up will solve the problem. An HVAC technician has the knowledge to handle the problem and ensure that it doesn’t recur.


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