Your home is your palace, and you are its king or queen. As a responsible king or queen, it is your job to keep those foul-smelling things outside, or you will have to deal with something that smells even worse: your wife or husband's wrath.
Dealing with a foul smell in your home can be a tricky job when you have no idea what's causing it or how to get rid of it. That is why we have written this blog—to help all the messy citizens get a sanitized place to live. We won't judge if your place smells so bad that you want to move out; in fact, if you use the right amount of baking soda, vinegar, and other fantastic natural agents, you will want to move in again! Before you invite any guests over, let's dive right into it (I mean, the blog, not vinegar).
What is an odor, and how is it formed?
Okay, let's not dive right into it yet. Before knowing how to get rid of foul smells, we need to understand what causes these malicious smells that make you want to close your nose with a clothespin. A variety of factors affect the overall cleanliness and odor of your household, like the decomposition of organic matter, chemical reactions, bacterial actions, mold and mildew, smoke from tobacco and other burning materials, leakage, or an improper sewer system. But it is the release of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), a chemical released from all the above factors, that can be detected by humans when it turns into vapor at room temperature.
Throughout this blog, we are going to be educating how to deal with these harmful VOCs effectively. Although, we don't have advice for any repercussions from your spouse while you're at it.
How to Eliminate Bad Odor?
You can dive now. A popular rookie mistake while removing odor from your home is purchasing a ton of room sprays and air fresheners, although they smell amazing. All they do is mask the bad smell temporarily while the smell-causing agents are still producing VOCs. Here is a step-by-step guide to eliminate all foul odor from your home:
1) Identify the Sources of the Bad Smell:
This is pretty self-explanatory. Find out where the smell is coming from and approach with the cleansing process accordingly. Because obviously, if the smell is coming from your Garbage bin, there is no real point in cleaning your laundry to fix it, even though dirty laundry stinks as much. Clean both!
Another thing before you start is to make sure all your cleaning equipment is clean by itself to avoid accidentally making the smelly spots worse. Replace your cleaning sponge every month to avoid cleaning your dishes with uninvited bacteria.
Make sure to lay out your wet towels after use. Damp towels can start to stink after a while as they absorb odor too, not only moisture. This is due to the development of mildew in the towels. In this case, you must immediately throw them in the washing machine with either one cup of vinegar or one cup of baking soda. Washing detergent will not be necessary. Wash your towels once in a week to prevent mildew from growing so you won't have to do the vinegar or baking soda treatment again.
Lastly, we think this is very obvious but we will say it anyway. THROW YOUR GARBAGE OUT! A crucial step to prevent odor is to ensure you have a good garbage disposal system. Be nice to your garbage collector too, without them, your house would stink like a Rat's den.
2) Odor Eliminators:
There are more things to help get rid of bad smells in your kitchen cabinet than in a supermarket. Some of the most effective odor removers are coffee grounds, tea, vinegar, oats, activated charcoal, and baking soda. Leave an open container of any of these odor absorbers in a room that needs some freshening.
People usually underestimate the power of baking soda in cleaning. Unlike air fresheners that mask the odor, baking soda absorbs and neutralizes it. It is like a hitman for foul smells; they get the job done quietly.
Baking soda has a lot of applications in terms of removing bad odors. It is the most reputed agent to get rid of carpet odor, and mattress odor and even removes pet-related odor completely when left overnight. An alternative method is to fill a spray bottle with one cup of vinegar, one cup of water, and two tablespoons of baking soda to spray at smelly spots around your house.
Another great odor absorber is activated charcoal. It is commonly used in water purifiers to filter out all the toxic substances to provide clean drinking water. It is also used in air purifiers and facewashes for the same properties. A bag of activated charcoal placed in your fridge can effectively get rid of the pungent smell it usually has.
3) Pet Hygiene:
Your pets have no sense of cleanliness except their own. So, they are prone to causing an odor in your home if their hygiene is not taken care of by the owner. We recommend bathing your pet at least once a month, or if they cooperate, bathe them every one or two weeks. If you have a cat, it is time you put on some safety gear before you proceed.
Maintain the litter box regularly. It has to be an everyday activity to scoop out the poop and dispose of them to prevent any smell. It has to be a monthly activity to clean the litter box thoroughly with soap and water to ensure that all the odor has dissipated.
4) Do Your Laundry. Please.
We don't want to sound like your mother. But if you are reading this blog, you may have a mountain of laundry contributing to most of the stench in your room. The pile of dirty clothes is heaven for bacteria and all kinds of unwanted smells since the moisture collected from these clothes is a great breeding ground for microorganisms.
A humid and airtight environment is ideal for mold or mildew to grow. So, keep the insides of your washing machine clean and open. Most modern washing machines come with a self-cleaning function that would help, but it is always good to use some baking soda, vinegar, or bleach. Just remember to never mix bleach with vinegar, as it would produce harmful fumes of chlorine gas that you should never breathe.
Your laundry also includes your shoes, a major contributor to the odor in your home. Do your feet a favor and wash all your shoes and socks, as they absorb all the sweat from your feet for months or even years in some embarrassing cases. It is never too late, though. Use some baking soda or newspapers to get rid of the smell from your shoes, and any sneakers could go directly into the washing machine. Use a spot-cleaning method to clean any shoes that are leather or suede instead of tossing them into the washing machine.
If the odor has nowhere to go, it is going to want to stay with you for longer than you intended. Just like that one relative, you know who we are talking about. This is why a proper ventilation system is required in places where most garbage gets accumulated. Open all the windows and switch on the fan if necessary for all the odor to dissipate naturally. Ventilation must be a mandate for places such as the kitchen and bathroom.
6) Leverage the Power of Citrus:
Citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges can help making your living space smell like a king's courtroom. Your house is a palace anyway, right? Use citrus peels and slices of lemon or orange to boil with water in a low flame for a few hours to release the natural air freshener in them. You could also add essential oil of your choice to add any flavor to the mix. This DIY trick can help improve the smell and the overall air quality in your home.
7) Indoor Plants can do Magic:
Certain indoor plants such as snake plant, spider plants and peace lilies, not only enhance the indoor air quality by filtering out the indoor pollutants but also give out a naturally pleasant aroma. Strategically placing these aromatic ambassadors can create pockets of freshness, transforming your space into a haven of pleasant smells.
Plants like Boston ferns can also moderate the humidity levels in the air and helps get rid of musty odors that accompany dry indoor air. Certain smells can be absorbed and neutralized by plants. The ideal environment for collecting and decomposing airborne pollutants is provided by the porous surfaces of leaves and stems. Rubber plants and bamboo palms work very well at absorbing odors.
Let's face it - It's a fact that aesthetically pleasing spaces are more enjoyable. Not only do indoor plants absorb smells, they also improve the overall appearance of your house. Elevate your living area both aesthetically and aromatically by turning it into a green jungle or making a few select plants into a Zen zone.
Congratulations! You're on your way to turning your home into a smell-free sanctuary. Picture this: a house so fresh even your neighbor's jealous roses will start plotting their escape! With the cunning combination of ninja-like cleaning skills, a breeze of ventilation wizardry, and the secret weapons of natural odor-fighting champions, you're about to kick stinky smells out of your life faster than a cat can knock over a potted plant. So, grab your cleaning cape, dance with your feather duster, and let's make your home a place that not only looks clean but smells so good, it might just become the neighborhood fragrance hotspot. Get ready to enjoy a home so inviting that even your socks will start doing the cha-cha out of sheer happiness!