There is a profound serenity in walking into a clean, good-smelling home. Between the crisp cleanness of fresh laundry, a favorite family meal cooking in the kitchen or an evening by the fireplace, every room of the house can be attached to great scents.
Keeping the whole house smelling great, however, can be an entirely different challenge. Even against your best efforts, bad odors will stubbornly make their way into the home. If you have found yourself fighting either new or persistent odors when cleaning your house, here are some of the best ways to tackle them.
1. OPEN THE WINDOWS
For general odors, one of the best things you can do is let fresh air circulate through the house. Fortunately, the weather in North Texas makes it easy to crack the windows open for a few minutes every couple of days if they aren’t regularly open. Along with helping eliminate natural odors, the burst of fresh air will feel refreshing as you go about your day.
2. EMPTY YOUR TRASH CANS
If you are noticing a new odor, one of the first things you’ll do is check the trash can. Along with removing the bags, clean the can with hot, soapy water to eliminate any trapped debris and smells. Placing fabric softener sheets in the bottom of the can is a good preventative measure to help absorb odors before they reach the rest of the house.
3. CLEAN YOUR DISHWASHER
Even dishwashers with a self-cleaning cycle can fall victim to a buildup of foul odor over time. Running the washer with a cup filled with white vinegar on the top rack will help remove the smells. This will leave a lingering vinegar scent that will dissipate in about an hour, so it may be best to start the wash cycle before leaving for work in the morning.
4. CLEAN THE SPONGES
Between scrubbing pots and pans and giving dishes a quick rinse before the dishwasher, your sponges can absorb a lot of odor-causing grime. You can eliminate the smell with a clean sponge either in the washing machine or on the top rack of the dishwasher. To both eliminate an odor and help kill germs, try soaking sponges in a gallon of water mixed with bleach.
5. USE LEMONS
Many lingering odors are a result of cooking foods such as fish and onions. Eliminate these odors by cutting two lemons in half and boiling them in a small amount of water for several minutes. The steam disperses the lemons’ aroma and helps neutralize the offending smell. When you’re done, run the lemons through your garbage disposal to for a quick refresh.
6. SPORTS EQUIPMENT
Exercise gear, whether yours or the kids, can quickly develop a lingering odor if not properly cared for. Cleats, pads and shin guards are all notorious smell traps, but they can be easily cleaned by soaking in hot water with detergent then scrubbing with a soft-bristled brush. Let the shoes and equipment air dry; the added fresh hair will help!
7. USE STEAM CLEANERS FOR CARPETS
Some odors are tied to messes that are soaked into the carpet or drapes. Pet urine, food and drink spills, or ground in dirt can all create unpleasant odors throughout the house. Attack these smells and stains with a residential steam cleaner – not only will it remove the stains, you’ll have a thoroughly clean surface once again.
8. USE REGULAR HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
Some of the best cleaning products to eliminate a variety of odors in your house are regular items like baking soda, white vinegar and coffee grounds. Fresh coffee grounds left overnight will absorb odors in a room, while baking soda left on fabrics and carpets can eliminate smells once vacuumed up. White vinegar is versatile and works as a disinfectant and an odor eliminator.
It is also important to remember that when it comes to managing odors in your home, prevention goes a long ways. Maintain a regular cleaning schedule, and keep these tips in mind when you face an unexpected odor. We’d love to hear some of your favorite tricks not covered here that have helped you eliminate odors in the home!