Are you tired of that uncomfortable, embarrassing feeling that sneaks up on you when you’re expecting visitors? It’s not that your house is a mess, but it is all about that funky odor you can’t seem to shake. If you feel like your house stinks, use these tips to make your home smell fresh and clean.
- Don’t Cover Up the Smells, You Need to Neutralize Odors
Masking odors with air fresheners won’t do you any good if the source of the smell remains. To get a truly fresh, clean home, neutralize odors with things like activated charcoal or baking soda. Open a box of baking soda or fill a sachet with charcoal to put in areas with strong odors.
White vinegar is another method for eliminating odors. Typically, mixing a solution of equal parts vinegar and water to apply to a smelly situation will do the trick.
- Prevent Odor in Obvious Places
Some spots in your house are prone to stink more than others. Things like trash cans, diaper pails, pet beds, litter boxes, garbage disposals, and laundry hampers are notorious odor sources. Stop the smells before they can start growing by placing odor absorbers inside of these places.
Clean your garbage cans monthly, empty and clean out litter boxes weekly, and wash your pet’s belongings every couple of weeks. If things aren’t machine-washable, spot clean and use baking soda to freshen them. Turn on your garbage disposal and put in a few bits of lemon peels to clean it and tackle smells.
- Create a Regular Cleaning Routine
It’s essential to implement a regular cleaning routine to keep your home smelling fresh. Regularly empty out your fridge and freezer, wipe down shelves, toss expired food, and clean spills immediately. Eliminate expired food from your pantry.
Put a small bit of Pine-Sol or similar product in the bottom of the toilet brush holder in the bathroom. Remove the toilet seat so you can clean all the hidden areas every two weeks. Vacuum regularly and don’t let dirty dishes pile up in the sink.
Make these things a habit, writing down a checklist to keep you on task. Don’t overlook places where grime or crumbs collect and hide, like appliance gaskets, sink drains, and under furniture. A light cleaning every one to two weeks, a deeper monthly clean, and a mega-deep clean twice a year are good places to start.
- Don’t Forget to Clean Soft Surfaces
As part of your cleaning routine, don’t forget about soft surfaces. Fabrics tend to hold onto bad smells, and if you miss certain spills, these areas attract bacteria that cause odor.
Therefore, it’s important to clean things like upholstered furniture, curtains, bedding, and similar items. Clean spills and stains as soon as they occur, allowing them to dry completely.
Anything machine-washable, like rugs, curtains, pillows, cushion covers, etc., should get a wash at least one to two times a year. (More if they endure any spills or heavy traffic).
Wash your bedding weekly or bi-weekly. If you have things that can’t go in the washing machine, consider steam cleaning once a year on top of regular spot cleaning and vacuuming.
- Get Rid of Moisture
Failing to eliminate moisture can lead to mildew, mold, and the smells that go with them. Make sure you have proper ventilation throughout your home, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.
Anytime you clean items, allow them to dry thoroughly, especially soft surfaces, like rugs, sheets, and towels. After a bath or shower, hang mats over the shower rod to dry them adequately on both sides and avoid trapping moisture underneath.
- Open the Windows
Occasionally open windows or doors, ideally on opposite ends of your home, to allow cross ventilation to air out your house. Fresh air does wonders to get rid of odors and give your home a fresh, clean feeling.
If you’re doing anything with harsh chemicals, painting, or similar tasks, open up the house as much as possible. Doing this lets the odors escape and keeps the air healthier for you.
- Enjoy Plants and Flowers in Your House
Place a few fresh flowers and plants in your home to help purify the air and add a subtle pleasant scent. Of course, if you don’t have a green thumb, this might not be the tip for you.
But real greenery instantly makes your home look and feel fresher. Some to try are lavender, roses, rosemary, mint, snake plants, and parlor palms.
- Use Subtle Fragrances in Your Home
After you get rid of odors at their source, add some good smells to your home. But keep scents subtle, because even things that smell good can be off-putting when they’re too intense or you use too much.
Simmer herbs in a pot on the stove, use a diffuser with essential oils, or try refreshers like Febreeze. Find fragrances that work well for you and your home, aren’t overpowering, and give your home that fresh, clean feel you want.