It’s no surprise that the human nose can recognise all kinds of scents. With that in mind, it’s hard to escape from bad odours completely – not even in your own home! It’s the smells from your fridge, the sink, the garbage, the bathroom, and lingering cigarette smells that constantly fill your home with bad odours. To fight them, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 smelliest items in your home and given expert advice on how to remove or, even better yet, prevent them.
1. The Kitchen: the never-ending odours
Cleaning the kitchen is an everyday chore. There’s a endless pile of dishes to be cleaned and dirt and dust to be wiped and mopped. Every once in a while we all get a rude awakening by the bad odours that linger in our kitchen, despite the the room appearing to be super sparkly and clean.
Find the root cause of the odour and banish it forever! Take out pots, trays, and other smelly cooking items and air them outside once in a while. For the rest of the kitchen, all you need is these three ingredients, and you can bring the freshness back to your kitchen:
Vinegar as an odour absorber:
The most effective and cheapest cleaning solution, white vinegar, is more than just a cooking ingredient. Create a natural cleaning solution by mixing white vinegar and water in a cup, then use it to wipe down your kitchen worktop. This method will absorb nasty odours fast. To make it even more efficient, boil the vinegar in a saucepan without covering it. Thanks to its neutralising effect, the acidic qualities will soak up odours in your kitchen without replacing the smell with that of vinegar.
Coffee grounds to fight pungent kitchen odours:
We all enjoy the benefits of a good old cup of coffee in the morning. But did you know that coffee also fights the odours in your kitchen? Place used coffee grounds on the countertop in your kitchen (in a cup or bowl) and bad odours will disappear from your kitchen within a few hours. You can use coffee grounds to naturally clean other areas of your home, too. A great green cleaning solution to many of your cleaning problems.
Tip: Give your fridge and garbage a coffee break as well- just remember to replace the coffee grounds regularly.
Baking soda to get rid of smelly trash cans:
Is the smell from your bins bothering you? Not to worry. All you need is some baking soda to solve this stinky situation. Rinse your bin with water and white vinegar before sprinkling some of that magical powder into the bottom of your garbage. Don’t forget to change the powder on a regular basis to avoid the build up of overpowering smells. Baking soda is a real odour neutralizer, thanks to its deodorising power.
2. The fridge: the hygiene trap
Our fridge is one of the dirtiest places in our home. The number of bacteria and smells coming from different foods keeps building up here, making the kitchen smell bad whenever you open the fridge. Following these steps, you can easily get rid of the bad smells interfering with your next snack hunt.
1. First, remove all the items from your fridge and discard any expired food. To prevent odours, make sure to always have a look out for food that’s out of date and trash it. Have a look here for tips on how to keep your fruit and vegetables fresh, and therefore odour-free.
2. Give a good wipe down to your shelves, trays and other removable parts. Wash them under warm water, and sterilise the walls and the base of the fridge. A sponge soaked in vinegar works miracles here. Leave all of the removable parts to dry before placing them back inside the fridge and then you can place back all your fresh groceries back in the fridge.
3. Now it’s time to make your fridge smell fresh again. Place a few drops of vanilla extract into a saucer and put it in your fridge. Bad smells will disappear with a long-lasting effect. Alternatively, you can also put a cup filled with sodium bicarbonate in your fridge for a few days to avoid undesirable smells from returning.
3. Cleaning horror story: the smelly drain situation
Did you know that the humidity makes our sense of smell stronger? Because of this, you often smell that sewer-like odour that causes discomfort to your nose. As damp, dark, and moist places attract mold, one of the smelliest parts in our homes are the drains where our hair, food, and other debris constantly get stuck, leading to unpleasant smells. Here’s how to put an end to this:
Pour some boiling water down the drain, then repeat the same thing with cold water. Rinse with boiling water again. If this doesn’t help, try flushing the drain with hot water and a cup of baking soda. Then pour two cups of hot vinegar and watch the fizziness take effect! Wait for half an hour and rinse the drain with boiling water again. Et voilà: smelly clogging problem solved.
Once you’ve completed the whole flushing method, place some sliced lemon or orange peels in your sink. This not only gives a pleasant smell to the sink, it also helps to remove greasy build-up thanks to the citric acid.
As a last resort, detach the u-bend beneath your sink. Unscrew it and clean it with soap and a flexible bottle brush (in a different sink, of course). Make sure to firmly screw it back into place when you reattach it. To ensure it’s tight enough, run some water through it and test if it’s water tight again.
5. Bad smell in your upholstery: get rid of the funky fabric odours
Did you know that smoking in your flat can decrease the value of your property by up to 30%? Now, this is a good reason to quit smoking, or to combat the lingering cigarette smell at least. Opening the windows frequently is an effective way to do so, but won’t get rid of them completely.
It’s important to regularly wash all the fabrics you have: pillowcases, bed sheets, curtains etc. Add two cups of vinegar into your washing machine together with the fabrics, then dry them in the sun. Caution: take the laundry in once it’s dried as high heat can reactivate the cigarette smell instead of removing it.
After following these tips, your home should be smelling clean and fresh! Do leave a comment below if you have more solutions on how to combat bad odours in your house.