Banishing bad odors isn’t as easy as dusting toe kicks. Certain scents are hard to remove – the more so when you’re so used to them that you become “nose blind” and don’t even notice anymore. Bad odors are bad news – especially if you’re trying to sell your home. So for starters, you may have to ask people you trust to tell you honestly whether they’re picking up a whiff of anything weird. Don’t panic when you got a big “YES” because we have some tips and techniques for you to banish these common smells from your home.
The odor of cat urine is so obnoxious and persistent that people have actually sued former homeowners for not disclosing it. You might have hidden the odor during showings, but it will reemerge once the new owners move in.
Don’t you worry. Luckily, there are sprays with enzymes that break down odor molecules to remove the stench. The trick is to soak the spot with the enzyme spray, letting it seep down into carpet pads and floors.
If that doesn’t work for you, you may have to pitch the rug or replace a section of flooring, but not necessarily the whole thing. Cats and dogs are creatures of habit when it comes to doing their business, so replacing just that area may do the trick.
Best thing to do about this is to open the windows and set the range hood fan on high while you’re cooking fish or other pungent items, then clean pans and utensils immediately. Any odors left after dinner? Set a shallow bowl filled with white vinegar or coffee grounds on the counter to absorb smells overnight.
Another tip: Close bedroom and closet doors before cooking fish so clothes and linens don’t absorb the smell.
A cut onion can neutralize paint smells that can otherwise make your house reek for days. Make sure you peel a large onion and slice it in half before painting. Place each half on a dish and position them in opposite ends of the room. If you think the onions have absorbed the paint fumes, you can wrap and toss it out. Don’t worry, the smell of the onion won’t linger for more than an hour, tops.
Putting out the garbage doesn’t mean the odor goes out with it. Those cans hold traces of trash. Better wash out the can before putting it back inside. After that, you can make an odor-eating sachet: place some coffee grounds, a couple of tablespoons of baking soda, and a few cloves in the center of a coffee filter. Close the sachet with a rubber band or twist tie, then place in the bottom of the can, beneath a clean trash bag.
Whatever’s in the kitchen sink
The foul odor near your sink might be coming from the drain and garbage disposal, where rotting meat or produce can become stuck and create a major stink. Here’s a tip on how to deodorize the grinder: Place two or three slices of lemon or orange in the disposal, turn on the water, and flick on the switch. Other choices to deodorize include ice combined with rock salt, white vinegar, or the good ol’ mouthwash.
Your home might have a mold problem when it smells musty. Only professional can wipe this out safely, but you can prevent having one. The trick is to control your home’s humidity so that mold spores don’t have a chance to multiply.
Better keep your home’s indoor humidity to a range of 30% to 60%, this is to discourage mold and mildew. For this, you can purchase a hygrometer, which reads the moisture level in the air. It will just cost you about $10. Once it reaches a mold-friendly level, you can try the following techniques to dry indoor air.
- Turn on bathroom fans during and after showers to remove the moisture. Better keep the shower door open to dry out the stall.
- Open the windows, if your bathroom has them. This is to create cross-ventilation and increase air circulation.
- Buy a dehumidifier to remove air moisture. To make it easier for you to empty buckets of water each day, stretch a hose from the machine to a drain.
- Fix plumbing leaks to prevent standing puddles.
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