How to Reduce Odors in Your Home
Have you ever come home after a long day out, only to be confronted by a repulsive stink? It can be a day-ruiner - what would guests think?! It happens to the best of us, and luckily we’ve had some practice combating bad odors. Keep reading for tips on how to keep your home smelling less funky and more fresh.
The first thing you want to do is ensure the smell isn’t a sign of something more serious. Fishy or burning rubber smells can indicate electrical malfunctions, which can lead to electrical fires. Sulfur or rotten egg smells may be a sign of a gas leak. Musty smells are often indicators of mold. For more tips on identifying dangerous smells, and how to manage them, check out this article.
Once you’ve determined that the smell is not a danger, take a look at some of the other common sources of smells: the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, carpets, and pets. While a little potpourri can go a long way, eliminating odors at their source is always the best way to go. Some sources may not be so obvious - here are a few sources you may not think to check:
No amount of sudsing and scrubbing will help if the tool you’re using stinks! Make sure you’re replacing sponges at least once a month. If your sponge starts to smell before the one month mark, toss it in the dishwasher and run a sanitize cycle to extend its life. Hang or lay out towels to dry after each use to prevent mildew, and wash them at least once a week. If they’re already smelling mildewy, wash with a cup of white vinegar to remove the smell.
The kitchen can be a major source of smells, good and bad. Keep the focus on the good smells - mmm, bacon! - by cleaning regularly to eliminate the bad. Clear the fridge of spoiled food, take the trash out regularly, and wipe down surfaces after cooking, every time. Run the garbage disposal after every round of dishes, and toss in a lemon rind for a little extra oomph! Don’t forget to check the dishwasher. If it’s starting to smell funky, clean the filter with hot water and soap, place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack and run it on the hottest setting.
Where there’s water residue, there is a chance for mold. Clean the toilet weekly, keeping it odor free by pouring ½ cup of bleach and letting it sit for 30 minutes - but don’t forget to flush before using! While letting the bleach sit, wipe down counters, sinks, and shower walls to keep residue at bay. Once a month, pour a mixture of ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup baking soda down all drains to neutralize odors and reduce clogging.
Obviously, a hamper filled with sweaty clothes is going to have an odor. Less obviously, moisture can trap odor in laundry rooms. To keep your washing machine free of mold and mildew, leave the door open between uses. When the door is closed, the humid and airtight environment is a great environment for mold, so let it dry. If it still starts to stink, use the self-cleaning cycle. Don’t have one? Pour in a cup of - you guessed it! - white vinegar and run a full cycle.
Carpets are a magnet for dander, dust, dirt, mold, and pet hair. Frequent vacuuming is essential in removing and preventing odors. Don’t forget to clean your vacuum! Replace the bag or empty the canister regularly. You may want to rinse the canister with soap and water to keep dirt from collecting. If your vacuum has an air filter, be sure to check the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines.
We’re sure your pooch is adorable, but their odors? Not so much. Ideally, you should bathe your pet every week or two, but they’d probably appreciate it if you kept to the once a month minimum. Regular brushing and nail clipping can also help, especially if your pet spends time outside. Dirt and other unpleasant things loved to get trapped in fur and under nails. Finally, don’t forget to keep fresh litter in the litter box, and clean it thoroughly at least once a month.
Does this all seem like common sense, “just clean your house” advice? Well, yes. But not everyone has a knack for homemaking, and busy lifestyles can cause things to slip through the cracks. There is one thing you can cross of your reminder list permanently - sign up for a convenient air filter subscription! Have your filters delivered on your schedule, and you only need to remember to change them when they’re delivered. Because one last thing...
Change your air filter regularly!
Air filters are traps for all kinds of dust, mold and dander particles that would otherwise contribute to unpleasant odors in your home. Keep it working efficiently by replacing it every 90 days, at least (more often if you have pets). This can also contribute to the quality of air in your home, and reduce your energy costs by keeping air flowing efficiently. With our convenient subscription service, changing your filter doesn’t have to be a chore.