When I was in the fifth grade, we had a neighbor who cleaned her whole house with pine-scented cleaner every single day.Â As soon as you opened the front door, you walked into a cloud of fake pine cleaner fumes. I have a super smeller, and it gave me a headache in under a minute. I hated going over there.
Few things scream don’t stick around!Â more than walking into someone’s house and smelling something heinous â€“ a stinky dog, cat litter, stale cooking grease, musty carpets, chemical cleaners, cigarette smoke, mothballs.
It’s gross, right? I stay as few minutes as possible to seem polite but busy.
Let it be known that I’m not judging here. My dad complains about smelling my cat boxes all the time.
I’m not one for perfume-y sprays (although I will burn a pet-odor eliminating candle if I know people are coming over) or anything else that covers up the otherwise unpleasant odor.
I likeÂ real, air-cleaning, smell-removing tips. I have enough gross floating around in here; I don’t need to add chemicals to the mix.
HereÂ are a few tricks you can use â€“ superÂ simple things â€“ that will instantly improve the aroma in your abode.
7 Tricks for a Fresher Smelling Home
- Sprinkle your carpets with baking soda at night and vacuum first thing in the morning.Â If you have pets, the overnight thing doesn’t work so well, so we let the baking soda sit for as long as possible, aiming for a half hour, then sweep it up. The baking soda absorbs the oils and other odor-inducing goo in the fibers of the carpet, instantly freshening the space.
- Clean with natural, unscented, non-toxic cleaners. My book, Coffee Filters to Cheese Graters: Creative Ways to Use Just About Everything, will launch in June. If you can wait that long, I’ll give you dozens of suggestions for cleaning with common, household substances â€“ vinegar, baking soda, salt, and many more.
- MoveÂ stinky items outside.Â This only makes sense, right? Keep the smelly gym shoes in the garage. Move the cat litter to the basement. Clean the dog more often. Address the odor where it begins to eliminate it permanently.
- Install a Filtrete Odor Reduction Filter.Â The Filtrete Odor Reduction Filter is 25 times more effective than other carbon filters atÂ removing odors from your home, includingÂ those from cooking, tobacco smoke, pets, mildew and cleaningÂ chemicals.
- Open the windows. I’ve seen statistics that showed the air inside your closed-up home is 3-5Â timesÂ dirtier than the air outside. (It’s possible that I’m making that number up, but I remember it being significant.) The point is that getting some fresh air – even if the air is full of pollen – will disperse odors that would otherwise be trapped inside.
- Make natural air fresheners.Â Thoroughly cleanÂ some old, wide-mouthed jars. Fill them half full with baking soda then add a few drops of essential oil until it smells pleasantly fragranced.Â Use a nail to poke a bunch of holes in the lid and set in an inconspicuous spot in the stinky rooms of your home. The baking soda will remove the odor and the essential oils are great for you. (More on essential oils later!)
- ScrutinizeÂ your house. Some odors have permeated your home. Like, they’ve really become one with your drywall, your carpet, your bathroom grout, and so on. If you’ve cleaned everything you can clean, and the smell remains, it may be time for a little home improvement project.
This post is sponsored by Filtrete, for whom I am a brand ambassador during the 2014 year. All opinions and made-up statistics are my own.
© 2014, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.