10 Ways to Clean and Remove Odors
It doesn’t matter if it is trash, pet smells, or simply the smell of mildew. Odors can wreak havoc on one’s nose and they are simply nerve wracking!
Commercial deodorizers can help, but the truth is, where there's stink, there's something unpleasant that you need to clean up. Clean the troublesome area first, otherwise you are wasting your time because you'll only be masking the odor, rather than remove it.
So, before you get frustrated or hire an expensive odor removal professional, let's take control of those odors before they take control of you.
1. Removing General Odors
Use your nose to determine where the pungent smell is coming from. Once you find the item that is causing the odor, clean it with warm water and use an antibacterial cleaner or detergent like Dawn dish soap.
Once the area is completely clean, open the windows to let the clean air in and follow up with an odor-neutralizing spray like Fresh Wave or put 1/2 cup of vinegar in a bowl and leave it in the affected area for a fresh scent.
Follow up with a a nice homey smell like oranges and cinnamon by taking two tablespoons of cinnamon and some orange peels and simmer gently in 4 cups of water so that the scent permeates throughout your house.
2. Removing Smoke Odors
Smoke can be tough to get rid of depending on the buildup and frequency of exposure.
There's a lot to be said about opening the window a bit to let the air circulate. For general freshening place small bowls of pine-sol or baking soda in the smelly area to absorb the odor.
If the buildup is heavy, a heavy duty cleaning and wall washing will be required to stop the odor once and for all.
3. Removing Pet Odors
Again, you’ll need to follow your nose or target the area with a black light. Body fluids, certain vitamins, detergent and some other cleaning chemicals contain phosphorus. Black lights emit an ultraviolet light that makes phosphorus glow (fluoresce).
Turn out the lights and close the curtains to block out as much overhead light as possible. Shine the black light over the carpet and biological material will come to light, highlighting the cat or dog urine.
Once you find the stain, you should blot out the area with a white paper towel and then saturate the area completely with an enzymatic cleaner. When the area is completely dry sprinkle baking soda or some other type of carpet powder on the area and let it sit for 30 minutes, vacuuming it up to remove all lingering odor.
4. Removing Carpet Odors
To remove odors from carpet, take a box of baking soda and spread it all over the floor. Leave it there overnight and then vacuum the floor the next day. You’ll then have a clean smelling carpet.
When something is cleaned with baking soda, you won't find any residue or scent, like pine or citrus. It's just clean and deodorized by an effective and safe product. It's my first line of treatment.
For really tough odors, you may have to steam the floor first and then use the above mentioned baking soda treatment.
5. Removing Refrigerator Odors
For odors in your refrigerator, the first thing that you have to do is remove all items from your refrigerator and clean out all offensive items.
Check the expiration dates and discard all expired or smelly items. Then clean all trays and the entire inside of the fridge with a mixture of bleach and water or baking soda and water. Once you’re finished, rinse all areas completely with clean warm water and then let it air out.
Reload the refrigerator and leave an open box of baking soda in your clean refrigerator. By doing this, you’ll ensure that your refrigerator stays fresh-smelling.
6. Deodorizing a Stinky Sink
For really terrible sink smells, first get a green scrubby and scrub the sides and especially the drain area which is often neglected and builds up quickly. Run the hot water and spray the sides and drain thoroughly.
For stubborn smells, you can pour a 50/50 mix of bleach and hot water down the drain and let it sit for 5 minutes or more before running additional clean hot water down the sink. Bleach will actually liquefy mold and mildew that's built up in the pipes. If you notice a sewer smell emanating from the sink itself, you can pour some commercial cleaner.
If this doesn’t work, there is a more serious problem than simple grime and a professional plumber can help diagnose the problem.
7. Deodorizing the Garbage Disposal
For smelly garbage disposals, clean the rubber stopper and outside the drain thoroughly and then run hot water and soap down the drain for a few minutes. Sprinkle about 1 cup of baking soda in the disposal and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Follow up by pouring about 2 cups of vinegar in the sink and letting it drain into the disposal. Use your sponge or scrubby to wipe all of the sides of the sink and the outside of the drain with any extra baking soda or vinegar that's left in the sink for extra deodorizing power.
My favorite trick for heavy duty cleaning is to run cold water, turn on the garbage disposal and dump in a tray of ice cubes. The ice cubes are just right for dislodging stuck of bits of debris without damaging the disposal blades.
I follow this up with grinding up a few cut lemon or lime halves for a fresh clean scent.
8. Cleaning Stinky Sponges
To remove odors from sponges, you can run them through the washing machine, or soak them in one gallon of water and 2/3 cup of household bleach. Not only will this get rid of the odorous smell but it will also get rid of germs.
9. Removing Kitchen Odors
To remove pungent cooking odors that come from cooking cabbage, cauliflower, etc., add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the cooking water.
Add lemon juice or vinegar to your dishwasher and run it while empty for a really good deodorizing.
For a smelly cutting board, clean it with an antibacterial soap and then rinse it with hot water.
10. Removing Toilet Odors
If you want to eliminate toilet bowl odors, you should clean up the area thoroughly with a commercial cleaning product and then add a commercial toilet cleaning freshener. Remember to clean around the sides of the bowl thoroughly.
You will find that the smell won’t leave and the toilet bowl moves from side to side, the wax ring might have eroded and needs to be replaced. This can be done a professional plumber.
You can safely remove all types of household odors, including sponge, cooking, pet and general odors by simply following these tips. By doing so, you’ll not only save yourself a ton of grief but you’ll be the envy of all your friends and will soon develop the reputation of having the best smelling house in the group!
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