How to get rid of bad odors in your house? Bad smells, foul odors, and unpleasant smells … yuck. Odor problems lurk everywhere and we want to get rid of them as soon as possible. There are some simple steps to tackle those unwanted scents. I’m sharing the best way to remove odors around your home with some unique odor eliminators.
Let’s start in our kitchen, this is probably the biggest source of poor indoor air quality – smells from cooking, trash cans, garbage disposals, etc. Even after a thorough cleaning, you can be left with unpleasant odors because the problem areas may not be part of your cleaning regimen on a regular basis.
How To Remove Odors Around Your Home
A Quick Fix for Microwave Odor-
To clean and deodorize your microwave, make a solution of water and lemon juice in a microwave save bowl.
Place it in your microwave and run for 5 minutes. Your microwave will have the fresh scent of lemon and will be easy to wipe out from the steam created.
If you like this you might like my other Cleaning Tutorials.
General Kitchen Odors-
A good way to get rid of offensive odors in the kitchen is to use natural remedies. Cut an orange, add cinnamon sticks, and water to a small slow cooker. Plug in and let it simmer all day to fill your kitchen with pleasant smells. Make sure to check the water level occasionally as the water will cook out and you might need to add more.
Dishwasher odor removal –
Before washing your dishes, flip one of the dirty glasses upside down and add a cup of vinegar (I use a cup of white vinegar).
Place it on the top rack. Close and run your dishwasher as usual. Your dishwasher will come out smelling clean and the vinegar also acts as a spot remover.
If you like this you might enjoy some of my other Tips & Hacks!
Smelly Garbage Disposal –
The best option to rid your garbage disposal of that funky smell with citrus or citrus peels. Cut up any citrus fruits of your choice – I’m using an orange from the simmering slow cooker from above – and place in your garbage disposal. Run the water and turn your garbage disposal on. Your garbage disposal will be smelling fresh in no time.
Trash Can Odor –
When putting in a fresh bag, sprinkle a little baking soda to the bottom to eat up those strong odors in your garbage can.
Musty Furniture odor –
Often furniture, drawers or closets can develop a musty smell, especially a piece that is closed. Clean the furniture with a 1:10 ratio of vinegar to the water.
After that dries, for the best result, place an open box of baking soda with the furniture to continue to absorb any lingering odor.
If you like this you might like some of my Organizing Tips & Hacks
Room Freshener to remove odors –
Add a couple of drops of essential oil on a light bulb when it’s off and let it dry completely.
When you turn on the light it will warm the essential oils and freshen the room.
Remove Odors Room Freshening Spray –
So many commercial air fresheners have a strong, unnatural perfume scent. Fill a spray bottle with water and add a little baking vanilla extract to the bottle.
Use the spray in your rooms to give them a fresh vanilla smell.
Odors that offend inside your home:
- mildew smells or musty odor
- kitty litter
- water damage help mold growth which can cause odors
- tobacco smoke and the smell of smoke from the kitchen
- pet odors and pet urine
- body odor
- fecal matter
- food particles and food spills
How To Remove Odors Around Your Home VideoComing soon
Learn more about “Why to Deep Clean and Organize Your Home” to save money, function better, and keep your sanity.
Shop any of these stores and I receive a small commission at no cost to you.
Remove Odors Q&A
What eliminates odor in house?
Ways to keep clean air and odor free:
There are several effective ways to eliminate odors in a house. Here’s a list of methods and products you can use:
- Open Windows and Ventilation: Letting fresh air circulate through your home helps to remove stale odors and improves air quality.
- Baking Soda: Place bowls of baking soda in areas with odors; it absorbs and neutralizes bad smells.
- Activated Charcoal: Like baking soda, activated charcoal absorbs odors and can be placed in a bowl or in small sachets in smelly areas.
- White Vinegar: It’s a natural deodorizer; use it to clean surfaces or mix with water and spray it around the house.
- Lemon or Citrus: Citrus fruits have a fresh scent that can mask bad smells. You can use lemon peels or essential oils.
- Coffee Grounds: Used coffee grounds can neutralize odors, especially in the kitchen.
- Air Purifiers: These devices filter the air and can help remove odors, allergens, and pollutants.
- Essential Oil Diffusers: Use essential oils like lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus to freshen the air.
- Simmering Potpourri: Create a pleasant aroma by simmering herbs, spices, and fruit peels in water on the stove.
- Fabric Fresheners: Spray fabric fresheners on curtains, carpets, and furniture to eliminate odors trapped in textiles.
- Houseplants: Some houseplants, like peace lilies and spider plants, help absorb odors and purify the air.
- Regular Cleaning: Odors can linger in dirty areas, so maintaining a clean house is essential.
- Taking Out Trash Regularly: Empty the trash bins frequently to prevent bad smells from accumulating.
- Cleaning Pet Areas: If you have pets, clean their bedding and litter boxes regularly to reduce pet odors.
- Odor-Absorbing Gel or Beads: These products are designed to trap and neutralize odors in the air.
- Enzyme Cleaners: Use enzyme-based cleaners to eliminate organic odors like pet accidents.
- Natural Deodorizing Sprays: You can create your own deodorizing sprays using essential oils and water.
- Scented Candles: Light scented candles to mask odors with pleasant fragrances.
- Deep Cleaning Carpets and Upholstery: Over time, carpets and upholstery can trap odors; consider deep cleaning them periodically.
- Remove the Source: Identify the source of persistent odors and take measures to eliminate it.
- Buy an air purifier and change your air filter regularly
- Use coffee grounds in your garbage to mask odors
- Find the source of the odor and get rid of it
- Open the windows and let fresh air in
- Use the exhaust fan in the kitchen while cooking, in bathrooms, and the laundry room
- Use baking soda or carpet cleaner to help rid of odors
- Use a good disinfectant spray to fight bacteria and stubborn smells
- Use dryer sheets to get rid of odors
Remember that while these methods can help eliminate odors, it’s essential to maintain good hygiene and cleanliness in your home to prevent odors from returning.
What is the best thing to absorb odors?
One of the best things to absorb odors is activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is a highly porous form of carbon that has undergone a special activation process, creating a large surface area with numerous microscopic pores. These pores have an adsorptive property, which means they attract and trap molecules, including odor-causing ones.
Activated charcoal is widely used as a natural and effective odor absorber because of its ability to trap and neutralize a wide range of odors, such as those from cooking, pets, smoke, mildew, and more. It is a non-toxic and safe option for removing unwanted smells from various spaces.
You can use activated charcoal in the following ways to absorb odors:
- Odor Absorber Bags or Pouches: These are pre-packaged bags or sachets filled with activated charcoal that you can place in areas with odors.
- Activated Charcoal Filters: Use them in air purifiers or HVAC systems to remove odors from the air.
- DIY Solutions: You can make your own odor absorber by placing activated charcoal in an open container or small cloth bag.
Activated charcoal is a powerful and natural solution to tackle persistent odors without using harmful chemicals or strong artificial fragrances.
Can plants remove odors?
Yes, certain plants can help remove odors and improve indoor air quality. Plants have the natural ability to purify the air through a process known as phytoremediation, where they absorb pollutants and toxins from the environment. This includes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other odor-causing molecules.
Here are some plants known for their air-purifying abilities and their potential to remove odors:
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum): Known for its elegant white flowers, the peace lily can help remove ammonia, formaldehyde, benzene, and other common household odors.
- Snake Plant (Sansevieria): Also known as the mother-in-law’s tongue, the snake plant is effective at removing formaldehyde, benzene, and other pollutants, which can contribute to unpleasant odors.
- Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata): This lush green fern is particularly good at removing indoor air pollutants, which can help improve the overall air quality and reduce odors.
- Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): Spider plants are excellent at absorbing formaldehyde and xylene, commonly found in household products and known to produce odors.
- Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller): Aloe vera not only has soothing properties for burns and skin irritation but also helps clear the air of formaldehyde and benzene.
- Lavender (Lavandula): Besides its pleasant fragrance, lavender can help reduce stress and anxiety while also acting as an air freshener.
- Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii): This colorful flowering plant is effective at removing trichloroethylene, a common indoor pollutant that can contribute to odors.
- Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens): Also known as the butterfly palm, it helps remove indoor air toxins and can improve the overall air quality.
Remember that while plants can help improve indoor air quality and reduce certain odors, they may not completely eliminate strong or persistent odors. Proper ventilation, regular cleaning, and using additional methods like activated charcoal or baking soda can be combined with plants to effectively manage odors in your home.
How do I remove odor from plastic containers?
Plastic containers can sometimes develop lingering odors, especially if they have been used to store strong-smelling foods or liquids. Here are some effective methods to remove odors from plastic containers:
- Baking Soda Paste: Make a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. Apply the paste to the inside of the container and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Rinse thoroughly with water and dish soap.
- White Vinegar Solution: Fill the container with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Rinse thoroughly with water and dish soap.
- Coffee Grounds: Fill the container with dry coffee grounds and leave them in for a day or two. The coffee grounds will help absorb and neutralize odors.
- Lemon or Citrus: Cut a lemon in half and rub the inside of the container with the lemon. Alternatively, you can fill the container with a mixture of water and lemon juice and let it sit for a few hours before rinsing.
- Dish Soap and Warm Water: Wash the container with warm, soapy water. Use a scrub brush or sponge to thoroughly clean all surfaces, including the lid.
- Activated Charcoal: Place a small pouch of activated charcoal inside the container and let it sit for a day or two. The charcoal will absorb odors.
- Bleach Solution (For Odor-Resistant Plastics): If the plastic container is odor-resistant and safe for bleach, you can use a solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water. Let it soak for a short period (about 30 minutes), then rinse thoroughly and wash with dish soap.
- Baking Soda and Vinegar: Create a fizzy cleaning solution by adding a tablespoon of baking soda to the container and then pouring in some vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
After using any of these methods, thoroughly rinse the container with water and dish soap to ensure all cleaning agents are removed. Additionally, consider storing your plastic containers with the lids off to allow for better air circulation, which can help prevent odors from returning.
Be cautious with harsh chemicals and bleach, especially with certain types of plastics, as they can cause damage or alter the appearance of the container. Always follow manufacturer guidelines for cleaning and avoid using methods that may not be suitable for specific types of plastic containers.
Check out some of my other similar posts!