DIY Home Garden


Bad Smell in the House? Follow Your Nose

bad smellsKeeping the home clean, fresh and smelling nice is an ongoing process. Despite your best efforts, a bad smell or two will still crop up in the house from time to time. This can be a little stressful and embarrassing, and certainly isn’t what any of us want to be greeted with when we get home after a long day!

Thankfully, many odors can be easily resolved. Here are some areas to check, and what you should do once you find the source.

Rid Your Home of Any Bad Smell

1 – Carpets and rugs

Carpets and rugs might feel soft and cozy underfoot, but they’re not always the most practical floor covering. They fray, they fade in the sun and they can harbor all kinds of stains and smells. In the case of some smells such as pet urine, once the carpet has fully dried it will appear that the odor has disappeared.

However, any form of moisture in the air will re-activate this meaning on certain days it can come back or smell worse than others. If your carpets are old and you know they’ve experienced pet accidents and water damage then your best bet is to replace them completely- be sure to pull up the underlay too and treat any subfloors.

Wooden boards, for example, can soak up liquids and will need to be properly treated before the new flooring goes down. If your carpets are still in good condition but you’re concerned about them harboring stains or smells then have them professionally cleaned. A company using chem-dry techniques are your best bet. That is because this treatment does not use water. Therefore, you don’t run the risk of the carpets becoming oversaturated which can lead to them ending up more smelly than when you started!


2 – Shoe closets

Most of us have a closets at home where we hang up coats, bags, umbrellas and kick off shoes. If you’re noticing a bad smell when you walk through the door, check out this cupboard. Stinky old shoes, especially many pairs of them in one area, can soon make your hallway whiffy. Consider washing any that are washable, or replacing the soles. Products like odor-eating inservs can be effective, or you could toss any that are way past their best!

baking soda uses
The secret to stopping odor of stinky sneakers.

3 – Rotten food

Rotten or out of date food in the kitchen will soon have the home stinking to high heavens, so if you’ve got an unpleasant whiff then do some checks. See if anything in the fridge is out of date, empty the bin and rinse it out before putting in a new bin liner.

Clean your oven and microwave, and check that nothing has fallen behind the oven or bin. Giving the kitchen a really good deep clean will help you to find the problem and put it right. Stale food smells from cooking can be diminished by opening windows, using an air purifier or the extractor hood on your oven. 


4 – Smoking

Smoke from tobacco really lingers, it’s why many landlords won’t allow tenants to smoke in their properties at all. It gets ingrained into soft furnishings, even onto wallpaper and in carpets and can be really difficult to get rid of. If you’re a nonsmoker and have ever been given an item from a smokers house, you’ll recognize it right away. After all, smoke clings to and lingers on whatever the item is.

Make it a rule that no one smokes in the house, not even out of a window. Politely ask guests to stand in the garden, it might seem extreme but it’s your health and your home! Smoking can cause discoloration too and it’s generally not a good idea to have it in a confined space. 


5 – Musty air

Sometimes a bad smell in the home is just an accumulation of people, pets, cooking and everything else. The best way to alleviate this is to regularly open your windows and air things out if you push them all wide open for twenty minutes a day while you’re having a tidying round you’ll let in the fresh air and prevent condensation too. Indoor air is actually incredibly bad for health, and so it’s important that this is something you’re regularly doing- even on cold days!

Bottom Line Dealing with a Bad Smell in the House

A bad smell now and again is, unfortunately, inevitable. Don’t delay finding the source and dealing with it head on. That’s the only way to remove the odor.

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