Household smells can be hard to live with, and it is not always clear what is the best method for different types of cleaning jobs. These six do-it-yourself odor busters will help you eliminate your most common household stinks in no time.
Vinegar is a great cleaning agent for more than just removing smells. It is antibacterial and a mold killer, which makes it a great alternative to using harsh chemicals like bleach. As for tackling smells, simmering a pan of white vinegar on the stove for a few minutes is a great way to dissipate kitchen odors like burnt cooking smells. Also, it can be used to remove the musty smell from drawers or cupboards. Simply place a slice of white bread in a bowl and pour vinegar over it. Leave it inside the drawer and close it for 24 hours. By the way, while we are on the subject of white bread – and given that we do not endorse gluten – perhaps this can be a new (occasional) use for your white bread (or you could use a slice of gluten-free bread).
Baking soda is one of those amazingly versatile components that can be a useful cleaning agent by itself or mixed with other things. Baking soda is great for removing smells inside the refrigerator, in clothing, carpets, furniture and more. For example, to clean a stinky sink drain combine this powerhouse with vinegar to bubble out the smell and the gunk. Be sure to rinse thoroughly when you’re done. To tackle carpet and furniture smells use a mix of baking soda and oil of lemon. Break up any clumps and then sprinkle wherever it’s needed. Let it sit for an hour or more, and then vacuum it up.
As mentioned above, lemon is great for fighting smells when used along with baking soda or by itself. For large areas, try cutting a lemon into slices and boiling it in a pot of water on the stove. The smell should drift from the kitchen throughout the main floor of the home. Afterwards, you remove the lemon pieces and pour the water into a spray bottle, and spray it like a mist in other areas that need freshening up. You can dispose of the lemon slices by grinding them up in the disposal to freshen it at the same time.
A couple scoops of dried coffee grounds can be placed in a shallow container and set in the fridge or a cupboard to remove odors. You can remove cigarette smoke smells from bags and purses by putting coffee grounds into a small sock or knee high stocking and leaving it inside the closed up bag for a few days.
You may be surprised to learn that tea leaves are great for removing foot odors. In the case of smelly shoes, simply stash a few tea leave into old socks and slip them into the shoes for a couple days. To battle offending foot odors directly, brew a pot of tea and let your feet soak in it (once it is not too hot).
Using craft wood, wood shavings, or wooden blocks, you can make your own scented wood for a sweet smelling home. This is an excellent way to combat odors like bathroom smells and make an attractive room accent at the same time. The process is quite simple. Begin by choosing an essential oil with one of your favorite scents, such as lavender, citrus, or evergreen. Mix a few drops with another oil that spreads well like coconut or jojoba oil. Then either use a brush and paint it onto the wood or place it into an airtight container and shake it to coat. Then set it out in a decorative cup or dish and let it work its magic.
-The Alternative Daily