Have you ever walked into someone’s home (or maybe even your own!) and noticed that it just smells kind of weird? You can’t put a name to it, but it’s just…off.
Every home has a particular smell, odor, or aroma and chances are you’ve become so used to your own that you don’t even smell it anymore. If a house smells dirty, musty or just kind of stuffy, there are a few culprits that can be causing the stink.
Bad Smelling Carpets
Carpets act like sponges and absorb everything that settles on them. From spilled food and the oily fumes from that fried dish you made, to pet hair, dead skin cells and the stuff people track in on their shoes, everything adds to the odor. This smell can be made worse if you have smokers in your home or have dealt with a water leak.
You might argue that you vacuum regularly, but did you know that a vacuum only gets up about 80% of the stuff in your carpet? This means there is still plenty of stuff in there that can cause an odor.
The easiest (and cheapest) way to deodorize your carpeting is to use baking soda. Sprinkle it generously all over your carpet and leave it sit for at least 30 minutes (the longer you wait the more time the baking soda will have to deodorize).
To make sure your getting odors out of the entire carpet, use a straw broom or brush to work the baking soda down into the nap of the carpet. If you don’t want to use baking soda, you can purchase a carpet deodorizer with a fragrance you enjoy.
Once the timer goes off, go back and vacuum up the baking soda. Don’t be discouraged if you have to go back and vacuum a couple of times to get all the baking soda up (and the baking soda also cleans your vacuum).
If the carpet is really smelly, you may want to rent or purchase a steam cleaner. Just keep in mind that steam cleaned carpets can take a day or two to dry.
Furniture and Window Treatments
Dining room chairs. Your sofas and armchairs. How often do you think to care for your furniture? Probably not too often, but these can also harbor the same things that a carpet does and contribute to the bad smell in your home. But there is a fix!
Combine a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and water into a spray bottle and mist it over all of your upholstered furniture, your drapes and curtains and any other fabric items that may be lying around that don’t or can’t go through the wash.
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer that is safe for fabrics (but always test a small, inconspicuous area first, before you do the whole thing, as a precaution!). As the smell of vinegar dissipates, so will the smells locked in your furniture and window treatments.
If you want to leave a pleasant scent behind, spray again with a mixture containing 2 cups baking soda (yes, this works on furniture as well!), 2 cups of your favorite-smelling fabric softener, and 4 cups of warm water. It’s a lot cheaper than store-bought fabric fresheners and smells just as good!
Of course, you could always just call in professionals like GreenPro to take care of your residential odor care so that you can spend all that found time relaxing or having fun or commercial odor care so that your customers, partners and employees can breathe easy and you can focus on your work.
Bad Smelling Bathrooms
It seems obvious, but your toilet can also be contributing to the smell. And we don’t mean the business you did there!
Bacteria can grow under the rim where you can’t see it and the tank can get a little scummy. To get rid of this odor, simply pour a cup of vinegar into the toilet, let it sit for five minutes (though the longer the better!), scrub it and flush. You can also put vinegar in a spray bottle to get those hard-to-reach places and follow the same process.
Or, of course, you can call GreenPro for residential or commercial odor removal and we’ll take care of the source of the bad smell for you. Odor removal can also be a component of another service such as residential disinfection, commercial disinfection or residential or commercial general cleaning services. Be sure to ask GreenPro or your alternative professional cleaning service which services include odor removal.
Bad Smelling Kitchens
While that dish smells good while you make and eat it, lingering odors can leave a weird smell behind. Especially if it’s a spicy or oily dish. But you can place a bowl of white vinegar on your stovetop to absorb smells while you’re cooking.
To clean the inside of your oven, wait until you’re done using the oven and it’s cooled off a bit. Put some vinegar in a warm oven and allow it to sit. This will kill any lingering or trapped smells and make your oven easy to clean.
If you spill something from a pot or pan while you’re cooking but can’t clean it up right then, just pour a little salt on it to prevent the smell from being released into the air. Opening a window while you cook/after you cook can also help keep smells to a minimum.
And don’t forget to take out the trash! If you’ve been chopping strong smelling foods or trimming meat, you don’t want to leave that sitting in your home. Take out the trash right after dinner to prevent a less-than-desirable smell from permeating your home.
Walls and Windows
Cigarette smoke can drift through a home and leave a residue behind.
If you still smell a smoky odor that hasn’t gone away after dealing with your carpets and upholstery, it’s likely that the bad smell remains as a residue on the ceiling, walls and windows. Don’t believe us? If your smoker drives in the car, look through their windshield in direct sunlight and you can actually see the residue from their smoke.
To get rid of the residue, dilute an all-purpose cleaner in a bucket and wash your walls. We recommend going left to right, top to bottom, just to make sure you don’t miss any spots. Windows can be cleaned using a mix of 2 cups water, ¼ cup white vinegar and ½ teaspoon dish detergent in a spray bottle and a scrub brush or cloth.
Call in Professional Help
If you just can’t get of the odor or simply don’t have time to do it yourself, you can always outsource the job to a professional cleaning company. If you’re in the New York City area, contact GreenPro. We have experience cleaning even the stinkiest homes, apartments and offices and can take care of yours as well. Give us a call or reach out online to learn more about our services and rates and never fear what a guest will smell when they walk into your place!