Sure, your home looks clean… But how does it smell? That’s a tough question considering we’re all noseblind to our own home’s scent.
Instead of being self-conscious about your home’s scent, check out these 7 cleaning hacks for a clean-smelling home. It’s time to eliminate that stink only your guests can smell.
Don’t Just Cover It Up
Before we jump into our 7 cleaning hacks for a clean-smelling house, it is important to recognize that getting rid of odors is different from masking odors. Many people mistakenly try to cover up bad smells in their homes rather than identifying the cause.
Who hasn’t used a Yankee Candle or bottle of Febreze when unexpected company arrives? While these tricks work for a little while, they don’t last. Instead, you want to eliminate odors rather than simply masking them for a time.
1. Clean Your Garbage Disposal
Is there a ripe odor in your kitchen that doesn’t appear to come from the refrigerator or garbage can? When’s the last time you cleaned your garbage disposal?
Garbage disposals are notorious for being out-of-sight, out-of-mind appliances that lead to stinky smells. Bits of food can get stuck in the blades of your garbage disposal, which will lead to bacteria growth and lingering smells. Avoid this smelly situation by cleaning your garbage disposal every week.
The good news is there are a few budget-friendly DIY cleaning hacks for garbage disposals:
- Toss some citrus peels (lemon, lime, or orange) into your garbage disposal whether it smells or not. As they grind up in the disposal, they will give your kitchen a lovely, citrusy scent.
- If your garbage disposal has a foul odor, use a baking soda and vinegar mixture to get rid of it. Sprinkle about half a cup of baking soda into the garbage disposal and add a cup of distilled vinegar. Let it sit and foam in the disposal for several minutes and then pour boiling water down the drain.
- If your garbage disposal blades have food debris stuck to them, place some ice and rock salt into the disposal. As it grinds, the ice and salt will work together to remove the debris from the blades.
- Another solution is Plink, a commercially available product that works similar to citrus peels: Drop one into your garbage disposal to clean and deodorize it. Plink will also help remove fatty deposits.
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2. Clean Your Garbage Cans
Have you ever taken out the trash and been disappointed to discover some lingering smell? It’s probably something in the garbage can and not just the garbage. Accidents happen, bags bust, things spill, and crumbs make their way into the bottom of the garbage can. That’s why it is important to clean your garbage can on a regular basis.
Here’s how to clean out a garbage can to get rid of those invasive odors and keep it smelling clean:
- Start by cleaning the outside of the garbage can with warm soapy water.
- Next, clean the entire inside of the garbage can with warm soapy water. You can also use a bleach-water solution (1 tablespoon of bleach per 3 cups/24 ounces of water; it works great in a spray bottle)..
- After washing, dry the inside of the trash can thoroughly. Do not place a new trash bag inside until the garbage can is completely dry.
- Avoid future garbage can odors by sprinkling some baking soda inside your garbage can on the bottom after it is clean and dry.
- Keep your garbage can clean by always using a trash bag and wiping away any spills as soon as they occur. It is also a good idea not to throw away runny food or liquids. Also, double bag spoiled or moldy foods.
Pro Tip: If the garbage can in your kitchen does not have a lid, do yourself a favor and get a trash can with a lid. It does not eliminate odors, but it will help contain and minimize them until trash day.
3. Use Incense
Do you ever wish your home smells as fresh and clean as a spa? It’s easy to recreate this feeling using quality incense. Incense are made from natural herbs and are used primarily for removing negative energy and creating a pleasant aromas. The scents of incense are pleasant and can be used to simply make your house smell good, which will make you feel good.
Check out our favorite brand of incense to keep your home feeling positive and fresh: Satya Incense
4. Air Out the House While Cleaning
Uh-oh, did someone cook fish? A quick and easy way to get rid of fishy smells (and many other man-made house smells) is to open the windows.
Real Simple explains, “Opening a window makes your entire space feel cleaner and helps lift the mood in your home. If possible, open windows on multiple sides of your home to get a cross breeze” [source].
Plus, experts suggest opening your windows at least once a day to air out your house.
5. Hang Wet Towels Right Away
Does your home smell musty? It’s time to take a good hard look at your towel situation. Kids and teens — and even some adults, tend to toss their wet towels on the floor. This is likely the source of the stink.
According to The Spruce, “When a towel gets a sour, musty smell, it is a sign that a bacteria colony is breeding and growing. Most often, a bunched up, damp towel in a warm room is all it takes for a colony to start” [source].
Luckily, there’s a simple fix to this problem: All you need to do is hang up your wet towels right away. If it’s your family members leaving damp towels around and causing those musty odors, then just invest in an over-the-door towel rack with multiple hooks. Each family member will have their own hook for their towel and can hang it as soon as they finish drying off.
6. Use Carpet Freshener
Carpets are sponges for bad smells. They basically absorb every foul smell that comes through your home. That’s why it is critical to vacuum regularly. Unfortunately, even if you vacuum often, you still may have some lingering carpet odors, such as cigarette smoke and pet smells. In order to say goodbye to smells coming from your carpets, you need to use a carpet freshener.
Pro Tip: Before you vacuum, sprinkle Glade Carpet and Room Freshener evenly over the carpet. Then, vacuum the carpet to enjoy a fresh-smelling space. Glade Carpet Freshener comes in a variety of scents, as well as odor eliminators specifically for pet and smoke odors.
7. Use a Diaper Genie
Nothing makes you plug your nose faster than a baby’s dirty diaper. So why would you allow them to pile up in your garbage can? Instead, invest in a Diaper Genie.
Diaper Genie was invented to solve the problem of homes smelling like dirty diapers. Not only does the pail itself contain built-in odor controlling antimicrobial, but it also contains a carbon filter for even more odor control. Plus, you can also purchase Playtex Diaper Genie Max Fresh refill bags with a clean laundry scent.
Want more life hacks? Check these out…
- Break These 7 Bad Money Habits This Year
- 7 Ways to Make Your Home Look Expensive (on the cheap)
- 10+ Laundry Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner
Need help saving money? Read these next…
- These are the Habits Keeping Your Poor
- The 7 Money Lessons You Wish You Learned Growing Up
- These are the 5 Things Even Frugal People Don’t Buy (So, You Probably Shouldn’t, Either)
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Michelle Salater is a freelance finance writer with a passion for personal finance education. When she’s not in front of her computer, she’s reading biographies and exploring remote areas of the world. She also freelances for Wooster Media Group LLC.