How to Get Rid of Bad Smells in a Home

Whether you’ve just moved into a new home, or you’re noticing an unwelcome smell has developed since you’ve arrived, there are some steps you can take to make your nose feel more comfortable.

Identify the Source

Bad smells come in all varieties and need to be treated differently to ensure they stay away. Save yourself time and frustration by taking a moment to identify the smell before you begin home remedies in earnest.


Remedies to Common Household Smells

  • Pet SmellsWhether caused by pet dander or pet urine, a smelly pet can quickly translate to a smelly home. Ensure your pet is cleaned regularly and, if necessary, keep your pet off specific furniture or carpeting, or cover those areas with washable items. For any carpeting already affected by pet dander smells, try using a carpet freshener or baking soda mixture and vacuum off the residue. For pet urine, use an enzymatic spray and carpet cleaner. You may need to call in a professional or replace the carpeting if the stains are too prominent.
  • Strong Food OdorsSpices and strong food odors can linger long after the meal is gone. For rancid food or refuse smells, clean and remove the residue from any affected areas. For strong spices or curry smells, if the home is new and the previous owners cooked with spices often, some soft surfaces may need to be replaced or professionally cleaned. The walls may need to be repainted for the smell to be permanently reduced.
  • Smoke SmellsA robust approach is needed for smoke smells in a home. Soft items including blinds, HVAC filters and even smoke detectors will need to be replaced. Professional cleaning is advisable due to the risk of thirdhand smoke, and odor-removing paint and primer may be required.

Bad Smell Prevention

To prevent lingering odors, keep regular deep cleaning on your to-do list. Odor removal is easier the sooner bad smells are addressed. When cooking with spices, be sure to use the kitchen fan to keep air circulating, ensure dishes are properly and promptly cleaned, and keep an eye on pets and children to ensure that urine or other odor-causing stains do not go unnoticed.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2021. All rights reserved.

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