Smell Defense

May 2nd, 2019

From the kitchen to the bathrooms, there are many areas of the home where odors and strong smells can form. Although many people use candles and sprays to mask the smells, they can return if they’re not completely eradicated. When it comes to having proper smell defense in your home, there are a few approaches to take depending on the type of odor which is present.

Pet Odors

One of the most common types of odors to develop in homes are from pets, which can leave the space feeling dirty. There are many ways to combat the odors and prevent them from developing without having to keep your four-legged friends outside.

Pet odors are most commonly caused by dogs that need to be groomed due to their oils that transfer to the carpet, furniture, and other surfaces in the building. Make it a point to get your pet professionally groomed every one to three months, depending on the breed. Dogs should be brushed daily to remove excess hair that sheds, which can also cause smells to develop.

Keeping your pets off of furniture items is also necessary, which can cause their oils and odor to permeate the upholstery. Instead, provide them with a dog bed where they can relax and lounge. If you insist on cuddling with your pooch or feline on the couch, opt for using a form-fitting pet throw that can be laundered each week and will protect your couches or chairs from damage.

Sprinkling baking soda around the house will also absorb the odors, which is a safer alternative to using cleaning solutions that contain harmful chemicals.

Kitchen Sinks

The kitchen sink is known as a common area of the home where germs and bacteria can thrive. Strong odors can develop due to the amount of food that is washed off of dirty dishes or contents that are washed down the garbage disposal. Consider pouring boiling water down the sink to remove mild drain smells. Baking soda and vinegar can also be used down the drain, along with a bit of salt for extra abrasion, to remove the build-up of gunk.

Essential oils will also prove to be effective, with only a few drops needing to be used following a baking soda cleanse. Add half a cup of baking soda, with a few drops of essential oil, and allow it to sit for at least one hour before rinsing it off with hot water. The freshest essential oil scents to use are eucalyptus, mint, and tea tree.

Other Drains

Bathtub drains are also known to have odors that form over time due to the scum that can form. The drain is often a breeding ground for mildew because of the dark and moist setting. You’ll need a cleaning solution that deodorizes and also removes any gunk that is present on the walls of the pipes to keep the odors away. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that is safe and effective when it comes to banishing unpleasant smells. Sprinkle ½ cup of baking soda into the drain with ½ cup of vinegar. The vinegar is necessary because it’s a natural disinfectant that breaks up any mildew that is present. Allow the mixture to work its magic for at least an hour before rinsing it with boiling water. The cleaning process should be repeated each month to prevent the odor from returning.

Basement Odors

Basements are known to smell musky in a damp setting where odors can thrive due to mildew, which is often present. Deodorizers and air fresheners work temporarily but only mask the smell. If you want to eradicate the odors permanently, you’ll need to begin by removing or repairing the problem that is causing the smells to form. It’s also necessary to thoroughly clean the area to reduce the smell and prevent it from returning in the future.

Some of the most common causes of odor are due to inadequate cleaning, moisture, poor air circulation, low light and temperature, and the growth of mold and mildew. Begin by removing clutter and thoroughly cleaning the basement with vinegar and bleach. Remove porous materials that absorb moisture, like carpet or clothing garments. You’ll also need to install new vents or fans to improve the air circulation. Opening windows will also allow fresh air to enter the space to prevent mold spores from spreading to other damp areas.

Repairing all leaks is also necessary, especially if the foundation or beams in the building have had contact with moisture. Not only will the leaks contribute to the growth of mold and mildew, but it will also affect the structural integrity of the building.

Bath Towels

Towels are one of the most commonly used items in the home but are also known to be a common area where smells and odors form. Towels can smell like mildew when they’re not aired out properly after bathing, which can cause mold and germs to quickly form and can be unsanitary to use when drying off. Make it a point to hang the towel on a rack after each use to ensure it dries thoroughly. If your family has a habit of leaving towels on floors or the countertop, use a specific color of towel for each person to ensure you know who is responsible for not hanging it up every time.

Towels also need to be dried immediately after they’re washed to prevent mildew from forming. If you still have an issue with unusual smells, add vinegar and baking soda with the laundry detergent to combat lingering odors. Use hot water in each cycle to kill any germs or bacteria. Line-drying the towels in the backyard is also an option to make them smell fresh before placing them in the dryer with a few tennis balls to fluff them up again.