There is nothing more annoying when you come back from work and smell something unpleasant in your house. Even if you spend a lot of time cleaning, there are smelly odors that are so stubborn to get out of your house. Instead of buying expensive odor removal products at the grocery, here are 45 tips that will banish odor!
1) Use a slow-cooker to soak up odors
Instead of covering odors up with sprays or other artificial scents, absorb them so they’re gone forever. All you’ll need is a slow-cooker, baking soda, and water.
- Pour water into your slow-cooker and add 3 tablespoons of baking soda.
- Mix the ingredients together and turn the crockpot to the ‘low’ setting.
- Keep the lid off and let simmer until all odors are absorbed. Just make sure to keep an eye on it so the water doesn’t cook off and burn the baking soda.
- Feel free to add a slice of lemon, a stick of cinnamon, or a couple drops of essential oil.
2) DIY pet odor removal spray
If you have pets, you know how smelly they can be. Whether it was an accident in the house or a wet dog odor, yucky pet smells are never good. Here’s a super easy solution for this common problem.
- Mix two parts water to one part mouthwash in a spray bottle (Crafty Little Bee recommends Listerine since it’s the strongest on the market).
- Spray away!
3) Get rid of musty furniture odors with vinegar and water
Vintage and antique furniture can get a bit of a funky smell at times. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to remedy this problem with a common household ingredient – vinegar!
- Mix one part vinegar to one part water in a bowl. White vinegar is best but apple cider vinegar will work too.
- Use a soft cloth to spread the solution onto the musty furniture pieces and allow to air dry.
- Another option is to spray the solution onto the furniture with a spray bottle.
4) Make your own fabric spray
After months of being sat on, jumped on, and laid on, furniture can gather some not-so-pleasant-odors. Keep your pillows and cushions smelling fresh with a homemade fabric spray.
- Fill a spray bottle with water, a tablespoon of baking soda, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
- Give it a good shake and spray away!
5) Create your own plug-in refill
Lots of people use plug-in air fresheners to keep their homes smelling fresh and clean, but the refills can make a dent in your wallet. Make your own instead!
- Use pliers to remove the wick from your plug-in air freshener. Rinse the bulb if necessary.
- Fill the bulb halfway with your favorite essential oil.
- Fill the rest of the bulb with water, making sure to leave enough room to reinsert the wick.
- Insert the wick, give the bulb a shake, and plug back into the wall.
6) Place homemade air fresheners around your home using Downy Unstopables.
Why not make your home smell good and create an adorable piece of decor? These little DIY air fresheners are great for placing in the bathroom, in your closet, or inside cabinets.
- Supplies needed will be: small mason jar, craft paper or swatch of burlap, needle or toothpick, baking soda, Downy Unstopables in a scent of your preference.
- Cut a square of burlap or paper the size of the mason jar lid and set aside.
- Fill jars about a quarter full with baking soda.
- Add about a quarter capful of Downy Unstopables on top of the baking soda.
- If using craft paper, place the piece of paper inside the outer ring of the mason jar lid. Use a toothpick/need to poke holes in the paper, screw the cap on, voila!
- If using burlap, place the piece of burlap over the jar and screw the outer ring onto the jar.
- The full tutorial with photos is at Redefined Mom.
7) Hang a teabag to absorb odors
Teabags are great for making a nice, hot cup of tea, but they are also wonderful at absorbing odors. Hang a few of your favorite smelling teabags in your closet for a lovely fresh scent.
8) Use activated charcoal
“Activated charcoal is porous which means it is great for absorbing odors and one awesome way of how to get rid of odor in a house. You can purchase activated charcoal in several forms. Try using them near your cat’s litter box or in your kitchen compost container,” says Family Handyman.
9) Freshen up your dishwasher
Sometimes our dishwashers can take on a musty or not-so-pleasant smell after a while. Give your dishwasher an odor-banishing cleaning by emptying it first, then place a dishwasher-safe dish on the top rack, filled with white vinegar. Run through a cycle without any other dishes inside. Voila! No more smells.
10) Get rid of musty dryer smell
Another place in our homes that can take on a musty, yucky smell is our dryers. It’s a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mold to grow. Get rid of this odor by adding 2 cups of bleach to a hot water cycle. Also, be sure to leave the door open between uses.
11) Sewage smells
If you have a basement, you might have noticed a smell coming from the sewer line. To help get rid of those, head over to Family Handyman for a checklist of what to look for and the next steps to solve the issue.
12) Get rid of fridge odors
Over time, all the different foods we store in our refrigerator can take on a funky odor. The best and easiest way to get rid of this smell is to place an open container of baking soda in the back. The sodium bicarbonate will absorb any smells.
13) Garbage disposal smells
The garbage disposal is another part of our homes that see a lot of different foods and scraps pass by. Keep it smelling fresh with the help of a lemon. Just cut a lemon into chunks and run it through the disposal with running water.
14) Banish cigarette odors
If you just moved into a home and it has a lingering odor of smoke, all the air fresheners in the world will not get rid of it. You may have to wash and repaint the walls and if that doesn’t help, you might have to flush your home’s duct system.
15) Keep trash cans odor-free
Of course our trash cans in the kitchen or bathroom are major culprits for unwanted and unpleasant odors. The next time you change out your trash bag, be sure to sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom of the can or bag first, this will help absorb odors.
16) Clear out your microwave
Heating up everything from leftover Indian food to hot chocolate drinks, our microwaves can harbor lots of odors after a while. Eliminate them by microwaving one quart of water with a few slices of lemons for a few minutes. After it has steamed, leave the door open to air it out.
17) Remove odors from cutting boards
“Obviously, sanitizing cutting boards is a no-brainer but even that doesn’t always keep strong onion and garlic smells at bay. To freshen up, stick plastic cutting boards in the dishwasher. For wood cutting boards, scrub them with a lemon half dipped in salt,” says Good Housekeeping.
18) Keep your toilet odor-free
A good rule of thumb is to clean your toilet bowls with toilet bowl cleaner before they start to look dirty. After cleaning, pour in about 1/2 cup of bleach into the water. Let it soak for 10-15 minutes then flush.
19) Freshen up a musty mattress smell
Does your mattress seem to have a smell that’s a little “off”? Help de-funk it by taking off the sheets and sprinkling some baking soda all over the surface. Let it sit for a few hours and then vacuum up!
20) Closet odors
Help eliminate closet odors by always leaving the door open just a crack. It will help keep moisture from building up and causing mold in the closet. To help remove moisture, use a dehumidifier.
21) Use your lightbulbs
Use your lightbulbs to help make your home smell amazing. Rub a little bit of vanilla onto the lightbulb and when it heats up, it will release the amazing scent. Your guests will think you just baked something!
22) Use coffee grounds
Another great way to keep your fridge smelling fresh is to place a bowl of coffee grounds inside. Not only will it help absorb the not-so-good smells, but it smells amazing, which will replace those bad odors with great ones!
23) Boil vinegar
Boil some water and vinegar and let it simmer on the stove for a few minutes. This nifty trick will help eliminate any leftover cooking odors from making a fishy or garlic-y dinner.
24) Remove lunch box smells
Get rid of lingering odors in lunch boxes or even small wastebaskets with this easy trick. Soak a piece of bread in vinegar then place it in the lunchbox, leave it there overnight, then toss away.
25) Remove set-in carpet odors
“Old-timers swear by this method for removing set-in odors and stains from carpets and upholstery. It works especially well on pet urine and skunk smells. You might want to test for color-fastness by soaking a small, inconspicuous area with the solution and leaving it for 24 hours before you treat the area with the stain.
- Put on a pair of rubber or latex gloves.
- Gently mix a quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, a quarter-cup of baking soda, and a teaspoon of liquid soap in a plastic container. Don’t mix far in advance or store in a closed container.
- Pour or spray the solution directly onto affected areas and allow to sit for 24 hours before blotting excess liquid. Allow to air dry,” explains Almanac.
26) Remove skunk odor from pets
Just because your carpets and upholstery don’t smell like skunk anymore, doesn’t mean your dog is in the clear. Give them a scrub with the same mixture from the previous slide and the smell should come right out.
27) Fake the bake
If you want your home to smell like you just baked cookies, without actually having to bake cookies, here’s a fun trick. Just bake a small bowl with cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter for a few house at a low heat. It will smell delicious!
28) Boil citrus peels
Give your home a fresh, bright smell using some orange and lemon peels. Simply simmer them with water at a low heat and let the steam permeate the room. It will smell like a gorgeous summer day!
29) Hide small bowls of white vinegar
Place small bowls of white vinegar around your home for constant odor absorption in every room. Hide them behind planters, dressers, or under the bed or couch. Just replace them once a week or so.
30) Soak cotton balls in vanilla
Soak a couple of cotton balls in vanilla then hide them around your kitchen like behind your coffee maker, in your cupboards, or tucked in drawers. Your kitchen will smell divine.
31) Remove onion or garlic odor from hands
“If you are going out on a date or to an important meeting, you probably don’t want your hands smelling of the onions you chopped an hour ago. Here is a simple remedy: rub your hands vigorously on any stainless-steel utensil – this will reduce the smell considerably,” says Huff Post.
32) Coffee in the trash
Much like the trick with baking soda we mentioned earlier, you can also place fresh coffee beans or fresh grounds at the bottom of the trash can before you replace the bag. The coffee will absorb bad odors and every time you open the lid, it will smell like your morning cup!
33) Add this to your kitty litter
Add a bit of baking soda into your kitty litter. The extra boost will give it more odor absorbancy and will not hurt your feline friend. The litter box will be much less stinky!
34) Absorb sneaker odor
Baking soda is also great when it comes to eliminating stinky smells from tennis shoes. After taking them off, sprinkle in a spoonful of baking soda and let it works its magic. Let it sit overnight then dump out in the morning.
35) Vinegar foot soak
To get rid of odors on your feet, give them a soak in some warm water and either some white vinegar or vodka. It will disinfect your feet and get rid of any unpleasant or embarrassing odors.
36) Vodka air freshener
Spritz this DIY homemade spray to keep your entire home smelling amazing.• 3/4 cup water
• 2 tablespoons vodka
• 10-20 drops of essential oil (lavender, lemon, tea tree, peppermint, vanilla, etc.)
Mix together, and store in a spray bottle for up to a month.
37) Simmer away
Place a pot on your stove with some water and your favorite herbs and spices. Let it simmer on the stove at a low heat and your entire home will smell like the holidays.
38) Deodorize plastic lining in fridge
Deodorize the seals and plastic linings of your refrigerator by running a paper cloth over it that has been soaked in vanilla. Trust us, it won’t turn the plastic brown.
39) Let your furnace help
Add a few drops of essential oil into your furnace and it will help deodorize your home every time you turn on the heat. Just change out the scent every time you change your furnace filter (around every 3 months).
40) Candle warmers
Love candles but don’t like the worry of an open flame? Candle warmers to the rescue! They just heat up a bit of scented wax using a small lightbulb (like a nightlight) inside a ceramic case that plugs into the wall. The scented wax retains its heat longer since you’re only heating it up, not burning it.
41) Keep fresh flowers around
A beautiful way to keep your home smelling fresh all the time is to keep vases of fresh flowers around your home. No artificial scents here! A great place to pick up flowers for a very affordable cost is Trader Joe’s.
42) Keep windows open
“Want a completely free way to make your house smell clean and fresh? Open several windows to help create a cross-draft and force the old air out and let the fresh air in! Fresh air not only moves out the stale air and lingering smells but who doesn’t love the clean scent of fresh air. Obviously, opening doors and windows is not a good option when it’s too hot or too cold, but I never pass up a beautiful day to air out the house,” says Tidy Mom.
43) Keep your car odor-free
Make sure your car stays free of odors too by making your own deodorizer. Just keep it under the seat for constant freshness. Head over to One Good Thing by Jillee for some recipes.
44) Buy air-purifying plants
There are certain plants that are known to increase the air quality of our homes. Make sure you have these plants scattered around your home for optimal freshness. Here’s the full list.
45) Dryer sheets in your dresser
“Tape a new dryer sheet to the back of your dresser to make your underwear drawer smell fresher. You can also tuck some sheets behind curtains or under chairs. Try these other genius uses for dryer sheets,” says Reader’s Digest.
Now there’s no excuse for your home to have even the slightest of odors. All of these tips and hacks will have your home smelling heavenly around the clock.