The dog’s been in the house all week while you were on vacation, the kids had a sleepover and didn’t bathe or change clothes for three days, or maybe your teenager spent way too much time in the bathroom.
Whatever the reason, now there’s a bad smell that just won’t go away. The good news is you don’t have to live with it — or spend a lot of money to fix it. Here are some tips on how to get stinky and stubborn odors out of the home.
- The first step in removing odors is to eliminate the source. If you don’t, you’ll be spraying air fresheners and lighting candles indefinitely.
- For general odors, try a mixture of two parts water to one part white vinegar. Wipe down walls and floors with this solution, then mop floors as usual.
- If the problem is related to mildew or mold, use a solution of equal parts water and bleach (do not mix bleach with any other cleaners). Spray this mixture on problem areas and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before rinsing with clean water.
- Pet odor: Whether it’s cat urine or dog poop, pet accidents are no fun for anyone involved. The key to removing these smells — and preventing them from happening in the first place — is getting on them as soon as they happen. Case in point: If you have an “indoor” dog and he has an accident while you’re running errands, take care of the issue before you leave. When you get home, grab some baking soda (or buy carpet cleaner with baking soda) and sprinkle it liberally over the area where Fido had his mishap. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes then vacuum it up. This should help absorb some of the odor. For dried-in accidents, clean up as much of the mess as possible then use a mixture of vinegar, water, and soap to tackle the issue.