Tips To Eliminate Bad Smells in Your Home
Odors, whether good or bad are especially noticeable when you first step into a home. Something no one enjoys is coming home to a house that smells strange. If it’s a lingering smell, it becomes really bothersome.
Some bad smells in the house can be fixed with a thorough cleaning. However, there are some that can pose serious safety and health hazards. Here are odors that can be hazardous:
Eliminate Bad Smells in Your Home - Smell of Rotten Eggs or Sulphur
While you may actually have a case of rotting eggs in the house, it’s important to make sure that it is not a gas leak causing the smell.
If you notice the smell coming from the kitchen or from appliances that use gas, make sure that no burner valve was left open or check if the pilot light was accidentally put out.
However, if you cannot find the exact source of gas smell and you hear the hissing sound of escaping gas, it is best to immediately vacate your home and contact your gas company.
When vacating your home, do not:
Turn off electrical switches or appliances
Change your thermostat
Use automated garage doors
Eliminate Bad Smells in Your Home - Burning or “Fishy” Smell
Electrical wiring emits a burning smell when overheated. Also watch out for fishy smells. When exposed to high temperatures, some electrical components can give off a “fishy” smell.
If you notice any of these smells in your home, check for any sparks in any of your home’s outlets caused by appliances plugged in. If you cannot locate the source, do not risk the safety of your family. Your best option is to leave your house immediately and call 911 for help.
Eliminate Bad Smells in Your Home - Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide does not emit a smell, but it is worth discussing it here for the hazard it poses.
Severe build up of carbon monoxide in the home can cause loss of consciousness and even death. This dangerous gas can be produced by household appliances including gas fires, boilers, central heating systems, water heaters, cookers, and open fires which use gas, oil, coal and wood. Carbon Monoxide forms when fuel does not burn fully.
Here are the symptoms to watch out for:
DIY Ideas for Eliminating Unpleasant Odors
Identify the source and remove it. As mentioned above, this is the most basic step - getting to the source of the problem. You can use air fresheners or your most aromatic scented candles but these will just temporarily mask the odor but not eliminate bad smells.
Once you’ve identified where the odor is coming from, you can take the proper steps to eliminate the bad smells from your home. Here are many common bad smells and their culprit that can be addressed through DIY options:
Pet Smells. If you have cats or dogs, activated charcoal is great for absorbing pet odors. You can place them in or near the litter box to help lessen the smell.
Sprinkle pet bedding with baking soda and allow it to absorb the odor. Then vacuum after a few hours.
Having pet smells without actually owning pets is another matter. In a case like this, you may have rodents in the house. Raccoons, squirrels, or mice leave droppings that are not only smelly but worse, may contain parasites and worms.
If your house smells like something died, chances are there may be a carcass in the attic, chimney, walls or under the house. In cases like this, your best recourse is to call a pest control expert to take care of the problem.
Sewage Smells. This sometimes happens when a bathroom has not been used for a while. This is because the P-trap (a U-shaped pipe) which uses water to keep sewage smells from rising up through the pipes may have dried out.
Running water down the sink or bathroom or flushing the toilet can eliminate the stink. However, if this does not solve the problem, there may be real issues with your plumbing and you may need to call a plumber.
Musty Smells. Musty smells mean that you may have a mildew or mold situation at home. If you notice this particular odor, it may be caused by compounds emitted by mold. Inhaling these compounds can cause a variety of health problems.
Therefore, it is important to not only eliminate bad smells but also to investigate the potential of mold growth in your home as soon as possible.
If you have leaky pipes, have experienced flooding, use a humidifier regularly, or have condensation buildup in your HVAC system or windows, these may be the cause of the musty smell in your home.
Fortunately, you can safely clean most household molds if they cover a small area and are not being caused by a source inaccessible to the eye such as a pipe in the wall, etc.. However, if you suspect a more extensive growth, it is best to let a professional handle your problem.
Eliminate Bad Smells in Your Home - Use Natural Products As Deodorizing Agents
Most air fresheners not only contain harmful chemicals, they are not as effective in your effort to eliminate bad smells from your home as those products found in your pantry. Here are a few at-home concoctions that we found to be recommended:
Warmed vinegar and water can remove stains in the walls that cause lingering odors
Make an effective odor eliminator spray by combining vodka (the cheap kind, of course) and some essential oil in a spray bottle. This can be used to lift odors from rooms in your home. Vodka absorbs smells and evaporates quickly while leaving the scent of essential oils behind.
Baking soda is a must have in your pantry. You can use it to freshen your carpets or pet beds (as mentioned above) and even mattresses that have become musty. Sprinkle it on the affected area, allow it to sit for a few hours, and vacuum off to eliminate bad smells.
You can also open a box of baking soda and place it in your fridge to absorb odors.
If your garbage disposal or sink or drain smells funky, try pouring a cup of baking soda followed by 2 cups of vinegar down the drain. Allow the mixture to bubble for approximately 5 minutes, then flush down with a good amount of hot water.
Eliminate strong cooking odors (curry, fried fish and other unpleasant cooking smells) with vinegar. Boil a cup of vinegar over the stove. The vapor produced will cut other smells but will leave your kitchen smelling like vinegar for a short period .
Improve ventilation in your home. Turn on the exhaust fan and open the windows to keep your home smelling fresh. You may also want to consider adding an air purifier to improve indoor air quality.
Regular cleaning is still the best defense. Nothing beats good cleaning habits when it comes to keeping unpleasant odors from developing in your home. Here are just some useful suggestions:
Clean garbage cans. Even if you line your garbage cans with bags, they can still develop odors. Regularly cleaning them will keep the stinkies away. Wash it with vinegar and hot water. A handful of coffee grounds sprinkled inside can help lift stubborn smells. And if all efforts fail, just buy a new garbage can.
Don’t be under zealous when it comes to using the vacuum.
Vacuum any upholstery in addition to your floors regularly. Furniture allowed to get dirty will naturally harbor bad smells. Regular vacuuming ensures you get food crumbs, dirt, and particles that cause odors out of the crooks and crannies.
Regularly clean kitchen appliances. Food particles and spills that are not immediately cleaned can cause nasty kitchen smells. If you do not run your dishwasher everyday, make sure you rinse out dirty dishes to prevent food from sticking and smelling.
Hurther, not well dried dishwashers can cause a mildew smell and potentially mold growth, so be sure to let your dishwasher dry out completely before closing it after use.
Wipe out any stuck on bits of food in your microwave. If there is a lingering smell, try boiling several slices of lemons in a liter of water for several minutes. Then open the microwave door to air it out.
Another minor thing you can do is to regularly sanitize your cutting boards to control onion and garlic smells as well as the potential growth of harmful bacteria on the surface.
Five Star Restoration Can Help Eliminate Bad Smells in Your Home
If you have experienced water damage in your home or office, call on the experts at Five Star Restoration.
Using specialized equipment, our team responds quickly to clean and sanitize your space to address any odors and the growth of harmful molds from continuing where you live and work.
Get peace of mind and let Five Star Restoration restore your home or business.
Call us at (951) 368-2227 and we will be happy to answer all your questions.
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