17+ items in the house that stink and how to fix them

The home is meant to be a sanctuary for its inhabitants. Personalized, comfortable and decorated to taste, a home should be a place to escape the stresses of everyday life and feel most at ease. Sometimes, the one major thing standing between homeowners and their residential peace of mind comes down to the pesky smells that can infiltrate a residence.
Truly living in a home means it will from time to time be necessary to deal with scents. Whether they’re the result of a well-used oven, an efficient but over-used food disposal or several appliances that grace the bathroom, scent is a powerful factor that can affect a home’s overall ambiance. In the name of restoring peace between a home’s air quality and those who live there, here are a few things that could cause problems when it comes to smell and how to efficiently fix them.
1. The toilet
The toilet understandably sees a lot of use during the day. Although it is essential in the household, it can also be one of the most frustrating features of a bathroom to clean. An easy remedy to eliminating unpleasant toilet bowl smells is to keep a quick mixture of lemon juice, baking soda and vinegar on hand in a spray bottle. This DIY solution works as a spray and wipe away strategy or can be used for days that require deep-scrubbing. Either way, the natural scent of lemon and the cleaning properties of baking soda and vinegar are sure to keep the toilet in top scent shape.
2. The shower drain
Showers are designed as instruments of cleanliness, but unpleasant odors wafting up from the shower drain can convince users otherwise. Even though this scent is a natural result of mineral buildup in the pipes, it’s not required that it be accepted or ignored. Instead, try regularly treating the shower drain to 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar. Allowing the mixture to sit for approximately two hours and following it up by pouring a gallon of hot water down the drain will keep the shower smelling fresh for a very long time.
3. The food disposal
Efficient and highly effective for getting rid of leftovers, the food disposal can also be a finnicky feature of the kitchen. With a tendency to leave small particles of food behind, every food disposal runs the risk of becoming a source of unpleasant odor. When this happens, there’s no need to panic. Simply throw in a few lemon slices and let the disposal grind away. Within minutes, the air around the disposal will be noticeably fresher. Keep lemons consistently in stock so that this process can be repeated as needed.
4. The oven
Although it produces some of the finest meals, the oven’s extensive use can lead to buildup that results in lingering unsavory scents. As a way to eliminate this issue, consider using an overnight DIY solution that keeps the oven fresh and gives the surrounding area an amazing aroma. Simply spray the oven’s interior with water and sprinkle baking soda lightly over the entire surface. Allow the mixture to sit overnight and the next day easily scrub away excess particles using a sponge with a small dab of dish detergent.
5. The trash
An essential kitchen item, the trash can’s very nature leaves it prone to collecting unpleasant smells as well as garbage. Even though it may be easier to keep an open container under the sink, investing in a garbage can enclosure can be an effective solution to keeping those smells contained. Available in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes, enclosures can be purchased to seamlessly fit into kitchen decor.
6. The kitchen sink
For those living without a food disposal or dishwasher, the kitchen sink takes the brunt of dealing with leftover food particles post-meal. No matter how much effort is made, it’s nearly impossible to keep all food matter from running down the drain. Over time, this leads to mineral buildup that can result in bad odors. To keep the kitchen sink smelling its best, regularly pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain. Follow this up by running the hot water for a few minutes and let the fresh-effects kick in.
7. The dishwasher
The dishwasher can be a lifesaver for those who don’t have a passion for washing dishes by hand in the sink. Normally extremely efficient, dishwasher face the same risks as kitchen sinks and have a tendency to collect food in the primary drain, leading to a smelly kitchen. Because it’s noticeable nearly every time the dishwasher door is opened, it’s important to get ahead of these scent issues. Running a cycle on hot using a cup of white vinegar in place of a cleaning pod leaves the dishwasher fresh and maintains long-lasting effects.
8. The garage
It may not be top of mind when it comes to scent control, but odors that originate in the garage can easily seep inside, especially when the two spaces are connected by a door or breezeway. Many times these odors are associated with oil leaking from underneath vehicles parked in the garage. An easy way to both control the smell and protect the garage floor from staining is to fill a cookie sheet with kitty litter and place it under the leak. When the litter absorbs the oil it also absorbs unpleasant scents. When changed out regularly, this DIY solution can keep the garage smelling fresh.
9. The air vents
An important circulatory component to keeping a home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, air vents experience high particle traffic as a result of moving air between rooms. One of the most common factors leading to air vents that give off an unpleasant smell is a dirty air filter. To keep the aromas in the air system running smoothly and maintaining an enjoyable scent, be sure to regularly change air filters at least every two to three months.
10. The exterior
It’s very possible that a peaceful step outdoors to get fresh air could turn into a concerning moment when unpleasant smells arise. Just because drainage gutters are out of sight doesn’t mean they should be out of mind. In fact, gutters that collect leaves, dirt and other particles and are left unattended run the risk of giving off bad odors as well as sustaining damage in the long run. Set aside time as the season change to keep gutters clean and clear. The improved overall scent should be a rather immediate and noticeable change!
11. The attic
Attics are notorious for bringing a musty scent along with their added storage space. Increased volumes of insulation normally lead attics to be spaces where moisture content runs high. Unfortunately, this often results in mold and mildew that provide a constant and unpleasant odor. A simple step toward keeping an attic moisture-free and improving the overall smell is to regularly keep the attic door open. Even a few hours a day can work toward decreasing odor and lowering humidity levels.
12. The washing machine
With its primary purpose being to clean a household’s collection of dirty laundry, it’s not surprising that over time a washing machine could begin to produce problematic smells. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to keeping the interior shining and odor-free. Run a cycle on hot using 4 cups of chlorine bleach instead of detergent. Stop the cycle halfway and let the water sit for approximately 30 minutes. Allow the cycle to complete and wipe over the surface gently with a sponge once it’s done. This simple step is sure to keep the odors out and cleanliness in.
13. The dresser drawers
It’s not hard to understand why enclosed spaces tend to eventually be a source of bad smells. Although they hold some of the most important items, any space that is closed up is prone to moisture and humidity, leading to strong scents. Dresser drawers are no exception to that rule. As a way to keep clothes fresh and ensure dresser drawers deliver a pleasant scent every time they’re opened, throw in a few dryer sheets before you fold and put away the next load of laundry. Long-lasting effects of these sheets normally saved for the dryer are equally effective in drawers and aren’t harmful to fabrics.
14. The closets
Even though closets are significantly larger than dresser drawers, they still maintain the properties of a regularly closed-off space and can develop musty scents over time. As a way to ensure both the closet and its content keep a fresh odor, enlist the help of a favorite perfume or cologne. Spraying cotton balls with a preferred scent is an efficient way to eliminate pesky closet odors that might occur. Once the cotton balls are dry, line the top of closet shelving or place them near the corners of the space for a handy DIY scent solution that’s highly effective and long-lasting.
15. The dish cloths
A staple item to nearly every kitchen, dish cloths are a convenient place to quickly wipe hands or wipe up a surface. Decorative and useful, these kitchen accessories are also prone to letting off unpleasant smells as they attract and grow bacteria over time. As a way of eliminating this problem, invest in a set of microfiber dish cloths that dry more quickly. The quicker the drying process, the less likely cloth is to hold onto harmful particles that lead to odor issues.
16. The entryway
Entryways, particularly pesky for those living in shared spaces such as apartments or townhomes, can easily absorb smells that may be emanating from the hallway and leak into the greater living space. To ensure a clear separation of home smells and keep the majority of the home feeling fresh, try placing a small air purifier in the entryway. Easy to purchase and not taking up much space, an air purifier in this location keeps bad smells at bay and can have a great health impact for a home’s overall air quality.
17. The refrigerator
The primary place in the home for holding the food that nourishes its inhabitants is also extremely prone to giving off bad scents. This is normally a result of a variety of foods being contained simultaneously or various stages of food decomposition happening within the fridge shelving. To ensure keeping of food in the refrigerator doesn’t lead to unpleasant aromas, try placing a bowl of ground coffee beans in the bottom drawer. Coffee naturally absorbs other scents while giving off its own rich aroma. For those who love their morning brew, this is the perfect two-for-one solution to keeping a fresh-smelling fridge and starting the day off right.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Subscribe to get a free eCookbook with our top 25 recipes.