Let’s face it: no matter how tidy you are, there are certain areas of your home that are simply prone to bad smells. But knowledge is power – well, knowledge and an industrial-sized jug of white vinegar.
How can something so pretty cause such a stink? You might think your footwear is relatively odour-free, but that musty, funky smell coming from your closet tells a different story. After wearing them, always air out your shoes for at least a few hours – or preferably overnight – before placing them back in your wardrobe. Tip: tuck scented dryer sheets into each shoe for good measure.
It seems counterintuitive (and frankly, a little gross) to toss soiled clothes into a stinky washing machine and hope they somehow come out smelling clean and fresh. Banish laundry room smells with your new BFF, white vinegar: just add a cup of it to an empty machine and run the washer on its hottest cycle. The vinegar will remove bacteria, mould and mildew, and you’ll be ready to tackle those mountains of dirty laundry.
No disrespect to man’s best friend, but this one’s a no-brainer: your adorable pooch‘s doggy bed is definitely going to stink. Some smaller beds can simply be tossed in the washing machine, while others will benefit from an odour-eliminating spray.
Come on, we’re talking about garbage. It’s going to smell bad. Besides taking out the trash regularly – before the waste basket begins to overflow, ahem – you can sprinkle baking soda into the bottom of the trash can, which will help absorb and neutralize odours.
Some of you cat owners were probably feeling rather smug after that dog bed post, weren’t you? Not so fast! Yes, cats are pretty clean (and undeniably adorable) creatures, but their litter boxes tend to stink to high heaven. Buy a clumping, clay-based cat litter to reduce odours and change it out – or trick someone else into doing it – twice a week.
Unfortunately, even a finished basement with bright pops of colour and jazzy storage baskets is susceptible to mould and mildew. Activated charcoal (find it online or at your closest big-box store) will help trap odours. Leave some out in a small box and let the charcoal work its magic, but make sure it’s stored out of reach of children and pets.
Your parents probably kept a box of baking soda in the fridge when you were growing up. There’s a good chance your grandparents did, too. What we’re saying is this: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Replace the box every three months and be sure to wipe down the inside of the fridge on a monthly basis – not just when you knock over a carton of milk.
Hopefully your freezer doesn’t actually resemble the photo above, but there’s no shame in admitting when it smells less than fresh. The answer to your frozen woes is dried coffee grounds. Place them in a cloth sack (a cheesecloth or even an old, clean sock will do) and let that glorious caffeine take care of the rest.
First things first: make sure there’s no food lurking in your drain. If you’ve got a built-in garbage disposal, pour in a small amount of liquid soap and run it with cold water to eliminate lingering smells. You can also feed the disposal half a lemon (cut into quarters) every week; consider it a citrus sacrifice.
It’s white vinegar and baking soda to the rescue once again! (Sorry, we get excited when it comes to cleaning). Using a clean cloth and undiluted vinegar, wipe down the toilet seat, pedestal and tank. Don’t forget the flusher handle. Next, pour three cups of vinegar into the bowl and let it sit for an hour while you catch up on social media. Before you attack the bowl with a toilet brush, sprinkle some baking soda in there and then scrub, scrub, scrub until everything is spotless.
If your bath towels are smelling a little funky, it’s probably because they haven’t had a chance to dry properly between uses. Invest in towel racks – as opposed to hooks – and wash towels frequently in hot water to eliminate any mildewy odours. Avoid overloading the washing machine, too. Your towels need room to move around so that the water and detergent can really do their jobs.