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Get Rid of Bad Odour and Foul Smell - How to Make Your House Smell Good

Updated on November 2, 2014
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Lady Rain works as a daytime stock trader and writes about crafts and hobbies. She likes to travel when she gets time off.

Most of us are so used to the odours in our house that we cannot tell if our house smells good or foul. When you have guests, the moment they step into your house, there is no doubt they can detect those odours almost immediately.

If you know your house is smelling nice all the time, you feel comfortable and do not mind your friends dropping by anytime. You might even receive some compliments from them. But if you know your house has a bad odour from all that cooking in the kitchen or simply not being able to keep up with cleaning, you will certainly have a sense of uneasiness every time the doorbell rings.

During the warmer months, it is often easier to expel bad odours because we tend to leave some of the windows open during the day. In winter, we not only shut our windows and doors, but also draught proof every single gap and crack.

We like to stay indoors in winter, eat and drink in front of the TV most of the times, do lots of cooking and baking, and the children running around and messing up the whole place. The more people you have in the family, the more smells exist in your house. The most common odours come from cooking, body odours, urine and poo from the children and pets, spilled milk on the floor, unwashed dishes in the sink and kitchen scraps in the rubbish bin.

More of these odours are produced everyday and they remain inside the house for the whole of winter, which lasts many weeks. The combination of all bad odours will certainly make your house really, really foul smelling and you do not want to be breathing in all that bad smell and putrid air.

Click on the link in the table of contents below to go to the following sub-topics.

Table of Contents

  1. Bedroom
  2. Laundry
  3. Toilet and Bathroom
  4. Lounge and Living Areas


There are many ways to keep bad odours at bay by following these simple rules:

Turn on the exhaust fan when you are cooking. Try not to do a lot of frying, if you really must fry, use less oil because oil tends to splatter everywhere and leave an odour if not cleaned out properly. Clean up as soon as you finish cooking because the longer you leave those oil spills and splatters around, the more difficult it is to scrub them out.

Leaving the kitchen window open when you are cooking will be a good idea. If you have a security screen door outside your main door, leave the main door open to allow better ventilation.

Do not leave spilled milk and food mess lying around for too long. It is best to clean up as soon as possible, especially if the mess is on the floor, it always gets stepped on and can end up everywhere in the house and you will have to clean every room in the whole house.

Do not wait until the rubbish bin is full; empty the rubbish before it starts to stink. Food in the bin goes bad very quickly because the rubbish bin is not a refrigerator.

If you collect kitchen scraps for the compost heap in the garden, empty the kitchen scraps container regularly before things starts to turn to compost in the kitchen.

Throw away leftover food, rotting fruits and vegetables that have been in the refrigerator for too long. Leave a piece of cut lemon or a piece of charcoal in the fridge to get rid of bad odour.

We tend to do a lot of baking in winter but usually forget to clean the mess in the oven after dinner. If your oven starts to smell like rotten fish every time you open the oven door, it is time to give the oven a good scrub.

Rub the sink with some lemon wedges after doing the dishes. It will leave your sink smelling fresh again. Wipe bench tops every day; it is easy to maintain a clean bench top everyday with a simple wipe. Put a drop or two of lavender oil into some warm water to rinse your wipe cloth and then use it to wipe the bench top. It will leave your bench top and the whole kitchen smelling nice.


Wash the bed sheets if you think your bedroom smells a bit stale every time you go in there. Occasionally hang the pillows and doona under the sun to air them. It helps to get rid of moisture and dampness in which dust mites and bacteria tend to thrive on. Light a scented candle and your bedroom will be the place you look forward to at the end of the day. Remember to put out the candle before going to bed.


Do not leave wet clothes hanging in the house for too long or they will start to smell. Check the weather forecast, do your washing on sunny days, try not to wash on rainy days unless you have a covered area outside to hang the clothes. Use the dryer, if really necessary, to speed up the drying process.

Do not bring smelly shoes into the house. Air them outside or leave them in the garage overnight before bringing them into the house and storing them in the shoe cupboard. Otherwise, your shoe cupboard will smell really bad every time you open the door to get your shoes, and the smell will linger in your house. You can also put some tea bags in the closet to soak in the stinky smell or put one tea bag in every shoe.

Toilet and Bathroom

Turn on the exhaust fan when using the toilet and remember to flush after using it. Smell from the toilet tends to travel to the rest of the house if it has nowhere else to go. Hang a sachet or bag of potpourri on the toilet door to give that little space a fresh fragrance.

Same goes for the bathroom, have the exhaust fan on when taking a hot shower.

Lounge and Living Areas

If you have pets in the house, clean those areas when your pets like to relax in. Vacuum the carpet regularly to get rid of animal fur, dirt and dust especially in the corners.

Leave a bowl of potpourri on the mantelpiece, or cut some roses from the garden and put them in a vase on the dining table. This will certainly brighten up the room and have your house smelling fresh at all times.


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