Secrets to a Good-Smelling Home - Make Your House Smell Nice!
A Stinky House...
...is uninviting. Sometimes it can be a stinky animal smell. Sometimes it's those salmon croquettes that you fixed last Sunday. Or was that Sunday before last??? Sometimes it's that diaper that you changed just before your friend got there. Read this in your best Southern drawl: "Surely there must be something can be done!"
So I am almost legally blind, so I can't half see. I can't half hear. But boy do I ever have an acute sense of smell. Here are some things that I do to alleviate the curse of a prime proboscis.
I have found the best way to keep a good-smelling garbage can is to keep it clean. Always use a liner in your can. Another trick I like to use, being the cheapskate I am, is I garner those little coffee filter packs that they leave in the hotel rooms, and throw those in the bottom of the can. If you are a coffee drinker, just keep some dried coffee grounds in the bottom of the can. This is a good option for smellier cans like kitchen or the outside garbage.
My best friend in the bathroom is vinegar. Vinegar is a disinfectant! You can spray the stuff everywhere, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe it down. The smell vanishes within minutes, and the vinegar kills other smells as it kills the bacteria that causes them. Another thing I like to use in the bathroom are the kits. These are motion activated and send a fresh little burst into the room when the lights turn on. Glade Sense and Spray
The kitchen is sometimes the hardest room to keep fresh-smelling. You get rid of one smell just to create another the next time you cook. There are several tricks here. The first is to clean your hood vent filter. It's pretty easy to do, just follow your manufacturer's instructions. If the same one has been in your home for six or seven years, just replace it. It can mean a world of difference!
Try a fabric refresher on your curtains, too. If you notice that you still smell last week's soup, chances are the smell is in in the curtains somewhere. If you have an open floor plan, the smells may even be in some of your upholstered furniture or carpet. A fabric refresher works well here.
Is that garbage disposal stinky? I have had several instances where I've had to battle the stinky beast in my garbage disposal. There are several tricks here that work. First, put a bunch of ice through the disposal. I know, I know, back in the day they said never to do this, but now that they put a crushing mechanism over a blade mechanism, it's safe to do. This will "freeze up" and pull any funky fats off the walls of the garbage disposal. Next, stick a lemon in there. Chances are you'll have to pull out a bit of the rind, but the smell will be great! Then finally, grab that rag and clean that rubber piece. You have to clean all around the inside and outside of it. Wear gloves - that thing can be GROSS! But after you've suffered through it, you should have a really great smelling garbage disposal and surrounding area!
Stinky shoes are usually the culprits in a smelly closet. This is where you need some high-powered stuff! I use the Febreze Set & Refresh in the closets. You can also make cheap odor-eating pouches with a coffee filter, baking soda, and a rubber band. These work, but I wouldn't recommend them in the kids' rooms.
I noticed one day that our laundry room was smelling particularly fresh and wonderful. I mentioned it to my husband, who told me he had spilled some fabric softener. I figure there had to be a way to have my laundry room smelling that way all the time. And you know what? There is a way! If your laundry room smells okay, but you would like that little "burst" of freshness, put some liquid fabric softener on a cloth, and stick it somewhere inconspicuous. I keep mine hanging on the side of the clothes bin (where I toss the kitchen towels to be washed).
If your laundry room actually STINKS, you may need to take some more drastic measures. Some stinky stuff I've encountered in the past is a stinky rug that someone had thrown a dishcloth onto and it was hidden and sat...and sat...and YUCK. Stagnant water can smell gross, and putrid dish cloths are the worst, I think! Socks are another sneaky one. And sometimes, if it was raining at Easter, that bunny may or may not have hidden an egg in there that didn't get found until it exploded. There can be any number of things that smell bad....
Pet and Baby Smells
I would like to say, "Just don't have pets or babies in your home!" But that would be mean! And I wouldn't mean it anyway! But they do cause some curious odors, don't they!
Cats have litter boxes. It is best to scoop them often. Very often. Using a good litter helps. We always used the Arm & Hammer Cat Litter Deodorizer too, which helped. Change the litter often as well.
Other animals come with their own distinct odors that can usually be remedied by good grooming and hygiene habits.
Babies have diaper pails. Empty them often. Very often! If you use disposable diapers, it is easy just to reuse your plastic shopping bags to throw these out every day (or every hour if your child is an excretionista!). My first child's diaper pail served dual purposes because the stench + sensitive nose + weak stomach = BLECK! If you use cloth diapers, lots of laundering and sunshine.
If all else fails...
...move! Just kidding! Air out your home! Put on a coat and open those windows. Get a cross breeze going and then spray some kind of high-powered smelly something into it! I like to keep a can of Glade or Febreze around (one of the food-smelling ones) to spray in case of emergencies. And if you don't have that, and your house is smelling particularly foul, and someone rings the bell, offer your guest a clothespin and try again next time!