5 Ways to Fix a Smelly Home

There’s nothing worse than walking into a home for sale and having to take a step back as your nose is greeted by the smell of cat litter and smelly sports equipment wafting towards you. It probably makes you wonder if your home has any unpleasant odours that welcome people at the door. When it comes to our own homes, we may adjust to certain smells over time and they may become less noticeable to us. However, that may not be the case for visiting family and friends.

Our smell is one of our strongest senses and aids us in our memories of places and events. Camping is associated with the smell of evergreen trees and smoke from the campfire, while memories of grandma may be associated with her perfume or the smell of home-baked cookies.

The reality is that a lot of our lifestyle does not always come with friendly smells, so they cannot be ignored and need to be addressed regularly. Pet owners have to deal with the smell of a litter box or a pet who doesn’t like baths, parents of kids in sports deal with powerful soccer shoe odours and smelly hockey equipment, or unused rooms may receive less attention and get stale over time.

Odours are not always caused by uncleanliness. Sometimes humidity or the lack of airflow can cause a stale or musty smell. There are several ways to keep your house smelling top-notch and keeping those nasty odours at bay.

Clean the Carpets

Over time the fibres in your carpets collect dust, allergens, and bacteria. These make their home in the carpet or the underlay under the carpet over time. This in turn actually affects the air quality in your home, leading to allergies, breathing problems, and a musty odour. Professionals usually recommend cleaning the carpets every couple of years to keep things smelling fresh.

Wash the Walls

Walls and ceilings over time can absorb odours from the air. So even if you take care of the air quality, you will want to give those walls a good scrubbing. Products with ammonia and glycol will help neutralize bad odours. Local paint stores will be able to suggest the best cleaning products to ensure the longevity of your painted walls.

Improve the Air Quality

Although Canada may make this harder to do in the cold winter months, whenever you have a chance on a mild day, open the windows even for 5 minutes. Be sure not to leave them open as you don’t want to deal with freezing pipes! If the home has an air exchange switch, winter is a good time to use it! When the warmer months come, open those windows! Especially when spring arrives with the fresh smell of rain!

Also be sure to change out the furnace filters on time, as well as the water and filter on the humidifier. Check bathroom fans or floor registers for dust that has collected. Scheduling a duct cleaning regularly will also improve the air quality.

Remove Pet Odors

Our four-legged family members may melt our hearts, but they also come with their own smells. Before moving consider bathing your pet and washing their bedding. Use highly recommended products in the market that work against the smell of ammonia from pet urine stains, buy litter that comes with a deodorizer, and change the litter box often! Cleaning your furniture and floors once a week at least will help keep pet odours minimal.

Use Ingredients in Your Kitchen Cupboard

Baking Soda is one of the best ingredients for eliminating odours. You can sprinkle it on your bed mattress, carpets or furniture, and vacuum up after sitting for a couple of hours. Instead of using Febreeze or other sprays that only offer a temporary fix and just cover up the smells, baking soda actually absorbs the odours and eliminates them. You can also use a coffee filter. Fill with baking soda in it, tie it up, and put inside smelly soccer shoes, sports equipment bags, or any closets in the home. Just remember to change it out once a month!

Vinegar is great for the dishwasher and washing machine. Clean out any debris, and run a cycle with vinegar to combat those odours built up over time. It can also be added when washing clothes and towels to remove stale smells, and to soften the towels!

Lemon peels and coffee grounds are great when sprinkled on the bottom of a garbage can to keep the kitchen inviting and the nasty smells of garbage away. Lemon and vinegar mixed with water are also great for cleaning and removing odours from floors! Just make sure to check with the manufacturer or flooring store that it is safe to use on your wood floors.

Once the issues have been addressed, and unwanted odours have been eliminated, many homeowners enjoy using scented plugins, wax warmers, or essential oils to add a welcoming smell to their homes. Just remember that these only cover up smells, so keep your nose tuned for any of those unwanted odours coming back! No one wants a smelly home! Especially if you plan to put it up for sale on the Calgary market.

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