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How to Get Rid of Smells in the House

smells in house -  couple pinching noses

There’s nothing quite like coming home after a long day to the familiar, comfortable feeling and smells that are so welcoming. But what do you do when there’s an odor you just can’t seem to shake? You don’t have to grin and bear it. No matter what unpleasant smells are lingering in your home, you can clear them out and refresh your space. Some are tougher to address than others, but these tips will help you get started.

Locate the Root of the Problem and Identify the Smell

When you’re faced with an unpleasant smell, sometimes the instinct is to spray it away. Unfortunately, this doesn’t get rid of the smell. It simply masks it. To treat the odors in your home, you have to be willing to dig a little deeper to find out what is producing those smells. Sometimes, your investigation will lead you to a rotten piece of fruit in the back of the cupboard, a pet stain hidden by the couch, or another obvious culprit that you can clean up right away. But occasionally, finding and removing a bad smell is more difficult and even requires an area to be completely cleaned out to find the stinky culprit.

Deep Clean Walls and Carpets

Depending on the source of the smell, you may have to put in time and some elbow grease to deep clean your walls and carpeting. People are often shocked to find out that scents can actually cling to walls, permeating throughout your home. The most guilty wall-clinging stench? Smoke. If you move into a home where the previous owner smoked indoors, you may have to go through a rigorous deep cleaning session to make your walls scent-free. Scrubbing may not completely solve the problem. Consider covering your walls with a scent-blocking primer or paint to prevent future issues.

Carpeting can also hold onto scents far longer than other surfaces. In many cases, you can fix this with a professional deep clean of your carpets. For extreme cases, you may have to replace the carpeting entirely.

Cleaning Up the Area

If you have to clean and repaint walls or replace carpets to get rid of smells, it’s often a good idea to empty the room first. A storage unit is a perfect solution for this. Our units are available in a wide variety of sizes, so whether you just need to store the couch to determine if it’s the cause of the smell, an entire room while you replace the carpets, or even furniture from every room in the house while you deep clean to remove mildew and other causes of bad smells, we have the perfect solution for you.

Choose Prevention

Once you have eradicated the current odor issue, plan ahead to keep your home smelling fresh at all times. Establishing a regular cleaning schedule for areas of your home that tend to accumulate unwelcome odors is much easier than treating issues as they arise. Regularly cleaning your refrigerator, bleaching the garbage cans, scrubbing down shower walls, and deep cleaning the carpets eliminates problems before they can take root in your home.

Improve Ventilation

In some situations, getting rid of odors is as easy as improving ventilation in certain areas of your home. This is often a major problem in bathrooms and kitchens, where humidity tends to be high. Installing additional fans, dehumidifiers, or simply keeping windows open more frequently can eliminate problems with mildew and stale smells. You can also try this with closets, basements, and other damp, dark areas of your home.

Check Rarely-Cleaned Areas

While some spots in the home get all the cleaning attention, there are those that accumulate stench but often go unnoticed by homeowners. By paying careful attention to these areas, you can get rid of smells quickly. Air ducts are often home to bacteria and mold, unbeknownst to homeowners. Remember our wall-clinging friend, smoke? Well, smoke can cling to your air ducts as well. Without a thorough clean, the duct system will continue to spread odor-causing bacteria throughout your home.

You should also set aside some time to deep clean all of your garbage cans. It’s easy to forget that scent builds up there, but micro-leaks in bags can cause all sorts of liquids and solids to seep into the bottom of the can. As more and more build-up occurs, the scent becomes increasingly more unpleasant.

Other hidden scent traps include produce drawers in the refrigerator and the shelves in general. As produce goes bad, it leaks juice into the bottom of the drawer. That juice mingles with other waste. Make a point of scrubbing out these areas a couple of times per month. Leaking meat or chicken trays are just as unpleasant, not to mention dangerous if left uncleaned.

Keep Your Home Light and Natural

Avoid the temptation to spray your home with artificially scented sprays and light scented candles in every room. If you stick with natural scents and neutral deodorizers, such as lemon and baking soda, you will be able to identify when new odors pop up and get rid of them more quickly.
Though they are cozy and can immediately set a mood if you’re planning a get-together.

Select Appropriate Storage Options

Many people rely on their garage or basement for storage, but these areas aren’t necessarily ideal for some types of items. If you find yourself pulling items out of these storage spaces, only to toss them into the washing machine immediately, your storage solution could be the cause of your odor issues. Basements tend to be dark and poorly ventilated, allowing for the accumulation of mold and mildew. They also attract rodents and bugs. Garages often don’t have the proper ventilation and temperature control for long-term storage.

Consider looking into long-term storage solutions that help you rotate out seasonal clothing, decorations, and recreational items. Local storage facilities rent units of various sizes to accommodate everything from a couple of boxes of Christmas decorations to the contents of a large home. If you go this route and rent a unit at your local CubeSmart facility, you can take items out of storage and feel confident you’re less likely to have odor issues.

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The Storage Queens

We know a thing or two about moving. Together, we share the best tips in organizing, storage, navigating your city, and more!

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