Stand in the middle of your living room and take a deep breath. Do you smell that? From this morning’s bacon to your son’s stinky cleats, your home is a potpourri of smells – some more pleasant than others. Yet you may be “nose-blind” to many of the odors permeating your living spaces, meaning you’ve adapted to the smells around you.
Here are some of the most common odors homeowners become nose-blind to and tips on how to banish them from your home.
1. Pet Odor
If you have pets, especially the furry, four-legged variety, chances are you also have pet odor. Even the cleanest of homes are bound to have some lingering pet funk. In many cases, it’s caused by a combination of hair, slobber, and pet food, but it also can be caused by “accidents”, especially with young pups and kittens learning the ropes, or older pets who are having trouble holding their urine.
To help reduce odor, clean litter boxes at least once a day and replace pee-pads frequently. If they have a favorite spot on the couch, cover it with a blanket that can be washed weekly. Before vacuuming, sprinkle baking soda on carpets and area rugs and let it sit for at least 15 minutes to deodorize them.
Mustiness is caused by mildew and mold which thrive in damp, dark spaces. Do a careful inspection of your basement and if you find gray or white splotches anywhere, it’s likely mildew. If it’s darker and fuzzy, it’s mold.
You’ll need some elbow grease and a household cleaner to scrub away mildew. Avoid bleach as it can often exacerbate the problem. Depending on the type of mold and its severity, you may need professional mold remediation and removal of affected material like sheetrock. For milder cases, add 1/3 cup bleach to per gallon of water to a large bucket. Wearing gloves, apply the solution to the affected area with a sponge or bristle brush. Wait 10 minutes and repeat if necessary, then rinse clean with water. To prevent mildew and mold from returning, consider running a dehumidifier or improving air circulation and sunlight exposure in the affected area.
3. Smelly Mattress and Bedding
As you sleep, dead skin and body oils shed and build up in bedding, causing your mattress, sheets, comforter, and pillows may begin to smell over time. While bedding can be tossed in the washing machine, deodorizing a mattress requires a bit more work.
Sprinkle it with baking soda, let sit for at least an hour, and vacuum up the baking soda. You can even add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil to the baking soda box and shake well to mix evenly before sprinkling the mattress.
4. Funky Fridge and Freezer
While your fridge and freezing do a fine job keeping your food fresh, sometimes they need a little help staying fresh themselves. Food bits and odor can hang out long after you’ve tossed the item. If you notice food particles start to accumulate in the corners of your fridge or freezer, or you notice your ice tasting funny, it’s time for a thorough cleaning.
Unplug and empty the appliance and do a thorough cleaning with a mix of hot water and baking soda. To sanitize, add one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water, and (wearing gloves) give the inside a good wipe down. Let it air out for 15 to 30 minutes and wipe down with vinegar for extra odor eliminating power.
At Air Professional Associates, we have multiple ways to improve your home’s air quality to not only banish foul odors but also help rid your home of the pollutants that may trigger allergies, asthma, and other upper respiratory ailments. Contact us today for a free in-home consultation and see if a professionally installed air cleaner is the right solution to improve the quality of the air in your home.