We’ve all had those moments when our home doesn’t quite smell as fresh as it should. Even if your home is clean and tidy, lingering or persistent bad odors in areas like the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, or elsewhere can be a source of frustration. The key to tackling these challenges begins with one fundamental step: pinpointing the source of those unwelcome odors.
Here are some reasons why your home smells and what you can do to fix it.
While our furry friends are beloved members of the family, they can develop odors, just like humans. It’s important that their living spaces remain clean by regularly changing the cat litter, washing your dog’s bedding, and grooming your pets. Bathing your pet and keeping their sleeping and eating areas clean can help tackle unpleasant odors.
A dishwasher is a common place for potential mold and odors to develop, often due to food particles accumulating within. To address this issue, make it a habit to clean your dishwasher regularly.
Lack of Air Circulating
If your home feels stuffy and the air seems stale, making it hard to breathe comfortably, it might be due to a mix of stagnant air, pollutants, and a buildup of carbon dioxide. A quick fix is to open the windows for a few minutes and let fresh air circulate to help clear the indoor environment.
A stinky kitchen often indicates that it’s time to take the trash out. However, sometimes the issue goes beyond the bag being full—it might be due to a hole in the bag that allows gunk to accumulate at the bottom of the can. Little spills and crumbs can build up, resulting in unpleasant odors within your trash can. To address this problem, you’ll need to wash the trash can in hot, soapy water.
Garbage disposals are prone to developing these smells due to the accumulation of decaying food particles, grease, and other materials within the disposal and its adjacent pipes. As food particles break down and decay, they release unpleasant odors. Techniques such as using ice cubes, baking soda, and running lemon peels through the blades can help maintain a clean, fresh, and odor-free garbage disposal.
Bedding can start to develop odors rather quickly – specifically sweat and morning breath. Fortunately, the solution is clear: make it a habit to wash your sheets on a weekly basis.
Expired food in the refrigerator is a common culprit for household odors. Regularly clearing out leftovers and wilted produce before your grocery shopping trips can help tackle this issue.
Household appliances that frequently come into contact with water are prone to mold growth. For instance, if you have a front-load washer without a vent or leave damp laundry in the machine for an extended period, it can lead to a musty odor in the washing machine. To avoid this, it’s a good practice to leave the washer’s door and detergent drawer open for a few hours after your last load. If you discover mold, you can use a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and baking soda to clean the affected areas.
Shoes can be notorious for developing unpleasant odors. Take the time to thoroughly air them out. Sprinkling some baking soda inside can help absorb moisture and eliminate odors, or you can opt for specialized shoe odor eliminators.
Dirty HVAC Filter
To maintain a healthy indoor environment, it’s important to regularly change the air filters in your home. Air filters play a crucial role in removing airborne particles such as dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens from the air. Typically, it’s recommended to change air filters every three months. If you detect any unusual odors in your home, this could be an indicator that it’s time to replace the air filter.
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Tamara White is the creator and founder of The Thrifty Apartment, a home decor and DIY blog that focuses on affordable and budget-friendly home decorating ideas and projects. Tamara documents her home improvement journey, love of thrifting, tips for space optimization, and creating beautiful spaces.