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Top 5 Hard-to-Clean Household Odors

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Despite your best efforts, it can be difficult to keep your home smelling fresh and clean. No matter how often you vacuum, scrub the bathroom and take out the trash, there are some odors that will exist anyway. Here are some of the worst-smelling odors and how to best get rid of them.

1. Cat Urine
If you own a pet, you're fully aware of how smelly things can get indoors. Their dander and dirt and grime that they bring in from outside can all produce foul-smelling odors in your home. However, the smell of cat urine tops the list of offensive pet smells. Your pet is bound to have an accident every now and then. If your carpet is affected, start by blotting with a dry paper towel to absorb the urine. Apply a mixture of white vinegar and water over the area and allow to dry, then follow up with baking soda to further eliminate odors and stains. Stay away from ammonia-based cleaners, since the smell may encourage your cat to repeat the mistake - the compounds in ammonia are similar to urine.

"It only takes one burning cigarette to cause your home to reek."

2. Cigarette Smoke
It only takes one burning cigarette to cause your home to reek of the smoke it emits. If you live with a smoker, the smell could be even more intense. Combat stubborn odors by periodically opening the windows for fresh air, and regularly wash all curtains and blankets that could harbor the smell. You may also want to sprinkle baking soda on the carpet to absorb odors and vacuum it up the next day. Washing the walls with ammonia and water may also be necessary if the smell of smoke still remains. If it's especially bothersome, ask that no cigarettes be smoked indoors in the future - not only does it produce an offensive odor, but secondhand smoke is also dangerous!

3. Mildew
When clothes aren't properly dried, they risk smelling of mildew - a pungent odor that's easy to identify. To prevent it from developing in the first place, stay on top of laundry duty. Always remove damp clothes from your washer and immediately either hang them up to dry or place them in the dryer. Make sure that all moisture is completely removed before folding and storing them away. While it can seem tedious to run the dryer for an extra 20 minutes, it's worth it to avoid that obnoxious mildew smell. If mildew develops, simply rewash clothes in hot water and use detergent.

4. Lingering Food Odors
Eliminating food odors is difficult because even after cleaning the kitchen and removing the source, your home can still smell of whatever meal you prepared. Running an air purifier, like the Holmes® HEPA-type Air Purifier with Visipure™ filter viewing window, can help neutralize even the most stubborn food odors from your kitchen. Additionally, it may be beneficial to open the windows to allow for some cross-ventilation to further remove the smell.

Get rid of offensive garbage smells.

5. Garbage
After a big dinner or party, it's easy for trash to build up and cause your kitchen to reek of stale food odors. Sometimes it's not enough to just take out the trash. You may also need to wipe down the garbage bin with disinfecting cleaners, since food could get trapped underneath the bag and cause foul bacteria to form. Replace the bin with a fresh bag that contains a fragrance to further help cover the smell. Many products are available to help remove the foul odors. Keep an air purifier running to continue neutralizing offensive odors.


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