One of the more pleasant parts of the day is coming home, opening the door, and being greeted with the smell of a clean house. It is equally as nasty, though, to open the door to the smell of mildew or something unidentifiable. In this section you will find out how to determine where the foul odours are coming from, what to use to remove them, and how to prevent them from showing up again.
Eliminating most odours is easy once you know where they are coming from. A rotten piece of meat in the bottom of the fridge, for example, and be eliminated simply by throwing it out and applying some bleach to the area where it sat. Boxes of baking soda on the shelf will pull residual odours out of the air. The smell of mold or mildew in the bathroom is most likely coming from the grout around the tub or tile and can be removed with bleach as well. The rule of thumb is if you can see it, you can eliminate it.
But what if you can’t see it? The metallic smell of Freon comes from the back of your refrigerator, and probably means that you have a leak bad enough to need a new one. Teenage body odor means that they haven’t changed their sheets or cleaned their laundry in awhile; easily remedied.
Now that you’ve removed the offending article, the air is still full of bacteria and dust mites that carry with them the smell of the rotting bacteria on the item. There are four different scent groups for eliminating odour, floral (or flowers,) citrus, oriental (musky, spicy) and herbal. Most cleaning products smell like citrus (lemon) or herbal (pine.)
Most deodorizers eliminate odours by covering them up. Counteractrants eliminate odours by removing them from the air through changing them on a molecular level; our nose can no longer detect them. A disinfectant eliminates odours at their source, and is why so many people use bleach on smelly spots in their home.
But what to use where? In the bathroom, grapefruit or orange cleaners tend to work best to break down the bacteria causing smells around the toilet. As always, bleach is still the best disinfectant and most people associate real cleanliness with the chlorine scent. Use lemon to eliminate odours and clean the kitchen, floral for the cigarette odour in the car, and after using an unscented enzyme killer on pet stains, light an oriental musky smelling candle.
As usual, the best way to eliminate odours is to prevent them in the first place. Invest in good, strong trash bags and don’t overfill them. Use a smaller garbage can in the kitchen so that you will take it out more often. Stay on top of mildew in the bathroom by getting a shower spray bottle full of tablespoon bleach mixed with water to spray down the walls of your shower after every use.
The newest trend in eliminating odours is the use of products with no scent, or fresh scents such as linen or “spa scent.” Fresh mountain air and seaside scents are popular as well, although it would seem that a true sea scent would be one of rotting seaweed…