With our busy lives, hectic work schedules and the thrills and spills of modern living, its no wonder we can end up with some strange odors in the house from time to time. Listed below are the most common odors and some solutions to help you get rid of the smells.
1. Ant Infestation Odor
First lets look at a simple strategy to remove the ants. We need to determine if the ants are sugar ants or protein ants. The best way to do this is to put down some Parmesan cheese and some icing sugar and watch which food gets the most ants, then simply mix that food with some powdered Borac Acid and they will die in a few days back at the nest. The Boric Acid will also kill the other ants inside the nest. After 3 days, simple clean up all the dead ant/food residues and then spray the area with any good kitchen bench top cleaner and the smell will be gone in no time at all.
2. Musty smell in bedrooms
Quite often the rooms that don’t get any sun inside a home will develop a musty smell which is caused by the mold spores that build up over time. Ozone Gas is a great way to kill mold and the simplest method. They start from $85 and you can see our Ozone Machine reviews here.However we are well aware that not all home owners have an Ozone machine to use therefore we have developed another system for removing the mold and the associated odor.
All you need do is mix up 1/4 teaspoon of oil of cloves into 2 pints of warm water and spray the room generously including the actual mold spores as shown in the photo. The mold will die with in 48 hours and drop off and the odor will disappear in a few days. Best if possible to let fresh air in and keep the room warm while this process is occurring.
3. Smelly Drains
This is a very common occurrence in most homes and it is generally caused by hair or lint accumulating deep inside a drain pipe and that in turn starts to trap other contaminants which start to produce foul smelling anaerobic bacteria. This typically presents itself as a sulfur type of odor and will fill the whole house with the odor.
The solution for drain odor is very simple, just pour some bleach down the drain ( Sodium Hyperchloride) or if you don’t have that a toilet cleaner is usually sufficient. The toilet cleaners have Sodium Hydroxide and Sodium Hyperchloride and will do a great job on removing the odor almost instantly.
4. Teenagers Room
Unfortunately a common cause of house odor is a teenagers room. Old pizzas, smelly gym bags and old socks that have been worn 5 times and then stored under the bed for the next wear, all add up to a pungent teenager type of odor. A simple solution here is to use either 1/4 teaspoon of Oil of Cloves in with warm water and a teaspoon of Methylated spirits if available and spray the room including under the bed and in the cupboards. Remove all socks, pizza trays, dirt laundry and sleeping teenager and wash all. The meths and clove in water spray will make the room feel fresh and clean.
5. Smelly Laundry
The laundry can be a great source of odors due to the wide range of items that pass through that part of the house. From baby clothes filled with milk and other treats through to the gym gear and of course those wonderful socks. However what we find the most in the laundry that usually causes a bad odor is the drain in the wash tub. A simple solution here is to use a piece of wire and clear the drain pipe as best you can then pour bleach down it. This will kill bacteria and remove the odor instantly.
6. Stinky Basement
Basement odors typically come from items being damp. Shoes, suitcases, back packs etc all stored in the basement will attract mold spores and then start to produce odor. Simple solution here is to use 1/4 teaspoon of Oil of Cloves in with warm water and spray the room and the items. If the mold smell remains then check what is causing it. Quite often a wall can be seeping water and may need proper drainage installed behind it to alleviate the water coming through.
7. Smelly Kitchen Extractor fans
If you fry food then no doubt you will have cooking odors in your home from frying fish, steak, browning meats and of course the good old curry cooked on the stove. Alot of odor comes from the oil in the filter and unfortunately alot of the filters in the extractor fans get damaged when washed due to the fine aluminum mesh that starts to break apart when washed. The simple solution here is to remove the filter and replace it with a Kitchen Oil Cotton Filters which are heat resistant and can be washed or thrown away. They are cheap to buy and a much better system for filtering.
8. Burnt Food and Curry Smells in Microwave
This is an easy one. Simply place a bowl that is half filled with water, 3x 1″ pieces of orange peel, 2 cloves, and 1/4 of a teaspoon of baking soda. Nuke for 1 minutes then repeat 3 times with a interval of 15 seconds. Wipe the microwave out and odor will be gone.
9. Smelly Plastic Chopping Boards in your cupboard
Nothing worse than cutting up your favorite apple only to have it taste of onions and garlic. UGH! This is one of my pet hates. Simple spray Bleach onto the chopping board and let sit for 5 minutes then either put through the dishwasher or wash and scrub using dish washing detergent. Easy and a fast result. Never get garlic in your apples again. If you have a wooden board the bleach may make it go white so if this is a concern use detergent and a scrubbing brush, scrub hard then rinse and repeat.
10. Stuffy smelling carpet
Carpet collects food scraps, foot debris including animal droppings, urine etc and can develop a stinky, dingy odor when the house is closed. A professional carpet cleaner will sort it for you but as a temporary measure you can use a box of baking soda that is infused with lemon oil. Sprinkle it over the carpet, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then, vacuum it up and make sure you have it all cleaned. The carpet will smell fresh and clean again.
11. Cat Urine In Carpet
We have a full page dedicated to this lovely topic. Click here to see how to remove cat urine from carpet
12. Stale Mattress Odor
A mattress gets a stale odor through the sweat and body fats that we lose when we sleep. They penetrate deep into the fabrics and create a stale musty smell. The best bet to solve this issue is take the mattress off and lay out up against a wall in a sunny position. If you don;t have a space like this then lay the mattress against a bedroom wall and place a dehumidifier in the room for 8 hours then spray a light coating of 1/4 of a teaspoon oil of clove and 1 teaspoon of methylated spirits into a 2 pints of water. Leave for 8 hours again in the dehumidifier room.
13. Stale Clothes Closet Odor
A lot of clothes such as coats etc can’t be washed like a Tshirt can, so from time to time they develop a body oil stale type of odor which can build up when multiple clothes are present. There are two things needed for removing stale clothes. The first is the removal of moisture and this can be done inexpensively by hanging a bundle of six sticks of ordinary white school chalk in your cupboard. When they get filled with moisture simply hang them in the sun and re-use them again and again. Brilliant stuff, and the second requirement is to freshen up the clothes using our favorite solution. Yes you guessed it..1/4 of a teaspoon of Oil of Cloves and 2 teaspoons of Methylated spirits into 2 pints of water in a spray bottle. Give the area a good spray and let the sir dry it along with your chalk. the results will surprise you.
14. Stale Cooking Smells
When frying foods or cooking casseroles the food odor of onions and garlic etc can linger in the house for hours. A simple way to get rid of it fast is to light a scented candle. My favorite is Jasmin and it smells nice plus removes the odor quickly.
15. Stale Smelling Bed pillows.
I love this trick, it works so well it amazes my friends each time. To deodorize the pillow . My favorite is Jasmin and it smells nice plus removes the odor quickly.
16. Onion Smell in The Fridge.
If you store food with onions and garlic in them or you have a cut onion in the fridge then here is a trick to help remove the odor. Place a bowl of baking Soda (no lid) and lemon rind grinds into the fridge. The lemon combined with baking soda removes the odor.
17. Smelly Garbage Disposal.
If you have a foul smelling garbage disposal unit as shown then a simple fix is cut an orange or lemon in quarters and place them in the unit. Flush with boiling hot watwr while running he garbage disposal. If smell persists wash diluted bleach into the area and flush within 15 seconds with warm water.
18. Paint Odors in the Home.
Some of the new water based paints have a disgusting odor when applied. Luckily the odor does not last but the first day or so it can be horrible. If is bothering you fresh air will do the job to help but an Ozone Treatment will also work extremely well to remove the smell. You can see our ozone machine recommendations here
19. Cat Litter Trays.
Folks there is no real solution here apart from remove the waste daily and buy a quality cat litter with odor absorbents built in. Leaving urine and feces inside the tray for extended periods is going to stink: FACT.
20. Burnt Boiled Egg Odor.
We have all done it. Put eggs on to boil and then the phone rings or the dog wants to go out and before we know it we have boiled the pot dry and the house is filled with the most dreadful smoke odor imaginable. First step is to open the windows and air the room out and next step is to place 4 x fragranced candles all around the house and light these to help absorb the odor.