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Banish bad smells in the home

There are many different things that can cause bad smells in your home, including cigarette smoke, mould and, of course, our furry friends.

We all know how unpleasant odours seem to hang around forever, but it’s not always clear how to get rid of them. Here are some of the most common causes of odours in the home and advice on how to get rid of them from industrial odour control specialists OdourPro.

 

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Keep pet odours under control by regularly cleaning their bed, food and water bowls, and toys.

 

Pets

For many of us, pets are a valuable part of our family, however they are one of the biggest causes of bad smells in the home – even when they’re not making a mess inside.

The best way to keep pet odours under control is to clean everything pet-related regularly. Things like their bed, food and water bowls, and toys should be washed on a weekly or fortnightly cycle.

If your pet does go to the toilet inside, using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar is an effective way of removing the smell from fabrics and surfaces. This should also be safe to use on fabrics without causing any damage, but always test it on an inconspicuous area first.

You may need to buy an enzymatic cleaner designed for pet waste if they keep going to the toilet in the same spot inside your home.

 

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Reduce the growth of mould and mildew by keeping fresh air moving in your home.

 

Mould and mildew

Mould thrives in warm and wet environments – which sums up summer in Byron Bay, where I live – so if you also reside in a place with high humidity, you might need to invest in a high-quality dehumidifier. Controlling moisture leaks in your home will also reduce the growth of mould, so if you see or smell damp spots in your home, consider calling in a plumber.

It’s a good idea to keep fresh air moving in your home, as well as bright sunlight coming in through your windows. So, if you can, open the window and door while you shower, and when you’re cooking.

Removing the mould itself should get rid of the smell once the room has gotten some fresh air into it. Just remember to slightly wet the mouldy area with a damp cloth to reduce the amount of airborne spores.

Again, a mixture baking soda and vinegar is effective for killing mould. Strangely, some powerful cleaning agents like bleach aren’t actually effective for cleaning mould as they simply remove the colour from mould without actually killing it. (I highly recommend Simply No Mould, an Australian-made chlorine-free, eco-friendly spray that uses the power of oxygen to kill and remove mould and mildew.)

 

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Wash surfaces like walls, windows and ceilings as the tar in cigarette smoke means it can stick to just about everything.

 

Cigarettes

Getting the smell of cigarette smoke out of your home can be extremely difficult. Whether you’ve just quit or the smoke belonged to a former tenant, it’s difficult but not impossible to get rid of.

You need to wash everything. Start by washing all your clothes and steam cleaning the carpets, floors, fabric furniture and curtains.

Next, you’ll need to wash all your other surfaces like walls, windows, and even the ceiling. The tar in cigarette smoke means it can stick to just about everything. A multipurpose surface cleaner should get the job done.

Finally, you may need an air purifier to remove any stubborn smoke particles in the air. If you have an air conditioner, you should also clean its filters.

 

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Bacteria that feed on trapped food and grease in the strainer screen can cause unpleasant odours in your dishwasher.

 

Everything else

Bad smells can spring up anywhere in the home. For the most part, getting rid of them is just a matter of finding the cause of the smell and cleaning it. Regular cleaning should prevent most smells from coming up at all.

But there are places around the home which are easy to miss when you’re cleaning or that don’t need cleaning very frequently.

If you’ve got an unidentified smell in your home, try cleaning things like the dishwasher filter, the area around the kitchen bin, any oily residue around the stove and range hood, or anything else you can think of.

 

If you have advice on how to banish a bad smell in the home, especially with a home-made recipe, please tell us in the comments below!

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Veda Dante

Veda Dante is an accomplished journalist, consultant and content creator who has nearly 30 years’ experience writing about everything from tourism, hospitality and health to architecture, pools and luxury goods. When she’s not producing copy for clients, this self-confessed word nerd is usually writing and photographing the Byron Bay region for her blog www.livebyron.com.au

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.