Common Household Odors and How to Get Rid of Them

March 5, 2023
Common Household Odors and How to Get Rid of Them

Nobody really wants to live in or visit a bad-smelling house. Mustiness, smoking, pet odors, and other olfactory triggers can turn everyone who enters off right away. Most bad scents, from cigarette smoke to mustiness, can be removed without much work or expenditure.

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The smell of smoke, whether from cigarettes, other tobacco products, or a small fire, can be difficult to mask. Begin by opening the windows and allowing fresh air to circulate. Deodorize the environment by placing a box or two of baking soda in each affected room. Wash the curtains, blankets, beds, and other materials while the room airs out. Then clean the upholstery, mattresses, and carpet using a vacuum or steamer. Finally, use a solution of one part vinegar to five parts warm water to wipe down all hard surfaces.

Is the smoke still lingering in your nostrils? Invest in commercial products to boost your efforts. Zep manufactures an odor remover that is specifically designed to remove the stink of cigarette smoke. If the odor persists after applying these commercial treatments, it is possible that it has seeped into the paint, walls, carpets, or carpet pad of the house. Consider contacting an expert to identify the problem areas before spending money to replace them.

Vape Smell

When a vape user exhales, little amounts of fragrant flavoring particles are expelled. These particles accumulate over time, and the odor becomes noticeable. To make matters worse, the carrier liquids (propylene glycol and glycerin) take weeks, if not months, to dissipate, so getting rid of vaping scents isn’t as simple as opening a window. Instead, wipe the room’s hard surfaces with a moist rag to remove much of the odor.

If you vape, make sure you do it in a well-ventilated area and vacuum often. You can also consider purchasing an air purifier. These measures reduce the likelihood of particles settling on your home’s surfaces. Avoid more intense flavors like vanilla, strawberry, banana, bubble gum, and chocolate to further limit the danger of lasting odor. Instead, choose smells like mint, citrus fruits, or flowers.


Pet scents, which are usually created by urine or feces, might be more difficult to remove. The problematic substance not only gets into the carpet but can also enter into the pad. If your pet has an accident, clean the area as soon as possible to avoid odors in the first place. Blot the urine stain dry with a paper towel or cloth. Picking up feces is a good idea.

After cleaning the area, sprinkle it with baking soda and vacuum it. Keep an enzymatic pet cleaner on hand, even better. The enzymes will “eat” the odors and stains away. This should get rid of the odor.

Enzymic cleansers are also the finest choice for pet scents that have built up over time. Even enzymic cleaners won’t work in some circumstances, especially when dealing with cat urine. The urine may have soaked through the carpet pad and into the concrete base, or it may be on the walls. To completely eliminate the stink, you may need to replace the carpet and pad at the very least.

Rotten Eggs

Despite the fact that natural gas has no odor, gas companies mix it with Mercaptan, a chemical that gives it a strong rotten egg or sulfuric stink to warn homes of a potential leak. If you smell rotten eggs, leave your house right away and call the gas company on your cell phone or a neighbor’s phone from afar. The gas company can then decide whether or not the odor suggests a gas leak.

If the gas company gives you the green light, it’s possible that your drainpipes are to blame. Hair, lint, and other impurities trapped deep inside the pipe can produce sulfur-smelling anaerobic bacteria. Simply pour bleach down the drain to get rid of the odor.


Mold spores can cause a musty odor in basements, bedrooms, and other spaces that don’t get much light. An ozone machine, which can kill germs, mold, and viruses, is the greatest way to get rid of musty aromas and mold in your home. Ozone, on the other hand, is hazardous to inhale and should never be used in the presence of people, animals, or structures. As a result, rather than attempting to use one yourself, it is usually safer to engage a professional.

Alternately, add 14 teaspoon clove oil with 2 liters of warm water and liberally spray the room. If mold is discovered, spray it directly. Within 48 hours, the mixture will destroy the mold, and the odor will fade after a few days.

Wet Dog

An infestation of rats, mice, squirrels, and other rodents could cause a musty odor that smells like a wet dog. In their tracks, these pests leave a musty odor, but you might also get a scent of their urine. Check for droppings, gnawed wires, or broken packages if you suspect these rodents are the source of the mustiness you’re detecting. Then, to get rid of the infestation swiftly and effectively, contact a pest control provider.

Pests that have a particular odor aren’t just rats and mice. The scent of roaches is unpleasant and oily musk. You won’t notice it unless you have an infestation, but even a single roach of some breeds can emit a detectable stench.

Kitchen odors

Kitchens may be an overwhelming source of household odors, from fragrant meals to sludge in the garbage disposal. Start with the refrigerator if yours is in need of some TLC. Remove any food that is out of date or has gone bad. Then, using a diluted vinegar solution, wipe off the refrigerator’s walls. Next, wipe the inside of the microwave with more of the vinegar solution.

You may either buy a commercial cleaner to run through your dishwasher or use the residual vinegar solution to wipe off its walls. After that, clean and soak the dishwasher’s filter. Is there a strange odor coming from your kitchen sink? The garbage disposal is most likely to blame. For a clean, fresh smell, toss some ice cubes and citrus wedges down the drain and run the garbage disposal.

Before displaying your house, make your kitchen smell appealing by combining a teaspoon of nutmeg and a tablespoon of cinnamon in a saucepan of water and simmering it on the stove. Alternatively, a sprig of rosemary, half a lemon juice, and some vanilla extract can be added to the water in the saucepan.

Random odors

You don’t have to put up with a scent just because you can’t figure out where it came from. Purchase a bag of common charcoal and place a few briquettes in a container behind furniture, beneath beds, in closets, or other strategic locations in the room to get rid of those strange scents. It’s also a good idea to open the windows and let some fresh air in.

On its own, the charcoal should help to reduce, if not completely eradicate, the odor. If it doesn’t, wash all of the room’s fabrics and wipe down all hard surfaces with a mixture of vinegar and warm water. Vacuuming is another option. If the stink persists, contact a professional odor removal firm for assistance.

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