Knowing you have guests coming in a few days, plan ahead and deodorize or steam clean your carpets. Carpets are like sponges- they absorb everything that settles on them. If you’ve ever noticed your home has a certain ‘smell’ to it, we highly suggest getting to those carpets. Your carpet has to deal with foot oils, pet hair, that tv dinner that spilled last week and the candle wax from the last power outage. The last thing you want is for people thinking your house just smells weird. The easiest (and cheapest) way to deodorize carpets is to use baking soda. Sprinkle a generous amount on your carpets, let it sit for a few hours, then go back and vacuum it up. For best results, use a brush or straw broom to brush it into the nap of the carpeting. You likely will have to vacuum over it a few times to remove all remnants of baking soda. A bonus for you is this also cleans your vacuum! If you’re not a fan of baking soda, there are plenty of carpet deodorizers that will leave your carpet smelling like your favorite scent- if you’re into that sort of thing. Alternatively, you can either rent or purchase a steam cleaner. Be mindful that steam cleaning can take 24-48 hours to dry depending on how it’s used, so you’ll want to do that well in advance. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, you can always outsource this service to a reputable company to save you the extra hassle.
You sit on your dining room chair. You sleep on your couch. You curl up on your bean bag. But how often do you care for these pieces of furniture? One of the cheapest deodorizing and bacteria killing products is vinegar. Put a mixture of water and vinegar into a spray bottle and you’ve got a cost effective furniture deodorizer. It’s always a good idea to test on a small area before using it. Vinegar can be sprayed directly onto a fabric, let it sit and with time, the smell of your butt (and the vinegar) will dissipate. Just like with carpets, baking soda can also be used on fabric. You’ll want to lightly coat the surface you want to deodorize, leave it overnight, and vacuum with a fabric brush the next day. If you have extra money to throw away, a 1:1 ratio of vodka and water spritzed on fabric can help to eliminate odors. It evaporates quickly and leaves no alcohol scent behind. For those of you looking for that ‘fresh smelling clean’, a mixture of 2 cups baking soda, 2 cups fabric softener and 4 cups warm water can compete with the best of those store bought ‘fabric fresheners’. As always, test a small area before potentially causing damage to a delicate fabric.
It’s inevitable- Toilet bowls are used for nasty business and no doubt have a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ smell to them. But nobody needs to know that. Try adding a cup of vinegar to your toilet bowl, let it stand for at least 5 minutes, then scrub and flush. If you want to get your hands into some seriously good scented, deodorizing power, use this quick recipe. Mix 2 cups water with 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Next, add 2 tablespoons of vinegar. You can pour into a spray bottle now, or if you like a particular smell, you can add a teaspoon of your favorite essential oil. Shake it well and spray it on the inside of your toilet. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes- when you come back, just scrub with a toilet brush and flush away to remove any loose debris. Finally, a toilet that doesn’t smell like shhhhhh-.
Although baking and cooking can make your house smell delicious, a combination of smells can lead to a weird odor overall. If you’re cooking on a stove top, place a bowl of white vinegar on the stove while you cook. It will absorb any smells emitted from whatever you are cooking at the time. Once you’re done using your oven, you can also add an oven safe tray with a bit of vinegar inside at a low temperature to help defeat any lingering or trapped smells. This will also make it easier to clean your oven later – a win-win situation! Sometimes while multitasking, messes are made. To prevent the smell of burnt or bubbled over food from fumigating your home, add salt onto drips if you can’t clean it immediately to prevent the smell from becoming airborne. If possible, opening a window can be helpful to air out your house before company arrives. Make sure to take out the trash as that can be a huge source of stink in the kitchen. In a last resort scenario, scented candles, incense or a diffuser can be used to distribute a more pleasant smell. Bear in mind that these types of products tend to mask the smell more than eliminating it completely, but it would be a better route than spray air fresheners as many aren’t good for your health.