Get Rid of Those Nasty Home Smells

We've all experienced lingering, bad odors in our home, at some point. Some are quite an undertaking to get rid of and some are removed with simple soap and water. If you're selling your home, you definitely want to read on - but even if you're not, bad smells are no fun.

You also don't want to cover up odors with fake smelling sprays or candles.

Here are some ideas for odor removal and ways to keep them away. There are many different cleaners available and it's up to you to select the one you're comfortable with.

Trash can

Trash cans smell like...well...trash. But, it's irritating when you take out the trash and still have that lingering smell days after. To prevent this, clean your trash can often with soap and water and spread one of the following along the bottom before putting a liner back in:

  • scented cat litter

  • dry coffee grounds

  • lemon or orange peel


The fridge can be a major source of vomit-inducing smells. The majority of these smells can be prevented by storing food in sealed containers and using or throwing away food before it spoils. 

If you get to the point where your fridge is growing it's own forest floor inside, here are some steps to clean it thoroughly:

  • Remove all food items and toss those spoiled veggies and leftover hamburger helper

  • Remove all the drawers and shelves and clean them thoroughly. It has been said that using soap and water will leave a scent that your food will absorb, so keep that in mind

  • Clean the interior thoroughly with your cleaner of choice

  • Your fresh food compartment is cooled by air from the freezer. Make sure that air is freely flowing into the compartment and the diffusers aren't blocked or frozen inside

  • Neatly place all your fresh food items back into the fridge, again, remembering air flow

  • Leave an open box of baking soda in the fridge to prevent help with those nasty smells as they start

Furniture and Carpet

Upholstered furniture and carpet can be sneaky culprits when it it comes to nose wrinkling smells in your home. Pet urine, sweat, drink spills can all give your home a musty smell when absorbed by your carpet and furniture. These materials can even absorb moisture from the air and cause mold to grow. 

Reduce the humidity in your home and let the sun shine in as much as possible for a long-term solution. Your current carpets and furniture may be too moist, by this time, so they will need to be deep cleaned or taken to the dump.


It probably doesn't get the attention it should, but all those bits of food that get stuck in the bottom of the dishwasher spoil and can make quite an unpleasant smell:

  • Remove and rinse the filter in the bottom of your dishwasher

  • Pour a couple of cups of distilled white vinegar into the bottom of your dishwasher

  • Run the hot water cycle until it has time to really get warm and then shut it off for about 15 minutes to let the vinegar work

  • Finish the cycle and repeat as needed

Freshen the Air

There are several products on the market, including baking soda, that will draw the smells and moisture out of the air around it and help reduce that musty smell. Leave them opened in places that tend to smell musty.

Contact Us if you have any questions or are interested in buying or selling a home.

Tommy Byers