There’s nothing more embarrassing than having a particularly smelly carpet or room in the house or even having your whole home being a bit funky. Even worse is receiving the dreaded question from friends or visitors – ‘What’s that smell?’ However, there are ways to discover and identify what’s causing the odours in and around the home, and ways of dealing with them for good. No more dousing the home in air fresheners – it’s time to get to the root of the problem. Here we look at four common sources of household odours, and what to do about them.
While everyone loves the smell of freshly baking bread, or cookies hot from the oven, the greasy, and smoky smells we can all do without. If your kitchen sees a lot of use and there are soft furnishing nearby (like drapes, chairs, cushions, etc), then you may be starting to notice a smell accumulating in that area. Try to identify the culprit that’s contributing to ongoing smells, such as spilled juices in the oven burning over and over again, fat left in the grill tray, or crumbs building up in the cracks between the bench and the stove.
Sometimes the smells are more ingrained, and you need to do a complete kitchen clean from top to bottom. Start high, by taking down drapes and cleaning them, and move down, cleaning the benchtops, then cupboards, then floors. Hard to budge odours may require steam cleaning in carpets and soft furnishings like drapes, and if the problem has gone too far, you may even have to replace them.
We all love our pets, but in the case of a smelly home, they may be the first culprits we should look at! Just one accident on the carpet, and you have a pet urine odour that will be almost impossible to get rid of by yourself. Unwashed pets track in dirt, dust and strange smells that get transferred to your carpets, couches and beds when they come into contact with them.
While your own home cleaning efforts may be able to take care of some of these, in many cases you’ll need professional help to clear out those smells for good. Pet urine can soak right through the carpet to the padding underneath, so surface carpet treatments won’t do much to help you. Try steam cleaning or professional carpet cleaning to really get to those deep down odours.
Mould is a big culprit behind smells in homes, and it’s not just the smell that could cause you problems. Mould on the roof of your bathroom or kitchen, or in between your tiles is unsightly and the spores can cause breathing difficulties or trigger asthma in susceptible people. If you see mould appearing in your home, it’s best to take care of it quickly.
Try to ensure the area is well ventilated, and moisture isn’t given a chance to build up. A dehumidifier can help with this task if you live in a particularly dense atmosphere. You can remove mould yourself if it’s a small area (less than a metre squared) and caused by condensation only (not sewage or contaminated water). Otherwise, call in a professional to take care of this one.
Overflowing garbage bins, garbage that’s been sitting around for a while, or remnants of garbage that have been left behind in bins can really cause a stink. Of course, the best way to prevent this smell arising is to empty your garbage to an external bin regularly, and rinse out garbage bins and allow them to dry before using again. Clean areas around the garbage bin to make sure there are no garbage remnants lying around.
If you have some particularly smelly garbage like fish bones or shellfish remnants and it’s still a week from garbage night, try packing them in an airtight plastic bag and storing in the freezer until just before the trash goes out. That way those smells won’t be hanging around your home for too long.
While you don’t think about the fact that a smell-free home is a happy home, when you experience relief from these nasty household odours, you, your family and your visitors will be so much more comfortable in your home.