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What the hell is that smell – how to fight the top 5 bad odours in your home

The human nose can recognize all kinds of scents! With that in mind, it’s hard to escape from bad odours completely – not even in your home! Smells from the fridge, the sink, the garbage, the bathroom and lingering cigarette smells fill your home with bad odours. To fight them, Helpling has listed down the top 5 smelliest items in your home and given our expert advice on how to remove or, even better, prevent them.

1. Battlefield Kitchen: the never ending odours

Every day we have to clean the kitchen, the problem is that there is always a never ending amount of dishes to be cleaned or dirt on the floor to be mopped. Eventually you get a rude awakening: even if your kitchen your kitchen appears sparkling clean, the odour still lingers around! Find the root cause of the odour and banish it forever! Banish pots, trays and other smelly cooking items and air them once in awhile. Ready to start this mission? With these 3 ingredients, you can bring the freshness back to your dining room:

Freshen up your kitchen with white vinegar:

The most effective and cheap cleaning solution, white vinegar, is more than just a cooking ingredient. Create a vinegar cleaning solution by mixing white vinegar and water in a cup, then place it on your kitchen worktop. This method will absorb nasty odours in a jiffy. To make it even more efficient, boil the vinegar in a saucepan without covering it. Thanks to its neutralizing effect, the acidic qualities will soak up odours in your kitchen without replacing the smell with that of vinegar.

Coffee grounds to fight pungent kitchen odours:

We all enjoy the benefits of a good old cup of coffee, in the morning. But did you know that coffee also fights the odours in your kitchen? Place coffee grounds on the countertop in your kitchen and bad odours will disappear from your kitchen within a few hours. You can then enjoy your morning again!
Tip: Give your fridge and garbage a coffee break as well- just remember to replace the coffee grounds regularly.

Baking soda to get rid of smelly trash cans:

Is the smell from your bins bothering you? Fret not! All you need is just some baking soda to solve this stinky solution? Rinse your bin with water and white vinegar before sprinkling some magical powder onto the bottom of your garbage. Don’t forget to change the powder on a regularly to avoid the build up of overpowering smells! Baking soda is a real odour neutralizer, thanks to its de-odourizing power.

2. The fridge: The hygiene generator in your kitchen:

Our fridge is one of the dirtiest places in our home. The amount of bacteria and smell of different food building up here, constantly makes the kitchen smell bad whenever you open the fridge! With the following steps, you can easily get rid of bad smells interfering with your next snack hunt:

Firstly, remove all the items from your fridge and discard any expired food. To prevent odours, make sure to always have a look out for food that’s out of date and trash it.

Don’t forget to give a good wipe to your shelves, trays and other removable parts! Wash them under warm water – sterilize the walls and the base of the fridge, a sponge soaked in vinegar works miracles here! Wipe all of the removable parts dry before placing them and all your selected and fresh groceries back in the fridge.

Now it’s time to make your fridge smell fresh again. Place a few drops of vanilla extract into a saucer and put it in your fridge – bad smells will disappear with a long lasting effect. Alternatively you can also put a cup filled with sodium bicarbonate in your fridge for a few days to avoid undesirable smellsfrom returning back.

3. Sometimes, all we need is a nice breath of fresh air, but….. it smells bad!

Perfume, rotten food, cigarettes: our home is a real treasure chest of unbearable odours! Even if we can fight them individually , a lingering smell still remains in our home. Follow these steps to get rid of that:

  • The best way to freshen the air is to open the window! As simple as that might sound, airing your place is the best place to start!
  • Find the root of the odour and get rid of it! Banish pots, pans and other dirty looking cooking items. In small rooms, like your bathroom or storerooms, it might be more difficult to identify the source of the smell. Lighting up a match helps briefly to neutralize the room air!
  • Create your own potpourri! In a spray, mix: 10 parts warm water, 1 part vinegar and a couple drops of essential oils of your choice. Spritz this mix everywhere : carpets, rugs, kitchen, bathroom and curtains.

4. Cleaning horror story: the smelly drain situation!

Did you know that the humidity makes our sense of smell stronger? Because of this you often smell that sewer like odour that causes discomfort to your nose. As damp, dark and moist places attract molds, one of the most smellist parts in our homes are the drains where our hair, food and other debris constantly get stuck in the drain, leading to unpleasant smell. Here’s how to put an end to this:
Pour a bit of boiling water down the drain, then repeat the same thing with cold water. Rinse with boiling water again. If this doesn’t help, try flushing the drain with hot water and a cup of baking soda. Then pour two cups of hot vinegar and watch the fizziness take effect! Wait for half an hour and rinse the drain with boiling water again – et voilà: clogging problem solved!

Once you have completed the whole flushing method, place some sliced lemon or orange peels in your sink. This not only gives a pleasant smell to the sink, it also helps to remove greasy buildup, thanks to the citric acid.

As a last resort, detach the u-bend beneath your sink. Unscrew it and clean it with soap and a flexible bottle brush (in a different sink, of course). Make sure to firmly screw it back into place when you reattach it. To ensure it is tight enough, run some water through it and test if it’s water tight again.

5. Bad smell in your upholstery: there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Did you know that smoking in your flat can decrease the value of your property by up to 30%! Now, this is a good reason to quit smoking or to combat the lingering cigarette smell at least. Opening the windows frequently is an effective way to do so. Nevertheless it is important to regularly wash all the fabrics you have: pillowcases, bed sheets and curtains by adding two cups of vinegar into your washing machine together with the fabrics, then, dry them in the sun. Caution: Take the laundry in once they have dried as high heat can reactive the cigarette smell instead of removing it!

For sofa cleaning, be creative once again! Install upholstery on it that it can be easily removed and washed. Baking soda is a great solution for surface cleaning as well: pour a generous amount on all the soft surfaces. Let it soak for 30 to 60 minutes before removing it with a vacuum cleaner.

Your home should be smelling clean and fresh! Do leave a comment below if you have more solutions on how to combat bad odour in your house.

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