We all know about B.O right? Well, today I’d like to talk about the lesser-known H.O; house odors. It’s something that you’ve probably experienced walking into someone else’s home before, but we often become nose-blind to our own house odors. In this article, I want to talk to you about your house odor and what you could possibly do to replace it with a fresh and clean scent.

Before we get into it though, we are so excited to share our eBook, The Complete Guide to Essential Oils, which goes deep into the use of essential oils around the home! We took all of the questions about essential oils that we have gathered over the years and added a ton of research, to come up with this extensive and informative guide.

Find the Source

I have Molly, our beautiful family cat with me for this first point because I think it really paints a good picture of where to start finding the source of your house odors. Finding the source is important! The last thing you want to do when cleaning is mask the smell. The goal is to target and eliminate odors at the source.

I rarely take advice from cereal boxes but I’m going to quote Toucan Sam here when I say you really do need to “follow your nose”. You have to look for the source of the odor and deal with it instead of using products to mask the smell. Masking it will never solve the problem and will just create a battle between two smells, with you constantly trying to one-up the bad smells with the good ones. The thing I really want to get across here is; be the hunter, look for the cause, and tackle it at its source.

Soft Surfaces

The bedroom is the perfect place to start talking about soft surfaces and how often they are the culprit when it comes to odors in your home. Any soft surface that you have around your home, whether it’s bed sheets, carpets, window coverings, pillows, clothing, or any other soft fabrics around your house, absorb and retain bacteria easily. They take in dander, hair, dust, dirt, and odor-causing molecules that just sit there and stink up the place.

We wash our clothes pretty often but other soft surfaces around our home are regularly forgotten. Seriously, how often are you washing your rugs, window curtains, and sheets? We always have to remember that sweat and oils cling to our bed sheets and build up overtime, leaving our room with a stale sweaty stench. If you have a smell problem in your home, it really could come down to taking care of those dirty soft fabrics and surfaces. Cleaning these will be a game-changer to your house odor problem!

Air Quality

Over the past couple of years, you’ve probably heard a lot of chatter about indoor air quality and I must admit, the hype is real. In this case, having good indoor air quality will mean that your house is going to smell much better.

Now, there are a few ways that you can achieve better indoor quality. First, the easiest, cheapest, and most accessible solution is to simply open your windows. Generally speaking, when the temperature isn’t crazy hot or ice cold, just crank a couple of the windows in the house open, making sure to get a nice cross breeze going. This helps to move air throughout your house, getting out the stale air and bringing in the fresh air. Now, do keep in mind, if you live close to a highway, factory, or plant, you might want to be mindful of the times that you’re opening your windows, but if you happen to live in a suburb or high-rise you should be good to go any time of the day.

Of course, you can improve your indoor air quality by using an air purifier. An air purifier’s job is essentially to suck in the air floating around your home, clean it through whatever system it uses, and then shoot out fresh clean air that should be odorless. It’s also really important to make sure that you’re changing out your furnace filters 3 to 4 times a year, ideally at the change of every season. That way, your furnace can work at its optimum performance level and your air will be fresh, clean, and will smell much better.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an air quality conversation if we didn’t talk about my least favorite cleaning job, vacuuming. But, this is such an important cleaning routine when it comes to indoor air quality because dust, which is all over the home, falls to the ground and brings with it odor-causing particles, dander, hair, dead skin cells, and dirt. Over time all that stuff builds up and floats around the home, creating small odors here and there, making your house smell and feel very stuffy. Get a good quality HEPA vacuum and help improve your indoor air quality and smell!

Odor Absorbers

There are 3 odor absorbers that are easy to come by, inexpensive, and gentle. White vinegar, baking soda, and activated charcoal. These are all great odor absorbers and the cool thing is you don’t even really have to do anything to them. When using vinegar, just put it in a bowl and place the bowl in the smelly area. In fact, people used to do this when they would throw parties and have smokers inside their homes. They would put out bowls of vinegar and it would help absorb the stale cigarette smell.

Another great solution is using baking soda to eliminate odors. People who have been following Clean My Space for a long time know how much I love baking soda for everything from cleaning to deodorizing. If you happen to have a closet that smells stuffy, put a bowl or a sachet of baking soda in the corner and it will make all the difference! Activated charcoal works much the same. In fact, many kitty litter products, and other deodorizers use activated charcoal and it works great. With all three of these solutions, you will have an easy-to-come-by, inexpensive, and gentle odor-solutions for all your smelly problems!

Essential Oils

If you’re looking for ways to take the smell of your home to the next level you can consider using essential oils around your home. The great thing about essential oils is you can really control the scent. Unlike a candle, air freshener, or plug-in, which can linger for quite a long time, essential oils are ephemeral. They dissipate fairly quickly so you can really control them, mixing and matching any combinations of scents that you like.

You might not want to smell, say, Hawaiian Orchid all of the time, or you might want just a little bit of peppermint and a tiny bit of lavender. Essential oils give you the opportunity to mix and match any combination you like, and if you overdo it on a scent no need to fret, it will go away soon enough!

You can also use an essential oil diffuser or put a few drops in your mop bucket or spray bottle. There are so many great uses for essential oils and they still are the most versatile and natural way to bring some fresh new scents into your home!

Now that you’ve got these 5 tools, it’s time to start making your home smell better and waving goodbye to that terrible H.O! I can assure you that if you start to do some of these easy steps, you will notice a significant reduction in your home-odors within one cleaning session. Thanks so much for reading today and make sure to check out more of our DIY cleaning solutions for all your cleaning needs!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


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