5 low-cost ways to handle odours around the house

Try these five money-saving ideas to combat and prevent common household odours in no time.

5 low-cost ways to handle odours around the house

1. Dust away that carpet funk

There's nothing worse than odours trapped in the fibres of a rug or carpet — especially when they're from pet accidents. You may think a professional rug cleaner is the only solution. Think again.

  • Sprinkle baking soda on the odour-causing stain. Let it sit all night, and then vacuum it up the next day. Repeat until the odour is gone.

2. Skip fancy brand-name fresheners

Chemists are out there in corporate labs right now cooking up the next air freshener scent, while marketers are busy concocting all the selling points to get you to part with your money to have it. But air fresheners don't really freshen the air. They mask smells and experts say they can actually irritate the lungs.

  • Instead, look for products that actually kill the bacteria that cause odours.

3. Control cooking odours with vinegar

Boil 50 millilitres (1/4 cup) vinegar per one litre (one quart) water. The rising heat carries the odour-neutralizing vinegar particles to the same surfaces where the smoke and grease landed.

4. Bleach a foul-smelling garbage can

Scrub the inside with a nylon-bristled brush and this solution: 250 millilitres (one cup) bleach, 3.7 litres (one gallon)water, plus two squirts of dishwashing liquid. Rinse with the garden hose.

  • Air-dry and sprinkle inexpensive borax in the bottom of the can once it's dry to prevent the growth of odour-causing molds and bacteria.

5. Use onion and air for a musty basement.

In the short term, cut an onion in half and leave it on a plate in your basement. The onion absorbs musty odours.

  • To solve the problem, start by ventilating. Since the musty smell comes from mold and mildew, which thrive in dank, dark environments, you want to get the stale air moving.
  • Open windows and doors, use fans to circulate air and use dehumidifiers to remove the air's humidity. Next, don protective eyewear and a dust mask, and kill the odour-producing growth with a solution of 30 to 60 millilitres (two to four tablespoons) bleach per one litre (one quart) water.
  • Using a spray bottle, spray any surfaces that won't be harmed by the bleach, such as cinder-block walls and concrete floors. Scrub with a nylon-bristled brush.

Removing household odours has never been easier! Keep these tips in mind and try an inexpensive solution today.

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