Walking into the house after returning from the market, I was slapped in the face with some funky odour that curled my upper lip, brought a tear to my eye and made me vomit a little in my mouth.
I asked my husband what that smell was! It was reminiscent of fart and toe jam all rolled into one. I’d literally been gone 45 minutes. Apparently, he’d been cooking eggs and there was a ripe nappy in the bin. Retch.
On the de-stench war path, rather than just masking the smell with an ineffective spray, I enlisted some of these natural hacks to eliminate my household odours.
1. Open The Doors And Windows
Obvious but effective. There’s nothing quite like a bit of fresh air to blow that stink right out the back door — with a good drenching of natural sunlight to kill off some malodorous nasties.
2. Bicarb Soda
With 101 or more uses around the home, bicarb soda is famous for its odour-neutralising properties. Sprinkle it in stinky socks and shoes, on carpets before vacuuming, on cat litter trays, on sink drains and followed by hot water, or pop a bowl of it in the bottom of the fridge to remove bad smells. Bicarb is also great for reusable coffee thermoses and refillable water bottles.
Coupled with bicarb, vinegar is virtually unstoppable against odours. Dead mouse behind the fridge? No worries! Remove the carcass and spray down with vinegar.
To remove urine smells from mattresses after unfortunate accidents, spray with vinegar then sprinkle with bicarb. Allow to dry fully before brushing with a stiff brush and vacuuming off.
Soak your dish sponge in vinegar and dry in the full sun to extend its life and kill the kitchen cooties.
Food smells in your plastic containers and chopping boards? Soak in vinegar before washing should get that right out.
Adding vinegar to a spray bottle and spraying on anything a bit whiffy will also do the trick. Spot test first.
Run a cup of vinegar through a dishwasher cycle to keep it fresh.
The humble rolled oat is more than a great source of fibre. A bowl of uncooked oats will help soak up a wayward stench.
The acidic nature and scent of fresh lemon will help neutralise odours. Tangy toilet? A half cut lemon in a dish will help sort the smell.
Throw lemon peels into the fireplace while burning to help get rid of any adverse smokey smells.
Timber chopping boards can get a tad ripe if they don’t dry properly after a wash. Using a small handful of salt and half a lemon, rub the salt into the board using the lemon. Rinse off residue and dry in direct sunlight.
Keep your humidifier fresh by running a little lemon juice through it.
6. Essential Oils
The top six essential oils I keep in my arsenal are eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, geranium, clary sage and rosemary.
- Top of my list is eucalyptus oil. Using a doused cotton ball, I run it over my window sills and door frames while I fling them all open for some fresh air. Eucalyptus is famous for being antiseptic and antibacterial and it makes a great deodoriser. It is also wonderful for removing sticky residue.
- A couple of dabs of lavender oil on my kids’ beds during evening keeps their room from getting stuffy overnight and helps give them a calm sleep.
- Some tea tree oil with bicarb soda will deodorise a stinky bin.
- Adding any of these essential oils to a spray bottle of vinegar will not only deodorise your home, but help keep it smell great.
Simmering cinnamon and cloves in a pot on the stove will help rid the kitchen and home of last night’s gammy garlic bread.
Vanilla makes a delicious deodouriser. Add to the bowl of bicarb in your fridge for added freshness.
Coffee lovers rejoice! Not only will you do more shit faster, but you will also deodorise your home.
Disposing of your coffee grounds in the toilet will help get rid of potty odour.
Wrapping a handful of dry, used grounds to a muslin and hanging in the wardrobe can help combat that musty smell.
9. House Plants
Having plants in the home will convert your bad breath and other wretched stenches into sweet-smelling oxygen. If you can keep them alive that is!
What are your top home deodorising tips?