Nothing ruins a perfectly wonderful Sunday at home with the family quite like the scent of something reeking. Maybe it’s the wet dog or the gym socks bunched up in the corner, or perhaps it’s last night’s fish dinner sitting in the garbage. Whatever the source, the smell needs to be eliminated, and fast! Here are five super crafty ways you can eliminate odors using everyday items around your house.
- Repurpose Those Dryer Sheets
Everyone knows that dryer sheets can eliminate static cling and keep your laundry smelling super fresh, but did you know that you can also use dryer sheets as hidden deodorizers around your house? I like to insert dryer sheets in my husband’s sock drawer, but they’re also good when tucked between towels or outfits in the closet, partially hidden under mattresses, stuffed into shoes, and dabbed over smelly dogs. Dryer sheets can also eliminate odors seeped into carpets—simply clean up the mess as best as you can, place a dryer sheet on the spot, and add coffee grounds on top. Let this concoction sit overnight, and in the morning the area will be odor-free.
- Invest in Baking Soda
Baking soda is an oldie but a goodie—something my mother and grandmother use all the time in their houses. To eliminate refrigerator smells, stick an open box of baking soda in the back of the fridge to absorb bad odors. Change out the box every few months for lasting freshness. Baking soda is also good for smells outside of the fridge. On cleaning day, simply sprinkle baking soda around the house and let sit for a few hours to absorb smells. Then vacuum it all up. It’s an amazingly efficient product that should always be in the pantry.
- Stock Up on Lemons and Vinegar
This may seem like an odd combination, but it’s the perfect list of ingredients to eliminate odors, particularly those of the garbage disposal kind. And it’s super easy to make. Add sliced lemons to an ice cube tray, and then fill each well with white vinegar. Then place in the freezer. When frozen, remove a few cubes, toss into the garbage disposal, and then run the disposal. So long odd smells! Oh, and if you don’t have baking soda in your house (see above), you can always stick a halved lemon in your fridge to do the same trick—just remember to change out the lemon weekly.
- Finally Use All Those Extra Tea Bags
Tea is a common item to have lying around in your pantry—especially as the weather starts to chill and people dream of lazy mornings in their PJs and a cup of pumpkin spice tea. For an easy way to spruce up closet smells, and to prevent certain odors (ahem, stinky boots!) from smelling up other items in the space, try placing tea bags in the closet. Hang them off the coat rack, tuck them into boots and slippers, and hide them in sweater pockets. They act like natural mothballs, but don’t have that strong mothball smell. Instead, your closet will have the slight smell of, say, that pumpkin spice tea you’ve been dreaming about.
- Don’t Toss Out That Last Bit of Toothpaste
Whether you’re a squeezer or a roller, there always seems to be a little bit of toothpaste leftover in the tube. Rather than wasting it and tossing it in the trash, why not use it to help keep your house smelling minty fresh? Anyone who cooks with onions knows that the distinctive onion smell can linger on your skin for days. To eliminate onion hand smell, rub a dab of toothpaste (the paste variety, not the gel) into your palm—like you would with soap—and allow to sit for a minute. Then rinse off. You can also use toothpaste (in lieu of dish soap) to scrub baby bottles and breast pump parts to eliminate that sour milk smell. Now that’s clean!
Photo by William Warby / Flickr.