You have to admit, first impressions can’t be undone. One of the worst encounters you may come across is: The Bad Smell. It’s the beginning of a new year, why not start with a post that’s all about new and fresh beginnings, a post full of tips for making your home smell fresh. I’ll indicate methods I’ve learned and used through the past years. You will be surprised at some of them.
Before spraying around Glade with the attempt to cover up the smells, you should figure out the origin of the odors. Areas to look in, carpet, upholstery (sofas & armchairs), garbage can, sink drain, old worn out furniture or cladding, pets etc… Once you do, you can start applying these tips.
The 10 tips to get rid of odor and to keep your house smelling great:
1- Carpet & Upholstery: Steam clean carpets once in a while, on other days sprinkle carpet odor removal powder or baby powder on your carpets, wait a while and then vacuum clean. Carpet can hold a large number of allergens and dust. Clean sofas professionally, or use “Febreeze” a spray that removes odors from fabrics.
2- Garbage: Garbage should not overflow to be removed, remove bag as soon as possible, I know most people in the Arab world have help in the house, so no excuse there. All bathroom and kitchen garbage should be removed every morning. Depending on household traffic, you might have to remove more often.
3-Fresh Air: Once you wake up, open all windows for fresh air, if it is too cold, open for a very short while or just a small crack, same applies if it is too hot, fresh air should circulate.You can also use a fan for better circulation. In dusty weather (most gulf countries), postpone till weather is finer. Something I did when I moved to Kuwait was buy a revitalizer. I got from Boots the Goodsphere air revitalizing system which comes in two sizes, it is amazing, cleanses the air and keeps it a bit misty (see photo above). You will see the color of the water change if the air around is dirty. You can add oils to the water for some additional aromatherapy. The small one (good for a bedroom) is around 20 KD.
4- Change your sheets: Part of your weekly routine, you should change the sheets once a week, nothing beats the feeling of sleeping on freshly laid clean bed sheets. This will also help minimize allergies. Our bodies perspire during the night even if we are just sleeping.
5- Shoes: Clean all shoes, especially sneakers, regularly. Also try to put them in the bathroom overnight to make sure you don’t get any smells in your bedroom. A trick I use for shoes is apply baby powder inside all shoes, especially those worn without socks, to minimize sweat.
6- Smoking: Make your home a no-smoke zone, this is very important on so many levels. Smoke leaves a horrible “after-smell”, let’s not go to how it can harm you and your family. Back when I had my first child, I knew many visitors would come and smoke, I asked them all to refrain from smoking in my house (politely) and blamed it “solely” on the baby .
7- Cooking: Most of us cook ethnic foods, and we as Lebanese use a lot of onion and garlic in our food. The smell is tempting at first when you are hungry and directly involved, but trust me your neighbor or visitor might not appreciate it. Always use the kitchen exhaust while cooking, open the window if any, and if possible close the kitchen door to limit any smell leaks.
8- Clean your ovens: A tip I came across a while back, is to use the skin of the juiced lemons, put them in water and microwave for 10 minutes, all grime from your microwave will come out in a natural way removing any food smells. Just wipe your microwave with a damp cloth afterward, don’t use soap as it is a chemical and harmful is subjected to heat. For your sponges, put them in your microwave for 10 seconds to kill all germs. I do that every few days.
9-Clean your fridge: One of the dirtiest areas of the house is the fridge. Always clean the handle. Use vinegar to clean the area in between the rubber edges of the door. Also you can either open a box of baking soda and leave it in the fridge, or crumble a newspaper and soak it in water and just leave it in your fridge. Another tip is damping a cotton in vanilla essence (put in small cup) and leave in fridge. Odors will be removed from your fridge. Of course before any of that, toss out any old food, and do regular checkups on condition of fruits and vegetables.
10- Clean your drains: The best way to clean drains naturally is with ingredients from your own kitchen, pour a half cup of baking soda down your drains followed by a half cup of vinegar. The combination of these two all natural ingredients can dissolve any clumps of hair, food, or other debris that may be obstructing your drain. After that pour down boiling water, and you have clean drains. I always use this method.
For Stains: Use baking soda Sprinkle it on the stain until completely covered; spray with water. When baking soda is absorbed, wipe clean with a cloth.
For Mold, bacteria, and grease: Use vinegar Fill a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar. Saturate the affected area and then simply let the vinegar evaporate.
After applying these tips, your house should be odor-free.Right before this cleaning, it is best to start ade-cluttering process to allow air to circulate best. For that you can refer to my previous post. Trust me the quality of your life will enhance tremendously, and affect you in every good way possible.
Incense of pine or cedar origin, candle burners with lavender or other natural oils, or scent diffusers, will add an enchanting atmosphere to your already clean home. For that you can use the Body shop products found everywhere, or you can use more fancy once such as Ralph Lauren, found at Design Circle in Tilal Complex in Shoueikh, Kuwait.