Indoor Air Quality, Pt 2: Eliminating Odors

For me, one of the most important aspects of a clean home, besides visual appearance, is having a fresh scent. If you ever come home from a long trip you may notice certain odors that you never noticed before. The sad truth is the odors have probably been there for a while, you just haven’t noticed them before because we grow so accustomed to the smells in our homes that we don’t always notice bad odors.

Here is a list of some things that can help you to eliminate odors and improve your home’s environment.

1. The best away to eliminate and prevent odors is to regularly clean your home.
2. Use antibacterial cleaners to clean your kitchen and bathroom floors, counters, and sinks. Get lemon, orange, or pine scented for a good clean fragrance.
3. Regularly clean out your refrigerator and pantry and put baking soda in your refrigerator and freezer to prevent food odors.
4. Spray Lysol in your garbage cans and clothes hampers.
5. Regularly wash bedsheets, bed pillows, and any pillows and throws you may have in your living room. Also, upon changing your sheets spray Lysol on your matresses.
6. Regularly vacuum your carpets and couch cushions. Before vacuuming sprinkle Glade or Renuzit carpet freshener, and let it sit for a few minutes. You can also sprinkle baking soda on your carpet to remove stains and odors. Let it set for a few minutes before vacuuming or to eliminate strong odors, let it set overnight.
7. Buy the clip-on toilet deodorizers. Lysol has something out called Cling, which works very well and leaves a nice clean scent in your bathroom for several days.
8. Buy air fresheners. I like scented oil. They come in a variety of floral and fruit scents. My favorite is a scent from Glade called “fresh linen” which is great for living rooms and bedrooms. They also sell candles, gel plug-ins, stick-ups, and sprays. I also like using the oils that you pour into a little crock pot and set out on the counter. The only problem with these is that they cover up odors rather than eliminating them, and they also contain chemicals that aren’t exactly “refreshing”.
9. Buy a Lysol or Airwick automatic sprayer. I have one of these, and I really like it. The refills come in a variety of scents, and you can adjust the “time frequency” of the sprays, and one can will last up to 2 or 3 months.
10. White vinegar. Apparently white vinegar is good at eliminating odors. You can use it to clean with, spray it in the air (with water), pour some out in a bowl at let it set out, or you can boil it for about 30 minutes, and it eliminates odors. I haven’t tried this yet but several people have told me about it, so I think it’s definitely worth a try.
11. Lemons. Lemon juice can be used for cleaning and eliminating odors. You can also grate the lemon peels or use peels from other citrus fruits and put them in your garbage disposal to eliminate odors.
12. Spray fabric refresher like Febreze or All on your furniture and carpets.
13. Make your own air fresheners. Use citrus peels, cloves, spices, or cooking extracts, and add water. Set it out on a table, simmer in a crock pot, or boil it on the stove for instant freshness.

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