IF I do a few simple things, I’ve found that I don’t need deodorizing sprays, or plug-in deodorizers to control odors in my home. People are so sensitive to fragrances that I’ve virtually stopped using them. It’s been important to me to look for alternatives since I still want my house to smell fresh. I’ve discovered a few culprits when it comes to odors. If I control these then my house smells inviting.
The first thing to look after is the garbage. Keep a lid on it and take it out regularly. Nine times out of ten, if the house smells bad, it will be the garbage. The garbage is especially rancid if we have thrown packaging from meat into it. After one or two days the smell is unbearable, so we’ve started taking these kinds of garbage outside right away.
Laundry and Linens
Probably one of the less noticeable, but still significant smells, is dirty bed linens or laundry. If you want your house to smell fresh you will need to clean out the laundry basket every week to ten days. Bedsheets can be stretched to three weeks, but that is about the limit. I do find that I need to use scented laundry detergent or a vinegar rinse for the laundry to have a fresh smell. Sometimes I give the laundry a second rinse if the fragrance bothers me.
Toilet and Bathroom
A rather embarrassing odor is urine. Cleaning up after pets is absolutely essential but toilets are an issue too. The bathroom seems to be the odor source in the house, after garbage. A house with a fresh smelling bathroom will seem clean. Use a cleanser that has a scent, or add a bit of bleach to the water, to clean the toilet. And remember to wash under the rim and clean the drips around the outside of the toilet, as well. I find that a pleasant smelling bath soap in the bathroom serves as a great deodorant for the house.
A tablespoon of vinegar as a cleanser, in a liter of water, used to wipe down surfaces, helps to reduce odors as well. Brewing a potpourri of florals or spices will make your house pleasant, as long as you are not masking offensive odors. Natural products like citrus peel, cedar or pine, or rose petals are pleasant fragrances to have in the house, either in a bowl or a mesh bag that might be stored in the closet. Although I don’t use perfumes, I sometimes give my closet a quick spray of perfume to freshen it. For people with extreme reactions this is not a suitable option. A bouquet of fresh flowers, or a flowering plant, is not only enjoyed for its beauty, but also for its uplifting fragrance.
I like the idea of not having to cover up unpleasant odors. I find that if I look after these areas, I rarely have to look any further to find the source of the problem. Of course, a clean oven, stovetop, refrigerator and kitchen sink help to keep a house fresh as well. Dusting blinds, vacuuming carpets, and washing floors adds another level of freshness. I used to wonder if my mother’s routine of Saturday cleaning was really necessary, but it does seem to be that I can’t get too far away from it. The bonus is that when it’s done, I enjoy my house so much more, and so do my guests.