Getting Rid of Nasty Smells Inside Your Condo
It has often been said that a home’s particular scent makes a lasting impression.
If you intend to have any visitors over in the future, this may be something you want to keep in mind. After all, you would not want to give your guests a less than stellar first impression of your home.
Unfortunately, musty smells are inescapable. One day you may just find yourself sitting on the sofa and relaxing when all of a sudden, you catch a whiff of something that does not smell quite right—musty, even. Stale, moldy, damp—these are the characteristics of musty smells, and at times, they can be quite hard to identify. When you can smell them, however, it means that they are really there. Sometimes, it may be a combination of things that make your house smell funky. Other times, it may just be because your condo needs a little air to circulate. For some homeowners, this can be quite frustrating as they just bought a new affordable condo in Cebu or elsewhere recently and found that in just a matter of weeks, an off-putting smell has developed. Not to worry, this article will help you get your house back to smelling great.
a.) Locate the source of the smell
First things first, you need to know where the smell is emanating from. Does the entire house smell off? Or are there only certain rooms with this smell? If the odor is present in several rooms or interconnected hallways, you may want to investigate your house further. At times, it may be due to the structure of the house. To illustrate, it may be that there is a leak or black dampness in the walls. If the smell is isolated to one room, you can limit your search to that particular room alone. More importantly, isolated smells are easier to identify and treat. If your condo is a bit older or has not been used for quite some time, odd and unidentifiable musty smells should quickly go away once you crack a window open, let fresh air in, and have the place deep cleaned.
For a quick fix, wet towels trapped behind pieces of furniture can leach out musty smells. As a result, the musty smell will pollute the whole room. That said, be sure to check for areas of moisture behind toilets, underneath sinks, cabinets, and the like. Keep in mind that even a tiny leak can already create a musty smell.
b.) Check your trash bins
It should go without saying that trash bins need to be emptied regularly. For some homeowners, however, this household chore can often be overlooked owing to tight and busy schedules. However, sometimes the root cause of bad smells in your house is simply because you forgot to take out the trash. You need to check your kitchen trash in particular, as food spills and waste can make the smell worse. Apart from throwing out the trash, be sure to freshen your kitchen trash bin by washing it inside and out with warm soapy water, rinse it clean, and dry it thoroughly. Prevent future foul odors by dusting the bottom of the bin with scented cat litter or throwing a few citrus peels (lemon or orange) underneath it.
Alternatively, you can use unused coffee grounds or baking soda as both are able to neutralize future odors.
c.) Distilled white vinegar is your friend
There is a likely chance that if an animal dies in an area in your home, the smell is going to be so bad. Even worse is that the odor can last for months while the carcass decomposes, and when you get rid of it, the pungent smell will still linger. The best way to get rid of this scent is to pour some distilled white vinegar into a plastic container and cover it with a tight lid punched with holes. From there, you can place this container in the corner of the room with offensive smells. The vinegar will act as an absorbing agent and rid the room of bad smells. Your room may smell like a salad for a few days, but it is worth it. Over time, the smell will dissipate along with the bad odor.
d.) Make use of silica gels and dryer sheets
Musty smells are characteristic of old furniture and cabinetry. Unfortunately, this can make anything you put inside them smell bad too. So, before filling out any antique furniture with things, crinkle some used newspaper and spray it with a bit of white vinegar and stuff it inside each musty drawer. Also, you can place it on the closet shelf for a few days to allow it to absorb the bad odor (which you can do the same to freshen up smelly shoes). After the smell is gone, maintain the fresh smell of your drawers by placing scented dryer sheets on the drawers or shelves. Alternatively, you can keep the silica gel packs that come with every purchase of new shoes, electronics, and some food products and put them in drawers. Silica gels are known to suck out any moisture, which causes foul odors. Keep in mind that these are to be replaced every 60-90 days.
e.) Clean your dishwasher
Dishwashers that smell a bit funky and rotten may need to be cleaned. Over time, there can be a buildup of bacteria in your dishwasher’s filter caused by the little bits of food that are collected in it. These same bacteria can smell, and if you want to get rid of the odor, you should clean your dishwasher. Make sure to remove and rinse the filter, then pour two cups of distilled white vinegar into the machine (not the detergent holder). Then, run the machine through a hot water cycle and pause the cycle for about twenty minutes midway so that the water and vinegar mixture can break down the detergent residue. After that, restart and finish the cycle.
f.) Your refrigerator needs to be cleaned
Sometimes, preventing odors can be as simple as ensuring that everything is regularly cleaned—including your refrigerators. Start by cleaning the shelves and drawers, then scrub all shelves with a mixture of warm water and baking soda. Wipe it down with a combination of white vinegar and warm water to finish it off. To prevent future odors from developing, keep a box of baking soda open on a shelf at the back of your refrigerator and freezer. Be sure to replace it monthly. Alternatively, you may choose to have a couple of vanilla extract-soaked cotton balls on a small dish placed in the back of your fridge. Check them from time to time and remove them once they have dried out. Replace as needed.
g.) Scrub your toilets before they are even dirty
If you wish to combat bathroom smells, be sure to clean your toilet even before they start to look dirty. This trick will last you up to a week; just be sure to use your preferred cleaning gel. After cleaning, pour half a cup of bleach into the water. Make your wash closets smell even more inviting by adding potpourris or incense.
h.) Bathe your pets
Sometimes, the smell is not from the house but rather the pets that live indoors with you. Get rid of nasty smells by making sure that your pets are freshly bathed and smelling good every few days. The same goes for their belongings, such as their beddings and toys. Be sure to regularly wash their beds, sprinkle their bedding with baking soda, and let it sit and vacuum. Clean their toys as well.
i.) Open as many windows and doors as possible
Make sure that fresh air is circulating in your condo. Let it keep coming to push out any foul odors and stale, musty smells. By allowing fresh air to circulate your space, you are allowing new air to come in, which means that stale air has to leave. Musty smells are often created by dust and poor ventilation. However, once you introduce fresh air into your spaces, you will find that bad odors are removed considerably. So, crack open that window, open the curtains and blinds wide so that fresh air can come in and circulate. Also, you may want to keep your cupboards, cabinets, and drawers open as well to air out these enclosed places.
j.) Boil lemon peels
If you have done everything that you can and find that musty smells and foul odors still linger, one quick way to remove them is to boil water on the stove and add lemon peels into the pot. Once the fragrant lemon scent permeates your surroundings, remove the pot from the stove and transport it to the stinky part of your home carefully. Set the pot on a flat surface safely and leave it open so that the steam and lemony fragrance fills up the room. It also serves as a natural air freshener.
For quicker results, place a fan near the pot of steaming lemon water to let the sweet fragrance circulate around the room. After the lemon water cools, you may opt to bottle it up in a spray bottle and spritz it around as needed.