Home Remedy for a Smelly House

Everybody's home goes through periods when it smells less than fresh, perhaps due to cooking smells, pet odors or cigarette smoke. While you might be tempted to grab one of the multitudes of commercial air fresheners readily available at the grocery store, these items tend to be expensive and full of chemicals. They also mask odors rather than eliminating them, which means you might enjoy the fresh smell of "apples" for a few minutes, only to have unpleasant odors return quickly. Inventive homeowners can create their own effective odor-eliminating air fresheners and home deodorizers using simple, inexpensive household materials.

Air Fresheners

Purchase some essential oils such as lavender, pine, orange or geranium at a natural foods store and place eight to 10 drops per cup of water into a spray bottle of water to serve as an effective way to remove odors from your home. You can also use this mixture to wipe down surfaces in the home. Make it antibacterial by adding a few drops of tea tree oil to the mixture. To deodorize a bathroom, place a few drops of an essential oil onto the cardboard part of a toilet paper roll before hanging it in the bathroom. Boil a pot of water mixed with 2 tbsp. of pure vanilla extract to freshen the air of your home. Open your windows whenever possible to allow fresh air to circulate inside of your home; this will automatically help freshen the air and remove odors. Remove a musty smell from your basement or room in your home by cutting an onion and leaving it in the room overnight. When you wake up, the damp smell will be replaced by clean (not onion-scented) air.

Fabric and Carpet Deodorizers

Sprinkle baking soda on your carpet and allow it to sit for two to three hours before vacuuming. If you can't let it sit that long, try doing small portions of your carpet at a time. Spray upholstery and rugs with vodka to freshen them without leaving any scent behind. Vinegar mixed in equal portions with water also works well as a fabric and upholstery deodorizer; always test any type of spray on an inconspicuous area of your upholstery before spraying it on the entire thing. Unlike some commercial products that simply cover up bad smells, these remedies actually remove the odors.

Other Deodorizers

Drop orange or lemon rinds down the disposal and flush with hot water to help freshen up a stinky sink. Use cotton balls dipped in pure vanilla extract to wipe down the interior of a freezer to alleviate bad smells; an equal mixture of vinegar and water will provide the same freshening to your refrigerator. Mix baking soda with a few drops of essential oils and sprinkle the mixture into the bottom of trash cans and diaper pails to remove odors.