Surprising Ways to Deodorize Your Home

Surprising Ways to Deodorize Your Home

Many homeowners focus on keeping their homes clean.  They know how to whip a room into shape so that it shines and looks its best for family and friends.  But sometimes they are stumped when odors spoil the fresh look – odors that originate in the kitchen, the litter box, the laundry room, or elsewhere.

If odors are a problem in your home, the following deodorizing tips, gleaned from the experts, can help you keep your home smelling as good as it looks.

According to, these eight unexpected deodorizers will do wonders for your home:

  • If you have woolen clothes that tend to get musty, try spritzing them with a little vodka (it’s always a good idea to test an out-of-sight spot first).  The vodka will kill bacteria without leaving any odor.  Once you’ve applied the vodka, hang clothes in a well-ventilated spot.
  • If your garbage disposal tends to get dirty, try grinding up orange peels or lemon rinds inside the disposal.  Lime or grapefruit rinds will also do the trick.
  • A cotton pad moistened with pure vanilla extract is a great deodorizer for the freezer. Refrigerator shelves will do better with a mix of 50% white vinegar and 50% water.
  • If your plastic food containers are capturing unwanted smells, soak them in warm water and baking soda overnight.
  • In-between professional Carpet Cleaning Services, you might find your carpets collect odors.  Try sprinkling the offending area with baking soda and vacuuming it up a few hours later.
  • If your pet’s bed is causing a problem, throw it in the dryer for half an hour with a home dry cleaning bag and cloth from Dryel.
  • Here’s a great trick for a basement with odor problems: cut an onion in half, place it on a plate and leave it in the basement overnight.  You’ll be surprised at the fresh results once the onion’s own odor dissipates!
  • Outside the home, your car can also be the source of odor problems.  Try placing a potpourri wax tart into one of your cup holders.  The tarts are sold by candle makers and are usually used in fragrance burners.

Famous maven Heloise of Good Housekeeping offers her own household deodorizing tips:

Deodorizing Your Kitchen

  • To absorb cooking odors, place a small bowl of white vinegar on the stove while you cook.
  • Sprinkling salt on drips that have bubbled over and out of cookware will absorb any burned smell while a dish is still cooking. 

Garbage Odors

  • Few people think to do it, but it’s important to wash both indoor and outdoor trash bins with hot soapy water. 
  • Used fabric softener sheets left in the bottom of your kitchen trash will absorb odors.

Bathroom Fresheners

  • To deodorize the toilet bowl, pour one cup of household vinegar into the toilet bowl, let it stand for at least five minutes, and then scrub and flush.
  • Essential oils on cotton balls, stored in a small bowl, will work as air fresheners.

Car-Odor Chaser

  • Fill ashtrays with 1/2 cup baking soda for a continual deodorizer.

Read more of Heloise’s tips here: Deodorize Your House - Heloise Hints - Tips to Remove Bad Odors - Good Housekeeping.

Finally, “The Happy Slob” offers a few more hints for general home deodorizing:

  • Use a French “Lampe Berger,” which looks much like a decorative, collectible oil burning lamp but burns an alcohol-based formula that’s great for deodorizing.
  • Simmer some citrus in a little water on the stove.
  • Clean any offending item or appliance with baking soda.
  • Cut up an apple and leave out the slices to absorb odors. Apparently this even works for litter boxes!

Everyone has their own tips and tricks, but with help from the experts your house can smell as fresh as it looks – everyday.