Lingering home odors are an offense to the olfactory sense, and, can make any living environment downright unpleasant. We all do household chores to keep our residences clean, and, free of smells. When you move into a new property, you just might notice an odor you didn’t before, or, it could be something recently created. In some instances, it’s an easy task, you simply go to the source and rid your home of it. However, in other circumstances, lingering odors can be quite problematic because of where they are located and how much they’ve taken hold. If you’re selling a home, it’s imperative you deal with the issue.
Removing Lingering Home Odors
If you are facing a lingering smell in your home, don’t make the mistake of spraying air freshener to combat it. An air freshener might cover-up a foul odor, but will ultimately dissipate, leaving little to no trace of its fresh scent. Worse yet, an air freshener can compound the problem, creating two distinct, dueling smells. On top of all of that, when you do spray air freshener, if it’s near a return HVAC vent, it will be broadcast throughout the system.
“For persistent odors, you might want to use an odor-blocking primer and sealant, like Kilz, to repaint your walls. Dry-clean curtains and other upholstery around the house. If your house came furnished, you may want to consider tossing out some of that furniture, especially the upholstered pieces.” —Realtor.com
The truth is, lingering smells take time to get rid of, because often times, these are ingrained in one way or another. Pet odors are a prime example. These seep into fabric, into materials, and even into the floor and subfloor. Until you find and treat the source, the smell will remain inside the home. Here are some ways you can successfully remove lingering home odors:
- Find and treat the root cause. When a smell emanates from a specific area, like where the kitchen trash can is housed, it’s not just the refuse inside the container. Smells, by their very nature, seep into surrounding areas. So, give the space a good scrubbing and replace the trash bin with a new one.
- Let the room air-out. This is an old and reliable way to get rid of smells. Since the Orlando climate is a hot, humid one, the windows stay shut for most of the year. Whatever odors get into the air system will be circulated throughout the house. Let fresh air waft through your home to carry out odor.
- Pull odor out of carpet and fabric. Baking soda is a versatile product that can be used to pull odor out of fabrics. Sprinkle baking soda over fabric and let sit for several hours, or, overnight. Then, vacuum it up, using a new bag. If you have a tank vacuum, clean it thoroughly before using it.
- Use coffee to do the job. Another common household item, coffee, can be a powerful weapon in eliminating odors. Fill two to four shallow bowls with fresh coffee ground, then, place these throughout the room. Leave the bowls in-place overnight, with the windows and door(s) shut. The next day, remove the bowls and dispose of the coffee grounds.
- Wash walls and window sills. If you’re dealing with smoke, clean the walls and window sills thoroughly with TSP or trisodium phosphate. You might have to do this more than once to rid your home of the smell.
- Combat pet damage with bleach. When you smell pet odor, it’s usually stained urine that’s seeped through the flooring into the subfloor. You’ll have to take-up the flooring and dispose of it, if necessary. Then, spray bleach over the stains on the subfloor and place fans in the room. Leave it to soak overnight, then, wash the subfloor.
If you can’t seem to pinpoint the cause of the odor and it is present in every room, you might be dealing with dirty air ducts. Have these inspected and cleaned by a professional service.