6 Ways to Naturally Deodorize Your Home
One of the biggest challenges we face as cleaners is getting rid of bad odors: everything from the dog or cat that likes to pee in the house, to the leftovers from your kid’s last encounter with the flu, and all the stuff in between!
What can you do to get rid of them faster? Here are a few tips to help keep your home smelling great without resorting to harmful cover-ups:
1. Get rid of the source. A few weeks ago I walked into the office and swore I could smell wine. I didn’t think much of it since at the time we were right next to a distillery, but the next day I smelled it again. And the next, and only in the office, not in the warehouse. Turns out Amelia, our customer support guru, was eating bananas and leaving the peels in the trash. After a day or so, they started smelling like wine. We started throwing out the office trash daily and viola, the smell disappeared! Getting rid of the source of the bad odor, or malodor is the first step in cleaning up the air in the house.
2. Vacuum frequently and thoroughly. Ever walked into a room and said “it smells like dog in here.”? Dogs and cats, as well as humans are constantly shedding skin and hair. Our skin and hair are covered in natural oils and often have degraded bits of hormones on them. This is prime food for bacteria, which thrives on such a feast. Bacteria break down the skin, and just like everything that lives (except tarantulas), they poop. Bacteria feces and flatulence is what you smell. Vacuuming frequently (in some cases that means daily) helps to keep that food source at bay, and keeps the air fresher.
3. Ventilate. Ventilation is key to keeping air from getting stagnant. Circulation refers to moving inside air around, such as with a ceiling fan, but ventilation refers to bringing fresh outside air in. Studies by the EPA have shown that Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) can be 7-10 times more polluted than outside air. Especially here in Boise, leaving your windows open can be a great way to get fresher air inside.
4. Air out bedding, upholstery, pillows, etc. Once again, nature has an awesome way of taking care of bad smells. Sunlight, full of those UV rays we worry about during these summer months, is actually a great disinfectant. Leaving blankets, sheets, pillows and mattresses into the sun for a day is a great way to kill off the odor-causing bacteria. Just make sure to check the forecast for rain!
5. Wash non-porous surfaces with lemon or orange extracts. Both of those oils contain d-Limonene, a fantastic cleaner. Using a very mild solution, clean your drains, trash cans, and refrigerator, just to name a few. Throwing a few peels into the garbage disposal and running it can help clear out those nasty smells.
6. Get the pee out, and use a premium odor treatment on pet spots. Lastly, one of our biggest challenges is dealing with pet urine. The first step in dealing with these odors is to get as much of the pee out as possible. I personally like to use a wet-dry (shop) vacuum to try to pull as much urine out as possible. I will pour a little water on the spot as well, to try and flush away as much of the urine crystals as possible. If the pee has dried, try adding a little vinegar as well. The acidity will help break those crystals down faster. Once the area has been flushed, saturate the area with a premium odor treatment, either enzyme or encapsulant (check out our online store for our recommended solutions). Enzymes take time to work, so be patient. Once the area is dry, vacuum thoroughly.
Summer is the best time to get your home odor free, naturally! If you need help, or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!