Top Ten Ways to Remove Offensive Odors from Your Home

There are ten steps for removing odors from your house. The work is hard and exacting. If you are not in good physical shape you would be better advised to call in the professionals and have the experts do the work for you. There are many odors that may permeate the textiles and fabrics in your home that are offensive and that need to be removed for your comfort or to make your home saleable. Some of those odors are cooking odors, particularly fish and curry odors, smoke from cigarettes or oven fires, pet odors or the odor from illness or incontinence.These top ten steps should take you a long way down the road to fresh air and more harmonious living.

You will need:

* A gallon of household chlorine bleach (do not allow bleach to mix with ammonia)
* Tri-sodium phosphate
* A gallon of apple cider vinegar
* Large container of baking soda
* Lemons
* extra furnace or air conditioner filters
* dishwashers gloves

1. Open windows and doors and place a large fan where it can blow fresh air in and a second fan to exhaust the odors out.

2.Replace attic insulation. The odors from cooking rise in the heat and are trapped in the attic insulation. The insulation cannot be cleaned or effectively deodorized and must be discarded. Completely clean the entire attic and allow it to dry, and then replace the insulation with new material. After the insulation has been replaced you need to have a hood with an exhaust fan placed over your stove to prevent the cooking odor problem from reoccurring.

3. Use a steam extractor for cleaning carpets and upholstered furniture. A commercial steam extractor can be rented from an equipment rental place. Hiring a professional truck mounted steam extractor is also an option, it will cost more, but it is much more powerful than a home style steam extractor and is worth the money if the odors are deeply imbedded and persistent. It is nearly impossible to get odors out of mattresses and foam pillows, these may need to be discarded and replaced.

4.Clothing, bedding, and drapes will need to be laundered or dry cleaned.Be sure to check the tags for care instructions and follow the directions.

5. Clothing may need to be washed several times to remove some odors; particularly stale cigarette smoke. If the odors persist use a formula consisting of:

  • · 4-6 tablespoons of Tri-sodium phosphate
  • · 1 cup of household chlorine bleach
  • · 1 gallon of warm water

Soak color fast clothing in the solution for five to ten minutes and then launder as normal through a complete cycle. For safety, double rinse to remove all traces of the cleaning compounds and air dry outside.

Use plastic kitchen gloves to protect your hands from the chemicals. Tri-sodium phosphate is corrosive and full strength chlorine bleach can cause chemical burns.

6. Take care of the air circulation. Change the furnace or air conditioning filters once a day until you no longer smell offensive odors when you come into the house. The odor causing particles will be in all the ducting and you may need to have a professional duct cleaning service come clean your ducting to completely remove the particulates.

7. Ceilings, walls and floors need to be washed with the tri-sodium phosphate and chlorine solution and rinsed.

8. Unplug and wash your stove and refrigerator inside and out (including the back of the stove and the coils of the refrigerator) with a dish washing liquid, then rinse with a solution consisting of:

  • · 1 cup vinegar
  • · The juice of three lemons
  • · And a gallon of warm water

9. Take all the drawers out of your cabinets and open all the cupboard doors, wash inside and out paying attention to the drawer slides and around the hinges. Allow to dry completely before replacing drawers and closing the cupboard doors.

10. When you have totally washed, and rinsed everything, allow it to dry completely. Place small dishes of vanilla extract, baking soda, sliced lemons or potpourri throughout the house to capture the odors and replace them with a better alternative.

For more detailed information on a particular odor call your county extension agent or a professional cleaning service. Pet urine odors can be removed with some commercially available products but the odor is hard to remove if it has soaked into flooring or furniture.

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