Best Remedies for the Worst Household Odors

Summertime is all about fun in the sun. That means getting dirty and sweaty, and trouble keeping a fresh home. While the mess is well worth it, it can also lead to musty, stinky odors. What’s a mom to do? To fight off offensive smells and keep a clean home, try these savvy steps.

 

Smell offender No. 1: Stinky tennis shoes

Freshen up: Can you practically see the fumes coming from your shoe rack? Sweat combined with bacteria can lead to a pungent smell. To eliminate the odor, sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda inside the shoes and allow them to sit overnight. Then soak your tennis shoes in detergent and warm water, and either hand-wash them or pop them in the washing machine on a regular cycle. Maintain freshness by regularly spraying them with air freshener, in a scent you love.

 

Smell offender No. 2: Damp swimsuits

Freshen up: To prevent your bathing suit from becoming musty, make sure that you rinse and air-dry your suit after each use. If it still reeks of mildew or chlorine, handwash your suit thoroughly. Then dry it flat.

 

Smell offender No. 3: Lingering cooking odors

Freshen up: If your kitchen still reeks of last night’s dinner, try airing out the space by opening up the windows and doors for a few hours. You can also neutralize the scent with a room air freshener in a scent you like, and by simmering water and citrus rinds on the stove.

 

Smell offender No. 4: Sweaty sports gear

Freshen up: Your kids played hard -- and you can smell the aftereffects in their sports gear. Instead of tossing that sweaty gear directly into the hamper (where mildew can grow), pre-treat them. To unlock stains and odors, soak those dirty clothes in water with a small amount of detergent and baking soda before running it through a regular wash cycle.

 

Smell offender No. 5: Stinky trashcan

Freshen up: Hot weather can ripen smells, making trash even more pungent. To clear the air, first swap your can for one with a lid to trap in odors. And make sure to wash it regularly: With a hose or in the bathtub, rinse it out thoroughly with a little bleach. Then, using a few drops of dishwashing liquid, scrub it out and rinse again. Towel it off or let it air-dry. Spray a generous amount of air freshener regularly to eliminate odors and keep it smelling clean.