Smelly Cat O’ Smelly Cat: How to Make Your House Smell Good

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Just how smelly are Americans' homes? Considering that more than 80% of the U.S. uses an air freshener product in their residence, it appears that people have a strong desire to make their home smell better.

Air freshener products do little more than mask an odor in your home, however. Keeping your residence deodorized and free of food, cigarette, and pet-related stinks require daily diligence. Here's how to make your house smell good every day. 

Air Your Home Out Regularly

One of the best ways to keep your home smelling fresh is to open the windows on a regular basis and let nature do its thing. Consistent air circulation will help remove stale smells, as well as the odor of chemicals used in new carpeting and furniture. During the winter, you can freshen specific rooms by closing the door and leaving a window open for five to ten minutes so you don't make the entire home cold.

Of course, this home freshening habit depends on the air quality of your neighborhood. If you're regularly smelling exhaust and other pollutants outside, then introducing outdoor air into your home probably won't benefit you. Allergy sufferers and those with respiratory conditions may find opening the windows makes their condition worse.

For these homes, a controlled air ventilation system is the way to go.

Install an Air Ventilation System

A controlled ventilation system works with a home's existing indoor HVAC unit and ductwork to remove contaminants from the outside air and feed it into the rooms.

An air ventilation system is like a water filtration system that removes impurities from your tap water before you drink it. Homeowners who live in hot and humid regions can opt for a ventilating dehumidifier, which gathers air from outside and removes the humidity from it in addition to cleaning it.

Having an air ventilation system is one way to freshen up your home without worrying about the air quality where you live. This air quality service can access the air inside your home and make recommendations for a quality ventilation system that works with your current HVAC system.

Clean Regularly

Cleaning your home consistently and thoroughly will stop odors before they have a chance to start. Laundering the bedding, vacuuming carpets, and emptying the trash regularly will ensure your living spaces smell nice. Sprinkle baking soda onto carpets and rugs and let it sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming to absorb odors.

Your kitchen can be a source of many smells, so clean it promptly following a meal to prevent odors from lingering. Put food away and clean up spills and splatters. Clean your oven and microwave and clean behind appliances and other areas where spilled food can go unnoticed.

If you have a garbage disposal, neutralize smells from stuck food particles by pouring a cup or two of baking soda into the disposal followed by a 1/2 cup of vinegar. Wait an hour, then turn it on and flush it with cold water to rinse it clean. You can also soak it in soapy water and scrub all visible parts of the disposal.

Sometimes a blockage can create garbage disposal odor. Use tongs (never your hands) to carefully remove the clogged food. You can prevent the problem from recurring by refraining from throwing hard, fibrous, and starchy food waste such as corn cobs, fruit pits, banana pits, potatoes, rice, and bread into the disposal.

Your air conditioner's filter also needs to be cleaned to keep your inside air smelling fresh. Cleaning the filter regularly will also help your unit run more efficiently.

Clean Up Pet-Related Messes

If you have pets, clean up their messes right away so your home will never smell like dirty kitty litter or puppy piddle. Small animals such as birds and hamsters need their bedding changed regularly so their waste doesn't have a chance to create a smell. If your cat vomits or your dog pees on the carpet, clean it up immediately before it has a chance to stink.

Invest in an Air Purifier

A portable air purifier won't be able to clear the air in a whole residence at once as a ventilation system can, but it is effective at removing odors and reducing allergens in a specific room. Look for one that is HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) rated; these remove very tiny contaminants from the air. People with allergies and respiratory-related health conditions may find an air purifier helps them breathe better.

You also want a purifier that has a filter that is easy to clean. Some newer models are filter and maintenance-free, but may cost more.

Scent Your Home With Essential Oils

Instead of using air sprays, candles, and plug-ins that contain artificial fragrances, consider scenting your home the natural way using essential oils. When placed in a diffuser, they gently release their all-natural aroma in your home.

Many essential oils are also beneficial to your health. Lavender and bergamot, for example, can help you relax and fall asleep faster while peppermint may help soothe nausea.

If you must use air freshener sprays, look for ones made with citrus oils. They help neutralize smells naturally without leaving behind a lingering, perfume aroma. Keep a can in the bathroom or near the kitty litter box to freshen up the area when it gets smelly.

Learn How to Make Your House Smell Good

Knowing how to make your house smell good requires staying on top of cleaning and ventilation so that unpleasant aromas never get a chance to start. Follow these tips, and you'll never have to worry about embarrassing smells when unexpected company drops by.

We have plenty of other tips to help you keep your home beautiful, clean, and well decorated. Read our blog for our latest home maintenance tips.