Unilever logo
Cleanipedia AU logo

How to Get Rid of Bad Smells in the Home

Want to get rid of the lingering smells in your home? Discover how to remove damp, cooking, and pet odours with this easy-to-follow guide.


ways to prevent allergies

Whether it’s a musty smell in the bedroom or the smell of cooking in the kitchen ­– bad odours can be off-putting, and especially inconvenient when you’ve got visitors staying in the house, too!

If you want to know how to get rid of bad smells, we’ve got the tips and tricks you need to get your interiors smelling as fresh as a daisy once more.

Instead of just removing bad smells – replace them with good ones! Wash your cushion covers with a detergent like Surf with 5 Herbal Extracts to infuse them with a wonderful fragrance. Remember to read the care labels to make sure the fabric is machine-washable first.

3 Tips on How to Get Rid of Damp Smell in a Room

Usually due to humidity and condensation in the home, mildew tends to spring up on walls, ceilings, and even in wardrobes or on carpets. It’s always advisable to find the source of the damp smell and deal with it directly (you can find more information here), but to eliminate those musty odours at the same time, do the following:

  1. Ventilate the house regularly. Mildew thrives in humid conditions, so musty odours will only get worse in stuffy rooms. If there’s a musty odour in the bedroom, keep the windows open whenever you’re home ­– this will help to eliminate the smell of damp.

  2. Clean mould stains with a good cleaning agent, or a diluted solution of Domestos bleach*. Always wear protective clothing, and follow the instructions on the product.

  3. Freshen up and remove musty odours from carpets using baking soda. Sprinkle over the rug or carpet (taking care not to tread it in) and leave overnight, before vacuuming the following morning. This is also a good tip if you want to know how to remove vomit smells from carpet – baking soda is great for absorbing all kinds of nasty odours!


Safety Warning

Do not swallow; do not mix with other detergents or chemicals, particularly cleaners. Mixing may generate toxic chlorine gas. Ensure adequate ventilation when using, vapour may be harmful. Strongly alkaline and corrosive. Attacks skin and eyes so avoid contact. May produce severe burns. Wear protective gloves and eye protection when mixing or using. Do not mix with hot water. Store upright below 25 degrees celsius. Rinse containers with water before disposal.

 *Domestos kills germs such as:

  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

  • Escherichia coli

  • Staphylococcus aureus

  • Proteus vulgaris

How to Get Rid of Bad Smells – 7 Ways to Remove Common Household Odours

Whether you’re looking for tips on paint smell removal, or want to cover up pet odours – the following 7 methods are ideal for eliminating all kinds of lingering scents in the home.

  • Use an odour eliminator. An ideal method for paint smell removal; rather than covering up the smell, these products can help remove it entirely. Always ventilate the affected area before and after to get the best results, and read the instructions on the label.

  • Install an air purifier. Air purifiers help remove contaminants from the air. These devices are an excellent way to eliminate cooking and pet odours, and they also help shift dust and dirt. Make sure that you follow any directions in the manufacturer’s manual.

  • Clean your carpets. Carpets tend to absorb odour, making this method one to keep in mind when you’re considering how to get rid of vomit smell from carpet, smelly food and drink stains like coffee and curry, or even lingering odours from puppy training accidents! You can either opt for commercial carpet cleaners that you can use yourself, or choose a professional cleaning service for a slightly higher price. Make sure that you follow any directions in the owner’s manual.

  • Wash any fabric in the room. Smells lingering in fabric, whether it be a curtain or a sofa cover, can be extremely off-putting and even rather nauseating to come into contact with. Washing these with a fragranced laundry detergent like Surf Tropical Lilly and Ylang will help to eliminate bad odours, replacing them a wonderfully inviting scent instead. Remember to check the label of any fabric item for washing advice – many, but not all, fabrics are machine washable.

  • Wash walls and ceilings. For a thorough clean of a room, you really need to tackle the walls and ceilings, as they will retain bad smells – particularly musty and damp odours. Use a good quality cleaning product that is suitable for painted surfaces, and ensure you follow all safety directions.

  • Re-upholster furniture. If the smell is very hard to shift, and you have a little extra cash to splash, re-upholstering your furniture will automatically get rid of any smells caught in the fabric.

So, now you know how to get rid of bad smells in the home, there’s no need to stock up on air fresheners. Give one of these methods a try!

  • Deep clean your carpets as they tend to absorb everyday smells – steam cleaners are great for doing this yourself instead of hiring a professional cleaning service.

  • Freshen up machine-washable fabric, such as curtain and cushions (according to the care label instructions).

  • Open the windows as much as possible to naturally air out your home.