How to get rid of bad smells in the house

Wondering how to get rid of bad smells in a room? Read on for four handy life hacks for removing smells in the home, including toilet odours and cooking smells.

Updated 3 October 2023


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time5 minutes

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How to get rid of bad smells - key steps:

  • Clean your home regularly. Dust can cause bad smells, along with dirty sheets, overflowing bins, or a grubby toilet

  • Make your own air and fabric fresheners with household solutions like fabric conditioner or essential oils

  • Remember vinegar and baking soda are your best friends when it comes to removing odours

Place cotton balls soaked in vanilla, peppermint, or your favourite essential oil around the home in hidden places.

How to get rid of bad smells in a room – 5 tips

1) Toilet smells

Regular cleaning will help you banish nasty toilet odours in the bathroom – your normal toilet cleaner should be enough, but if there’s a lingering smell of urine try giving your toilet a deep clean with vinegar and baking soda. Both are natural deodorisers that will help rid your toilet of odour-causing bacteria. Check out our method for cleaning a really dirty toilet using vinegar and baking soda here.

2) Mould and mildew remover

Mould and mildew can be a common household problem. First of all, if you discover mould or mildew in your home, you need to get rid of it – read our detailed guide on removing mould and mildew from walls for advice. Then, you need to get a dehumidifier to remove all the moisture from the air and carpet. If your room is particularly prone to mould and mildew, be sure to run your dehumidifier regularly, especially if you’re drying clothes inside.

Another way to help get rid of those damp, mouldy smells is to place a bowl of baking soda in the room and leave it to soak up the moisture and smells in the air.

3) Bin odour neutraliser

Bins are often the culprits of bad smells and it can be hard to stop them smelling, especially as we’re always throwing rubbish in them! So how to get rid of bad smells from a bin? The easiest way is to regularly clean your bins.

Use anti-bacterial wipes, which you can easily dispose of afterwards, like Cif Anti-bacterial Wipes (remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions), or make a mixture of water and white vinegar or you can try Surf disinfectant. Wipe the inside and outside of your bin and leave to dry. Before you place a new bin liner inside, sprinkle some cat litter or coffee grounds in the bottom – this should help absorb bad odours.

4) How to get rid of smoke smell

One of the best things to do to remove smoke smells is to wash all machine washable fabrics in the rooms you’ve smoked in. Wash bedding, removable sofa covers, cushion covers, and curtains with a good quality laundry detergent like Persil small & mightyPersil is also great if you’ve got delicate fabrics. Just remember to consult the fabric’s care label before washing.

If your sofa cushions or curtains aren’t machine washable, make your own fabric freshening spray – mix 1/8 cup of fabric softener, a couple of tablespoons of baking soda, and some water in a spray bottle. Then, carefully spray your fabrics – making sure not get too close to the item – and your sofa or curtains will now smell super fresh!

Vinegar is also great for getting rid of lingering smoke smells. Place some white vinegar in a bowl and leave it in the room where the smell is the strongest. Use several bowls if other rooms in your house smell too. The vinegar will deodorise your home and the smoke smell should be gone in less than a day.

5) How to get rid of cooking smells

After cooking fish or seafood, the smell really can linger in your home for hours. Get rid of fishy smells quickly by combining two cups of water, three tablespoons of baking soda, and lemon peels in a bowl, and leave out overnight in your kitchen. The mixture will absorb the bad odours while refreshing your home with a lemon aroma.

Another way to neutralise bad cooking smells is to cook something that’s guaranteed to smell nice. Fill a pot with water and bring to boil on the hob. Place some citrus peels (oranges, lemons, or grapefruits) in the pot and allow it to gently simmer on the hob at a low heat – you could also add some cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla. Leave for a few hours and your home will smell like you’ve been baking! Getting rid of bad smells is easy! You don’t need to buy fancy air fresheners or get your home professionally cleaned – with these tips on how to get rid of bad smells in a room there’s nothing to worry about – your home should always smell beautifully fresh.

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