Smells don’t come in all shapes and sizes, because they don’t have shapes at all, but because of that people tend to treat all smells the same way. This is a mistake. Some smells are in the air, some are trapped in materials, and they all have unique causes.
The good news is, you’re not stuck with them. Here’s how to get a bad smell out of your house.
We’ve covered the magic of vinegar before in this space, and we’ll cover it again now. Vinegar is a fantastic tool for getting rid of airborne smells like smoke. Dampen a towel with white vinegar, and walk around in the smoky area and swing that towel in the air like you just don’t care. Vinegar has this crazy way of grabbing smelly particles and trapping them inside itself.
Vinegar”s old pal baking soda comes in handy for smells that seem to be embedded in something, such as carpet. If you’ve got a funky smell in yours, sprinkle some baking soda on it and let it sit there for a while. Maybe an hour or two. Then just come back in with your vacuum cleaner and sweep it up. Like vinegar in air, the baking soda will have entrapped most of those smells, allowing you to dump them in the trash like so much dust.
Your garbage disposal probably develops a musk to it from time to time, and no matter how much soap you seem to dump in there, you still wind up with that smell. Here, lemons — specifically lemon peels — can be a big help. Tossing a lemon down the garbage disposal accomplishes a couple things. For one, the lemony scent and acid in the juice will help break down any fatty smells or residue, and for a second, grinding away on some lemon peels will actually help sharpen the disposal’s blades.
“Activated” in this context means the charcoal has been treated in such a way that it’s really porous, meaning it will absorb smells aggressively. You can buy it at drug stores and places like that. It works in basically the same way as baking soda does, only better.