Sparkle & Smile

Blog for Cleaner and Healthier Homes.

Green Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Is your home a tad stinky? Use these odor control tips.

January 19, 2017

Is your home smelling a little stinky?  This usually happens during the winter. We close up our homes in October and don’t open them up again until April. That means we’re living with the same air for six months. If you’re smelling some unusual odors in your home, read on for a plan to help you control odors in your home and freshen up:

Garbage Cans

Clean the inside of the trash can by washing it with hot soapy water. Then deodorize it with distilled white vinegar mixed with an essential oil.


You can make a “garbage sachet” to place at the bottom of the pail beneath your trash bag: place some fresh coffee grounds and whole cloves in a clean coffee filter, and tie it closed using string, a twist-tie or a rubber band. Simple!


Don’t just remove rotten food, but also clean the shelves and drawers to remove any rotten liquid. When things rot in a refrigerator, they tend to leak and leave a terrible smelling fluid. Clean and disinfect that area using distilled white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide and a microfiber cloth. Or remove the shelves and wash them in the kitchen sink with hot soapy water.

Pet Smells

Smells from your pets can be removed with consistent cleaning. You should vacuum two to three times a week to remove pet hair, fur and dander.


Pet beds should be washable or have removable covers – launder every week. Keeping your pet groomed will also help control pet odors in the home.

Cooking Odors

Control cooking odors with a DIY air purifier. Combine 2 cups of water, some baking soda and a few lemon peels in a pot and heat the mixture on your stove. The aroma will work to remove those stinky smells.


Areas around the toilet can have what I call “little boy syndrome” where the urine sprays out of the toilet and embeds into the walls, woodwork and flooring. Regular cleaning with a good cleaner AND a disinfectant will work to control those odors.


The inside of the toilet also needs to be cleaned well. You can use a simple mixture of salt, baking soda and borax to make a toilet bowl cleaner that will clean and remove smells. If you have a toilet bowl that has stains – use a pumice stone to remove those stains.


Carpets hold smells like a sponge. Fill a spray bottle with bottom-shelf vodka and spray that over smelly areas. When the alcohol evaporates it carries the smells away with it! This tip will also control odors on smelly fabric furniture.  If the carpet and furniture are really bad you should spend the extra money and hire a professional to steam clean them.

Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal can be the cause of a stinky sink.


To correct that, clean the garbage disposal by grinding a mixture of ice cube, salt and frozen lemon peels. Let it run for a few minutes, then flush with boiling water. Fresh!

Bed Linens

Launder bedding weekly. In nice weather hang everything outside to dry, where the sun and fresh air create ozone that helps remove stale odors from pillows and quilts.


Stinky shoes can really make your closets smell terrible. Control odor in your shoes by spraying some newspaper with distilled white vinegar then crinkling it up and placing it inside your shoes.


If you don’t want to use newspapers, you can spray the inside of your shoes with rubbing alcohol or vodka. Add a few drops of an essential oil into the alcohol or vodka to help cancel out the alcohol odor.

Stale Odors in Rooms

General bad smells can be removed by spraying door jambs with vinegar and your favorite essential oil. By spraying the jams of all the doorways you will get a clean fresh smell when entering into the room!

Workout Clothing

Exercise clothes retain sweat smells and are extremely difficult to remove.  There are some new laundry soaps that work great to remove these smells. Borax or baking soda are great additives to the laundry to get rid of smells too. Just add a tablespoon to your regular laundry soap.

Repeat these tricks to control odors in your home year-round, but especially in the winter. Happy cleaning!

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