10 Ways to Freshen Up Household Odors

By Barbara Pronin


Little is more annoying than waking up to a house that smells like kitty litter or the remains of last night’s dinner. But there’s no need to run right out and load up on expensive deodorizers.

Home improvement guru Bob Vila suggests ten common household items that can help freshen and deodorize your home in record time:

  • Green tea in the litter box – A box or two of dry green tea leaves sprinkled into the  litter box will keep the cat john area smelling fresh.
  • Dryer sheets in the trash bin – Stomp out persistently foul-smelling garbage bins with the same disposable dryer sheets you use in the laundry. Toss one or two in the bottom of the bin and the fresh scent will take over.
  • Apple cider vinegar in the drains – Pour half a cupful into offending drains to get rid of yucky smells.
  • Vanilla extract in the freezer – Freshen up the freezer by soaking a cotton ball in vanilla extract and wiping it around the inside.
  • Lemon juice in the sink – Douse the odor in your sink or garbage disposal with a cup or two of lemon juice poured in. The disposal can take the lemon rinds, too.
  • Onions in the basement – Musty smell in the basement after the rain? Believe it or not, a raw onion halved and left there overnight will banish any mold or mildew odor.
  • Coffee grounds in the fridge – If your refrigerator tends to smell like spoiled food, fill a nylon stocking with fresh ground coffee and toss it in the back of the fridge,
  • Baking soda for sneakers – sprinkle baking soda into foul-smelling sneakers to make them smell fresh and new again. Tap the powder out in the morning, and you and your shoes are ready to go.
  • Salt and cinnamon for stovetop spills – If the soup’s boiled over, spatter a mixture of salt and cinnamon over the spill while it is still warm. Sponge off the residue after it’s cool, and no burnt smell will survive.
  • House plants all around – To keep your home smelling fresh, let a few houseplants do the work. Scented geraniums and Arabian jasmines, in particular, can help banish household odors.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.