Do you ever get self-conscious about the smell of your home? This is very common. When we live in a place for a long time, we can come accustomed to the way things smell – after all, we all know that every household has a signature scent that is unmistakable. But have you ever wondered if your house smells bad to others, and you just can’t notice it? Human beings adapt to different environments very quickly, meaning that they can barely smell certain odors once they are used to them. This is called olfactory adaptation. It’s the reason why your perfume scent seems to disappear five minutes after you put it on, or why your dog’s fur doesn’t smell like a dog, it just smells like them. But if we aren’t careful, becoming accustomed to smells in our home might mean that we don’t realize that to others, our home has a bad odor.
There are many things that can contribute to bad smells lingering in your home, which may even go unnoticed by those who live there due to olfactory adaptation. In this blog you’ll find four common bad smells which gather in homes, and some solutions on how to get rid of them. Let’s get to it!
Bad Smell #1: Musty Scent
If your home smells musty, kind of like an antique store or an old cupboard, there could be many causes of this. The smell might hit you just as you walk into the door, then disappear after a few minutes due to your olfactory adaptation working to normalize the smell. However, musty smells could be a sign of some structural issues. What can cause musty smells?
- Your building is old and crumbling. Old buildings tend to harbor musty smells because the wood and plaster are getting older. These are typically harder to clean, as they have lingering dust, dirt, and aging paint and plaster in the cracks and corners of the property.
- Fungus or mold. This is a much more serious issue than just a musty smell. If your home smells musty and damp all of the time, this is likely due to mold or damp building up in your home. Mold can be dangerous in more ways than one; other than looking unsightly, mold can cause breathing issues, itchy eyes, and skin rashes too.
How Can You Combat Musty Smells?
Firstly, it’s time to locate the source of the smell. Is it simply due to the fact that the building is old and brings with it an old, crumbly structure? In which case, this can be combated by having the walls re-plastered, the windows re-fitted and the floors filled in to avoid this in the future.
If you discover that you have a mold buildup in your home, you can have this removed by a professional mold removal service that will remove the mold and prevent further buildup. Otherwise, mold cleaners containing bleach should be applied to scrub away the buildup of mold and leave your surfaces clean and sparkling!
Bad Smell #2: Body Odor or Sweat
Those of us with teenage children might be familiar with this one. If your home smells sweaty or pungent, it might be due to:
- A lack of personal hygiene by someone or multiple people in the household.
- It could be put down to fabrics such as bed linen, sofa cushions, and blankets not being washed regularly enough.
- A lack of ventilation in the house, caused by keeping windows and doors shut too much, can contribute to this overly-human smell.
- Exercising at home which causes a buildup of sweat smell.
How Can You Combat Sweaty Smells?
If you feel that your home is beginning to smell sweaty and odorous, there are some very simple solutions. Make sure that everyone in the house is showering or bathing regularly and keeping on top of their personal hygiene. Secondly, ensure that the fabrics in your home such as bed sheets, sofa cushions, and blankets are routinely cleaned. These kinds of fabrics come into contact with us most often, meaning that we sometimes don’t realize that they smell sweaty or generally bad.
In addition, you could turn to the simplest solution: opening windows regularly and allowing fresh air into your home. This is especially important if you do home workouts which make you break a sweat. Even in the colder months of the year, this is a very important action to take which helps reduce mold, circulate any bad smells, and have a clean smelling home.
Furthermore, you could invest in an air purifier to ensure that any dirt and nasty smells that linger in the house are eradicated. Brands such as Molekule stock high-quality air purifiers which will do the trick. On YouTube, you can find a Molekule review addressed by Jaya Rao, co-founder of the brand!
Bad Smell #3: Pet Smell
If you have a pet, you may have noticed in the past that the pet affects the way your home smells. It’s only natural – there is an animal living in your home, so it is bound to affect the way the place smells. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes pet smells can become pungent and stinky, affecting the general ambiance of your home. It can also make pet owners feel self-conscious that the first thing their guests smell is the dog or cat who lives there. So what causes bad pet smells?
- Excessive hair shedding. If your dog or cat sheds a lot of hair, this will gather in the home and leave a smell with it.
- Dirty paws treading through the house. If you walk your dog in the mud and then bring them home without wiping their feet, the muddy smell can linger in the home. Similarly, if your cat goes outdoors and gets into muddy mischief, they can bring the smell home too.
- Fabrics like dog or cat beds, blankets, and towels.
How Can You Combat Bad Pet Smells?
Firstly, if the pet smell truly bothers you, then having a pet may not be for you. Although there are steps to take to reduce pet smells, the house will still have elements of pet odor, regardless of how much you clean.
If you want to reduce your pet’s smell impacting your home’s general odor, there are things you can do. Firstly, ensure that you regularly vacuum your home, sucking up any pet hair and dust that they leave lying around. In addition to regular vacuuming, you should groom your pet at least once a week with a grooming tool that is designed to remove all the dead hair from their fur, meaning they drop hairless around your home.
The aforementioned tactics will work for pet smells too: opening windows every day and an air purifier will help. On top of this, it is useful to wash your dog or cat’s bed often, as well as regularly cleaning carpets where they lie or walk. Carpets, unfortunately, hold onto smells much more than other floorings, so with pets, it is essential that you clean carpets as often as you can with a specialist carpet cleaner.
Bad Smell #4: Food Smells
If you are a certified foodie and love to experiment with cooking, it might be affecting your home’s smell without you realizing it. Particularly smelly foods like fish, fermented vegetables or anything fried or deep-fried will make a greasy smell linger in your home. But don’t worry, you shouldn’t be giving up your beloved cooking hobby just to get rid of the smell – just follow these helpful tips to get rid of the smells faster!
How Can You Combat Bad Food Smells?
Firstly, the old chestnuts will work pretty well: keep windows open while you are cooking and you will find that the smells dissipate faster. But this isn’t all! You should also clean surfaces – including the countertops, walls, and cooktops – straight after you cook, to ensure that food molecules don’t linger and create a bad smell. You can even use delicious smelling surface cleaners that replace food smells with a fresh, clean scent.
In addition, make sure you have a fully working extractor fan above your cooktop. When you begin cooking, immediately switch this on, to ensure that excess smoke and fumes don’t emanate out to the rest of the house. This is the simplest way to ensure your home doesn’t smell bad after cooking highly flavorful foods every day. Another way to simply make sure that the smell doesn’t spread is to shut your kitchen door when you begin cooking. Although this doesn’t exactly promote socialization with the rest of the household, it will prevent bad smells from drifting.
Every home has a unique smell, and this shouldn’t be eradicated completely. After all, we are all human – animals, at the end of the day! – so it’s normal to smell like something. If your home has trespassed into the bad-smell territory, use this helpful guide to alleviate your problem!