Bad Smell in the House
Win the battle against stinkiness. If you’ve got a bad smell in the house, these tips will help you stamp out the stink.
Eliminate Drain Odor
The traps in floor drains—or for that matter, any drains that aren’t used often—will eventually dry out. This may sound harmless enough, but a dry trap can cause a room to fill with potentially harmful sewer gas from the septic tank or the city sewer system. Eliminate this problem by adding about a quart of fresh water topped with a couple of tablespoons of cooking oil. The oil floats on top of the water and seals it against evaporation. Your drain will hold water in the trap much longer.
Eliminate Basement Odor and Sewer Smells
This article shows five reasons why your basement could smell like a sewer. If you have a smelly basement and can’t locate the source, we’ll show you the most likely culprits of the bad smell.
Here’s how to eliminate basement odor and sewer smells.
Chlorinate a Stinky Drain
If your kitchen sink develops a foul smell, pour a cup of bleach down the drain. The bleach will take care of the stink.
Clean Car Air Ducts
Neutralize smoke and other smells in your car with an aerosol can of automotive duct cleaner. Most products require you to spray the cleaner into the vents and the blower motor intake. One way to find your blower motor intake opening is to turn the system on defrost and hold a tissue under the dash. You can buy a can of duct cleaner at auto parts stores. One brand is .
Fix a Smelly Washing Machine
Stop bad odors in your clothes washer by running a cycle with a special mold-killing tablet and by leaving the door open to promote drying.
Learn the secrets to fi a smelly washing machine.
Professional Stench Stopper
Hockey equipment gets really stinky. Rick Bronwell, the assistant equipment manager for the Minnesota Wild hockey team, offers this advice: “The most important thing is to air everything out. In addition to that, try a product called SportSense. It eliminates bacteria that cause odors, but just as important, it eliminates bacteria that can cause a skin infection.” is available in several sizes at sporting goods stores or online at amazon.com. You can use it on all kinds of sports gear.
Freshen Up Work Boots
At the end of a long workday, fill up your boots with cedar chips. (Better yet, slide in an old sock that’s filled with cedar chips.) The cedar chips absorb moisture and eliminate odors. You can buy a bag of chips, sold as animal bedding, at a pet store. Change out the chips every month or so.
Stop Bad Dishwasher Odors
Stop bad dishwasher odors by cleaning food scraps from the tub and running a dishwasher cleaner through a cycle.
Read more on how to fix a smelly dishwasher.
Skunk Spray Antidote
Humans rarely get sprayed by skunks, but for dogs it’s fairly common. If (or when) your dog gets sprayed, if possible, leave him outside for a while—the smell will subside dramatically in 24 hours and you won’t stink up your whole house. It takes a lot longer than that for the smell to disappear completely, however, so you will have to wash the stink out. Before you spend a bunch of money on expensive shampoos, take a tip from the Humane Society: “Mix 1 quart of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide with 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap. Bathe the dog in it and rinse.” Wear gloves to avoid smelling like a skunk yourself.
Baking Soda Makes Odors Go Away
The best thing available to make bad smells go away is baking soda. People think about it for their freezer or refrigerator, but it’s good for much more than that. You can sprinkle it on carpet, work it in a bit and vacuum it up. For other items, like mattresses, cushions and clothing, dampen the fabric and gently rub with baking soda, then wipe off/rinse with cold water. Plus: These Are the Best Household Cleaning Supplies & Products.
Freshen the Fridge
If you’ve ever dealt with a fully stocked refrigerator that has lost power for several days, you understand the definition of “putrid.” Even after a thorough cleaning/disinfecting, the spoiled-food stench can linger for a log time. Try stuffing your stinky fridge with crumpled newspapers and charcoal. The odor will be gone within several days.