How to Freshen Up Stinky Spaces – Quick tips from Good Cleaner

Maintaining a fresh-smelling space is essential for creating a comfortable and inviting environment. Unpleasant odors can arise from various sources, including food, pets, and everyday activities. Fortunately, there are simple and effective ways to eliminate these smells and keep your home smelling clean. Here are some quick tips from Good Cleaner Co. to help you freshen up stinky spaces.

Identify the Source of the Odor

Before you start freshening up your space, it’s crucial to identify the source of the odor. Common odor sources include garbage bins, pet areas, kitchens, bathrooms, carpets, and upholstery. Once you’ve pinpointed the cause, you can take targeted action to eliminate the smell.

Unpleasant odors can make any space feel less inviting, but with a few simple tricks, you can keep your home smelling fresh and clean. Here are some effective methods to tackle those pesky smells:

1. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that works wonders in absorbing unpleasant odors. Research has shown that baking soda’s ability to neutralize odors comes from its chemical properties, which allow it to react with odor-causing acids and bases, rendering them neutral and odorless. You can read more about this scientific study on how baking soda absorbs odors.

Here’s how you can use it effectively:

  • Refrigerators: Place an open box or a small bowl of baking soda in the back of your refrigerator. Replace it every three months to keep the fridge smelling fresh.
  • Closets: Fill a small container or a sock with baking soda and place it in your closet. It will absorb moisture and odors, keeping your clothes smelling clean.
  • Bathrooms: Sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of your bathroom trash can or place a small dish of it on a shelf to neutralize odors.
  • Carpets and Upholstery: Sprinkle baking soda liberally on carpets and upholstery. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes, then vacuum it up to remove odors trapped in the fibers.

2. Vinegar Spray

White vinegar is a powerful and natural deodorizer due to its acidic properties. It doesn’t just mask odors; it neutralizes them. Here’s how to use it:

  • Air Freshener: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Lightly spritz the mixture in the air around the room to neutralize odors.
  • Surface Deodorizer: Spray the vinegar solution on surfaces such as countertops, sinks, and bathroom tiles. Wipe it down with a clean cloth to remove lingering smells.
  • Carpet and Upholstery Refresher: Lightly mist the vinegar solution on carpets and upholstery. Allow it to air dry. The vinegar smell will dissipate, taking the unwanted odors with it.
  • Microwave Deodorizer: Heat a bowl of equal parts water and vinegar in the microwave for a few minutes. The steam will loosen food particles and neutralize odors. Wipe down the interior of the microwave afterward.

3. Essential Oils

Essential oils not only add a pleasant scent to your space but also offer various aromatherapy benefits. Here are some ways to incorporate them:

  • Diffusers: Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (such as lavender, eucalyptus, or lemon) to an essential oil diffuser. The diffuser will disperse the scent throughout the room, creating a fresh and inviting atmosphere.
  • Hot Water Bowls: Fill a bowl with hot water and add a few drops of essential oil. Place the bowl in the desired room. The steam will carry the scent into the air.
  • DIY Room Spray: Create a simple room spray by mixing water, a small amount of rubbing alcohol, and a few drops of essential oil in a spray bottle. Shake well and spritz the mixture around your home for an instant refresh.
  • Vacuum Cleaner: Add a few drops of essential oil to a cotton ball and place it inside your vacuum cleaner bag or filter. As you vacuum, the scent will be released into the air, leaving your home smelling delightful.

Additional Tips for a Fresh-Smelling Home

  • Regular Cleaning: Consistent cleaning routines help prevent odors from building up. Regularly vacuum, mop, and dust your home to keep it fresh.
  • Proper Ventilation: Ensure your home is well-ventilated by opening windows and using exhaust fans to remove stale air and bring in fresh air.
  • Dehumidifiers: Use dehumidifiers in damp areas to reduce moisture, which can contribute to musty odors.
  • Air Purifiers: Invest in air purifiers to remove airborne particles and odors, improving the overall air quality in your home.

4. Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is excellent for absorbing odors due to its highly porous structure. It works by trapping odor-causing molecules. Here’s how to use it:

  • Basements: Place a few activated charcoal bags or containers in different corners of your basement. This helps absorb the musty smells that often develop in damp areas.
  • Closets: Hang small charcoal bags or place containers on the shelves. This will keep your clothes smelling fresh and prevent the buildup of any musty odors.
  • Shoes: Place a small piece of activated charcoal in your shoes overnight to absorb sweat odors.
  • Refrigerators: Keep a small container of activated charcoal on a shelf to absorb food odors and keep the fridge smelling clean.

5. House Plants

Certain house plants can naturally filter the air and absorb odors. They also add a touch of greenery to your home, enhancing its aesthetic appeal. Here are some examples:

  • Spider Plants: Place spider plants in your kitchen or bathroom. They are excellent at absorbing odors and pollutants like formaldehyde and xylene.
  • Peace Lilies: These plants are great for living rooms and bedrooms. They not only absorb odors but also remove mold spores from the air.
  • Aloe Vera: Aloe vera plants are ideal for bathrooms. They help to clear the air of unpleasant smells and can also be used for their medicinal properties.
  • English Ivy: This plant is effective in reducing airborne fecal particles, making it perfect for pet areas.

Read more about office and house plants on our blog here Best Plants for Office to Keep It Clean and Fresh (

6. Fresh Air

Opening windows and doors to let in fresh air is one of the easiest ways to reduce indoor odors. Regular ventilation helps disperse smells and brings in a fresh breeze. Here are some tips:

  • Morning Routine: Make it a habit to open your windows for at least 15-30 minutes every morning. This helps to exchange stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air.
  • Cross-Ventilation: Create a cross-breeze by opening windows on opposite sides of the room or house. This allows air to flow freely and effectively remove odors.
  • After Cooking: Always ventilate your kitchen after cooking, especially when preparing strong-smelling foods like fish or garlic.
  • Bathroom Ventilation: Keep bathroom windows open after showers to prevent mold and mildew, which can cause unpleasant smells.

7. Lemon and Baking Soda

Lemon juice and baking soda make a powerful combination for scrubbing surfaces that tend to hold onto odors. Here’s how to use this mixture:

  • Cutting Boards: Create a paste with lemon juice and baking soda. Scrub your cutting boards with the paste to remove odors from garlic, onions, and other pungent foods. Rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Sinks: Apply the lemon and baking soda paste to your sink, especially around the drain area. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse with water to leave your sink smelling fresh.
  • Microwave: Heat a bowl of water with lemon slices in the microwave for a few minutes. The steam will loosen food particles and the lemon will neutralize odors. Wipe down the interior with a sponge.
  • Refrigerators: Wipe down the interior of your refrigerator with a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda to remove lingering food odors.

8. Coffee Grounds

Used coffee grounds are excellent at absorbing unwanted odors and leaving behind a subtle, pleasant scent. Here’s how you can use them:

  • Refrigerators and Freezers: Place a bowl of used coffee grounds in your refrigerator or freezer to neutralize food odors.
  • Closets: Put a bowl of dried coffee grounds in your closet to absorb musty smells and leave a light coffee scent.
  • Shoes: Fill a sock or small fabric pouch with coffee grounds and place it in your shoes overnight to remove odors.
  • Car: Keep a small container of coffee grounds in your car to absorb any smells from food, pets, or other sources.

9. Laundry Tips

Adding white vinegar to your laundry routine is an effective way to eliminate musty smells from clothes and towels. Here’s how to incorporate it into your laundry routine:

  • Deodorize Clothes: Add one cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine. The vinegar helps to neutralize odors and break down any detergent residue that can trap smells in the fabric. This is particularly useful for gym clothes, towels, and other items that tend to develop strong odors.
  • Natural Fabric Softener: Vinegar acts as a natural fabric softener. Adding it to the rinse cycle will leave your clothes feeling soft and fresh without the need for commercial fabric softeners, which can contain harsh chemicals.
  • Brighten Whites: Vinegar can also help to brighten white clothes. For an extra boost, add half a cup of vinegar to the wash cycle along with your regular detergent. This helps to remove yellowing and restore the brightness of white fabrics.
  • Mildew Odor Removal: For towels and clothes that have developed a musty or mildew smell, run a wash cycle with hot water and one cup of vinegar, followed by a regular wash with detergent. This helps to kill any mildew spores and remove lingering odors.
  • Cleaning the Washing Machine: Periodically run an empty wash cycle with two cups of vinegar to clean and deodorize your washing machine. This helps to remove soap scum, mineral deposits, and mildew, ensuring that your machine stays clean and odor-free.

10. DIY Potpourri

Creating a DIY potpourri by simmering a pot of water with fragrant ingredients is an easy and natural way to fill your home with a warm, inviting fragrance. Here’s how to make it:

  • Ingredients: Gather your ingredients, which can include slices of citrus fruits (such as oranges, lemons, or limes), cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, and any other aromatic spices or herbs you enjoy.
  • Preparation: Fill a pot with water and add your chosen ingredients. For example, you could use the slices of one orange, two cinnamon sticks, and a handful of cloves.
  • Simmering: Place the pot on the stove and bring the water to a gentle boil. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the pot to simmer on low heat, adding more water as needed to keep the ingredients covered.
  • Fragrance: As the pot simmers, the natural oils and aromas from the ingredients will be released into the air, filling your home with a pleasant scent. This method is perfect for creating a cozy atmosphere during the fall and winter months.
  • Customization: Experiment with different combinations of ingredients to find your favorite scent. For a holiday-themed potpourri, try adding cranberries and a few sprigs of rosemary. For a spring scent, use lemon slices, fresh mint leaves, and a few drops of vanilla extract.
  • Safety: Never leave the pot unattended while it’s simmering. Make sure to check it periodically and add more water if necessary to prevent the ingredients from burning.

By incorporating these simple tips, you can maintain a pleasant-smelling home without relying on artificial air fresheners. For more cleaning tips and solutions, follow our blog. At Good Cleaner Co., we’re dedicated to helping you create a clean and inviting space.

If you find yourself needing a deeper clean or professional assistance, our team at Good Cleaner Co. is here to help. We offer a wide range of cleaning services tailored to meet your specific needs, ensuring your home not only smells fresh but also shines with cleanliness. Contact us today to schedule a service and experience the difference of a truly clean home.