How to Chase Away Strong Smells

From cigarette smoke to animal odors, some smells stick around long after the source has left the house. How do you tackle the odors that are too strong for your normal housekeeping? A little bit of time, persistence, and thoroughness will get you there!

Start with a Clean House

As tempting as it is to jump right into getting rid of the smell, it’s better to get the house straightened and cleaned first. Dealing with clutter, dust, and dirt or crumbs while trying to deodorize will leave you frustrated, so call cleaning services to come get the basic cleaning taken care of first.

Deep Clean Everything 

Strong odors cling to the surfaces in your house, so start by making sure everything is as clean as possible. Wash walls and windows, launder curtains and sheets, steam clean the carpet and upholstery if you can—whatever you can wash, do it in the best way you know how.

When you deep clean like this, there are a few options for how to clean. The natural option is vinegar, known to neutralize odors as it dries. Alternatively, ammonia also works, but it is extremely strong and can be hazardous to work with. There are also several products on the market that are in-between and designed to be used specifically for the strongest smell. Choose the one that works best for you.

Air it Out

Throw open the windows, turn on an air purifier, turn on fans (if it isn’t too cold!)—anything you can do to get the stale air out and the fresh air in will help. The more circulation, the faster and better the result.

The Vinegar Trick

This is a classic trick from long before the era of fabric refresher sprays and scented warmers, but many people stand behind this claim: bowls of vinegar throughout the house will absorb odors. Many families with smokers vouch for this trick, so if you’re trying whatever you can to get rid of smell, it’s worth trying! 

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