Looking for DIY odor removal tips?
A while ago, one of our favorite customers called for help...
dog had gotten into a bad argument with a skunk. Luckily, she had been able to
confine the dog to just a small back room before getting him to a groomer. Even after she had scrubbed every possible surface area in that room, the skunk odor
still remained strong and was beginning to filter into other areas of the home.
NOTE: The back room does not have a window and there is no screen on the back door. Therefore, leaving the door open for an extended length of time was not a feasible solution for bringing in enough fresh air or letting out the acrid odor.
In our DIY arsenal at ABC, we just happen to have some good solutions for toxin free, inexpensive air freshening odor removal procedures...
1. BOX FAN
Place the fan in a window. Rather than bringing the air in, reverse the fan to pull out the air. In the case of our customer, the closest window was in the next room, a kitchen. She could put a fan in that window and leave the door from the back room to the kitchen open to start the procedure.
2. SIMMERING SOLUTION ON THE STOVETOP
Fill a pan half-full of water and add any combination of good smelling items such as lemon or orange slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves, etc. Bring the solution to a boil and then let it simmer on the stovetop for several hours. Since there is a real danger of fire if the water boils all the way down, this procedure must be constantly watched.
An alternative solution, if a crockpot is available, is to add the water and ingredients to the crockpot and let it run all day (without the need to watch it). The end result will be a fresh smelling home!
(Make sure to check the Crockpot manual. Most manufacturers recommend filling these pots with at least 2/3 liquid).
3. BOWLS OF WHITE VINEGAR
Vinegar has an amazing capability to neutralize odors. It is one of the best DIY odor removal tips we can offer. Just leave a few bowls of white household vinegar in areas where the odor is the strongest.
This works especially well to rid the area of tobacco smells. Don’t worry. The odor of the vinegar will dissipate as well.
4. VANILLA EXTRACT
Place a few cotton balls in a bowl with several drops of vanilla extract and place in the area where there is a strong smell.
5. INSTANT COFFEE GROUNDS
Coffee grounds also neutralize odors. Leave a bowl or two anywhere in the area.
6. ESSENTIAL OILS
10 to 15 or so drops of one or a combination of your favorite essential oils on a few cotton balls in a bowl will release a delightful fragrance in your home.
5 to 10 drops on a cool light bulb will release the fragrance as it warms when the light bulb is turned on.
Please see our article on essential oils for recipes for gels, sprays, diffusers, etc.
7. BAKING SODA
Baking soda is another one of our favorite DIY odor removal tips. It is an excellent and inexpensive product for neutralizing odors. Put baking soda in a dish and add a few drops of an essential oil.
For drawers with a funky smell, place baking soda in one of those ‘single sock dryer survivors‘ and place in the drawer to absorb the odors. (Works for smelly sneakers and shoes as well!)
Any of the above-mentioned procedures will work as long as the source of the odor is removed as much and as quickly as possible.
In our customer’s case, the crockpot simmering method worked. She had cleaned the affected area thoroughly and the fresh fragrance from the crockpot successfully neutralized any remaining odor in the air.
Skunk odors require quick thinking but regular odors in the home can be minimized with the following:
PREPARATION: Using a fork, mix baking soda and essential oil in a bowl. Pour the mixture in the bottle and fill it with distilled water. Shake the bottle before every use.
Please see other articles on Do-It-Yourself Cleaning on this website:
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