21 Home Remedies for Smelly Room

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From sautéing garlic to a pile of dirty laundry, a room can quickly fill with unpleasant smells that have you running for the nearest air freshener. However, these kinds of products only temporarily mask the odor. For other ways to overcome unwanted aromas, consider using home remedies for smelly rooms.

Home Remedy for Smelly Room

Common Household Smells

Even after a home or room is clean, odors can linger. The most common household odors come from cooking, pets, smoke and moisture, such as:

Cigarette smoke
• Rotten, burnt or smelly-cooked food
• Poorly cleaned surfaces
• Dirty, wet, sweaty laundry
• Clogged drain
• Wet dog
• Kitty litter boxes
Mold and mildew
Pet urine

Smelly Room Home Remedies

A smelly room is not only annoying, but especially embarrassing when company comes over. To eliminate offensive odors, consider some of the following home remedies for smelly rooms:

a) Vanilla Extract:

To remove mildew smells and pet odors, vanilla extract is an effective choice[1]. Dip cotton balls in the mild, sweet scent and place in bowls or baskets about the room. If you drop a few vanilla-scented cotton balls in your vacuum cleaner bag, the scent will fill the room as you vacuum. In the kitchen, simmer a pot of water with added vanilla extract to disperse the scent in the room. You may also freshen up the interior of your freezer by wiping down with cotton balls dipped in pure vanilla extract.

b) Baking Soda:

The natural deodorizing power of baking soda can cure a smelly room because it absorbs the scents in the air around it. Place an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator to trap offensive food odors. Smokers can pour baking soda into the bottoms of ashtrays to absorb smoke odor. Before vacuuming, sprinkle baking soda over carpets. When cooking smelly foods in the kitchen, try filling small dishes of baking soda and position close to the stove. Between kitty litter changes, add baking soda to minimize the damage of smelly odors.

c) Vinegar:

To remove odors from surfaces or address a pet accident in the carpet, use diluted white distilled vinegar by wiping the solution over countertops, tables, bathroom surfaces, and tile or linoleum floors. Pour one cup of vinegar inside your toilet bowl. Let it sit for five minutes before scrubbing away the odors. Flush to finish up the deodorizing cleaning. Pour vinegar down a sink drain to remove unpleasant smells.

d) Vinegar and Water:

Add equal parts of vinegar and water to a spray bottle, and spritz around rooms where smokers sit and other odors linger.

e) Open the Windows:

Fresh air can help quickly remove any bad smells in a room. Open the window and pull back the curtains (or lift up the shade) to encourage better air circulation. Open windows also remove the excess moisture that can trap unpleasant odors.

f) Cinnamon Sticks:

Loosely wrap a couple of cinnamon sticks in tin foil and place in an oven set to 325 degrees. The scent of cinnamon will start to increase, which will permeate throughout a smelly room once you open up the door to the oven. You may also place a cinnamon stick in a pot filled with two cups of water. Simmer for 30 minutes to release a pleasant scent into your home.

g) Baked Goods:

The scent of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon rolls, cake or pies can replace a smelly room with a pleasant aroma.

h) Rose Petals and Salt [1]:

Bring the scent of roses to a smelly room by layering rose petals and salt in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. To freshen up the room, remove the lid and enjoy the sweet scent of flowers.

i) Charcoal[2]:

The odor-absorbing properties of charcoal helps absorb the odors that contribute to a smelly room.

j) Coffee Grounds:

Eliminate a musty odor in a room by placing freshly ground coffee into a sock and hanging in a closet or keeping in a dresser drawer.

k) Load of Laundry:

To keep odors in a room at a minimum, don’t forget to wash your bedding and other furnishing at least once a month. Your curtains, quilts, sheets, pillow covers and bedspreads especially need attention. Add baking soda to your laundry load to further fight unpleasant odors.

l) Hot Water and Soap:

Sometimes, the source of your smelly room is your trash can. Regularly wash garbage containers with hot water and soap.

m) Fabric Softener Sheet:

Place a scented fabric softener sheet at the bottom of a trash before lining it with a garbage bag to lessen the intensity of odors that may accumulate.

n) Dust:

It’s important to remove the dust from your home that can add to smelly odors. Dust rooms on a regular basis – making sure to pay attention to furniture, carpets, floors, walls and ceiling fans.

o) Orange:

Place a bunch of clove pieces into the skin of an orange, and place in a small netted bag. Hang the bag in a cellar plagued by musty odors.

p) Orange or Lemon Rinds:

Add orange or lemon rinds to a garbage disposal. Turn on the disposal while flushing with hot water. This will help freshen up your kitchen[3].

q) Lemon Juice:

Add one teaspoon of lemon juice to a pot of boiling vegetables (such as cabbage and cauliflower) to reduce the odor they produce as they cook.

r) Turn on the Fan:

Put your exhaust fan to good use when cooking smelly foods in the kitchen. Turn on the bathroom fan to get rid of musty, mildew smells in this closed-in space that often suffers for being a high moisture environment. Create fresh air by running a ceiling fan in the bedroom. Leave the fans on for at least ½ hour to create good air circulation.

s) Scented Candle:

Light a scented candle to eliminate unpleasant body odors from your bathroom. For instance, cinnamon scents usually do the trick.

t) Scented Dryer Sheets:

Place scented dryer sheets between the covers of old books to get rid of musty odors.

u) Cotton Balls:

Saturate a cotton ball with a liquid scent or oil, such as pure vanilla extract or your favorite perfume, and drop into a decorative container or vase filled with artificial flowers to create a continuous scent in the room.


[1] Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg. 282.

[2] http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/charcoal-briquettes-for-the-sm-127601

[3] http://www.diynatural.com/uses-for-lemon-peels/