Written by Realty Times Staff

A survey by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) discovered that more than 80 percent of homeowners make a direct correlation between the cleanliness of their floors and their family’s health. However, the organization notes that a major part of preventing airborne contaminants and keeping your home healthy is odor removal. We might remember to take off our shoes or mop during the weekly cleaning routine, but we often overlook other odors in our closets, laundry and even the ones coming from pets. Here are some quick and easy ways to eliminate odors and help keep them away.

Just add lemon

Adding some lemon can go a long way in eliminating odors from a fish dinner or funky garbage disposal. Whip up a concoction like the one the professional chefs use after cooking a particularly smelly dinner. The recipe from This Old House: boil two cups of water; add three tablespoons of baking soda and a lemon peel.

Now use the rest of that lemon as a natural disinfectant. Dilute with water and clean stains from your countertops and cutting boards while killing germs at the same time. When you’re done boiling the lemon peel, throw it and any leftover rind down the drain while it’s running along with cold water to clear the smell from your funky garbage disposal.

Give your pet a scent makeover

You might be sniffing out bad odors to your curtains and carpeting, but your pets could be the offending culprits. Fortunately it’s entirely possible to deodorize your pets. Give your pet a regular bath and scrub out their dishes and litter boxes by soaking it with a half inch of vinegar. In a pinch, sprinkle fur with baking soda, rub through and brush it out. They’ll love the attention and smell better too.



Add fresh flowers

Fresh flowers are an eye-catching way to eliminate odor from your home while giving it a style boost. While the arrangement might not have time to completely eliminate unwanted odors in your kitchen or living room, it can mask the smell in the meantime. Flowers are also great when guests are coming over and you’re pressed for time. If you’re the type who keeps fresh arrangements around the house on a regular basis, this part should be pretty easy; however, for many of us, stopping for fresh flowers several times a week is inconvenient when you’ve already got a full schedule. In this case, check out an online flower retailer and have them delivered.

Remove the flowers before they start dropping leaves and turning the water putrid. Pull off any remaining leaves that look healthy and let them dry on a clean countertop. To help eliminate lurking odors in your sock drawer or linen closet, turn the dried flowers into a satchet.

Douse with vinegar

It’s tempting to leave expired food in the fridge and deal with it tomorrow. Instead, immediately throw out any expired or spoiled food. To eliminate germs and odors, wipe down your fridge walls and shelves with white vinegar. To keep new odors at bay, open a box of baking soda and add a pretty dish of lemon slices to keep your fridge smelling fresh.

Before you throw out your old gym clothes or smelly towels, Lifehacker says all you have to do is add vinegar to your wash. Wash the offending laundry in hot water and add two cups of white vinegar without adding detergent. Then wash for a second time with your regular laundry soap.

Sprinkle coffee grounds

Don’t spend a fortune on store-bought odor-eliminators. Instead, fill a few shallow bowls with fresh coffee grounds and shut the door to the room. Let sit overnight.

Coffee grounds can also be canned and put in a footlocker or trunk to get rid of particularly awful odors after a sweaty basketball game or day of fishing. If you need to deodorize something specific like old shoes, place in a bag with coffee grounds and seal tightly. Let it sit a few days and open, launder in vinegar and enjoy the fresh scent.