How to Get Rid of Household Odors

Household odors should be addressed before your home goes on the market.  Prospective buyers want to smell a fresh, new house, not pet or food odors when they visit for a showing.  So, what can you do to get rid of odors?


From her best-selling book, Mary Ellen's Best of Helpful Hints, here are Mary Ellen's solutions for getting rid of the worst household odors:

  • Eliminate the sour-milk smell from plastic baby bottles by filling the bottle with warm water and adding one teaspoon of baking soda. Shake the bottle well, let it sit overnight, then wash thoroughly.

  • To control pet odors in the home, try filling a zip-closing pillowcase with cedar chips and place that under the pet's pillow bed. The cedar chips will move around and contour to the pet's body, plus absorb the majority of the odor.

  • Another great way to control the pet odor at the source is to make an odor-absorbing necktie. To do this, just make a mixture of baking soda and water, and dip a bandana in it. Let it dry out and tie it onto the neck of the animal. Now the baking soda will absorb the odor as it leaves their body.

  • Te remove foul odors from wastebaskets when they contain garbage, place a mothball in the bottom of the can under the bag. The mothball will absorb most of the odor.

  • When changing the bags in a wastebasket, take a few minutes to spray ammonia in it. Don't bother rinsing it because the ammonia on the bag will keep pests away after you have taken out the trash.

  • Two great ways to eliminate cabbage odor are to add a large lemon wedge to the boiling water or place a slice of bread on top of the boiling cabbage. Cover with a lid.

  • Remove a burnt smell from the kitchen by boiling an apple, a cinnamon stick and water together on the stove.

Click on the image of Mary Ellen's book above to be linked to Amazon for purchase.  It covers everything from house and rug cleaning, home repairs, and automobile maintenance to sewing, gardening, and pet care.


Not sure if there's a bad odor in your home?  Ask a friend or your Realtor to give you their opinion.  Rather than be offended, use this knowledge to your advantage and take care of odors before prospective buyers step foot in your home.


If you have further staging questions or would like complete staging guidance for the home you're selling, Get Started with a Staging Service from Stage My Listings today.

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