Given the current state of the world, many of us are spending more time than ever at home these days. Living under a self-imposed quarantine has its share of drawbacks – that’s for sure – but there are also some benefits if you’re willing to focus on the positive side. For one thing, spending more time at home has given many of us an opportunity to reconnect with our families. In addition, there are many ways in which you can put all of that extra time at home to good use. Do you have a major home improvement project that you’ve been putting off? This is the perfect time to do it.
On the other hand, the extra hours at home may have also made you realize that your home needs a little extra help in a few areas that you weren’t aware of. Have you closed your windows and turned on your air conditioning for the summer, only to realize that your home doesn’t smell nearly as fresh as you thought it did when the windows were open? Don’t douse your home in air fresheners or other chemicals. We’ve filled this article with simple and extremely actionable ways for you to make your home smell better by eliminating odors rather than covering them – and you won’t need to use a single harmful chemical in the process.
If you smoke, the first thing that you need to do to improve the air quality in your home is quit. You can attribute at least 90 percent of the unpleasant smells in your home to the tenacious and long-lasting odor of cigarette smoke, and only quitting can fix that problem permanently. Since it replaces one form of nicotine consumption with another form that’s equally tasty and satisfying, the easiest way to stop smoking is by switching to vaping.
If the fact that your home will smell infinitely better isn’t a strong enough reason to start vaping, here’s another benefit that you might find even more appealing: One of the best reasons to switch to vaping is that it’ll increase the value of your home. Most people don’t smoke, and when a nonsmoker buys a smoker’s home, the cost of smoke remediation will always be a factor that influences the final price. Smoking reduces a home’s value by as much as 30 percent.
Give Your Home a Deep Cleaning
You’ve undoubtedly noticed that your home always smells better after you vacuum and mop the floors. That’s because you’re improving the air quality by removing stagnant dust. When you normally clean your home, though, it’s likely that you usually skip some areas that are hard to reach or otherwise inconvenient to clean – areas like under the furniture and between couch cushions. Those areas can harbor unpleasant smells, particularly if you have a pet. Give your home a deep cleaning. Vacuum the areas that you normally skip. Scrub the walls. Clean behind the refrigerator and stove. You’ll find it much easier to find and remove any remaining sources of unpleasant odors if you’ve given your home a thorough cleaning.
Check All Faucets for Leaks
A faucet with a slow leak can go unnoticed for some time, creating stagnant moisture that eventually harbors foul-smelling mold. Check under every faucet with a flashlight at least once a year, fixing any leaks that you discover. If you live in an older home, you may find that the cabinets under your sinks smell musty even if there’s no sign of a leak. You can control those odors by placing containers of desiccant in the cabinets.
Clean Drains With a Strong Enzyme Cleaner
Hair in the bathroom and food particles in the kitchen can cause the drains to produce unpleasant odors that permeate the home. Although you can certainly use a caustic lye-based drain cleaner to take care of those odors, you’ll find that an enzyme solution can do just as good of a job without filling the air with harsh fumes. Enzymes neutralize foul odors by “digesting” the compounds that cause them, breaking those compounds down so they rinse away easily.
Give the Bathroom a Thorough Cleaning
Cleaning the bathroom is never fun, so it’s an area that you might sometimes skip when you do your regular cleaning chores – and even when you do give your bathroom a good cleaning, you may still find that it doesn’t smell completely fresh because the room is full of old accessories that you haven’t replaced in years. The next time you give your bathroom a full cleaning, replace old accessories such as the shower curtain and liner, the rubbish bin and the toilet brush. Place a bag of activated charcoal or a bundle of vetiver in the bathroom to further control odors.
Reduce Excess Moisture Wherever Possible
Desiccant isn’t just useful under your sinks; you can place desiccant in any place where stagnant moisture is a problem, such as in closets or in your basement. If your basement has persistent moisture issues, consider installing a dehumidifier.
Improve Indoor Air Quality With Houseplants
One of the best ways to improve the air quality in your home – and spruce up your décor at the same time – is by getting some houseplants. Houseplants improve indoor air quality by releasing oxygen into the air, decreasing dust levels and filtering out some toxins. While studies have noted that a handful of houseplants can’t clean the air as well as a good air purifier, you will still likely notice a difference.
Buy a Good Air Purifier
Once you’ve done everything that you can to make your home as clean as possible and remove sources of unpleasant odors, the best way to maintain the air quality in your home is by getting a good filter-based air purifier. Unlike ionizers – which release harmful ozone and generally do a poor job of removing odors – air filters actually remove allergens and odor-causing compounds from the air by trapping them in thick filter media. Choose an air filter with a HEPA stage; HEPA filters can remove extremely small particles like pollen and pet dander from the air. It’s also wise to choose a filter with an activated carbon stage because carbon has the ability to absorb gaseous molecules that carry unpleasant odors.
Image Source: BigStock.com (Licensed)