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Do you walk into your house, take a deep breath, and want to turn around and go right back out the door? With our busy schedules, we don’t always have time to clean as often as we would like to and that can leave us with not only a guilty conscience, but a stinky problem as well.
If you have tried air fresheners, incense, and even essential oil reed diffusers, you have probably discovered that these things only cover up the smells: They don’t get rid of them.
Sometimes, even after cleaning, smells remain a problem.
Want to know what maids and housekeepers everywhere use to get rid of bad odors?
Baking soda. Simple, inexpensive, baking soda.
You probably have a box in your fridge and freezer (when was the last time you changed those by the way?). Next trip to the store, get several large boxes. We are going to show you how to get rid of some of the stinkiest things in your home using nothing more than baking soda.
1. The Toilet
You don’t need to use toxic bleach to get a really clean, white, fresh smelling bowl; all you need is baking soda. This trick is used by housekeepers and maids as the easiest way to clean a toilet with little or no scrubbing. Simply flush the toilet, then dump one cup of baking soda in it. You can swish it around with the brush to make sure you get it all over, and then close the lid. That’s it! Walk away! You can leave it overnight or simply flush again in an hour. Try this! It sounds too simple to be true, but it really works!
2. Carpet and Upholstery
No matter how carefully you try to enforce that “no food in the living room” rule, somehow it always seems to end up there, doesn’t it? Let’s not forget that Uncle Joe decided to smoke his cigar in there last visit as well. Even if you vacuum frequently, upholstered furniture and carpeting can start to take on a musty kind of unpleasant odor. Don’t call the carpet cleaning company; just pull out your handy box of baking soda. Whether you want to deodorize the carpet or the furniture, the method is the same. Sprinkle baking soda liberally on the surface and allow it to absorb the odors for 30 to 60 minutes, and then vacuum it up! It’s that easy!
3. The Vacuum Cleaner
Speaking of the vacuum cleaner, it sometimes works so hard vacuuming up all those nasty things on the floor, including the baking soda from the carpet you just deodorized, that it can also take on a musty odor. For best results here, use two ingredients. Mix just three or four drops of your favorite essential oil into some baking soda and sprinkle it on a carpet, rug, or even just the floor. Then vacuum this mixture up for a sweet smell that will fill the entire house. This works best when you put in a fresh bag!
4. Stinky Rooms
No matter which room you are talking about; the baby’s room, the garage, the living room, or the entry way, sometimes it feels as if no matter how much you clean, the smell has permeated the walls or the floor or something! This might take more than one try, but this method works amazingly well. Depending on the size of the room (and the size of the stink) put one or two cups of baking soda in a large bowl. Put it in the room and close the doors and windows. Let this sit overnight, and then dump it down the drain or in the garbage pail. If the smell still lingers, repeat. If the room is very large, you might want to put out a couple of bowls in different place in the room.
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5. The Litterbox
OMG, is there anything that will fill up the house with a terrible odor than the cat’s litterbox? You always know when someone has an indoor cat because first thing as you enter their home, you can smell the litter box! Sometimes it feels as if that smell will stick to your skin. If you don’t want people avoiding your home because of Fluffy, try this trick. Each morning and night, after you sift out the offending bombs, sprinkle the top of the litter with baking soda. This won’t hurt Fluffy at all. How much is a sprinkle? Start off with ¼ cup. Leave the room for one hour. After that, if you still detect that awful stench, try another ¼ cup. This works remarkably well! Now you still need to sift through kitty’s business twice a day and wash the box once a week, but in between those things, a little baking soda and you and kitty can remain on sweet smelling terms.
6. Stinky Pits
If you use deodorant but find that you need a “lift” during the day or at the end of the day, you can use baking soda to sweeten things up. Mix 6 drops of your favorite, non-synthetic essential oil such as geranium, rose, ylang-ylang, or lavender in ½ a cup of baking soda. Mix well and place in a glass jar with a lid. Keep this in your office or purse, along with a large makeup brush, and simply dust your underarms whenever you smell the need.
7. Stinky Ice Chests and Thermos Bottles
Don’t you just love Monday afternoons, when you open up that ice chest or thermos that you took camping or fishing the weekend before? You go to clean it out and the smell almost knocks you down! Whether it is from rotting food or the fish you caught, clean both of these items with nothing more than baking soda and water. Depending on the size of your thermos, mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda and three cups of water. Put it in the thermos and shake well. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinse well. For that ice chest, fill it ¾ of the way with water, then add ½ to1 cup of baking soda. Mix it up well, and then close the lid. Allow it to sit overnight or for a minimum of 1 hour, and then rinse with the hose.
8. Stinky Drains and Garbage Disposals
If you want to keep your drains and garbage disposal smelling super clean and fresh, make this little trick a weekly habit. Toss a couple of tablespoons of baking soda down the drain and the disposal. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes or so, and then run the hot water for 2 or 3 minutes. Not only will this keep the drain sweet smelling, but it will also help to keep it from getting clogged with crap.
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9. Stinky Shoes and Boots
Many tennis shoes and running shoes can be put in the washer, which is a great idea! Keep them and your favorite pair of boots smelling fresh (and dry!) by sprinkling about half a teaspoon of baking soda inside each shoe when you have finished wearing them. By the way, this also works well for stinky pinkies. Sprinkle a bit of baking soda on your toes and/or inside your socks to keep your feet dry and smelling sweet all day long.
10. The Fridge and Freezer
Chances are that you already use this method to deodorize your fridge and freezer but if it doesn’t seem to be working so well lately, it is probably more than time to change the box!
SEE ALSO: How to Fight Colds and the Flu with Baking Soda
11. Bad Breath
OK, so maybe ordering extra onions on that lunchtime sandwich wasn’t such as good idea. If you need a quick fix before that upcoming meeting, don’t waste time on expensive mouthwashes, just use baking soda. Put a tablespoon of baking soda in a glass of water and mix well. Swish it around and spit it out! It’s that easy! This is the best mouthwash on the planet, hands down.
12. Stinky Kitchen Hands
If you have spent the afternoon chopping onions, garlic, or cleaning fish for dinner, your hands can hold on to the smell no matter how many times you wash them! You already know the fix for this problem, right? Baking soda! Mix two tablespoons of baking soda in a cup of water. After washing your hands, simply pour this mixture over them. Let it sit for a minute, and then rinse with clean water. The baking soda absorbs the smell and takes it down the drain for you!