The best way to get rid of house odors is to keep it clean and to air rooms, closets and drawers regularly. Here are some tips to help you keep your home odor free:
• Open a window after cooking and wipe up spills promptly.
• To remove strong cooking odors, place a pan of white vinegar on the stove and let it simmer.
• Remove fish, garlic and onion odors by wiping utensils, pans, cutting boards and even your hands with lemon juice. The only exceptions are cast-iron pots, nonstainless knives and other unfinished metals that would react with the juice.
• To keep a butcher block countertop clean and fresh, scrape off all waste after each use. Rub it with salt or baking soda paste every now and then. After cooking, wipe down food preparation surfaces with hot soapy water. Wipe immediately after cutting meat or poultry. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry.
• You can get rid of kitchen drain odor by running very hot tap water through it every day. About once a week, throw in a handful of baking soda, followed by hot water. Or pour in a cup of vinegar, let stand for 30 minutes, then rinse with hot tap water.
• Eliminate odor from your garbage disposer by grinding cut up orange, grapefruit or lemon rinds while flushing the unit with hot tap water.
• Deodorize and clean your microwave oven regularly. When the oven is turned off and cold, wash its inside surfaces with a solution of four tablespoons baking soda in one quart warm water. Rinse well and dry. Don’t use commercial oven cleaners in a microwave.
• Remove odors and spills inside the refrigerator with a cloth wrung out in a solution of one tablespoon baking soda to one quart warm water. Rinse and wipe dry. To prevent odors from spreading, make sure all foods, except vegetables and fruits in a crisper, are wrapped, covered or bagged in plastic.
• Line your garbage pail with a plastic bag; drain all garbage before throwing it in the bag. Wash the pail frequently with disinfectant cleaner and dry it in fresh air.
• Line the trash compactor’s bottom with newspapers to absorb liquids. Rinse fish cans well before compacting.
• Light a match, candle or a bit of string and let it burn for a few seconds. Then put it out and leave it in a dish for about five minutes.
• Don’t let hair accumulate in a bathroom drain; it entraps other odor-causing matter.
• After a party, try a good airing, aided by a fan. Aerosol spray or a dish of ammonia or vinegar may help cover the smell. Burning scented candles at the party may help.
• Where smoking is constant, consider buying an air purifier to get rid of odors, either a small filter unit that you place near the source or a more costly unit that cleans the air electrostatically. If you have a warm-air heating system, an air purifying unit can be attached to it to clear smoke from the entire house.
For odors from pet accidents, apply vinegar or lemon juice, scrub with warm, sudsy water, sponge dry and repeat. Finish by wiping the area with a cloth moistened in ammonia to neutralize any remaining odor.