How Do You Remove Odors From a Room?


Bad odors in any room can render the space unhabitable. This is because while you can cover your ears to block out loud noises, you can’t do that to your nose to prevent bad odors from attacking your senses. You have no choice but to live with the smell or get rid of it.

A lot of times, bad smells around a house serve as evidence of poor hygiene. However, this is not always the case. Identifying and figuring out how to get rid of such smell is a necessary skill for anyone looking to maintain a clean apartment and their peace of mind.

This article will outline how to remove odors from any room. It shall also highlight some of the reasons why the odors are there in the first place and what you can do to prevent a repeat of the situation.

Causes of odors in different rooms

Different things in different rooms may be the cause of certain odors. This is because different activities happen in these different rooms. Odor occurs as a result of bacteria and germs breaking down rotting or decaying waste material. Odor also occurs as a result of stagnant air and the availability of moisture. As a result, these conditions if present may lead to mildew and mold growth in the apartment.

Odor in the kitchen

A lot of things in the kitchen may cause bad doors but it all stems down to how well you can maintain it. The most common source of odor is always the trash can. This may occur as a result of rotting and decaying food not being disposed of.

Other than being an unsightly sight, this rot and waste may be hazardous to the kitchen as the odor will inevitably attract flies and other insects. This, in turn, will lead to even more dangerous animals moving into your apartment such as spiders.

Another source of odor in the kitchen may come from the kitchen sink. A potential reason for this may be an unused drain. If you’ve left the apartment for a long period and water hasn’t been flowing constantly into the kitchen sink, bacteria may grow along the drain pipes and release the bad odors.

If the kitchen sink is also used to dump grease and cooking oil, this may ultimately lead to a problem. This is because these viscous fluids accumulate in your drain pipes. They then end up producing the rotten smell you may find in your kitchen.

Other than cooking oil and grease, some people do dispose of food debris from their plates directly into the kitchen sink. With time, the food debris accumulates and bacteria grow. The bacteria break down the food and release the sewer smell you may find in your kitchen.

Another way to understand where the odor could be coming from is through having minor knowledge of your plumbing system. Most plumbing systems now have a plumbing vent. If this plumbing vent is clogged, this may also lead to a foul-smelling kitchen. This is because these vents allow fresh air to pass through and water to flow smoothly. It’s therefore important that you ensure this stays so as sewer gasses may instead replace the fresh air.

While the main focus may be on where food waste is dumped, it is important to know proper food storage techniques. This may be a new source of the bad smell in your kitchen. Perishable food not stored well may begin to rot and release the awful smells.

If your fridge is not cleaned regularly, foods stored for long periods at medium temperature may begin to go bad. Therefore always check your refrigerator temperatures and clear out food that is overstayed while cleaning any spills.

Odor in the bedroom

Most odors in the kitchen emanate from food waste and organic materials. In the bedroom, you could be the source of most of the odor. This is because as living beings we go through the same processes as all living beings. Part of it is the release of our bodily waste.

This comes in the form of sweat and oils which we may deposit on our bed sheets. This mostly occurs during the night in our periods of sleep. If not washed regularly, bacteria may invade and breakdown the sweat releasing offensive smells in our bedrooms.

Another source of odor in the bedroom is our worn but unwashed clothes. These also contain sweat and other organic materials and if kept for long unwashed, they may begin to emit the foul smells as bacteria works on them.

Clothes stored in dark and dump places may also be a source of the musty but unpleasant smell in your room. This occurs when the closet is left unopened for a while. The air accumulates moisture and cannot circulate. 

To prevent this, you should always aerate the closet by opening and closing it regularly. You should also not store clothes for long periods. If this is the case, hang the clothes out to dry now and then.

Odor in the bathroom

This is one of the rooms in the apartment prone to bad smells other than the kitchen. This is because it too is a cleaning station for our bodies. Therefore the obvious suspect may be the toilet.

Odors coming from the toilet are mostly a result of dirt going undetected. Such dirt can accumulate under the rim of the toilet’s bowl. Blocked toilets may also cause bad smells in the bathroom. This may happen due to improper use of the toilet. This problem is always common in apartments with kids who may dump items that may clog up the toilet.

Another area that may cause an odor in the bathroom is the bathroom drain. This may occur as a result of dirt from our bodies accumulating there over some time. Alternatively, such dirt may accumulate to a point of causing a blockage especially if hairs are dumped into the drainage.

Odors in the living room

The most common source of odor in this room is dust and dirt from outside. This is because the dust itself has micro particles of organic matter and other waste that may be broken down by bacteria. When such dust isn’t cleared out frequently, the room may end up taking a musty and uncomfortable smell.

Another source of odor in this room may be as a result of stagnant air. This is a result of windows kept closed especially in the summertime. Air may accumulate moisture and make it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria to thrive.

Pets however specially trained, may also be a source of the pungent smell coming from your living room. This may occur if they accidentally relieve themselves in your carpet or furniture. You may get rid of the urine or fecal matter but the smell will remain for a while.

Food particles and other stains may be left in fabrics within the living room. This is especially at the dinner table or anywhere else you take your food and drinks. If not cleaned properly, this may also emit an odor.

How to remove odors from these rooms

Luckily, the human nose has been endowed by nature to detect over a billion different smells. Therefore the first step to ridding your apartment of these foul smells is to identify the type of odor and room it may be coming from.

The most common fix to these is usually temporary. The key is therefore to understand the odors and how to get rid of them permanently.

Remedies for kitchen odors

The first offensive smells that you should remove daily are the lingering smells from yesterday’s cooking. While there is nothing wrong with the kitchen smelling of food, some foods leave a nasty smell.

To do this, you can replace the smell with a more pleasant smell, for instance, a citric smell. Simply peel oranges and cinnamon boil and simmer them in water. Remove the lid and let the fumes permeate the room for a couple of hours.

If your garbage can is reeking, it could be a sign of stuck food debris and other waste. As you empty the trash can, ensure to clean it thoroughly. To remove odor from it, you can boil water infused with lemon to get rid of the smells. Be careful to avoid scalding.

Kitchen sinks can prove hard when dealing with odors. However, there are simple solutions that you can undertake. The first is to ensure all clogged drainage is unclogged and water flows smoothly. Secondly, you can add baking soda to water and pour it down the drain. This will dislodge the stuck food debris and help remove the bacteria feeding on it.

After washing utensils, ensure you clean thoroughly the sponges or other fabrics used and set to dry. This is because such sponges, if not dried well they may be a source of odor in your kitchen.

Fridges can also harbor most of the smells in the kitchen. Therefore great care should be taken. You should regularly remove foodstuffs that have been stored for long periods before they go bad. You should pay special attention to groceries and other perishables.

Ensure you also clean the spills as and when they occur. Ice particles frozen over time with food stains should be removed regularly as the food stains may harbor bacteria. Finally, baking soda can be put in the fridge in an open can. This will absorb the noxious odor lingering in the air leaving your fridge smelling fresh.

Remedies for bedroom odors

To ensure odors do not linger in your bedroom, it is highly recommended you maintain a clean room. For one, bed sheets and coverings should be changed and cleaned regularly. Do this by cleaning in a washing machine.

 Set at high temperatures to ensure even the natural oils are removed. Use a fabric softener and conditioner to leave a soothing smell. Ensure all beddings are dry before spreading them on again. As for the mattress, a regular airing will also keep the odors at bay.

Clothes should also be cleaned as regularly as they are worn. Same as the beddings, the washing machine should be set at high temperatures. Clothes stored for long periods should be regularly removed and hanged out to dry.

As the bedroom is the place you’re most likely to groom yourself; ensure you also remove your body odors. This is to prevent your clothes from getting the same odors. You can use certain products such as antiperspirants and colognes. Make sure though you choose skin and environmentally friendly products.

Finally, ensure the room has natural lighting from the sun and is well aerated. This will help to remove moisture that may attract bacteria. If the sun is unavailable, you can get a dehumidifier from the store. Do general cleaning at least once a week to remove dust and dirt.

Remedies for bathroom odors

The first step to removing odors from the bathroom is to ensure that it is always dry. Secondly, the room should be well aired so windows and vents should be kept open. This will often remove most of the foul musty smell which is a result of mold and mildew build-up.

If mildew and mold build-up still pose a problem, you can get from your local store desiccants. These are dry materials that act as dehydrators that remove moisture essential for mildew. Common desiccants include silica gel. However, these are hazardous and should be kept out of reach of small children and even pets.

You should clean your toilet daily focusing on dirt hidden under the rim of your toilet bowl. As it is hard to reach, you may use a mixture of baking soda, lemon, and vinegar. These are highly recommended as they are naturally occurring.

To effectively clean, create a paste with equal parts of lemon juice and baking powder to create a paste. Apply this paste on the rim of the toilet bowl and leave to set for an hour. Mix the vinegar with water and put it in a spray bottle. Then spray the solution on to the paste and brush to remove the paste.

This method will not only kill the bacteria but also leave the toilet smelling fresh. The same method can also be applied when cleaning the bathroom floors, tub, and sink. The bathroom drainage should also be cleaned while ensuring debris such as hairs are removed occasionally.

Remedies for living room odors

This is the room you would spend most of your leisure time. Therefore it should always be pleasant to be in. The first step to ensure that is to clean it regularly and preferably daily. Dust from top to bottom paying attention to hard to reach places such as the ceiling and window panes.

You should open the curtains to let the sun in and open the windows to let air circulate. This will stop mildew and mold from building up in your furniture and carpet.

If you have pets, you should have them cleaned regularly. You should also train them to relieve themselves in specially designed places. This is because pets like to hang out with you where you relax. If an accident does happen, baking soda can be used to remove the smell.

Liberally spill the baking soda where the pet has soiled. Let it settle overnight to absorb as much of the smell. In the morning, do vacuum and empty the contents. 

Avoid steam cleaners though as high temperatures and moisture may remove the stain but set the stench will remain permanently. Be careful also as large amounts of baking soda exposed to your pets is highly toxic.

Once you have cleaned and vacuumed the living room, essential oils may come in handy. These are natural spritz of fresh air that does not have toxic chemicals of industrial air fresheners. You can also create your mixtures at home leaving your apartment with a unique but pleasant smell.

Some of the essentials oils include lavender, peppermint, and rosemary among others. To create these mixtures, simply use water mixed with an alcohol base and a few drops of the essential oils. Put in a spray bottle and spray the apartment. The essential oils do not only leave the room smelling nice but also act as an insect repellant.

Final thoughts

If you do not have the time to complete all these steps in every room, consider keeping all the rooms clean with free circulating air. You can also buy gadgets and appliances that will make this process easier, such as purifiers and dehumidifiers.

Another solution could be using industrial air fresheners. You can get these from any store, and all you have to do is spray generously in every room. However, keep in mind that this is only a temporary solution to the problem. If you want the odors to go away for good, you want to track down its source and take care of it.

Melanie Asiba

Melanie is an author. She enjoys traveling, reading and trying out new things. In addition to writing for Apartment ABC. Connect with her at [email protected]

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