Summer is coming to an end, but the heat lingers on… and so do a few not-so-great odors! Here are three easy ways to nix smelly odors and keep your home fresh for pennies!
In the Bathroom: Lemon Juice
The increased humidity from the summer may have spurred the growth of mold and mildew in your bathroom. To the rescue: lemon. “Its citric acid kills mold and mildew without damaging surfaces,” says Natalie Barrett of Nifty Cleaning Services. To make a natural cleaner, combine two to three cups of water, 1⁄2 cup of white vinegar, and the juice of one lemon. “You can also add a few drops of lemon essential oil — not only will it leave your bathroom smelling great, it also has antibacterial properties.”
Also smart: To keep your shower liner fresh and free of mildew, just mix one part table salt to two parts water and spray the liner once a week. The salt creates a mildew-repelling barrier.
In the Kitchen: Dryer Sheets
The top source of kitchen odors is your garbage can. To sink the stink, just drop a scented dryer sheet at the bottom of the can, says Afoma Umesi, editor of OhSoSpotless.com. “Dryer sheets trap odors, leaving a fresh scent behind.” For extra-stubborn stench, try the same trick with baking soda: Simply pour a bit into a coffee filter and tie it off, then leave it at the bottom of the can, under the trash bag. The baking soda “sachet” will soak up smells and slash humidity, warding off funk.
Also smart: Pour a cup of white vinegar down your kitchen sink or garbage disposal once a week to kill bacteria that are often the source of sink smells.
In the Laundry Room: Lavender Bomb
Humid indoor air this time of year makes hampers prone to mildew. To ward off odors, fill a sock with dry rice or kitty litter, add a few drops of lavender essential oil (or any essential oil you like!), tie off the open end and leave it at the bottom of your hamper. The “scent bomb” will absorb dampness from stinky clothing and leave a fresh, clean fragrance behind. Says Umesi, “You can also use coffee beans or grounds in the sock to absorb odor-inducing humidity.”
Also smart: To rid your washing machine of mold and mildew, just run a hot washing cycle once a month while the machine is empty, using one cup of white vinegar in place of your usual detergent.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.