Different things cause your house to smell “iffy”. The smell of food while you are cooking is nice and inviting, but that becomes a bit irritating after you have finished. Your pets are a delight to have, but then they also bring their own nasty smells (urine and generally their natural body odour); washing machines make our lives a lot easier, however the mouldy / mildew smell that oozes out of it is just not fun; a pair of smelly footwear can make the entire house smell rancid, and bodily fluids accumulated over time on your sofas or bedding just make the house smell a bit stale. All of these smells are compounded if you have a smoker in the house as the tobacco smell sinks deep into your furniture, carpets, curtains and walls.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, you do not have to chuck out your pet, or washing machine or smelly shoes or even your smoker of a husband … or wife. Here are a few tips to help you keep your home smelling fresh all day, every day.
- Burn a scented Candle: I have found that scented candles prove more effective in getting rid of fleeting odours such as odours from cooking, from toilet use (if someone has done a nasty no 2) and even cigarette smoke.
- Make baking soda your best friend: Baking soda has antiseptic properties and also has an uncanny ability to absorb bad odours. Pop a bowl of baking soda in your fridge and get rid of all that nasty smell. Forget about toilet cleaners or scouring powder, dump a handful of baking soda in your toilet, leave for a few minutes and flush. You can also sprinkle a bit in smelly shoes and voila!, smell be gone.
- Burn Incense/Bakhoor/ Turare Wuta: I know this is not very popular down south, but guess what? It’s one of the most effective ways of creating lasting scent in your home. Smoke is one of the stickiest scents; think of how you smell when you hung around a barbecue grill or when you hung out with your smoker friends and had to convince your folks that you were not the one smoking. The same way those nasty smells stick to you is the same way incense sticks to you walls furniture, curtains, clothes and carpet. And it stays there for days!
- Bring a pot of citrus to boil: Chop up some lemon or oranges or tangerine and put them in a pot of boiling water. Leave your kitchen door open while boiling the citrus. You will have a nice citrusy smell wafting throughout your house. Notice that citrusy scents are used a lot for washing up liquids? That’s because Citrus gives off a very fresh scent.
- Have Indoor Plants: This is not just for décor. Plants actually help clean the air. You will have fresher air in your house (and more oxygen) if you have indoor plants – even better if those plants have pleasant fragrances. Be sure to trim and remove any dead leaves or flowers as those can also create some foul smell of their own.
- Be creative with wax melts: Apart from warming up your wax melts, you can use them as fragrance blocks in closed spaces such as your wardrobe, drawers and pantry.
- Use Vinegar for more than your cooking: Vinegar is also another tricky ingredient to use to get rid of pungent smells. The kitchen bin is a usually a major stink generator. Sometimes, emptying your bin is not enough to rid your kitchen of the bad odour. At times like this, give your bin a wash with warm water and vinegar. You will be surprised how completely, it takes out the smell.
- Use Reed Diffusers: unlike room sprays or candles that provide a burst of fragrance, reed diffusers are constantly letting off a pleasant fragrance into your home. As long as you do not have any underlying odours, diffusers will keep your homes smelling fresh 24/7. They are solely for fragrancing and do not have the capability to combat bad odours. So to get the most out of your diffuser, you must ensure the environment is rid of all nasty odours.
9. Use scented products on yourself: If you shower with a nice smelling body wash, cream your body with a fragranced body cream and use perfume always, you can be sure that your room and bathroom will always smell nice. The scent in these products will also stick to other items such as your sponge, towel and clothes thereby magnifying the scent!
10.Ventilate, Ventilate, Ventilate: some of us never open windows; maybe its because we are trying to keep the mosquitoes out. But the same way we sometimes feel we need a breath of fresh air is the same way our homes need to breathe fresh air once in a very often while. Keeping windows closed and doors shut, keeps all the smell in and even compounds the bad smells.
Buky Akinmboni is a co-founder and Creative Director at Scentify, a proudly Nigerian company that produces high quality scented products for the home and body. Buky is working to build the scent industry in Nigeria. She also consults on brand communication having had an expansive career spanning 10 years in advertising and communications. Follow her brand on Instagram here