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6 Ways to Get Rid of Any Lingering Odours in Your Home

January 11, 2022

It's time to get rid of that stinky smell that's been bothering you once and for all!

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There’s nothing more unappealing than walking into a room tainted with an odour. Pets, smoke, humidity and cooking fumes are some of the major contributors to these unpleasant smells. If not dealt with, they will linger like an unwanted houseguest who refuses to leave and can cause serious long-term health problems for you and your family.

Villa Flora, TTDI by PINS Studio
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While many people resort to using air fresheners, diffusers or scented candles as a quick fix to make their rooms smell better, this only helps to mask the problem. Here are some tips to actually eliminate foul-smelling odours and make your house smell good again. Let's get started!

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1. Ensure there’s a clean flow of air

One of the most effective and simple ways to eliminate any type of odour in a room is by opening your windows to let the outdoor air in and break up any stagnant air. You can also use a fan to force the indoor air out, or open windows on opposing sides of the room to get a cross breeze.

Bukit Raja Klang by Wuuu Studio
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Alternatively, consider getting an air purification system. It helps to trap and destroy pollutants found around your home, thereby effectively removing some of the sources of foul odours.

Tiara Duta, Ampang by Haven Interior & Construction Sdn Bhd
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Purchase air purifier from Shopee: Dyson Pure Cool air purifier, RM2,429.00.

Explore: Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Air Purifier

2. Remove odours with simple household items

If you have kids and pets, you likely know that carpets and rugs are a magnet for odours. To eliminate urine smells or other unwanted odours, try using baking soda. They are great at neutralizing many different types of smells. Sprinkle them all over the carpet and let it sit overnight to remove the odour. The next day, remove the baking soda with a vacuum machine.

Taman Maluri, Kuala Lumpur by RK Interior Studio
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Besides baking soda, you can also use white vinegar to absorb odour. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spritz it on in your room upholstery such as your sofa, curtains and throw pillows. Wait until the vinegar air dries. The strong smell of vinegar, along with the funky odours, will be gone once it has dried.

Lemon, like vinegar, has antibacterial properties that can aid in the elimination of unpleasant odours. Simply place a half-cut lemon on any area where odours linger (for example, the fridge) to make the space smell fresh again and replace them once a week to combat those ‘extra-cheesy’ odours.

The Park, Bukit Jalil by Doubble Interior Associates
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Another solution: You can also get rid of the lingering odour right away by using Febreze, which eliminates rather than masks unpleasant odours. It provides a burst of freshness to quickly clear the air in your room.

Purchase these items from Shopee: ARM & HAMMER Pure Baking Soda, From RM6.00, White Vinegar, RM6.00, Febreze 2-in-1 Antibacterial Disinfectant Spray, RM14.30.

3. Wash your sheets regularly

Your bedsheets and pillowcase absorb a significant amount of bodily oils, fluids and skin cells that odour-causing bacteria feed on. To keep your bedroom smelling fresh, consider washing your bedsheets and pillowcase once a week.

Lightness of Being,  Bandar Utama by IQI Concept Interior Design & Renovation
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Explore: Follow This Schedule For A Clean & Neat Home All Year Round

While you are at it, make sure to empty your laundry hamper regularly. The gasses released by bacteria break down the oil and sweat left on your clothes, causing them to emit unpleasant odours. To avoid this issue, never put excessively sweaty clothes in your laundry basket. Instead, wash them right away.

Purchase laundry detergent from Shopee: Prince KA 3in1 Laundry Capsule, RM117.90.

4. Use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture in the air

Moist air/humidity and damp surfaces can cause a musty odour in the air. To help combat humidity, consider investing in a dehumidifier. It will help to remove moisture from the air in your room, making it less conducive to mould and mildew growth. You’ll also notice that your room feels less stuffy, which is essential for making your room smell good!

Prima Lakefront SelangorKu, Cyberjaya by Anwill Design Sdn Bhd
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If space or budget is an issue, consider using small moisture-absorbing products in areas that are prone to becoming damp, such as your wardrobes or drawers. Look for additional micro sources of moisture, such as towels and bath mats. After using them, never leave them on the floor; instead, hang them to dry on a shower rod.

Purchase these items from Shopee: Samu Giken Household Dehumidifier, RM89.90, Thirsty Hippo Dehumidifier Moisture Absorber, RM17.90.

5. Introduce some houseplants

Adding plants to your home is yet another great way to help eliminate bad odours. Plants provide numerous value-added benefits, including acting as a natural air purifier by removing toxins from the air and improving air quality, as well as adding aesthetic value to a space.

The Enclave, Ipoh by Code Red Studio
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Many plants, including Bostern Fern, Aloe Vera, Snake Plants, and Devil's Ivy (Pothos), can help to purify the air in your home by removing toxic fumes produced by smoke, glue, paints, ammonia, and others. These plants are also easy to care for and can provide years of improved air quality with just a little watering and attention. Not to mention it requires zero electricity!

Purchase these plants from Shopee: Snake plant, From RM11.00, Aloe Vera, From RM5.00, Bostern Fern, RM18.00, Ivy Plant, RM11.70.

6. Repaint your walls

Some odours, such as cigarette smoke, are harder to get rid of. Cigarette smoke residue and particles can contain heavy metals, carcinogens, and toxins that contaminate your home. If you've tried everything and nothing seems to be working, consider repainting your interior with low-level Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) paint, which will cover up the lingering odour in your walls while also sealing in harmful contaminants. If you do decide to paint, make sure to use a sealer and primer to effectively trap contaminants.

Setia Ecohill by Fuyu Dezain Sdn. Bhd.
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View this project by Fuyu Dezain Sdn. Bhd.

Purchase this item from Shopee: Seamaster AIDA Interior Paint, From RM101.99, Seamaster AIDA Interior/ Exterior Sealer, From RM65.99, Seamaster Primer & Finish Coat, RM125.99.

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