Eliminate Bad Home Odors | Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Tips

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Eliminate Bad Home Odors / Best Tips

This Article is Updated on – 29/04/2024, Originally posted on – 16/09/2021

Living in an environment filled with unpleasant, lingering odors can significantly impact your quality of life and well-being. Foul smells not only make your home feel less inviting but can also contribute to poor indoor air quality, potentially leading to respiratory issues and other health problems. While many commercial air fresheners promise to eliminate odors, they often contain harmful chemicals that can exacerbate the problem or introduce new pollutants into your living space.

Rather than relying on these potentially hazardous products, adopting eco-friendly habits and embracing sustainable solutions is the key to maintaining a fresh, odor-free home. By using natural, non-toxic ingredients and implementing simple yet effective strategies, you can successfully combat unpleasant smells while protecting both your family’s health and the environment.

Common Household Odor Sources and Their Eco-Friendly Solutions

Unpleasant odors can arise from various sources within your home, each requiring a tailored approach to effectively eliminate them. By understanding the root causes of these smells and implementing eco-friendly solutions, you can maintain a fresh and inviting living space without compromising your commitment to sustainable living.

1. Bathroom Odors

Eliminate Bad Home Odors
Bathroom Odors are the reason for most indoor bad air quality

The bathroom is a prime breeding ground for foul odors due to the presence of moisture and organic matter. To combat these unpleasant smells, consider the following eco-friendly tips:

  • Baking Soda: Sprinkle some baking soda into the toilet bowl, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub and flush. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and can help neutralize unpleasant odors.
  • Vinegar: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and use it to clean and deodorize surfaces like tile, countertops, and sinks. The acetic acid in vinegar helps to break down and remove odor-causing bacteria.
  • Essential Oils: Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils, such as lemon or tea tree oil, to a spray bottle filled with water. This natural air freshener can help mask unpleasant smells while providing a fresh, invigorating scent.

2. Kitchen Odors

From lingering food smells to garbage odors, the kitchen can be a significant source of unpleasant odors in your home. Try these eco-friendly solutions to keep your kitchen smelling fresh and inviting:

  • Baking Soda: Sprinkle some baking soda on a clean sponge or cloth and wipe down surfaces like countertops, cabinets, and the inside of your microwave. Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that can help remove stubborn food residues and absorb odors.
  • Lemon: Cut a lemon in half and place it in a small bowl or container. The citrus scent will help neutralize strong cooking odors, while the acidic properties of lemon can help break down grease and food particles.
  • Activated Charcoal: Place a few pieces of activated charcoal in strategic locations around your kitchen, such as near the trash can or refrigerator. Activated charcoal is highly porous and can effectively absorb and trap odor molecules.

3. Pet Odors

Eliminate Bad Home Odors
Pet odors are often noticed in indoor areas

Furry friends can bring joy and companionship into our lives, but they can also introduce unpleasant odors into our homes. Tackle pet smells with these eco-friendly solutions:

  • Enzyme Cleaners: Look for eco-friendly enzyme cleaners specifically designed for pet odors. These products contain natural enzymes that break down the organic matter causing the odor, effectively eliminating the source rather than just masking the smell.
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar: Sprinkle baking soda on carpets, upholstery, or other fabrics where pet odors linger. Let it sit for a few hours, then vacuum it up. Follow up by spraying a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water to help neutralize any remaining odors.
  • Essential Oils: Add a few drops of essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, or lemongrass to a spray bottle filled with water. Lightly mist affected areas to help mask pet odors with a refreshing, natural scent.

4. Smoke Odors

Whether from cigarettes, cooking mishaps, or a fireplace, smoke odors can be challenging to eliminate. Try these eco-friendly techniques to banish smoky smells from your home:

  • White Vinegar: Place bowls of white vinegar around the affected areas. The acidic properties of vinegar can help neutralize and absorb smoke odors over time.
  • Activated Charcoal: Similar to its use in the kitchen, activated charcoal can be an effective odor absorber for smoke smells. Place bowls or bags of activated charcoal in smoky areas and replace them regularly.
  • Baking Soda and Essential Oils: Create a natural air freshener by mixing baking soda with a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Place the mixture in small bowls or containers around the room to help absorb and mask smoke odors.

By understanding the sources of common household odors and implementing these eco-friendly solutions, you can effectively combat unpleasant smells while promoting a healthier, more sustainable living environment.

The Power of Plants in Fighting Unpleasant Smells

While various natural remedies can help eliminate unpleasant odors in your home, one often overlooked solution is the power of plants. Not only do houseplants add a vibrant and refreshing touch to your indoor spaces, but many of them also possess natural air-purifying and odor-eliminating properties. By incorporating these leafy allies into your home, you can enjoy a fresh, fragrant atmosphere while embracing sustainable living and environmental protection tips.

Odor-Eliminating Houseplants

Eliminate Bad Home Odors
Try houseplants more than decos

Here are some of the best houseplants to consider for their ability to absorb and neutralize unpleasant odors:

  1. Snake Plant (Sansevieria): This hardy, low-maintenance plant is highly effective at removing various airborne pollutants, including formaldehyde and benzene, which can contribute to unpleasant odors.
  2. English Ivy (Hedera helix): Known for its exceptional air-purifying abilities, English ivy plants can help remove mold, mildew, and other musty odors from your home.
  3. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum): In addition to its beautiful white blooms, the peace lily is a powerful air-purifying plant that can help eliminate odors caused by benzene and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  4. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii): With its ability to remove benzene and trichloroethylene from the air, the bamboo palm is an excellent choice for combating odors related to paints, solvents, and other chemicals.
  5. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata): These lush ferns not only add a touch of nature to your home but also help remove formaldehyde, a common culprit behind unpleasant odors in household products and materials.

By strategically placing these odor-eliminating houseplants throughout your home, you can enjoy their natural air-purifying benefits while creating a fresh, inviting atmosphere. Additionally, caring for plants can be a rewarding and eco-friendly hobby, contributing to your overall well-being and sustainable living practices.

Case Study: The Clean Air Study

In a landmark study conducted by NASA in the late 1980s, researchers investigated the air-purifying abilities of various houseplants. The study, known as the “Clean Air Study,” found that certain plants were highly effective at removing harmful pollutants and improving indoor air quality.

One of the key findings was that the snake plant (Sansevieria) and the English ivy (Hedera helix) were among the top performers in removing benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air. These pollutants are commonly found in household products, building materials, and have been linked to various health issues, including respiratory problems and even cancer.

The study’s lead researcher, Dr. B.C. Wolverton, recommended introducing at least one plant per 100 square feet of indoor space to improve air quality and reduce unpleasant odors effectively. By following this guideline and incorporating a variety of odor-eliminating houseplants, you can create a healthier, fresher living environment while embracing sustainable and eco-friendly practices.

Incorporating plants into your home not only adds natural beauty and vibrancy but also harnesses the power of nature to combat unpleasant smells and promote better indoor air quality. Embrace this eco-friendly solution and enjoy the numerous benefits that these leafy allies have to offer.

Essential Oils and Natural Potpourri for Home Fragrance

While plants can help purify the air and eliminate unpleasant odors, they may not always provide the desired fresh, inviting scent you crave for your home. This is where essential oils and natural potpourri come into play, offering an eco-friendly and sustainable way to infuse your living spaces with delightful fragrances.

1. The Allure of Essential Oils

Eliminate Bad Home Odors
Essential Oil is quite the best treatment

Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that not only emit captivating aromas but also offer a range of potential benefits. By leveraging the power of these natural fragrances, you can create a soothing and refreshing atmosphere without relying on synthetic air fresheners that may contain harmful chemicals.

Here are some popular essential oil choices for home fragrance:

  • Lemon: With its bright, citrusy scent, the lemon essential oil can uplift your mood and create a refreshing ambiance.
  • Lavender: Renowned for its calming and relaxing properties, lavender essential oil is perfect for creating a serene and tranquil environment.
  • Eucalyptus: The invigorating aroma of eucalyptus essential oil can help clear the mind and promote a sense of rejuvenation.
  • Peppermint: The crisp, minty scent of peppermint essential oil can energize and invigorate your living spaces.

To enjoy the fragrant benefits of essential oils, consider using an essential oil diffuser or creating your own natural room sprays by combining a few drops of your favorite oils with water in a spray bottle.

2. Homemade Natural Potpourri

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Try homemade natural potpourri

If you prefer a more long-lasting fragrance solution, consider making your own natural potpourri. This eco-friendly approach allows you to customize the scents to suit your preferences while avoiding the potentially harmful ingredients found in commercial air fresheners.

To create your own natural potpourri, you’ll need:

  • Dried flowers, herbs, and spices (e.g., lavender, rose petals, cinnamon sticks, cloves)
  • Essential oils (optional)
  • A decorative bowl or container

Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:

Citrus and Spice Potpourri


  • 1 cup dried orange or lemon slices
  • 1/2 cup dried rosemary
  • 1/4 cup dried lavender buds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 10-15 drops of sweet orange essential oil (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, combine the dried orange or lemon slices, rosemary, lavender buds, cinnamon sticks, and cloves.
  2. If desired, add 10-15 drops of sweet orange essential oil to enhance the fragrance.
  3. Mix the ingredients gently to distribute the scents evenly.
  4. Transfer the potpourri mixture to a decorative bowl or container.
  5. Place the potpourri in strategic locations around your home, and enjoy the warm, inviting aroma.

Remember to refresh the potpourri every few weeks or as needed to maintain its fragrance.

By embracing the natural and sustainable aromas of essential oils and homemade potpourri, you can create a welcoming and fragrant home environment while adhering to eco-friendly practices and promoting sustainable living.

Avoid These Mistakes That Make Odors Worse

Eliminate Bad Home Odors
Don’t make it worse

While implementing eco-friendly solutions can effectively combat unpleasant odors in your home, it’s equally important to avoid common mistakes that can exacerbate the problem or even introduce new sources of unpleasant smells. By being mindful of these pitfalls, you can ensure your efforts to create a fresh and inviting living space are not undermined.

Using Too Much or Incorrect Cleaning Products

One of the most common mistakes homeowners make when trying to eliminate odors is using excessive amounts of cleaning products or choosing the wrong ones altogether. While some cleaning solutions may temporarily mask unpleasant smells, they can often contribute to poor indoor air quality and introduce new chemical odors.

To avoid this mistake, follow these tips:

  • Use natural, eco-friendly cleaning products: Opt for plant-based or biodegradable cleaners that are free from harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances.
  • Follow product instructions carefully: Use the recommended amounts and dilute solutions properly to prevent over-application and potential chemical reactions that could create new odors.
  • Ventilate the area: Open windows or use fans to ensure proper air circulation during and after cleaning to prevent the buildup of chemical fumes.

Ignoring the Source of the Odor

Another common mistake is attempting to mask odors without addressing their root cause. This approach may provide temporary relief, but the underlying issue will persist, and the odor will eventually return, often more pungent than before.

To avoid this mistake, take the following steps:

  • Identify the source: Thoroughly inspect your home to determine where the odor is originating from, such as carpets, furniture, or hidden areas like crawl spaces or attics.
  • Address the root cause: Once the source is identified, take appropriate action to eliminate it, whether it’s deep cleaning, repairing leaks, or removing mold or mildew growth.
  • Be persistent: Stubborn odors may require multiple treatments or a combination of eco-friendly solutions to fully eliminate them.

Not Cleaning Properly

Improper cleaning techniques can also contribute to lingering odors in your home. Failing to thoroughly clean and sanitize surfaces or using ineffective cleaning methods can leave behind residues and bacteria that contribute to unpleasant smells.

To avoid this mistake, follow these tips:

  • Deep clean regularly: Schedule regular deep cleaning sessions to ensure all surfaces, nooks, and crannies are properly cleaned and sanitized.
  • Use the right tools: Invest in quality cleaning tools like microfiber cloths, scrub brushes, and vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters to effectively remove dirt, grime, and odor-causing particles.
  • Dry surfaces thoroughly: Moisture can contribute to mold and mildew growth, leading to musty odors. Ensure all surfaces are completely dry after cleaning.

By being mindful of these common mistakes and taking proactive steps to address them, you can maximize the effectiveness of your eco-friendly odor-elimination efforts and maintain a fresh, inviting home environment.

Create An Odor-Eliminating Routine for a Fresh Home

While implementing eco-friendly solutions is crucial for combating unpleasant odors in your home, establishing a consistent routine is equally important. By incorporating odor-prevention practices into your regular cleaning and maintenance schedule, you can maintain a fresh and inviting living space while promoting sustainable living and environmental protection.

1. Weekly Odor-Eliminating Tasks

Eliminate Bad Home Odors
Maintain the indoor air quality and fresh

To keep your home smelling fresh and odor-free, consider incorporating the following tasks into your weekly routine:

  • Open windows regularly: Allowing fresh air to circulate throughout your home can help dissipate stale odors and prevent them from accumulating.
  • Clean high-traffic areas: Vacuum carpets, sweep and mop floors, and wipe down surfaces in high-traffic areas like the living room, kitchen, and bathrooms to remove dirt, dust, and odor-causing particles.
  • Launder fabrics and linens: Wash curtains, bedding, and any washable fabrics to eliminate odors that may have accumulated from daily use.
  • Empty and clean trash cans: Remove garbage regularly and clean trash cans with a vinegar solution to prevent the buildup of unpleasant smells.

Monthly Odor-Elimination Tasks

In addition to your weekly routine, consider incorporating the following tasks on a monthly basis:

  • Deep clean carpets and upholstery: Use eco-friendly carpet cleaners or hire professional services to thoroughly clean carpets and upholstered furniture, removing embedded odors and stains.
  • Clean and deodorize appliances: Thoroughly clean and deodorize appliances like the oven, microwave, and refrigerator, which can harbor lingering food odors.
  • Replace air filters: Change air filters in your HVAC system to ensure optimal air circulation and prevent the buildup of dust and odors.
  • Rotate natural air fresheners: Refresh your homemade potpourri or essential oil diffuser blends to maintain a pleasant and inviting scent throughout your home.

Seasonal Odor-Prevention Practices

Certain seasons may require additional odor-prevention measures. Consider the following practices:

  • Spring cleaning: As the weather warms up, conduct a thorough deep cleaning of your home, paying special attention to areas that may have accumulated odors over the winter months.
  • Summer ventilation: During the warmer months, make sure to maintain proper ventilation by opening windows and using fans to prevent musty or stale odors from developing.
  • Fall maintenance: Before the colder months arrive, inspect your home for any potential sources of odors, such as mold or mildew growth, and address them accordingly.
  • Winter humidity control: Monitor humidity levels in your home during the winter months, as excessive moisture can contribute to musty odors and mold growth.

By incorporating these odor-eliminating routines into your regular household maintenance, you can proactively prevent unpleasant smells from taking hold in your living spaces. Remember, consistency is key – by adhering to these eco-friendly practices, you can enjoy a fresh, inviting home while embracing sustainable living and environmental protection.

When to Call In Professional Odor Removal Services

While many odor issues can be addressed through the diligent application of eco-friendly solutions and consistent maintenance routines, there may be instances when professional odor removal services are necessary. Certain stubborn or deeply embedded odors can be challenging to eliminate entirely, requiring specialized expertise and equipment.

Circumstances That May Require Professional Help

Eliminate Bad Home Odors
Use the professional help

Here are some situations where seeking professional odor removal services may be the most effective course of action:

  1. Severe smoke or fire damage: If your home has experienced a fire or significant smoke damage, professional odor removal services can effectively address the deeply embedded smoke odors that can linger long after the initial event.
  2. Persistent mold or mildew issues: Mold and mildew can be notoriously difficult to eliminate, and their odors can persist even after the visible growth has been removed. Professional mold remediation services may be required to ensure thorough removal and odor elimination.
  3. Long-standing pet odors: While many eco-friendly solutions can help with pet odors, deeply ingrained smells from long-term pet accidents or neglect may require professional-grade cleaning and deodorizing treatments.
  4. Sewage or flood damage: Sewage backups or extensive water damage can introduce foul odors that can be difficult to eliminate without professional help. Specialized equipment and techniques may be necessary to address these types of odor issues effectively.
  5. Odors from renovation or construction: Certain construction materials or renovation processes can introduce persistent odors that may be challenging to remove without professional intervention.

Seeking Eco-Friendly Odor Removal Companies

If you determine that professional odor removal services are necessary, it’s essential to seek out companies that prioritize eco-friendly and sustainable practices. Look for providers that use environmentally responsible products and techniques, minimizing the use of harsh chemicals or processes that could potentially harm the environment or your family’s health.

When researching potential odor removal companies, consider the following:

  • Ask about their product and equipment certifications: Reputable companies should use products and equipment that are certified as environmentally friendly or meet specific eco-friendly standards.
  • Inquire about their odor removal methods: Prefer companies that utilize natural, non-toxic methods and avoid those that rely heavily on harsh chemicals or ozone generators, which can be harmful to human health and the environment.
  • Request references and reviews: Look for companies with a proven track record of successful, eco-friendly odor removal services. Reviews from previous clients can provide valuable insights into their practices and effectiveness.

By being proactive and seeking professional assistance when necessary, you can ensure that even the most stubborn or deeply embedded odors are effectively eliminated from your home while adhering to your commitment to sustainable living and environmental protection.


Maintaining a fresh, odor-free home is not only essential for creating a comfortable and inviting living environment but also plays a crucial role in promoting overall well-being and environmental sustainability. By embracing eco-friendly habits and implementing the strategies outlined in this article, you can effectively combat unpleasant odors while prioritizing sustainable living and environmental protection.

Throughout this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored a wide range of natural, non-toxic solutions for tackling common household odor sources, from bathrooms and kitchens to pet areas and smoke-related smells. By harnessing the power of simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils, you can create your own effective odor-eliminating formulas without relying on harsh chemicals or synthetic air fresheners.

We’ve also highlighted the invaluable role of houseplants in purifying indoor air and naturally absorbing odors, showcasing the amazing capabilities of nature’s own air-filtering systems. Incorporating a variety of odor-eliminating plants into your home not only contributes to a fresher atmosphere but also adds a vibrant, refreshing touch to your living spaces.

Furthermore, we’ve delved into the art of creating natural home fragrances through the use of essential oils and homemade potpourri. By embracing these sustainable alternatives, you can infuse your home with captivating scents while avoiding the potential risks associated with commercial air fresheners.

To ensure long-lasting freshness, we’ve provided comprehensive routines and schedules for odor prevention and elimination, emphasizing the importance of consistent maintenance and deep cleaning. By incorporating these eco-friendly practices into your regular household routines, you can proactively combat odors and maintain a fresh, inviting home environment.

While many odor issues can be effectively addressed through diligent application of natural solutions and consistent maintenance, we’ve also acknowledged instances where professional odor removal services may be necessary. In such cases, we’ve emphasized the importance of seeking out eco-friendly providers who prioritize sustainable practices and environmentally responsible methods.

Ultimately, by embracing the principles of sustainable living and environmental protection, you can not only enjoy a fresh, odor-free home but also contribute to a healthier planet for generations to come. Remember, small steps can make a significant impact, and by adopting eco-friendly habits, you’re actively participating in the collective effort to promote a more sustainable future.

So, let’s continue to embrace these eco-friendly solutions, foster a deeper appreciation for nature’s offerings, and create a harmonious living environment that not only smells fresh but also aligns with our commitment to protecting the environment. Together, we can make a positive difference, one odor-free home at a time.


FAQs ( Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Why should I choose eco-friendly solutions over commercial air fresheners?

A: Many commercial air fresheners contain harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances that can be harmful to your health and the environment. Eco-friendly solutions, on the other hand, are made from natural ingredients and are safer for you and your family, while also promoting sustainable living practices.

Q: How often should I replace my houseplants for odor elimination?

A: Most odor-eliminating houseplants can last for several years with proper care. However, it’s a good idea to replace them every 2-3 years to ensure they remain effective at purifying the air and absorbing odors.

Q: Can essential oils be used safely around pets?

A: While many essential oils are safe for use around pets, it’s important to do your research and exercise caution. Some essential oils can be toxic to pets if ingested or applied directly to their skin. Always consult with your veterinarian before using essential oils around your furry friends.

Q: How do I properly dispose of used baking soda and other natural odor absorbers?

A: Used baking soda and other natural odor absorbers can typically be disposed of safely in your regular household trash. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your local waste management authorities for any specific guidelines or regulations.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this review are based on the author’s personal experience and research. Individual results may vary. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions for proper usage and maintenance of the product.


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