By: Sabrina Basilio
Because nothing is more off-putting than bad odors

Our sense of smell may not be as strong as that of dogs and other animals, but it is one of the strongest stimulants of emotions and memories in a person. It also warns us against potential threats like mold and food decay.

We don’t want a home always smelling like it’s unkempt or that something strange is up, but sometimes even eliminating the source of the smell can’t cover for the stench trapped in humid air and fabric. So what do we do then when open windows, air fresheners, and exhaust fans aren’t enough to eliminate bad odors in the house?

If the fragrance in products like scented candles and perfume trigger some allergic reactions, or you’re just looking for quick homemade solutions, this list is for you.


There are many ways to perfume the air naturally, but cutting a lemon in half and leaving it some inconspicuous space is proven to be one of the fastest ways to neutralize odors in the house. You can place lemon peelings near the garbage disposal or leave half a lemon in a bowl of water for the kitchen.


The smell of coffee itself can overpower other strong odors, but it’s not about masking one scent with another. It’s about the oils in coffee grounds that absorb the chemicals and microbes causing the smells. Something as simple as leaving a cup full of coffee grounds in the fridge or near the litter box can go a long way. Just make sure to throw away the grounds to your compost the morning after!


We can go on all day about the wonders of baking soda. For the lingering burning smell in your oven, you can make a paste with 1/2 cup baking soda and a few tablespoons of water and leave it overnight. When the drainage and disposals are wreaking havoc, a good squirt of baking soda mixed with vinegar and salt should do the trick. Even upholstery can be deodorized by baking soda!


Vinegar is basically baking soda’s best friend. They form what is called an acid-base reaction, best for getting rid of gunk. But vinegar is a mighty cleaner in its own right! A 50/50 warm water/vinegar solution can eliminate stubborn carpet stains and the stenches that come with them. A light dab of the same solution can also rid your hands of onion and garlic scents.


Perhaps the application of activated charcoal is more familiar in the barbecue pit and the area of health and beauty, but its effectiveness in absorbing odors is just as powerful. For homeowners with kids, leaving charcoal powder or some chunks of it in the fridge instead of coffee grounds might be a safer option.

As you may notice, these items are already easily available at home, not to mention inexpensive. Equipped with the right items and the right mindset of patience, there’s no doubt you will find the particular solution to each particular scent and eradicate it as if it were never there!

Your home and its aroma says a lot about your habits and lifestyle. A beautiful home is only completed by sweet, fresh air. Make everyday at home a new day by putting together the right supplies to combat stubborn smells. Enjoy your clean, fragrant home, and breathe in your beautiful life.


The COHO Living Team.