home stains and odors

Tips for Removing Common Stains and Odors in Your Home

No matter how well you take care of your home, certain stains and odors are hard to remove. It can be a frustrating problem — your home looks beautiful, but deep down that lingering smell in the kitchen or stain on the sofa that you tried to hide is causing you stress. Fortunately, there are tips and tricks you can use to get rid of just about any stain or odor around your home.

With some easy-to-buy supplies and a little DIY-ing, the tips in this article will have your home looking and smelling good as new!

Tips to Eliminate Common Stains and Odors in Your Home


Cat and two dogs laying on sofa.

Odors in your home aren’t only bothersome, they can be embarrassing! It’s important to remember that odors are a natural part of living day to day in your home. The best way to handle odors is to be proactive about handling them, preventing their occurrence when possible or using the quick tips we’ll outline below to eliminate those that break through.

Trash Odor

Trash stinks — there’s no doubt about it! The first step to reducing the odor of trash in your kitchen, bathroom, or outdoor spaces is to buy the right trash cans and trash bags. Buy a can with a lid that seals, and secure it closed every time you use it.

Similarly, purchase bags that tie up completely after use, and consider using scented bags to combat the natural and unavoidable stench that trash items give off. Next, be sure to give an extra seal to any items — think diapers or food scraps — that already smell or soon will. Use smaller trash bags to wrap them up before you toss them.

Finally, remember that your actual cans need to be cleaned periodically. You can sprinkle baking soda under your trash bags to keep them clean day-to-day, then give them a good scrub with Lysol and a rag every week or so.

Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen appliances encounter food every day, and they will definitely begin to smell if they don’t get more than a wipe-down every now and then.

A well-known tip is to keep a box of baking soda in your refrigerator and freezer to combat food smells. Dishwasher cleaning tablets are a quick and effective way to keep your dishwasher sparkling. For your microwave, be sure to wipe it down after every use and give it a scrub every week or so — two tablespoons of baking soda mixed with one cup of water will do the trick.

Pet Odor

There’s no doubt that furry friends can bring lots of love and joy to the home — but they also bring some unpleasant odors. If you don’t maintain it regularly, pet odor will absolutely build up and become harder to eliminate from your home.

Bathing your pets regularly, brushing them, vacuuming hair and dander regularly, and wiping their paws after they walk outside all go a long way in reducing the odors they cause. Beyond that, there are tons of great pet-specific and furniture-specific spray solutions you can purchase to give your rooms and furniture a daily refresher.

When it’s time to do a good scrubbing, you can use easing, natural solutions like diluted vinegar or baking soda.

Toilet Smell

Toilets are one place in your home where you should never wait until you can notice the smell before you clean it. It’s an important rule of thumb — scrub the toilet bowl before you see any type of buildup to prevent odor from occurring. It goes without saying that this also goes a long way in keeping your bathrooms sanitary!


Child with chocolate on the furniture.

We’ve all been there — a stain on our brand new (or very loved) furniture that we just know won’t come out. Good news: almost any stain can be eliminated or at least reduced significantly with the right solutions. The key is to act quickly!

Oil and Grease

Oil and grease stains can actually be made worse if you don’t know how to clean them the right way. Start by sprinkling baking soda on the stain then let it sit for 15-20 minutes. The stain should lift — at least mostly — but if you still see it you can use dish soap and scrub gently to remove it. After you do, blot it with a wet paper towel or rag.

Red Wine

Red wine is another tough one that must be approached with the appropriate method to be cleaned. First things first: never scrub it. Take a dry towel and blot as gently as you can, lifting any remaining liquid from the furniture.

Then, form a paste of baking soda and water (try ¼ cup of baking soda and ⅛ cup of water), and leave the paste on the stain for several hours (ideally overnight). Vacuum the paste to remove it and lift the stain rather than scrub it in.

Mud and Dirt

Pets and kids (and even the occasional adult!) often track mud and dirt right onto your carpets and furniture. Fortunately, they’re usually easier to remove than grease or wine. While it might feel counterintuitive, the best strategy is to first let the mud dry. Then, scrape and lift any excess left in the area.

Dilute dish soap with some water, apply it to a clean rag or sponge, and gently scrub the area. It should lift the stain, and you can repeat as needed.

Water Marks

Water marks left unaddressed can multiply and leave your beautiful wood furniture looking dull. Of course, you can take preventative measures using a glass cover on your tables or having coasters at the ready. Still, you’re likely to encounter a water mark every now and then.

To get rid of them, mix equal parts olive oil and vinegar. Apply it to a clean cloth and be sure to wipe in the same direction as the grain of the wood. Works like a charm!

Buying a Home in the Dayton area? Let Oberer Homes help you find (or build!) a home you love. Contact us today to get started!

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