What's That Smell? (And How Can I Get Rid of it?)
Tips for clearing the air, wherever you are
Our lives are inundated with smells, both good and bad. With so many odors surrounding us, sometimes it feels like a luxury just to breathe fresh, clear air.
Here’s a little secret, though: it doesn’t have to be that way.
At Azuna, clear air is our passion and our mission. We believe in creating healthy spaces for ourselves and our families to thrive.
The first step to breathing fresh is clearing the air--literally. So, we put together this comprehensive guide to identifying and eliminating odors and keeping them away.
Odors in the Home
Home is where the stink is.
Wait, that’s not right. Home should be where the stink isn’t.
Our home spaces are supposed to be safe havens where we can feel most comfortable. Stinky odors and mystery smells can be pervasive and distracting, and most of all kind of, well...icky.
At Azuna Fresh, we know the struggle of maintaining a healthy home. Check out our Most Wanted list of bad smells in the household. Can you pinpoint the worst offenders in your own home?
Culprit: Trash cans
No surprises here. Trash cans, especially in the kitchen, are where we toss some of our smelliest things (can you say “two-week old leftovers,” anyone?).
Odor eliminator tip: To shrink the stink coming from your trash cans, be sure to take out the trash often, use trash can liners, and clean and disinfect the inside and outside of the receptacle every few weeks (or whenever smells resurface).
Appliances, especially those that touch food and/or water, are going to accumulate smells. Don’t let appliances stink up your healthy home!
Dishwashers collect old bits of food and are subject to standing water, dampness, and mold.
Odor eliminator tip: If your dishwasher is smelling less than fresh, try running a cycle with a little bit of distilled white vinegar. Then make sure to wipe down the inside of the dishwasher to prevent mold and mildew.
Fridges also hold a lot of stink unless they are regularly cleaned. From expired milk to rotten produce and food spills, there are a lot of potential smells lurking behind those closed doors.
Odor eliminator tip: To keep smells away, try to keep up with which old and expired foods need to go in the trash and do routine shelf wipedowns to attack odorous grime.
Washing machines help get our dirty clothes clean and smelling good, but they are prone to odors if they are not maintained properly.
Odor eliminator tip: To help prevent mold and mildew from a damp machine, leave the washing machine door open after running your wash cycle to air it out.
Culprit: Kitchen sink
It’s no surprise that sinks are another odor culprit in the home. Kitchen sinks especially are at risk of funky odors from lingering food scraps, in particular when there is a garbage disposal.
Odor eliminator tip: Try a garbage disposal deodorizer, like a DIY solution of distilled white vinegar and baking soda.
Mattresses and bedding are vulnerable to a lot of odors. Mattresses are exposed to dead skin cells, sweat, and in some cases (not naming any names), food crumbs. Our sheets, comforters and pillows get the same treatment. If your room has a distinctive, shall we say “musty” smell, look no further than your bed.
Odor eliminator tip: Regularly change your sheets, launder all bedding, and don’t forget to wash the mattress pad every few weeks, as well. For especially musty mattresses, consider a deep clean.
Culprit: Dirty Clothes
No one enjoys doing laundry, right? But like the saying goes, there are two things certain in life: death and dirty clothes. (That might not be a direct quote, but it’s still accurate!)
Dirty and wet clothes, especially those that take up residence in a hamper, are guilty of stinking up small spaces.
Odor eliminator tip: Check the spaces where dirty clothes accumulate and use an air freshener or odor eliminator to keep dirty laundry stink at bay.
Culprit: Carpet and upholstery
Think about it--carpets and upholstery are exposed to shoes, feet, pets, spills, and everything in between. It’s no surprise that odors live happy and comfortably in the rug pile.
Odor eliminator tip: Give your carpet, rugs, and curtains some extra attention. If regularly vacuuming, washing, and steaming just isn’t cutting it, you probably need to deodorize.
Culprit: Air Conditioner
Air conditioning on a hot day is nothing short of miraculous. Unfortunately, sometimes AC vents can carry unusual smells throughout a space. Stagnant water in an AC unit can give off the odor of stinky feet, while mildew and mold can accumulate thanks to lingering moisture.
Odor eliminator tip: Replace the AC filter to see if you notice an immediate change in the way your home smells. If odors persist, you might need to clean your AC to help improve water drainage.
Some air vent odors can be dangerous. If the odors in your home seem abnormal, take extra precautions.
Pesky Pet Odors
We will do almost anything for the love of our pets, including enduring wet dog smells and whiffs of dirty litter boxes. It’s not always pleasant, but it’s worth it at the end of the day.
Do you know the most common causes of odors from household pets? We’ve got you covered with our list of main offenders below, and pet odor eliminator tips to keep your space odor-free.
Culprit: Tracked in dirt and debris
Dog walks and trips to the dog park are tons of fun, right? When it comes to stepping all four paws back inside, though, you can expect dirt and debris from outdoors to track indoors onto your carpets and rugs. With all that dirt and debris, you can expect some potentially unpleasant smells.
Odor eliminator tip: Sweep and vacuum regularly and consider safely deodorizing the areas your dogs visit most frequently.
Culprit: Pet dander
You’ve probably heard of pet dander, but do you know what it actually is? Pet dander is microscopic flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, birds, and any other animals with fur or feathers. On second thought, maybe we’d be more comfortable not knowing that fact.
Pet dander can irritate allergies and often masquerades as house dust, which means dander can travel throughout a space and contribute to a distinct kennel smell.
Odor eliminator tip: Keep up with regular vacuuming, sweeping, and dusting to prevent dander odor-causing buildup.
Culprit: Litter box
This culprit should be no surprise for cat owners. Litter boxes are objectively gross. Frequently used, in need of constant cleaning. On top of that, cat pee smell is especially stubborn and hard to get rid of.
Depending on where your litter box is kept, you might experience more intense odors. A litter box in a closet will smell more pungent than one in an airier space--either way, this is a source of odors to keep an eye on.
Odor eliminator tip: Scoop the box daily and replace the litter every week. Try to use a deodorizing litter (if your cat approves). Above all, keep your litter box in a well-ventilated area.
Culprit: Pet beds and accessories
Are you looking for how to get rid of dog smell at home? Collars, pet beds, toys, blankets, and harnesses all spent a lot of time in direct contact with our dogs. That’s a lot of collected pet hair and dander! Don’t forget to check these frequently used items for stinky omissions.
Odor eliminator tip: Disinfect and deodorize your pet’s most-loved and most-used items. Pet beds and blankets might hold onto extra stubborn odors, and if you aren’t able to eliminate those stenches, you might want to consider replacing them.
Culprit: “Problem areas”
If your whole house smells like dog urine, you probably have a problem area. Most pet owners can identify a problem area or two in their home. This might be a spot where your dog tends to have accidents or a corner where your cat vomits. It’s unpleasant to think about, but these problem areas could be causing persistent odors.
Odor eliminator tip: “Deodorizer” is the word of the day. Treat the problem areas with a strong, pet-safe deodorizer. You might even consider discouraging your pet from visiting their problem spot by blocking it off. Place a natural odor absorber or odor neutralizer near the spot to fight off stench.
Odors in Your Car
Long drives, daily commutes, quick trips to the grocery store. What do these three things have in common? None of these things are made better by bad smells.
Let’s take a look at common causes of bad car smells and what you can do to get rid of them.
Culprit: Car upholstery
The interior upholstery of your car sees a lot of use, especially car seats. No ifs, ands, or “butts” about it. So when there’s a less than pleasing smell lingering in a vehicle, prioritize cleaning any fabric upholstery that gets a lot of use.
Odor eliminator tip: Use an upholstery cleaner to get out any stubborn and potentially smelly stains.
Culprit: Hidden spaces
You know those dark, secret hidden spaces in your vehicle. Under seats, between the seat and consoles, under the floor mats, and maybe even the trunk. These are the spots that collect dust, dirt, crumbs, and miscellaneous treasures. If you notice a new funky smell while driving, there’s a chance you’re just smelling the ghost of a sandwich or the remains of a spilled latte.
Odor eliminator tip: Don’t wait to clean up spills or to search for that french fry you dropped while stopped at a traffic light. Try to nip smells in the bud by doing routine cleans that include the hidden spaces in your car.
Culprit: Mold and Mildew
Driving a car with mildew odors is unpleasant. Mold and mildew typically result from persistent moisture in the vehicle cabin. Bad smells from mold and mildew won’t disappear with the flick of a tree-shaped air freshener.
Odor eliminator tip: Find the source of the issue. You will need to locate where/how moisture is building up in your car and target that problem first. The mildew smell will persist until you can find the cause! For added security, use a natural air freshener that will help fight bacteria.
Culprit: AC vents
You might notice a strange smell coming from your AC vents. It’s possible that the odor is coming from a growth of bacteria behind the dash panel, or due to lack of use. Your AC unit might also need some quick fixes, like checking on the drain tube.
Odor eliminator tip: Consider using an anti-bacterial treatment for your AC unit to get rid of those stubborn smells. You can get a lasting freshness by finding the right natural air freshener to keep in your car.
Bad Odors on Vacation
Vacations should feel like an escape from our everyday routine and stressors. Shouldn’t bad smells fall into those categories?
Unfortunately, some of our vacation accessories require about as much maintenance as our living spaces and they are prone to stinky odors. If you’ve experienced funky smells in your RV or boat, we’ve got your back. Here are the main culprits to look out for.
Boat Interior Odors
Boats typically don’t get used all the time, and due to their proximity to water they are vulnerable to mold and mildew. Expect closed off boats to accumulate odors, and for cushions and other porous materials to hold onto those. Unless you are using your boat constantly, you will need to make a conscious effort to fight smells.
Odor eliminator tip: Air it out! This is especially important if your boat has been sitting around for a while. Run all fans to get air moving circulating. Make sure to regularly maintain and use your boat’s air conditioning system and filters to control mold.
An RV bathroom is way different than a bathroom in a house or apartment. For one thing, it’s a bathroom on wheels. For another thing, the waste travels with you until you dump it. If your camper smells like sewage, chances are it’s probably coming from your RV’s restroom.
Odor eliminator tip: Use the camper roof vent to air out bad smells and keep your tanks as clean as possible between visits to the dump station.
RVs have little kitchens, small appliances, and cramped spaces that can hold a lot of big, bad smells. If you’re catching whiffs of rotten food or drink, chances are you need to give your kitchen space a little extra attention.
Odor eliminator tip: Wipe down spills and take out food waste frequently. Use deodorizers in your pantry, cabinets, and fridge to reduce the risk of nasty smells.
There are some smells that you just can’t prepare your nose for. Dead pests in a small space is definitely one of those smells. Even though RVs are on wheels, they are not immune from some of the same problems that affect houses and apartments.
Odor eliminator tip: If you’ve had an issue with pests such as roaches or mice in the past and you’ve got an odor you just can’t get rid of, it might be a good idea to check for any unwanted critters. If pests are a common problem for your vehicle, you should take preventive measures to keep them away.
Lasting Freshness Free From Odors
Smells come and go, but getting rid of them lasts forever.
With so many odors invading our spaces, there has to be a solution to breathing clean without breaking the bank and breaking our backs cleaning, right?
The Azuna Fresh natural air freshener was developed to keep families healthy and breathing clear air without having to use a ton of harmful chemicals. Using natural air flow and the natural benefits of tea tree oil, Azuna prevents and eliminates odors to provide lasting freshness wherever you need it.