What To Do When Your House… Smells

Over the years, houses gain a personality. And, often, they gain odours! Whether it’s that cooked-in grease smell from the kitchen, the scent of pets or a certain must, this can be a turn-off to potential buyers aquired by online estate agents. Giving your property a good going-over is essential; not only will it look clean and fresh, it will smell clean and fresh.

Some effective ways to eliminate odour:

  • Clean your air ducts and/or replace the filters. This can help with any musty scent. Accessing main ducts can be a bit time-consuming, so if you have some room in your budget, consider outsourcing to a pro to give your system a good clean.

  • Wash your walls. Odours, particularly smoke, can become embedded in the walls and are quite stubborn. Give the surfaces a thorough wash and wait a day. Does it need another go-round? Consider using a product containing trisodium phosphate to kill the smells. Alternatively, a bleach/warm water solution can work – just be sure to ventilate your home. Those fumes are powerful!

  • Clean your drapes, upholstery and carpets. We’re talking about a heavy-duty, deep-down clean with professional-quality machine (which are available to hire). Scents can get “ground” into these surfaces and waft up to greet househunters.

  • Use pantry items to capture odours. Baking soda is a versatile all-star. It is a terrific cleaning agent and odour-eater. Simply open a box and place near a source of smell. You can also sprinkle some on your carpet before vacuuming, which is particularly effective if you have pets.

Coffee grounds and vinegar are other accessible options. Place them in bowls around your home. You can also put white vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz around your rooms. The vinegar scent will dissipate and take odours with it.

  • Try Killz. If you have a property that has years of built-up smells, give everything a thorough cleaning and a fresh coat of odour-blocking Killz paint.

When staging your home, you can add pleasant, light scents, such as warming cinnamon buns or citrus. But you must have a clean base on which to start. These scents are not meant to mask unpleasant odours. Smell that? It smells like a sale!

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