Tutorials & Self-Improvement

10 Ways To Remove Odours At Home That Even Expert Singaporean Mothers Don’t Know

How to get rid of odours at home

3-day-old workout clothes, sweaty shoes and the lingering smell of animal pee – imagine that. Yes, this might be some of the stenches wafting around in your home sweet home. 

But instead of clamping your nostrils shut and walking away, there’s actually a slew of DIY ways to get rid of that bad smell.

Here are some ways to get rid of common household stinkiness that even the most aunty kind of mother might not know:

1. Stinky clothes you don’t have time to wash – vodka

Image adapted from: Science (left), Truth Survival (right)

My fellow lazy friends, this one’s for you. While we all know that laundry is important, it takes up so much time. And ain’t nobody got time to do laundry after a tough gym sesh.

To prevent the worn clothes from stinking up your room, all you need is a little unflavoured vodka. Pour some of it into a spray bottle and spritz it all over your attire. The alcohol content will kill bacteria and take away any odour with it as it evaporates.

Fun fact: Theatre actors have been using this hack for a long time to deodorise their stage costumes!

2. Durian smell in the fridge – baking soda

Image credit: @shiyinlsg

To some, durians are fragrant. To others, they are smell extra pungent. But regardless of whether you are a durian lover or hater – there’s no in-between, really – you might not want to have all the food in your fridge coated in its lingering aroma.

Before you pop the king of all fruits into the fridge, open a box of good ol’ baking soda and place it in there. And voilà, the sodium bicarbonate will neutralise all odours. 

The best part? That one box can last you a whole year! 

Bonus: If you have other strong smelling food like kimchi in there as well, the baking soda will also fix that.

3. Chemical-like smell of new furniture – pandan leaves

Getting new furniture always makes me feel like I’m getting my life together. While that part’s great, they sometimes arrive with a chemical-like smell. 

Image credit: My Car Forum

Enter pandan leaves. Other than warding off cockroaches, pandan leaves also helps to remove chemical odours. Simply get some from your local supermarket, tie a couple of leaves into a knot, and pop it into your new cabinet. They work especially well when placed in a confined space.

Bonus: you can also use the same method to get rid of the “new car” smell!

4. Shoes that smell like something died in them – denture cleaners

Even if your feet aren’t sweaty, shoes still reek easily. For a true stink bomb of a shoe, desperate measures are needed. 

Despite its unassuming appearance, denture tablets are strong cleaning agents – some say they can even clean your toilet bowl. After asking your ah ma for permission, add 2 denture tablets into a bucket of warm water and let your abomination of a shoe soak in there for an hour. 

5. Strong food smells – vinegar

There’s nothing like the warm and fuzzy feeling of a homemade feast, but there’s also nothing quite as burdensome as the cleaning up after. 

Instead of cursing your decision to cook while wiping down all walls and surfaces, use this hack. In a pot, add 100 ml of vinegar to a litre of water and allow it to simmer on the stove as you cook. The mixture will absorb any wafting smells.

Bonus: This works for the microwave as well. After heating up your food, get rid of any remaining smells by microwaving one part vinegar to two parts water until it simmers.

6. Sour-smelling rubbish bins – cat litter

Lingering cooking smells might be bothersome, but the champion of kitchen odour has got to be the rubbish bin.

Image credit: Pet Finder

Home to banana peels and food scraps, the bin can get unbearably foul smelling even if you clear out your trash daily. The first step, of course, is to wash the bin. But if that doesn’t work then dump some cat litter in your bin below the trash bag and let it sit in there for an hour before taking it out.

7. Moldy washing machine smell – bleach + warm water

The washing machine keeps your apparel smelling good. But if you get a musty and sour scent instead of the usual fresh detergent fragrance emanating from your washer, it probably means that there’s mold in there.

Image adapted from: One Good Thing

To get rid of that unpleasant odour, add a full load of hot water and 1 litre of chlorine bleach into the tub. Let it sit for about 1 hour before setting it on the longest wash cycle on your machine. The bleach should get rid of any acrid odours, leaving your machine smelling as good as new.

8. Stale-smelling cupboards – coffee grounds

Image credit: @vicool.kjw

Coffee lovers, you’ll love this next one. After downing your morning cuppa joe, keep the leftover coffee ground instead of dumping it. Let it air-dry before filling it in a breathable sachet. Place that in your wardrobe – it will remove musty smells and leave a mild sweet fragrance in its place.

On top of that, it also acts as an insect repellent that keeps creepy crawlies far away!

9. Animal pee – hydrogen peroxide + baking soda + soap

Image adapted from: Triangle Legacy

We love our lil’ puppers, but their pee? Not so much – especially if they happen to be on a cushioned furniture like your bed or sofa. 

If nightmare turns into reality, try washing the cushion first if it’s removable. Else, get your hands on some 3% hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and soap. Mix 4 parts hydrogen peroxide to one part baking soda in a spray bottle and add in about one pump of liquid soap. Spray the mixture to the affected area liberally and let the cushion air dry under sunlight for a day.

10. Odours, allergens and bacteria in the air  – Philips Connected Air Purifier Series 3000i

When you smell an odour, it probably means that there is something “bad” in the air. And while some impurities make your nose twitch, germs, pollen and many other irritants cannot be identified by scent alone. No smell doesn’t necessarily mean clean air!

Phillips Connected Purifier Series 3000i

Clean your air with Philips Air Purifier Series 3000i

We clean our floors, surfaces, shoes… the list goes on. But another aspect of hygiene is often overlooked – air quality – because it is out of sight and out of mind. And often indoor air can be worse than the outdoors, with an abundance of dust, toxic fumes and bacteria and viruses.

Turning on the air-con won’t work as it’s a myth that it will bring in fresher air. Instead, for a fuss free, effective way to clean the air your family breathes in, try the Phillips Connected Air Purifier Series 3000i, an intelligent air purifier that detects even the finest pollutants and allergens in the air and traps them in its system.

There are 3 automatic modes you can activate in its first-in-industry system:

  • General mode – For day-to-day use
  • Allergen mode – Effective in removing 99.97% of airborne allergens such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores and pet dander
  • Bacteria and Virus mode – Powerful in getting rid of harmful substances the air

And if you prefer to customise speed settings on the purifier there are 5 speed levels for you to choose from – from the super silent ‘Sleep’ mode to the uber powerful ‘Turbo Speed’ mode.

If tech is like a foreign language to you, no worries because the Phillips Connected Purifier Series 3000i simplifies all that complicate stuff – air quality is rated simply as 1 to 12 on its intuitive and best-in-class AeraSense user interface.

Philips Connected Purifier Series 3000i

The purifier also comes with an application that allows you to track and even control the air quality at home anywhere and anytime. Worried parents at work, all you have to do is open the app to get an overview of the quality of air that your kids are experiencing at home.

Clean air isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity – bad air quality could lead to poor health and trigger short-term symptoms like allergies, asthma and sore eyes, to long term illnesses like respiratory diseases or even cancer. So just as we’re careful of our food intake, the air that enters our systems needs to be kept in check as well! 

Find out more about Philips Air Purifier Series 3000i here!

This post was brought to you by Philips.

Kezia Tan

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