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How to Keep Your Home Smelling Nice and Clean

Does your home smell bad? You might think that yours doesn’t, or not so much that it becomes a bother. But the problem is many of us don’t realise how bad our home smells, mainly because of sensory adaption, which is essentially a process by which our brain eventually adapts to a constant smell and no longer processes it as long as it doesn’t cause us any harm.

This phenomenon is why when you go away for a long holiday and come back, you tend to notice the smell of your home more acutely. And that’s usually what your guests—who don’t have a sensory adaption to the smell of your home—are smelling when they first step inside. To free yourself from potentially embarrassing situations, it is important that you’re always keeping your home smelling nice and clean. Read on for tips on how to do so:

STEP ONE: Get Rid of Bad Smells

Before you start introducing good-smelling scents into your home, start by eliminating bad odours in your space. Identify common areas where they tend to occur. A lot of time, this happens in areas where there is stagnant moisture (like the bathroom or kitchen), which often leads to odours caused by bacteria. Also, because Singapore is relatively humid, it can cause our interiors to have a damp or musty smell.

Deal with moisture

One of the easiest things ways to get rid of this stale, musty smell in the air is to air your rooms frequently. Open up all your windows and doors, preferably on either sides of your home to create a cross breeze.

Design: The Local Inn.terior

If your home or any space in your home is excessively humid, you might want to consider investing in a dehumidifier. This also helps to keep your furniture and electronics protected. But be cautioned that an environment that is too dry can similarly damage the things in your space.

In the bathroom, where the instance of stagnant moisture is particularly high, get an exhaust fan or make the effort to air your bathroom after a steamy bath. Wet towels should be aired in a sunny spot. If that isn’t possible, make sure you air them in an area where there is constant ventilation and not in a closed environment.

Design: Design 4 Space

Make sure your laundry is thoroughly dry before putting them away to prevent your clothes and wardrobe from having a lingering musty smell.

In the kitchen, ensure that your tea towels are exposed to ventilation and wash them frequently. Also, don’t leave your kitchen sponge in a dish soap which has excess water. Leave them out to dry.

Design: The Monocot Studio

Identify main “bad smelling” areas

Carpet and Mattress: Sprinkle baking soda (which has natural odour eliminating properties) and leave that on for a few hours and then vacuum it up later.

Curtains and Upholstery: Wash washable fabrics frequently. For fabrics that cannot be washed, spritz a natural fabric spray made using a blend of white vinegar (around 1 teaspoon) and water (around 450ml).

Design: Jesswan Interior

Kitchen Trash: Clean your trash can regularly and never leave trash in the trash can overnight—it can attract all sorts of pest. To eliminate smells, you can sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of your trash can.

Fridge: Always make sure the contents of your fridge are fresh. Do an inventory and throw away expired items on a weekly basis. Pull any removable shelves out and scrub them down. Clean the insides with a white vinegar and water mixture.

Design: The Local Inn.terior

Toilet: Use a natural bath bomb every once in a while. Flush thoroughly after every use and leave out a bowl of baking soda near the toilet to absorb odours. You can replace it every month.

Kitchen Sink and Bathroom Drains: Pour hot water down the drains to get rid of stubborn grime and grease. Pour equal parts white vinegar and baking soda down the drains (it will fizz). Wait a while before following with more hot water to wash it off. This method is less abrasive than pouring down bleach. Do this every once in a while (or when there’s a choke or bad smell), but don’t do it too frequently as it might damage the pipe lining.

Design: Free Space Intent

Shoe Cabinet: If your shoes are wet, don’t place them in the cabinet until they are dry. Sprinkle baking soda on any funky smelling shoes, leave that on for a while and use newspaper to absorb the baking soda thereafter. Air the cabinet on a regular basis. Place odour absorber bags such as those made from activated charcoal, easily bought from places like Daiso, in the cabinet.

Design: Proj. B Studio

STEP TWO: Introduce Good (and Natural) Smells

Once you’ve eliminated the bad smells, you can just maintain your home as it is or go to step two: introducing your favourite scents to your space. Good smells can actually help to improve our moods and is an effective way to eliminate stress. Steer clear from harsh chemicals though and try as much as you can to use natural sources to scent-ify your home.

Stovetop potpourri

Image courtesy of Savoury Experiments

To get rid of lingering odours in the kitchen (perhaps after frying fish), you can always simmer a pot of water atop a stove and throw in your favourite combination of herbs and fruits you can find from the fridge.

Combinations like orange and cinnamon work well together. If you want it to be extra citrusy, you can always add in lemon. For a cosy vibe, add in cloves, nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon.

Decorate with scented or air purifying plants

Design: Three-D Conceptwerke

Some plants are known to purify our air and get rid of toxins. Opt for plants such as snake plant, peace lily, aloe vera or bamboo plant. If you prefer to scent your home with the smell of botany, you can go for common kitchen herbs like basil or mint, which are easy to care for or indoor flower varieties like orchids, sweet almond bush or dwarf ylang ylang for the smell of sweet blooms.

Incorporate home fragrances

Design: Uno Interior

There are various kinds of home fragrances and what you choose depends on whether you prefer a more concentrated or lighter scent. Some home fragrances can also last longer. Room sprays are great for quick fixes, while reed or electric diffusers can emit a more concentrated fragrance depending on how many reeds you use and how much essential oils you put in. An easy way to scent your space with is with candles. See how to choose them here.

Opt for natural scents from sources like florals and leafs for a more relaxing vibe and avoid overly sugary scents. Citrus scents are great for creating a more invigorating space. When purchasing essential oils, look out for authentic plant-derived essential oils and avoid ones that are made from synthetic sources.

How do you go about scenting your home? Let us know in the comments!


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