How To Stop Nasty Household Smells

No one likes walking into a kitchen and smelling a stale stink from the bin, or having their shower infiltrated by unpleasant pongs from the plughole. Here are some tried-and-tested solutions for vanquishing unwanted smells…

In The Bin

  • Before you put anything in the bin, wash it out. That includes cans, bottles, meat trays and wrappers.

  • If you have a compost bin, put any food waste in that and keep it outside if possible.

  • You can wrap unwanted food in compostable, biodegradable bin liners to stop smells escaping.

  • Don’t overfill the bin – it’s best to have the lid closed all the time – and change the bin bag as often as possible.

  • Regularly wash out your bin. Spray with an anti-bacterial spray and don’t forget the lid and rim, where little bits of food can get lodged and rot. 

  • Shake some bicarbonate of soda around the bottom of the bin as this will help absorb odours. 

  • Keep your bin away from direct sunlight. This will slow down decomposition to reduce smells and the chance of maggots.

In The Fridge

  • If you spill anything or something leaks, wipe it up straightaway. 

  • Regularly use a damp, all-purpose e-cloth to keep the shelves, racks and doors clean. Use a little bit of washing-up liquid in water to remove any dirt. 

  • If your fridge is already starting to smell, wipes down the walls, shelves and door seals with a solution of 15ml (1 tbsp) of bicarbonate of soda to 1 litre of warm water. You could also try a disinfectant solution.

  • To stop future smells developing, leave an open container of bicarbonate of soda inside the fridge (it lasts for up to three months), or invest in a specialised fridge deodoriser.

In The Sink

  • The most common cause of smelly sinks is a blockage in the U-bend of the pipework. To prevent that happening in the first place, do not put any food scraps, oil or fat down a plughole.

  • If water isn’t flowing freely down the sink, grab a plunger, and try and pull out any muck you can. Then pour down about 45ml of washing-up liquid and leave it there for 30 minutes. Follow with some boiling water.

  • For on-going maintenance, drain sticks use enzymatic power to prevent build-ups and eliminate odours. They break down almost anything that causes blockages and smells, and are perfect for use in any sink that has a U-bend.

  • To deal with a badly blocked sink, use a dedicated unblocking product, which will dissolve any plughole nasties.

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