baking soda jar
Cody Medina
Cody Medina
March 11, 2024 ·  9 min read

15 Ways to Remove Bad Odors From Your Home

Cleaning your house can be a tedious chore. Often, people tend to forget that it’s not just the floors and tables that need cleaning. Over the course of time, certain areas of the house can begin to smell a little funky. This list provides 15 ways for you to lighten the smells and overall mood in your household. It’s important to take the time to remove bad odors from your home. Doing so will make your life at home much more enjoyable.

1. House Plants Remove Bad Odors

Believe it or not, having house plants can prove to be a very useful method to removing bad odors. Not only do house plants literally bring life to your home, but can add a lovely scent, and may even help purify the air. People tend to gravitate towards plants such as snake plants, dracaena, lady palms, Chinese evergreen, or weeping fig. (1)

2. Candle Making

Making scented candles is another awesome and cheap method to remove bad odors from the house. You’d be surprised how cheap it is to make your own scented candles. Don’t waste your time buying overpriced branded candles when you can cheaply make your own. If you like botanical smells, the recipe for lavender candles might be for you. Gather these items: wax flakes, a candlewick with a metal base, lavender essential oil, and dried lavender buds you’ll use as candle garnish. (2)

The first step is to prepare your candle pot by placing the wick inside and securing it with a clothespin. Place into your microwave, let the wax flakes melt, 20-30 drops of essential oil, and pour the melted concoction into a jar. Now add your lavender buds into the lovely smelling wax and let it harden. You now have your very own bad odor removing candle!

3. Remove Mold From The Washing Machine

Your washing machine is a prime suspect for causing mold problems. Mold is notoriously known for having some of the foulest smells. You’ll definitely want to take the time to give your washing machine some extra loving to remove all of the bad odors from the laundry room. The process is simple. Mix 1 cup of bleach with 4 cups of warm water, pour some onto a sponge or an old towel, and clean the gasket. (3)

You’ll also want to run the washing machine at the hottest water setting with some potent mold remover solution. Keep the door open after the process is finished to let the washing machine air dry. You should be able to notice the difference in smell, as the odors should be removed entirely now.

4. Removing Fish Odors

If you love to cook fish then you most likely already know just how bad stale fish odor can sit in your kitchen’s air. You try everything from opening the window to turning the fans on, yet the kitchen still reeks of fried fish. We have a little trick you can use to remove bad fish odors. Simply boil a cup of vinegar mixed with a cup of water. It helps if you do this on the same stove right after you’ve cooked the fish. (4)

5. Removing Stinky Pet Odor

Pet odor in the house can also prove to be a somewhat difficult thing to tackle. Especially if you are someone who owns cats. Of course, our feline friends don’t mean to be as stinky as they are. However, the bad odors coming from their litter box are anything but attractive. A really awesome method that we recommend trying is wrapping activated charcoal in a cheesecloth. Clean out your cat’s litter box and place the wrapped charcoal near the box afterward. You’ll be amazed at how fast-acting this technique is. (5)

6. Freshen Up Your Toilet Paper

This next technique may seem strange but it actually works really well. Just add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil to your toilet paper. As the newly scented roll sits in your bathroom, it will freshen the entire atmosphere up. Probably one of the cheapest and easiest cleaning methods to remove bad odors from your home. (6)

7. DIY Potpourri Odor Remover

Making your own potpourri sachets might be a longer-term solution for removing bad odors from your house. Taking an old dryer sheet, form a sachet big enough for the botanicals you want. Sewing it up along the sides and then hanging them around your home for lovely flowery smells. You can store these little flower pouches in your closet to remove the scent of musty stale clothing. Some people even like to use cedar wood chips in their sachets. (7)

8. Baking Soda For Smelly Mattresses & Couches

Sometimes even our mattress can start to from gross smells over a long enough time period. The same can happen with just about any couch or sofa in your living room. Think about how often these pieces of furniture are used. It might be a good idea to give them a deep clean! However, if you’re looking to remove bad odors from your bed or your couch, baking soda can be an incredible scent neutralizer.

Simply sprinkle some baking soda onto the surface of your couch or mattress. For beds, you might want to let the baking soda sit for about 30 minutes. Upholstered couches can sit for about 15 minutes, however, you can let the baking soda sit over night if the smell is still too potent. When you think the furniture is clean enough, just vacuum up the powder. (8)

9. Using Vinegar On Your Carpet

Homes that have carpet instead of hardwood floors tend to soak up bad odors. It’s an unfortunate reality when it comes to carpet but frets not, for there is a solution to this problem. Using a small amount of vinegar, you can make your own odor removing spray on any carpet in the house.

All you have to do is mix 1 tbsp vinegar, 1 tbsp of baking soda, and 5 oz (150 ml) hydrogen peroxide. Add all of these ingredients into a spray bottle and start sanitizing the smelliest parts of the carpet. Let the spray dry until the baking soda becomes visible. Then use your vacuum to clean up the rest, making the carpet nice and fresh smelling. (9)

10. Bath Bombs? No, Toilet Bombs

Of course bath bombs are an amazing thing to use. However, have you ever considered making your toilet bombs? It’s essentially the same concept as a bath bomb, this kind is meant to clean your toilet. You’ll need a list of ingredients however to make these potent odor removers.

Mix 4 tbsp of citric acid, 1/2 cup washing soda, 1/2 cup Epsom salt, 1 tbsp ground soap, 1 tbsp sodium polycarbonate, and 15 drops any essential oil in a large bowl. Using witch hazel in a spray bottle, spray the top of the liquid until firm. Form the mixture into tight little toilet balls. Let them dry for about 6 hours before using them. (10)

11. Essential Oil Freshener Spray

We keep mentioning the use of essential oils for a reason. Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways. A favorite method is using essential oils in a spray bottle to release pleasant smells throughout the day. All you need is your favorite essential oils, witch hazel, distilled water, and a spray bottle. In a bottle, mix 20-25 drops of essential oil with half a bottle of witch hazel. Then add your distilled water and the spray is ready to go. The witch hazel is meant to act as a binding agent for the other ingredients.

You can use this to freshen up your clothes, your linens, your curtains, and a lot of other places in your house. You’ll be swimming in sweet smells and remove bad odors from your house at the same time. (11)

12. Remove Garbage Disposal Odor With Citrus

Your garbage disposal can be the pinnacle of filth in your kitchen sometimes. It is also most likely the source of all your bad aromas from gunk building up inside. Luckily, there is a dirt-cheap technique you can try to remove the bad odors emanating from the sink. All you have to do is cut up citrus pieces and place them one by one into the disposal as it’s turned on.

The acid from the citrus rinds will aid with cleaning the blades and will release a pleasant citrusy aroma as the wedges are cut up. You can achieve the same effect by chopping up peaches and placing the pit in the disposal with the peach slices. This will also help dislodge any built-up food that may still be in the garbage disposal. (12)

13. Power Washing Your Microwave With Lemons

Okay maybe it’s not exactly like power washing, but this method can remove bad odors from your microwave pretty easily. All you need to do is get a bowl filled with a half cup of water. Next, you will cut a couple of lemons into halves, squeezing two halves into the water with juice, then submerging the other halves in the water. Place the bowl into the microwave and let this rotate for about 5 minutes.

Do not open the microwave door immediately upon completion. Instead, let the bowl sit inside for a couple more minutes with the door closed. Afterward, remove the water bowl from the microwave and wipe the entire inside down. You’ll notice how much fresher and cleaner your microwave is! (13)

14. Baking Soda In The Fridge

Everyone knows just how dirty and musty the fridge can get. Especially if it’s uncleaned for days. Luckily, all you’re going to need is a small box of baking soda. Leaving the box open tucked away in the back of your fridge has been known to cleanse almost all bad odors out of a fridge. This method is probably one of the more popular practices out there for removing bad odors from the fridge. It’s also one of the cheapest and easiest solutions, too. Of course, it might also be a wise decision to just clean out your fridge anyway. (14)

15. Burn Citrus Rinds To Remove Odors

Don’t throw away your citrus rinds just yet! You’re actually going to want to save those as a cheap incense. Just by drying out your old orange peels overnight, you can burn them the next day to remove bad odors from your house. Using a match, lighter, or even your stove, ignite the dried citrus peel and waft the lovely fruit smells around your home. This can lighten the mood and give the overall atmosphere of your home a cleaner feeling. (15)

Keep Reading: Vinegar Is the Secret to Soft Towels, Whiter Whites, and More Laundry Solutions


  1. ’20 best air purifying plants for the home’ Country Living Samantha Prattey. Published March 1, 2021.
  2. ‘How to make your own homemade lavender candles’ Chicago Parent Megan Murray Elsener. Published April 29, 2016.
  3. ‘Tips to Remove Mold from Washing Machines’ Puroclean. Published April 29, 2020.
  4. ‘Eliminating Cooking Smells After Frying Fish’ Thrifty Fun. Published February 4, 2010
  5. ‘How to Use Charcoal to Absorb Litter Box Odors’ The Nest Carlye Jones.
  6. ‘The Essential Oil Toilet Paper Roll Trick’ The Creek Line House. Published October 13, 2018
  7. ‘Sew, Sew, Saturday…Dryer Sheet Sachet’ Sew Many Ways. Published August 4, 2012.
  8. ‘How To Remove Odor From A Mattress’ Protect A Bed. Published May 15, 2018.
  9. ‘Lemon Eucalyptus Toilet Bombs’ Humble Bee And Me. Published Jun 21, 2014.
  10. ‘All-Natural Room Spray’ Martha Stewart. Published February 24, 2020.
  11. ‘How to Clean Garbage Disposal 3 Ways’ Insinkerator Blog
  12. ‘How do I clean my microwave?’ Cool Blue. Published July 14, 2020
  13. ‘Using Baking Soda in the Refrigerator’ The Spruce. Sarah Aguirre. Published November 4, 2020.
  14. ‘The Benefits of Orange Essential Oil and How to Use’ Healthline Jill Seladi-Schulman. Published October 3, 2019.