My laundry list of fixes for stopping the gamut of pesky odors indoors

Face it: Living spaces produce a whole slew of smells. There is everything from pungent under-the-kitchen-sink-placed-trash-can and garbage-disposer-related stenches to dirty laundry and stale clothes/linens and clothes-/linen-closet odors.

And, at times, it seems like it is everything one can do just to keep all the unpleasant if not offensive household aromas at bay.

But, not to worry as I present here my so-called “laundry list” of solutions for stopping all those musty, sour, nasty stinks.

Air freshening

In my home, it’s a toss-up as to where the worst smells emanate from. Take your pick – the kitchen or bathroom.

The bathroom- and kitchen-derived scents are only temporary, thankfully. And, if I have any say (which I do) that’s exactly how it’ll stay. Ninety-nine percent of the problem, the smelly problem, is taken care of just by cleaning – that means emptying the trash and refrigerator of all sour, spoiled, rotten items; washing linens; wiping and mopping fixtures, surfaces, floors in the bathroom – you get the idea. If I feel like freshening things up a bit afterwards, I can always open a window (as long as the outside air/temperature is conducive to doing so); turning on an exhaust fan; using a scented candle or opening up a box containing soap that’s fragrance-infused.

In fact, such fragrance-infused soap boxes are stored in the linen closets (they’re cabinets, actually) to help keep linens smelling fresh. Works for me.

Speaking of storing things, the place I store blankets in warmer times is in two chests lined with cedar, the third definition for cedar, by the way, in the 1991 Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, reads: “the fragrant wood of any of these trees, used in furniture and as a moth repellent.”1

Meanwhile, in and around (under) the kitchen sink and in my home refrigerator and freezer, it is not uncommon to find an open baking-soda box, the baking soda itself acting as an odor eater. What a difference that makes!

Putting a lid on it

Also, in passing by or in standing next to the kitchen sink, sometimes I detect the sour smell connected with food that’s already been ground up, all sourcing from the garbage disposer attached. To eliminate such, in goes lemon or orange peels, pulp or both and once ground up, the citrusy scent from either is sufficient to suppress the odor in question.

Oh, and one more item worth mentioning: Sometimes sponges, dishcloths or rags, towels, etc. get this musty smell (“musty” describing it to a tee). Remedies I’ve found have been through trial and error.

Take, for example, the dishcloths I used to drape over the kitchen sink faucet. However, after several uses and drapings, in said cloths a musty smell develops. It never fails. At any rate, after repeated attempts at trying to find a suitable solution, what I discovered was that if I drape such cloth over the top of a plastic container for holding water (an empty plastic gallon water bottle), voila! No such smell at all.

In concluding, I can’t forget about the variety of good aromas coming from cooking and baking activities. There might be others as well which, at this moment I am having a tough time remembering. But, even those can require mitigating, especially if such trigger an indoor smoke-alarm activation. Oh, and there is one other odor as well: The way my heater works, it emits a burnt oil smell when first turned on each year. In which case and for the record, I open the windows to air out the house and do this only on a day when the air quality outside is good. This is sort of a refresher, FYI (in case you don’t already know): I’ve mentioned this on the Air Quality Matters blog in the past.


  1. Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, 1991 edition, p. 218

Image above: NIH, Wikimedia Commons

This post was last revised on Jun. 7, 2020 @ 11:28 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

– Alan Kandel

1 thought on “My laundry list of fixes for stopping the gamut of pesky odors indoors”

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