Ah, winter time – Doors and windows shut – keeping the cold at bay, all wrapped up in layers of clothing, long nights, cuddle up time, crackling logs in the fireplace, kitty purring on the blanket, doggy snuggles at my feet. Soups, stews and curries on the stove. Man this is bliss! Not sticking my nose out there, you know, where its cold and wet and windy and only when it is absolutely necessary a quick pop out to the local convenience store and really quick too, because I want to get back to my haven…. Until I get back and open the door that is…. Oh my word! The smell! Something died in here! My clothes are damp and everything smells musty!
Yep, some things about winter are not so cool. If you have experienced this, you know it is time to remedy a situation. Going back to basics, there are some household items to the rescue, which you should already have in your home. Vinegar, Baking soda, Lavender or Rose oil, Vanilla essence, Oranges, Cinnamon Sticks, Cat litter, Newspaper? Check and Sorted!
For the most part, bad smell is caused by mould and mildew building up and releasing foul gasses. Moisture, warmth and lack of air circulation (stagnant air) and darkness will encourage growth.
Vinegar and baking soda don’t just hide bad smells. It neutralizes (stop) bad smells from forming. They are environmentally friendly and safe to use.
Vinegar: Pour distilled white vinegar in the washer with your musty clothes. Pour in two cups of vinegar per load. You can use a little more or a little less, depending on how large your load of laundry is and how bad the clothes smell.
Soak clothing in Hot Water for at least 30 min. with the vinegar. While vinegar will neutralize most odours, hot water will help disinfect and remove any bacteria that is left over and do not fret, because the vinegar smell actually disappears along with the musty smell.
After scrubbing down an area infected with mould with hot soapy water, spray the area with vinegar and allow to dry.
Baking Soda: Rid carpets from musty smells by sprinkling baking soda over it. This will soak up any moisture and defuse the smell. Leave on overnight and then vacuum up in the morning.
Open a box of baking soda, place it in the back of your refrigerator and you will find that that bad odour will soon be gone.
Add 1 cup of baking soda to a normal load of washing and let soak for 30 minutes.
Use several teaspoons on the sole and seal shoes in a plastic zip lock bag. Leave overnight in the freezer. Remove the next morning and dump backing soda into garbage.
Homemade Potpourri: Boil stick cinnamon, orange peel, and vanilla or whole cloves in water on the stove. Set anywhere in the house to cool. Make your own potpourri sachets from pantyhose. Add drops of lavender or rose oil to your dried plant material and place or hang in cupboard spaces or above heat vents.
Vanilla extract: A couple of spoons in a dish in your refrigerator will rid bad musty odours.
A tray or box with cat litter: Left in unused spaces it will reduce moisture build-up and remove odours.
Newspaper: Absorbs moisture, be it in your cupboards or shoes. Pack those soaked sneakers with crumpled up newspaper, remove when wet and repeat.