My house stinks and I don't mean that in the "I don't like my house, it stinks" way. I mean, my house literally stinks! It is mostly because my granddaughter tried using the microwave to heat up her waffles for breakfast. She set the timer for 5 minutes and walked away! She figured if a minute for pre-made pancakes was good, then waffles--being thicker--would require longer.
Obviously, she did not notice the sickly smell coming from the kitchen after about 2 and a half minutes. (This makes me start to rethink feeding her food that smells that rotten after a couple of minutes of cooking/burning!)
Maybe your house stinks, too. But you might have gone "nose blind" to it as a popular commercial suggests.
Even if we don't notice the odors in our homes, other people may.
Let's look at odors and what can be the cause of our stinky houses!
What is smell?
The sense of smell is one of our most powerful senses. It can alert us to danger (like the smell of smoke) or it can signal great joy (like the smell of a flower or cotton candy!).
Research that was done by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that we can distinguish over one trillion smells! Wow!
More than any place, we want our homes to smell fresh, inviting, and comfortable. We spend a lot of time there, so that makes a lot of sense.
According to the website, howstuffworks.com, "Smell is a very direct sense. In order for you to smell something, molecules from that thing have to make it to your nose. Everything you smell, therefore, is giving off molecules -- whether it is bread in the bakery, onions, perfume, a piece of fruit, or whatever. Those molecules are generally light, volatile (easy to evaporate) chemicals that float through the air into your nose. A piece of steel has no smell because nothing evaporates from it -- steel is a non-volatile solid.
"At the top of your nasal passages behind your nose, there is a patch of special neurons about the size of a postage stamp. These neurons are unique in that they are out in the open where they can come into contact with the air. They have hair-like projections called cilia that increase their surface area. An odor molecule binds to these cilia to trigger the neuron and cause you to perceive a smell. . .
"When you smell many fruits or flowers, what you are smelling is esters evaporating from the fruit or flower. Esters are organic molecules. . . Esters can now be made artificially, and that is where artificial flavors come from."
So now that you have a general idea of how smell works let's look at some areas of your home that might be making your house stinky and what you can do about them.
Six areas of your home that may be big stinkers
1. YOUR FRONT-LOAD WASHER I love my front-load washing machine. It is so much easier than crawling halfway into my previous top-loader to dig out that one sock that apparently wants to be on the "missing sock" poster this week.
Despite the ease of using it and the high efficiency and money savings, it can get very stinky! Because it is used and does come into contact with water it has a tendency even more than top-loaders to harbor mold and mildew, especially by the inner door gasket seal. (This is the area that my socks like to hide occasionally now, too!) The problem is that water gets trapped in those gaskets and it stinks after a few days!
I use Vital Oxide at least once a week to keep these odors at bay. I spray it on the gaskets and the washer drum door. It helps a lot by not only protecting against mold and mildew but in killing the bacteria that make the odor!
2. YOUR DISHWASHER
I don't have a dishwasher, but this can also be a spot that can grow mold and mildew and make for some stinky air. Food left in the machine from the last wash can be a great place for mold to grow. Eliminate the chances of this stink by rinsing your dishes before putting them into the dishwasher.
Another suggestion is to regularly run an empty dry-heat cycle to flush out the interior. You can also use Vital Oxide in your machine. Just spray it on and allow it to air dry and then resume use.
Cleaning the dishwasher at least monthly will also help keep the odors from stinking up the place! You can use a cup of Vital Oxide and run a cycle in an empty dishwasher. It will make a big difference in keeping the odors away.
3. YOUR TRASH CAN
Yes, I have one of these and yes, it can become very stinky! I spray it with Vital Oxide every time I change the garbage bag and clean it out at least once a month. This step is important because no matter how good my granddaughter puts the garbage bag into the can, there always seems to be some food that jumps out of the bag and into the can itself.
These spills or leaks can build up and cause awful odors!
One website suggests, "To prevent garbage smells from forming in the first place, clean and disinfect both indoor and outdoor garbage cans at least once a month. For lightly soiled cans, wipe down the inside, outside, and lid with a damp paper towel, and then spray with Vital Oxide to disinfect and deodorize. Let air dry before putting in a new garbage bag. Heavily soiled cans should be hosed out and scrubbed with soap and warm water to remove grime. Then spray with Vital Oxide and let air dry."
4. YOUR BEDDING
This can be a stinky place just because our bed sheets and pillows can get covered in our body oils, sweat, and dirt. Washing your bedding weekly will help keep the odors down. You can sanitize your bedding by adding 1/2 to one cup of Vital Oxide to your load with your regular detergent.
Weekly! Don't be stinky!
5. YOUR PET’S BOWLS
Like a lot of people, I have pets and I don't usually think about washing their food and water bowls. One study found that pet food dishes are the 4th germiest items in the average home.
The bacteria that build up in the bowls can also be dangerous and unhealthy for your pets.
You can wash your pet's bowls daily with hot, soapy water. You can also spray their bowls with Vital Oxide which is safe for pets. You don't have to rinse it off, just make sure it is dry before filling it with food or water again.
6. YOUR CARPET & RUGS
Carpets! You love them and you hate them! You love how they look and feel, but you hate the smells that they can grow!
Regular vacuuming can get surface debris, but a deeper cleaning is necessary every year or so to get rid of the odors and germs that like to hang out in the fibers of the carpet.
Vital Oxide can be used to kill odor-causing bacteria, eradicate foul odors, and eradicate allergens found in soft surfaces like carpeting and rugs by eliminating the source. Vital Oxide has the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Seal of Approval and is safe for use on stain-protected carpet and fabric finishes. It can be used as a carpet stain remover and pre-spray, as well as in the tank of hot water vacuum extraction units.
Also, look around for other areas you might "grow" odors, like your refrigerator, diaper pail, bathroom and other stinky places.
Also, remember to use Vital Oxide to clean up the mess and smells!
If you have further questions about how to take advantage of these amazing products, please contact an agent near you. They will be happy to assist you.
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