How To Get Rid of Industrial Strength Smells: Pet Urine, Damp & Smoke

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Some odors can be eliminated with a little natural soap and fresh air, while others require a full-scale assault. If your home is plagued by all-too-powerful smells, here's the arsenal you'll want at your disposal...

PET URINE:

DAMP:

  • For extremely musty dressers and drawers, Martha Stewart recommends a thorough wipe-down with white vinegar.
  • For a musty room, she prescribes putting fresh eucalyptus branches in a vase — pretty and odor-fighting!
  • If your linens or other laundry — or the washer itself — smells damp and musty, Ask A Clean Person would like you to throw a cup of vinegar in the washing machine.
  • To improve the smell of a damp basement, RealSimple prescribes activated charcoal and a dehumidifier.
  • If your mattress is musty, SF Gate says a thorough sunbathing can help — good advice for all of us right about now.

SMOKE:

  • It's vinegar to the rescue again, according to Martha: simply fill a bowl with vinegar and let it work its magic.
  • If that doesn't do the trick, The Hairpin's Ask A Clean Person advises wiping down the walls with a vinegar solution.
  • SF Gate recommends boiling lemon peels in water to neutralize the smell, but that's just the first step..
  • You'll also need to clean carpets, draperies, walls, and ceilings — and if the walls still smell smoky, a fresh coat of paint is called for.
  • RealSimple's solution is an eminently affordable $2: Arm & Hammer Deodorizing Air Freshener.

(Image credits: Marcia Prentice)

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