How to Keep Your Apartment Smelling Fresh
It’s that time of year again when the cold winter months make it hard to keep your apartment smelling fresh. Between the damp weather and frigid temperatures, it often feels as though spring will never arrive. While throwing open the windows works wonders during the warmer seasons, you know that the last thing you need is to make your home colder. Fortunately, you can use these tips to freshen up the indoor air so that your apartment is always ready for company.
Sprinkle Some Baking Soda
Baking soda is a well-known odor neutralizer, but it’s easy to forget that it works for more than just keeping the refrigerator smelling fresh. Try sprinkling a little baking soda on the carpet before your vacuum. Since the carpets and rugs are one of the largest surfaces in your apartment, removing odors here makes a big difference in how the rest of the space smells.
Wash Your Bed Linens Often
Next to the flooring, your bed is also one of the largest pieces of furniture in your apartment. While you may feel chilled, having the heater on during the winter or an extra blanket on your bed increases the chances of you sweating. Body odors on your bedding can easily fill the air of your apartment and give it a musty smell. Ideally, you should be washing your bed linens at least once a week, but you may need to do so more often if anyone in your household is a heavy sweater or has a health condition that increases accidents in the bed.
Detoxify the Air With Houseplants
Gardening gives you a chance to enjoy nature when a walk outside is just not possible, but you should also know that those plants can do more than just brighten up dreary winter days. Add some plants to your apartment that are known for increasing air quality. Spider plants, peace lilies and ficus plants are all pretty options that are great at removing odor-causing toxins from the air.
Dry Out Your Wet Clothing
It’s easy to just toss your jacket aside after you’ve been outdoors in the winter weather. However, those wet clothes and snow boots can quickly start to mildew and develop a stench. Make sure to hang your coat and sweaters in a way that helps them dry out faster, and toss soaked items that can be laundered at home in the dryer. Stuffing newspaper into boots helps to absorb moisture, and you can place these in warmer parts of your house to encourage faster drying.
Check the Drains
Minor clogs and build up in the sink and shower drains can generate an odor that you just can’t quite put your finger on. Give your kitchen sink area a whiff to see if that might be the culprit, and don’t forget that garbage disposals are notorious for emanating disturbing odors. To deodorize your sink drains, you can use a commercial cleaner. Or you can pour a little baking soda and vinegar down the drain. Let it foam for a minute and rinse it down with hot water. As long as it was just minor build up, your sink should smell as good as new.
Use Your Cooking Vent
The kitchen is often the culprit behind foul household odors, and smaller apartments tend to retain the smells from cooking for longer. Fortunately, you don’t have to stop cooking with onions and garlic. Instead, just remind yourself to turn on the cooking vent so that any strong odors are whisked away as you prepare your meals. This is a great way to make sure that everything smells fresh if you plan to entertain guests.
Clean Up Spills Right Away
Spills quickly soak into carpets and furniture, and the resulting stain can still have odors. If you have an accident happen, then use absorbent towels to blot up any liquids. Then, clean the area according to the recommendations for the material. A thorough cleaning helps stop odors before they become permanent. Keep in mind that spills of solid food can also lead to odors. As you clean up things such as fruit or vegetables, make sure that none roll under hidden spaces in the kitchen where they can start to rot.
Watch Out for Mold and Mildew
Some apartments develop a musty smell during the winter, and this is typically the result of moisture building up in the house. Use your bathroom vents during bathing or showering to make sure that moisture does not accumulate in these areas, and always wipe down wet areas to keep things as dry as possible. Cleaning bathroom areas with diluted vinegar also helps to prevent mold growth, and the vinegar has a freshening effect on the air.
Wipe Down Hard Surfaces Regularly
The shower walls are not the only hard surface that attracts odor-causing materials. Many of the other hard surfaces around your house attract dust, mold spores and general grime that can lead to unpleasant smells. Wipe down wood furniture and light fixtures on a regular basis. If your apartment has modifications such as hand rails, then you also want to keep these clean since anything on your hands could transfer to them and generate smells.
Use an Air Purifier or Filtration System
Air purifiers work by filtering out toxins from the air. Depending upon your apartment set up, you can use a free standing purifier to help increase air circulation while removing foul odors. Special window filtration systems can also be helpful for bringing fresh air in without allowing the heated indoor air to escape.
Increase Air Circulation
In addition to filtration systems, fans help to circulate air so that it is less likely to develop a stale scent. Keep in mind, however, that most ceiling fans have special settings for the season. Make sure that yours is switched to the winter setting so that the air is moved properly without making you feel cold.
Add a Favorable Scent
Once you’ve removed foul odors, you may still want to go one extra step further and add a fresh scent to the air. The best way to add a new scent to the air is to look for natural smells that most people find appealing. For instance, you can add essential oils to a diffuser to lightly send a lovely scent through the air. Cinnamon, lavender and mint are a few options that most people enjoy smelling, and they shouldn’t be too overwhelming in your apartment.
Your apartment is your special place to relax and let the cares of the day fall away. You should also feel comfortable inviting your friends and family into your home without worrying about embarrassing odors. Now that you know how to keep your apartment smelling its best, you can enjoy the rest of the season with confidence that you’ll always love walking into the warmth of your home.