Once the area is completely clean, open the windows to let the clean air in. Note: Some surfaces should not be touched by vinegar such as marble and natural stone surfaces. Vinegar is acid and could etch and dull the surface. You can follow all this up with a a nice homey smell like oranges and cinnamon. Take two tablespoons of cinnamon and some orange peels and simmer them gently in 4 cups of water.
This fresh scent will permeate throughout your house. Smoke can be tough to get rid of depending on the buildup and frequency of exposure. There’s a lot to be said about opening the window to let a some fresh air circulate through a room. Sprinkle baking soda over the carpets and let sit overnight, vacuum in the morning. Fill a nylon stocking with cat liter to absorb odors. Place discretely behind the TV, furniture, etc. If the buildup is heavy, a heavy duty cleaning of carpets, furniture and wall washing might be necessary.
Tar and nicotine gets stuck on surfaces like walls. To clean and deodorize walls and cupboards, use non-sudsing ammonia. In a bucket add 1 gallon of warm water and 1 cup ammonia then stir to mix. Ammonia can burn if you get it in your eyes so wear protective eyewear and gloves. Ammonia also has a strong odor, so open windows when you have a lot of cleaning to do. You may also have to wash draperies, furniture and carpets.
For peace of mind — get your smoker to go outdoors! If you smell it but don’t know where it’s coming from, you’ll need to follow your nose or find the target area with a black light. Body fluids and certain vitamins contain phosphorus. Black lights emit an ultraviolet light that makes phosphorus glow. Turn out the lights and close the curtains to block out as much overhead light as possible. Shine the black light over the carpet and any biological material will come to light, highlighting the area where your pet urinated.
Blot with white paper towels until you’ve gotten as much liquid out as possible. Do not rub — you don’t want to spread the stain. 50 mixture of white vinegar and water. Let sit a few minutes then use clean towels or more paper towels to soak up the liquid. Cover with a clean towel until dry to keep dirty feet, pets, and kids off the spot. If there is any odor remaining after cleaning, generously sprinkle baking soda over the spot and work into the carpet with your fingers. Let sit several hours then vacuum.
As we talked about in Removing Smoke Odors above, ammonia is good for some odors but do not use it to clean urine stains. Your pets urine breaks down into the same components as ammonia. If you clean with ammonia, your pet will come back to pee there over and over again! Why can your carpet smell? If you have pets they may have had an accident on your carpet as we discussed above. Your pets can also bring in wetness, dirt and other debris when coming in from outside. Other causes of carpet odors may be from spilled food or beverages that may not have been cleaned or not cleaned thoroughly.
It’s possible your carpet is old and is causing a musty odor. Carpets or carpet fibers seem to hold on to odors and linger for days. All little fresh air never hurt anyone and it’s great for battling odors. Vacuuming on a regular basis can do wonders too. Don’t forget to change your vacuum cleaner bag, a full dirty bag can cause dusty, musty odors. If you have a bagless vacuum, clean the dirt chamber often. What other options are there to battle carpet odors? With baking soda you won’t have any residue or lingering scent. Baking soda is clean, safe, deodorizes, and is quite effective at removing odors. Allow this to sit on the carpet for hours, over night, or even a couple of days if possible. Plain white vinegar and water is another way to remove odors from smaller sections of your carpeting. Follow steps 2 through 4 as outlined under Cleaning Urine Stains. If the carpet has not been vacuumed regularly and stains have been allowed to sit, it may be time to hire a professional or replace the carpets. For odors in your refrigerator, it may be as simple as going through the contents and removing old and smelly foods. That being said — if the old or expired food items or spills haven’t been cleaned up and have been in the fridge for a long period of time — you may need to take everything out and give it a good cleaning.