10 Odours and How to Get Rid of Them

Life goes on inside your home, and the reality is that there will always be rooms, or things that may smell around the house.

You’d love every room to smell and stay fresh, and either you have an easy way to combat smells or you don’t. Many homeowners believe that smells are temporary and will blow over within the next hour or next day.

For a lot of us, bad smells are things we cannot tolerate. They occur when we do activities, put certain things in certain places, and even just have pets around. Here are 10 of the most common odours in the home, as well as what you can do to get rid of them effectively.

Here are the 10 Most Common Odours in the Home and How to Deal with them:


The rubbish bin can be by far the smelliest thing inside the home, and is often something we don't empty until it gets full. But depending on the season or room temperature you may need to consider emptying your bin on a more regular basis, eg. every two days in hot weather. However over time, the foul odour doesn't just come from the rubbish, but the bin itself.

There are a few easy ways to clean your bin after you've just emptied it. A really effective way to not only deodorize but also disinfect the bin is by spraying and wiping out the inside and the lid with the Rug Doctor Odour Remover each time you replace the bag. Another option is you can wash the rubbish bin out with bleach, as it disinfects and kills bacteria causing smells.


Pets can be the most adorable family members, however there is nothing you can do to prevent a pet from shedding hair. It is very common for a home that has animals to experience that ‘animal smell’. This can be particularly strong when they are wet. Or over winter when your home is closed up and there is less ventilation.

The best way to quickly neutralize pet smells is by buying an air purifier. Purifiers work to collect pet dander, bad odours and/or pet hair after they shed, however, most of them only work in just one room in the home, and they are not all the same. Some are designed to only remove either dander, odours, or hair from a room, so read the product description of each purifier carefully if you are considering buying one.

Another thing to consider about purifiers is that the filter will get full. You will have to regularly clean or replace the filter of the device for it to continue removing strong odours.

Alternatively, a 6 month - annual carpet and upholstery clean with a Rug Doctor machine and products will deodorize your entire home. However, if you want a cheap quick fix, purchase the Rug Doctor Odour Remover to spray around your home.


Food can also smell, even if it is fresh and safe to eat. If you have open food, or fresh produce that is sitting in a cupboard, it can have the same effect as odour that collects inside a rubbish bin. When you go to open the cupboard, you may experience a strong force of this odour, and at times it isn’t a pleasant one. An example of this is a rotten onion in your vege bin.

There are many ways to deal with a smelly cupboard, and unlike a rubbish bin, it may not be as gross to deal with. Bleach, bicarbonate of soda, and vinegar are all viable options, and you can also consider a specialty cleaning product for this very purpose. Applying fragrances to the cupboard will not be as effective, as it will just mask the smell; not remove it entirely.

If there is an offensive odour inside your fridge, first of all remove the offender! Then to remove the smell, place a thickly sliced lemon in a shallow bowl, sprinkled with around two to three tablespoons of baking soda and one to two tablespoons of salt. Leave uncovered in the fridge for up to seven days.


You might notice that drains in the kitchen or bathroom can over time have a strong smell build up. When this is the case, often it can be down to a buildup of hair or food stuck in the pipes, you can try bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down the drain or a specialized drain unblocking product to remove the waste and bad smell, but if this doesn’t solve the issue you may have a more serious problem on your hands and could require a plumber.

A P-Trap is the curved pipe section underneath a sink, the purpose of this pipe is to use water to block sewage from getting into the home. If the P-Trap isn’t working like it is supposed to, you may need to buy a new one and replace it yourself, or better yet, hire a qualified professional. 


Pet urine, especially from cats, can have a really strong odour. It is essential that your pet has a litter box or access to get outside when needed.

In case of any inside urine accidents, resulting in a stain or foul odour, you will need to act quickly as the urine will bleach your carpet if left untreated.. First try to blot out as much as you can using a paper towel, and then apply the Rug Doctor Stain Remover onto the stain. If it is just an odour use the Rug Doctor Odour Remover.  


You may have family members or visitors that smoke inside the house. Or you may have a fireplace or even just burn your toast! Afterwards, the smell of smoke can still linger.

If you are trying to remove cigarette smoke odour, it is ideal to regularly clean your carpets and upholstery, as smoke particles absorb into the fibres of carpet, chairs and sofas. You can use a Rug Doctor machine to clean your carpets, or with the hand tool attachment to clean your upholstery. Use the Rug Doctor Odour Remover in the Rug Doctor machine to remove the cigarette smoke smell. If it is other smoke smells, you can use the same process or simply spray the Rug Doctor Odour Remover around the room.


There are times where a room in your home can experience stale air when it doesn’t get any circulation during the winter months. New Zealand houses are prone to condensation and this can lead to things like mould and mildew in the room which can be detrimental to your health, and especially the well being of young children.

This problem can be easily prevented in several ways. Using a dehumidifier or heat pump to dry out and remove any damp air is important to ensure a healthy home. Keeping windows open even as little as a finger width will help reduce stale air and keep condensation levels down.

You can also experience stale air in summer time if your home is left closed up while on holiday or during a working day. Turn on a ceiling fan or bring a portable fan into the room to circulate the air or leave the door to the room and the windows open, so fresh air can enter the room.


Sweat is one thing that most people cannot avoid for the most part. However, sweat can create unpleasant odours in a room, and in a person’s clothing.

So, what’s the best way to get rid of the smell of sweat? Use an air purifier. Use the purifier in your bedroom, hallway, laundry or simply in a room where you exercise, so that sweat will not spread or move around with you.


The car is also a place that can experience bad smells, and unfortunately, you could be hit with a car odour bomb when you least expect it. If your car smells damp and musty after rain, or smells like food or something that is far from pleasant, then you can easily attempt to remove this smell on your own. While you might assume that an air freshener works to clean the air inside a car, it does not work to remove the bad smell that already exists. With that in mind, an air freshener is not the best solution for car odour removal.

You can easily clean your car with the Rug Doctor machine by using the Hand tool attachment, along with the Rug Doctor Odour Remover in the machine. This will eliminate and neutralize any bad odours that have seeped into the fabric, giving a deep down clean and completely refreshing your car interior.


There are some cooking smells that you might love to have in the kitchen, such as bread, freshly brewed coffee, muffins or a Sunday roast. However, some smells, like seafood, onions or fish, can be quite unpleasant. But did you know you can prevent these fouler smells from appearing in the kitchen beforehand?

So what absorbs bad cooking smells? Believe it or not, milk does the trick. While cooking, you can dip fish either in milk or a solution of water and lemon. Milk, however is not a smelly house remedy, as it will just work to reduce smells in foods. If you notice these bad smells only after you are cooking, you can boil vinegar with water to remove odour, and, make sure you thoroughly wipe down your counter-tops afterward.


If odours continue to linger around your home, you can use the Rug Doctor Odour Remover. It is very effective when it comes to removing smoke and animals smells from carpets as well as smells left behind from cooking, fishing and sports gear.

The Rug Doctor Odour Remover can be sprayed around the room which holds the odour, or used with the Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaner or Rug Doctor Upholstery Cleaner in the Rug Doctor machine.



No matter what unexpected smells you experience in your home, there are quick and easy ways to remove and not mask these smells. Keep this list handy for the next time you experience an unexpected house odour.

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