Have you ever forgotten to take the trash out before vacation? You come home to a house ridden with a very unappealing smell. Even when the garbage is disposed of, the odor can linger for days.
While it can be tempting to spray down the home with a store-bought air freshener, these contain chemicals that are harmful to human health. Over 20 percent of the general U.S. population have reported having adverse health effects from air fresheners.
To help you get rid of common household smells in a safe way, we’ve created a guide on how to deodorize a room. It includes a natural DIY room deodorizer recipe and 7 hacks for getting rid of specific home odors. Read through to find what household items you can use to rid these unwanted smells.
How to make a basic DIY room deodorizer
To create a natural air freshener that isn’t harmful to your health, you only need four items. Make this spray and use it when an unwanted smell comes into your apartment.
- 1 ½ tablespoons baking soda
- 3 cups water
- 30-40 drops of essential oil
- Misting spray bottle
Step 1: Add 30-40 drops of your preferred essential oil with the baking soda. Stir until it’s completely mixed together.
Step 2: Pour this baking soda and essential oil combination in a spray bottle.
Step 3: Add the three cups of water to the bottle. Shake to mix.
Step 4: Spray the area on the light misting setting.
This natural DIY home deodorizer can be personalized with any scent. Each essential oil has its own unique properties, so be sure to pick one that fits the space you are using the cleaner in. For example, a scent that promotes slumber is better for the bedroom than the kitchen.
Why does baking soda work to deodorize a room?
Many room deodorizing recipes, including the one above, call for baking soda. Why is this? Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate has a low pH level. Most bad odors have a high pH level, meaning they are acidic. By adding baking soda to the environment, you are neutralizing the area, causing the odor to fade.
Essential oils to add to each room
When making this DIY room deodorizer, you can choose your preferred natural scent to use. If you aren’t sure what will smell best, here are some essential oil suggestions for each room.
The living room is an area you’ll be hosting people as well as relaxing. Depending on the tone you are trying to set, vanilla or cinnamon essential oil could be a good fit. Vanilla is known to improve relaxation and create a tranquil environment. If you want to relax after a long day in your sparkling-clean living room, vanilla is the right choice for you. For those who are having friends over for a book club or social event, cinnamon might be a better fit. The scent of cinnamon boosts memory and increases alertness.
Make the kitchen a productive place by using a citrus or peppermint essential oil when scenting your DIY deodorizer. If you have a long afternoon of meal prepping ahead, citrus is known to boost energy and improve your mood. For the non-chefs who can get frustrated in the kitchen, a peppermint scent will alleviate stress and reduce irritability.
A restful space, the bedroom can benefit from lavender or chamomile essential oils. These calming scents both reduce anxiety. Lavender also promotes relaxation which can help you fall asleep. Chamomile can improve your mood, great for those who wake up on the wrong side of the bed.
If you have a laundry room, playroom or any other room that needs to be deodorized, you might consider tea tree or eucalyptus oils. These natural smells each have their own unique properties. Tea tree oil has antifungal benefits and is an immune booster. Eucalyptus essential oil is cleansing and known to lift moods. Both will help keep your space clean.
7 common household smells and how to rid them
Whether your home is new to you or you’ve lived in it for multiple years, you’ve probably come across one of these common household smells. We explain why they happen and how to rid them from your home. In addition, we suggest an essential oil that you can use to keep the space smelling fresh.
1. Stale air
Stale air is a smell that’s hard to describe, but easy to identify. It’s usually caused when the indoor air begins to feel stuffy or humid due to a lack of fresh air. If the weather is nice, you can rid this smell by opening the windows and letting fresh air in. However, if it’s too hot or too cold out, this might not be an option.
In that case, you can create your own stale air deodorizer by cutting lemons in half and placing them throughout the home. Another quick solution is to rub a little vanilla essential oil on the outside of your light bulbs. Be sure to do this when the light is off. Once you turn the light on, it will heat up and start smelling sweet.
2. Carpet smells
Whether you are moving into a new apartment with carpet or you spilled something on your rug that has caused a stench, this absorbent flooring is prone to smell.
To get rid of carpet smells, baking soda is your friend. Sprinkle baking soda on the entire carpet and let it sit for a few hours. Then vacuum it up. The baking soda should soak up any bad smells. It’s best to do this when you are out of the house for a period of time. The baking soda doesn’t have any chemicals, but it can leave a mess if people in your house walk through it.
3. Fridge odors
Does your fridge smell even after you clean out your leftovers? This is because the plastic in the refrigerator absorbs odors. Even if you’ve scrubbed out every crumb and spill, the plastic might still stink.
To prevent or mute this odor, try putting a box of baking soda in the fridge. Baking soda will absorb these smells and leave your fridge smelling clean after just a couple of days. Another alternative to this is leaving coffee grounds in a container in your fridge. Similar to baking soda, coffee grounds can absorb odors and leave your fridge smelling like a freshly brewed cup of joe.
4. Garbage disposal stink
If you go to wash dishes and notice there is an odor coming from your drain, it could be your garbage disposal. It’s easy for food to get caught in hard-to-reach places, preventing it from being washed down the drain.
Some people put citrus peels down their garbage disposal to mask this odor, but this doesn’t clean the food that is causing this smell. To clean, place a handful of ice in your sink drain. Then pour a cup of salt on top. Run the water and turn on the garbage disposal. The ice and salt will slowly drain into the garbage disposal, cleaning it and sharpening the blades.
5. Mold or mildew
Mold and mildew can leave a musty smell in your home. If you have a serious mold issue, it’s important to have a professional take care of it. Mold is known to cause many respiratory issues.
If the smell of mold persists, you can use an odor absorber to dull the scent. Baking soda, charcoal and kitty litter are all items that can soak up any moisture in the air and get rid of the smell. Place one of these in a bowl near the musty smell. Be sure it’s out of reach of small children or pets.
6. Washing machine smells
Your washing machine is meant to make your clothes fresh and clean, but what do you do when it begins to have a mildewy or sour scent? Washers are prone to a build-up of soap, dirt or hair. Over time, this can lead to an unnatural moldy stink.
To clean, begin by getting rid of any debris that’s caught in the gasket, or rubber liner, of your machine. Wipe this rim down with a mixture of vinegar and tea tree essential oil. This is an antifungal formula that will clean off any leftover dirt. Then use this same mixture, measuring two cups of white vinegar and 20 drops of tea tree essential oil into the liquid tray. Run on a hot cycle or cleaning cycle. When done, wipe the interior with a microfiber cloth.
You can prevent some of this build-up by leaving the lid open after each wash cycle. This will allow your washer to dry out completely. It’s also helpful to use the correct amount of detergent. Creating too many suds can leave a leftover residue that dirt clings to.
7. Skunk stench
If your clothes or your pet has been skunked, the attacker will leave a pungent smell that can last for weeks. This stink can easily be transferred to the house.
For houses that smell like skunk inside (but not outside), open the windows and turn on the fan. Heat up a tray of vinegar on the stove on low heat. This should overpower the skunk smell.
If the smell is on your pet, The Humane Society suggests mixing together a quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, a quarter cup of baking soda and a teaspoon of dish soap. Use a pair of gloves and wash your pet with this mixture. Be sure to avoid their eyes and don’t store this mixture, it has the potential to explode in a bottle.
Keep your apartment fresh
Regular cleaning will keep your home clean and free of these unwanted smells. For more home hacks like these, check out our cleaning and maintenance advice page.
Published at Fri, 06 Mar 2020 16:39:22 +0000
It may be a desert out there for residents in the 15 different Phoenix villages, but with an average temperature of 75 degrees year-round, its appeal is obvious.
Saguaro cacti, ranging in age between 150 to 200 years old, dot the sandy landscape.
Hot air balloons take off into deep blue skies as the sun climbs over mountain tops.
People move about their day among indigenous art and modern shops and businesses.
With a hearty mix of Native American influence and scenic views you can’t see anywhere else, there are many areas of Phoenix worth checking out. Here are five fun facts about a few of the most popular neighborhoods within the Phoenix city limits.
As an up-and-coming shopping and dining district, Arcadia has a great mix of boutique shops, bars and restaurants. It’s also an attractive neighborhood for those who enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle. With access to Camelback Mountain and the Arizona Canal Trail, it’s a great place for hikers, walkers, runners and cyclists.
Arcadia didn’t become a part of Phoenix until the mid-1950s when rapid city growth reached the borders of the neighborhood. Even today, there’s still a bit of Arcadia that’s technically a part of Scottsdale. With natural boundaries from the Arizona Canal and Camelback Mountain, Arcadia is a quiet neighborhood.
Five fun facts about Arcadia
- The word Arcadia comes from the Greek word Arcas, the home of the god Pan. It also refers to the unspoiled, harmonious wilderness.
- Fruit trees dot the local landscape, which was also home to the first citrus grove in Phoenix, planted in 1899
- Camelback Mountain gets its name from its two summits. They resemble the hump and head of a camel kneeling. It’s a difficult mountain to climb but has the highest peak in Phoenix.
- In the 1920s, to properly irrigate the citrus groves throughout Arcadia, 15 miles of underground pipe was laid to create an underground irrigation system.
- The Arizona Canal Trail is almost 12 miles long and meanders alongside a river, perfect for walking, running and biking. Dogs can also venture out on the trail.
2. Camelback East
Alongside Arcadia sits Camelback East. Situated between Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain, the area offers an urban-suburban mix. Listed as the most popular neighborhood in Phoenix in early 2018, the big draw to the area is the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, with its five pools and two championship golf courses.
There’s never a shortage of stuff to do in Camelback East. The neighborhood is home to the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Garden, which has more than 50 acres of desert plants. A short drive into the neighborhood next door brings you to Old Town Scottsdale. There you can find an assortment of shops and restaurants cloaked in Old West flair.
Five fun facts about Camelback East
- Frank Lloyd Wright served as the consulting architect on the construction of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel. Open since 1929, the hotel has hosted famous guests like Fred Astaire, Marilyn Monroe and Bob Hope.
- An Arizona staple, the Sonoran hot dog is a must-have, but you can’t find it just anywhere. Nogales Hot Dogs only serves them from 7 p.m. to midnight. If you’re in Camelback East, make time to grab this bacon-wrapped hot dog covered in pinto beans, onions, tomatoes and mayo. You can pile on cheese, guacamole or salsa too without getting dirty looks from locals.
- Phoenix Mountains Park is actually a system of parks formed in the early 1970s. Its creation ensured the preservation of the area even as the development in Phoenix continued expanding.
- Piestewa Peak is the second-highest point in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. It got the name in 2008 to commemorate Lori Ann Piestewa, the first Native American woman to die in combat on behalf of the U.S. military.
- The Phoenix Zoo, located in Papago Park in Camelback East, opened in 1962. It’s the largest, privately-owned, non-profit zoo in the United States. The grandson of the founder of the Maytag appliance company built it along with a small group of friends.
3. Deer Valley
In the northwest part of Phoenix sits Deer Valley, a unique combination of modern, residential clusters and Native American history. West of the center of the neighborhood, the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve contains more than 1,500 carvings made directly into the rock. Other outdoor attractions around this village include Deem Hills, Cave Buttes and the Adobe Dam Regional Park.
As much as there is to see outdoors, Deer Valley has a dense suburban feel that attracts families and young professionals. With the Phoenix Deer Valley Airport close by, this area is also where a lot of businesses have their corporate offices.
Five fun facts about Deer Valley
- Built as a private airfield in 1960, Deer Valley Airport began with one runway. Today, it’s a little bigger. It now has two runways, a pilot shop and a restaurant on site.
- Deem Hills is a recreation area in Deer Valley known for its unique basalt volcanic rock formations
- Cave Buttes is another outdoor recreational area, also offering a field where people can fly model airplanes. It also features an earthen dam that keeps North Phoenix from flooding.
- Adobe Dam is more than just a place that holds back water to prevent flooding. The park is also home to paintball, kart racing, an 18-hole golf course and a water park. There’s no shortage of activities here.
- Also within the Adobe Dam area is the Adobe Mountain Desert Railroad Park. Unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere in Arizona, the park is typically only open to the public between September and May. Visitors can take a train ride through the park and check out a variety of model railroads.
4. Downtown Phoenix
Comprising the urban center of Phoenix, the downtown area is a neighborhood within a neighborhood. It’s actually located within the village of Central City, another well-known area with much the same character as downtown.
Phoenix itself is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. It’s also the city with the most sunshine. You can catch some rays during 85 percent of the city’s daylight hours. Downtown, you can find an amazing children’s museum with an indoor treehouse taking up the entire first floor. The neighborhood is also home to an impressive international auto show that takes place each year around Thanksgiving.
Five fun facts about Downtown Phoenix
- Phoenix is also known as the Valley of the Sun and is part of the Salt River Valley
- An underground bowling alley once hid beneath the surface of Downtown Phoenix. It was open from 1939 to 1959. Glass blocks within the sidewalk are the only remnants. They served as the bowling alley’s skylights.
- Downtown Phoenix was in the opening scene of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “Psycho.” The camera pans across the city as Marion Crane and Sam Loomis talk about their future.
- The shape of the Grand Canyon inspired the design of downtown’s Phoenix Convention Center
- Streets running east-west in Downtown Phoenix are named for U.S. Presidents
5. North Mountain
A quieter neighborhood, North Mountain has access to hiking trails, parks and preserves. An upscale golf club complements the variety of pubs, sports bars and casual restaurants in the area. If you’re looking for a dense concentration of coffee shops and breakfast joints, this is the neighborhood for you.
Five fun facts about North Mountain
- The actual North Mountain stands more than 2,100 feet and offers a variety of hiking trails with one of the best summit climbs in Phoenix. While exploring the area you may stumble upon abandoned copper mining shafts.
- Watch out while on the trail. North Mountain is home to many of the indigenous animals, including javelinas, jackrabbits, roadrunners and cactus wrens.
- Castles N’ Coasters, North Mountain’s own amusement park, includes the Desert Storm Roller Coaster, complete with drops, spins and flips. Not for the faint of heart.
- The first people to populate the area were the Hohokam Native Americans. Arriving around 300 A.D., the modern town didn’t begin to take shape until the 1800s.
- Tapping into the craft beer craze, North Mountain Brewing offers its own handcrafted beer alongside a decent menu. Inspiration for the brewpub comes from the public houses of Colonial America.
6. North Phoenix
What exactly makes up North Phoenix may vary from local to local, but they all agree that there’s gray space. Even if your mailing address doesn’t say Phoenix, if you’re within the actual northern city limits, you’re living in North Phoenix. This may mean your address says Glendale or Scottsdale. It’s confusing.
Originally slated to be another center for agriculture, attempts to irrigate the area were less than successful. This left the space as mostly desert until housing developments began popping up in the mid-1900s.
Five fun facts about North Phoenix
- The North Phoenix Airport was a military airfield the U.S. Air Force established between 1945 and 1948. It stayed in use until after the 1960s.
- Arizona Christian University came into being on land donated by Ida Clouse. She specified it to be used for a Christian college. It operated under two different names before becoming Arizona Christian University in 2011.
- While all of Phoenix is growing pretty rapidly, North Phoenix is growing the fastest according to the Chamber of Commerce
- The average rainfall in North Phoenix is more than 12 inches. Flash floods can occur in the area during the summer months, also known as monsoon season.
- In 2016, Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg could be found on Loop 303 in North Phoenix shooting scenes for the fifth installment of “Transformers.”
7. Paradise Valley
Heading to Paradise Valley can make for a confusing trip since Phoenix has two choices. Paradise Valley is an incorporated town and the wealthiest suburb of Phoenix. It formed in 1961 after a few locals became concerned that they’d lose the essence of their community as Scottsdale and Phoenix proper grew.
The other Paradise Valley is an actual village in northeast Phoenix known as Paradise Valley Village. This area is known for its golf courses and laid-back social scene. Part of the City of Phoenix Mountain Preserve system, the area also has a lot of space for outdoor activities like biking, hiking and horseback riding.
Five fun facts about Paradise Valley
- Located in the heart of Paradise Valley Village is Chompie’s, a Phoenix institution. This New York-style deli boasts family recipes from Polish and Russian Jewish grandmothers. Its signature item is the Original Jewish slider with brisket, Monterey Jack cheese and a mini potato pancake stacked within a mini challah roll.
- Home to many celebrities, you may spot Charles Barkley or Michael Phelps out and about in Paradise Valley
- The Scottsdale Greenbelt, which runs through Paradise Valley Village, contains a network of parks, gardens, art installations and lakes. It also helps control local flooding and erosion issues.
- Another famous Paradise Valley resident, Alice Cooper, gives back through his non-profit, Solid Rock. This organization helps inner-city Arizona teens.
- At the center of Paradise Valley Village sits the Paradise Valley Mall. It has a little of everything from shopping to eating to family-friendly entertainment.
Photo courtesy of The Stewart
Located near Downtown Phoenix, Roosevelt was the first area designated as a historic neighborhood in the city. One of the fundamental neighborhoods to signal Phoenix’s northward development, the main attractor to this area was its proximity to Central Avenue. In the late 19th and early 20th century, this was the main north-south road through town.
Developing into an area that’s architecturally diverse, Roosevelt became a preferred spot for many of the wealthy and elite of Phoenix. Mayors, city commissioners and even Supreme Court justices have all called this area home. Today, it’s known as an attractive place for artists.
Five fun facts about Roosevelt
- The Roosevelt Neighborhood got a boost in development after the Salt River flood in 1891, sending families from the lower Valley up to higher ground
- Gold Spot Marketing Center, one of the first shopping centers in Phoenix built to serve a specific, residential area was constructed in the Roosevelt Neighborhood
- The Westward Ho Hotel opened in 1928 in Roosevelt and is still considered a landmark building today, although it’s now apartments. The hotel shot to fame after President John F. Kennedy gave a speech on its steps.
- Roosevelt Row is a hub for arts and culture in Phoenix. See it for yourself every First Friday from 6 to 11 p.m. at one of the largest self-guided art walks in the country. Free shuttles can help you get around.
- Roosevelt is also the site for Phoenix’s open-air market, which takes place Saturday mornings year-round. You can shop for produce and also find prepared food from vendors.
9. South Mountain
Home to the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, the South Mountain village of Phoenix also contains South Mountain Park. This is the fourth-largest municipal park in the country with more than 16,000 acres within the city limits of Phoenix alone. A popular place for hiking, there are also some amazing desert views.
The area was initially established in 1989 but expanded its borders in 2001. Today, it’s a combination of historical sites and natural points-of-interest.
Five fun facts about South Mountain
- The Maricopa County Sheriff, Noah Matthew Broadway, bought the first piece of land in South Mountain in 1871, transforming it into Broadway Ranch. The rest of the population in the area at the time were grain farmers.
- Mystery Castle, located within the foothills of South Mountain Park, was a gift from father to daughter. After spending a lot of time together making sandcastles at the beach, she asked for a castle that wouldn’t wash away.
- The hike up to Dobbins Lookout is laced with history, from Precambrian rocks that predate all life on Earth to Hohokam petroglyphs
- Built in 1940 by migrant Francisco Vasquez, the San Francisco Xavier Mission is a miniature church full of statues where people visiting South Mountain can still go to worship today
- Sky Harbor Airport was originally nicknamed “The Farm” because of its isolated, rural location. This was back in 1935. Today the airport is right in the middle of the bustling city of Phoenix.
Priding itself on the small-town feel and distinct cultural identity, Sunnyslope stands out amid the busy Phoenix area. It’s considered one of the most diverse socioeconomic neighborhoods in Phoenix.
A popular location for creatives, Sunnyslope boasts a collection of record labels and studios that work with local and national musicians and bands. It’s also well-known for its Oaxacan cuisine.
Five fun facts about Sunnyslope
- Sunnyslope failed to incorporate as a city four times before its annexation into Phoenix in 1959
- The name Sunnyslope was written out as two words until World War II ended, it was then combined into one
- Dr. Kenneth E. Hall named himself the “King of Sunnyslope.” He operated the North Mountain Hospital but had his medical license revoked in 1971 for performing unsanctioned medical operations. He also entered a guilty plea for funneling Medicare dollars into a side construction project — a bowling alley that only stayed open for a year.
- The Smithsonian American Art Museum took a special interest in the Sunnyslope Rock Garden. The individual pieces, created by Grover Cleveland Thompson, were documented and cataloged.
- Sunnyslope or “S” Mountain is one of the most visible landmarks in the area. Since the early 1950s, the freshman class at Sunnyslope High School repaints a large, upper-case “S” into the nearly symmetrical hill.
Published at Thu, 05 Mar 2020 16:15:59 +0000