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Fighting Home Odors


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According to, "researchers at the Duke University Medical Center have shown that the part of the brain that processes scents is indeed a key part of forming long-term memories, especially involving other individuals." The facts are in, folks, and a smelly party is not only uninviting, it's also something that people will remember and associate with YOU! So, if you want to spread some holiday cheer (and maybe get a few happy returns), you might want to start by removing any less than desirable smells from your home.

Simple Ways to Improve the Smell of Your Home
Of course, the old standbys like scented candles and air fresheners can go a long way in covering up a less attractive smell, but if you really want to have an olfactory-friendly house, you probably want to go a little deeper.

Throughout the year, many odor-causing elements can enter your environment and regular cleaning isn't always enough to remove them. By taking these less than drastic measures, you are on the fast track to having a home that people will want to remember being in:

1. Have carpets and furniture professionally cleaned.
2. Only allow cigarette and cigar smoking outside.
3. Install a dehumidifier in moisture rich areas.
4. Open windows periodically to "air out" closed spaces (even during the winter).
5. Avoid cooking foods that are particularly pungent a few days before company is expected.

Heavy-Hitting Odor Removal
In more severe cases, you might have to take odor fighting to the next level. Here are a few ideas for taking care of offending odors at the source.

1. Adding ventilation is almost always a good idea in moisture rich areas, and is especially important in removing odor from homes that are heavily insulated.
2. Old carpet (over 10 or 15 years in age) is likely to be full of all types of debris. Removing and replacing old carpet can often make a huge difference in the scent of a room.
3. Leaks in plumbing and roofing can not only create odor if left unchecked, they can also cause property damage and may even be a health risk. Have an inspector check your home for any leaks that may be present and remove/replace damaged materials.

Pet Odor Removal
Pets can be great friends and may even improve the quality and length of your life. Unfortunately, Fluffy and Fido can also put your home in a new category when it comes to funk.

1. Change or wash pet bedding a few days before company is expected.
2. Thoroughly clean or replace litter boxes ahead of time and make sure to scoop frequently.
3. Use products formulated to eliminate pet odor on your carpet; it may take a couple tries, so be patient.

One of the best pieces of advice for homeowners worried about household odor is to have a trusted friend take a whiff. People adapt to smells, and (frankly) it can be difficult for us to tell if our homes are smelly or not. By getting the opinion of someone who doesn't live there, you may be able to identify problem areas you would have missed otherwise.


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