Smell in Home
The other Dimension of a clean house, is the smell in a home and is often overlooked by realtors.
Did you ever see a house that was in great condition, in a terrific neighborhood, and an excellent price, but they cant sell it? You can’t figure it out, but maybe it isn’t what people see–it’s what they smell.
Smell is often a neglected consideration when staging a house, but quite often it is the easiest detail to improve. Has the basement been damp for the last decade? Did the toilet overflow five years ago? Has anyone checked the sump pump since Eisenhower was in office? Does the kitchen smell like the Fulton Fish Market? Often these odors go unnoticed by the people living there, but are quite pungent to someone walking through the door for the first time, and can predetermine prospective new owners’ feelings about the place before they’ve seen the great view from the master bedroom. Fortunately bad smells can be eliminated.
- Sump pumps trap water, dirt, mold and rodent droppings. They, therefore, need to be cleaned with a bleach solution and enough water to trigger the pump.
- If it’s damp, place a dehumidifier down there and set it to 55 percent. This will eliminate excess moisture and, hopefully, the musty smell.
- Carpets trap odors from years past. Have it professionally cleaned or, if its beyond that, remove it.
- Clutter harbors a multitude of bad smells. You won’t believe what’s hiding back in it, so have the homeowners start throwing things out.
- Remove all items from the cabinets and wash everything with a solution of 10 percent bleach and 90 percent water. Wipe the cabinets down before putting anything back.
- Pour some bleach mixture down the drains as well as into the vent hole in the sink. Pour some baking soda down the drain to keep it fresh.
- Clean the tile and the fixtures well with Tilex or another bathroom cleaner. If you still smell something after this, call in a pro and have the tile and grout professionally cleaned (many carpet cleaning companies do this).
- Remove everything from the cabinets and wipe them down with a bleach mixture (see above). Change the contact paper.
- The Refrigerator—empty it out and take apart what ever you can, and wipe everything down with the bleach solution. Be aware of the rubber seal as mold can grow on the edge. Put in a fresh box of baking soda.
- Clean the vent fan and the filters–they trap oils and cooking odors.
- The Sink–clean it well and pour some of the bleach mixture and baking soda down the drain to keep it fresh.
- Change the kitty litter!!!
- Change the pet beds if you can, otherwise clean them with a commercially available pet odor neutralizer.
- Have the carpets professionally cleaned if pets have been on them—especially if there’s been “an accident” on them. Use pet odor removers where ever you feel there is a problem.
If any of this fails to eliminate the problem you can have a professional do an ozone treatment on either the whole house or just an area of it. Ozone is used after fires and floods to remove smoke and mold odors, and it does wonders for freshening up a stale house.