Conquer Household Odors
Clean the Air Effectively
Lick Pet Stench
Litter box: Clay-based litter that clumps when wet, such as Scoop Away Plus Crystals ($13.50 for a 25-pound box, at supermarkets) absorbs odors.
Fur: Brushing and bathing can prevent the buildup of bacteria. Ask your vet about shampoos.
Accidents: Spray Nature's Miracle Stain & Odor Remover ($8 at pet stores) on an area wider than the spot (and under it, if possible).
Beat Food Aromas
Banish Bathroom Stink
Mold and mildew: Zap bacteria that generate odors with Naturally Yours Mold & Mildew Remover ($5 a quart, 888-801-7347), and dry tiles and caulking when wet. Lysol Disinfectant Spray ($7 at supermarkets) inhibits growth.
Bodily functions: Lit candles or matches kill odors, as does Lysol Disinfectant Spray. Urine can emit an ammonia-like odor, so clean the toilet regularly.
Take Out Garbage Smells
Originally designed for pet odors, SeaYu Petrotech Odor Eliminator (from $10, sea-yu.com) also works well in garbage cans and diaper pails. The nontoxic spray binds to odor particles and naturally biodegrades the odor-causing bacteria. To prevent garbage smells from forming, clean and disinfect both indoor and outdoor garbage cans with an all-purpose cleaner at least once a month.
Terminate Basement Smell
Musty odors: “Activated charcoal reduces odors,” says Meredith Montague of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. Pour two cups into an airtight bin, prop your items on a box in the bin so they don't touch the powder, seal until fresh, then air them out.
Water damage: Once the source is sealed, ventilate and turn on a dehumidifier, like the Kenmore 50-pint model ($200, sears.com).
Rid the Fridge of Odors
Wash Out Dishwasher Stink
Zap Clothing Smells
Stored clothing: At-home dry-cleaning kits like Dryel ($11 at supermarkets) remove stale odors.
Sweat/body odor: Wash your clothes to kill body odor in fabrics.
Shoes: Avoid wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row, and stuff them with newspaper, which absorbs moisture and, therefore, smells. Avoid sprays, which can leave a white residue.