7 Ways To De-Stinkify Your House For A Showing

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Your stinky house isn’t making any friends. And if you’re trying to sell that house, it’s certainly not convincing any lookers to become buyers. You may think your house smells like roses and baby kisses, but, trust us. Everyone thinks that.

The truth is that every day smells can get past most of us. You might not realize that the cat box is giving off “They don’t clean me enough” vibes, or that there’s a slight musty smell in your master bathroom – a musty smell that’s going to make potential buyers think your home has issues, by the way (and, by issues, I mean you should be prepared for inspections and scary terms like “leak” and “mold” and money coming right out of your pocket.).

But, before you can even get to the inspection stage, you have to get someone interested enough in your home that they’ll want to make an offer. Use these creative tips to de-stinkify your home and infuse it with the magical scent of “buy me.”


There may also be musty smells coming from your washing machine or dishwasher. A cup full of white vinegar and a run through the cycle should help freshen them up.

Baking soda

Your mom (or grandma) had the right idea with that box of Arm & Hammer in the fridge. It helps to absorb odors, which will come in handy when potential homebuyers open it – which they will.

“Baking soda, unlike most commercial air fresheners, doesn’t mask odors, ‘it absorbs them, home economist Mary Marlowe Leverette told Houselogic. “Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate in a convenient box) neutralizes stubborn acidic odors – like those from sour milk – as well as other funky smells lurking in your home. It’s a natural odor eliminator.”

Not convinced? Baking soda can also be used to eliminate odors in: Your dishwasher, your drain, your garbage can, your upholstered furniture pieces, and your cat box.


Speaking of cat boxes, agents’ preference as it relates to open houses and showings generally leads toward: remove them – and the pet! But if a showing pops up last-minute and this isn’t going to happen, at least your area can be tidy and as clean-smelling as possible. Charcoal can help.

“Activated charcoal, which is a form of carbon that has been ‘activated’ to make it extremely porous, is great for absorbing a range of odors, especially those caused by pets,” said Gizmodo. “You can buy activated charcoal specifically designed for pet odors for $7. Put them in or near your litter box to help mitigate the stink.”

These charcoal bags are another great product you can use throughout the house to absorb unwanted smells. “Place a few of these charcoal-filled linen bags around your house and poof – odors gone! Best of all, each bag lasts for up to two years, just put them outside in the sun for an hour once a month to rejuvenate the charcoal,” said Bravo. “Large bags are suited for bedrooms, kitchens, and living areas; whereas smaller versions are great for bathrooms, your car, or even your fridge.”

Chocolate chip cookies

There’s a reason so many real estate agents bake cookies for open houses. Not only are they delicious and capable of imparting a sense of warmth and comfort, they can also cover a multitude of malodorous sins. Pick up a couple of packages of pre-made cookies you can just pop into the oven before potential buyers show up.

Air fresheners

The problem with many air fresheners is that they attempt to cover smells with what many consider to be even more offensive smells. If you’re showing your house, beware of anything overpowering or highly chemical-laden because it can aggravate your visitors’ allergies. Gimme the Good Stuff has a great rundown of all the chemicals that can be found in some of the air fresheners on the market and some natural alternatives, including vitamin-infused air fresheners.

Odor-eliminating nightlight

Sounds odd, but this Hamilton Beach TrueAir Plug Mount Odor Eliminator Air Cleaner Purifier with built in night light might be the answer to your stinky problems. “Why just use a night-light when you can use a night-light that also makes the room smell great? Plug this into an outlet and a tiny fan inside pulls air through a carbon filter and sends it back out as fresh, odor-free air,” said Bravo. “An optional ‘green meadow’ scent cartridge can be installed to add a light scent to the room.”

Dryer sheets

Have a teenager with stinky teenage sneakers? A dryer sheet placed in each shoe will help absorb the odors (But, if they’re really bad, you might insist they’re kept outside or removed entirely from the property for showings).


Realty Times Article

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