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Consumer Reports: How to get rid of odors in your home

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Posted at 2:14 PM, Oct 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-11 15:14:51-04

(CONSUMER REPORTS/WTVF) — It happens to all of us from time-to-time: You've got a smell in your house, and you just can't figure out what it is or where it's coming from.

There are a lot of places in your house, especially your kitchen where you can wind up with yucky smells, like the trash can and the refrigerator – and even the bathroom and the laundry room. But there are some easy ways to get rid of these odors wherever they are in your house.

Melissa Werger likes her front-loading washing machine, but she doesn’t love the maintenance.

“It’s a constant, constant, constant fight to keep it from getting gross and smelly,” said Werger.

Do you really have to wash out a washing machine?

“Excess detergent and fabric softener can build up in your washer, and become a smelly haven for mold and mildew,” said Keith Flamer, Consumer Reports Home Editor.

So always measure your detergent and fabric softener.

And when the wash cycle is finished, remove damp clothing right away. Wipe down the door gasket and leave the door open – if there are no small children around – so the machine can dry out.

“Your kitchen can harbor some strange odors. When Consumer Reports asked dishwasher owners whether they cleaned their machine’s filter, most people said they weren’t aware that there was a filter,” said Flamer.

A dirty filter not only smells bad, but the dishwasher can’t clean as effectively.

Cleaning it is easy. Twist out the filter, gently wash under running water and replace it. Then sponge out the corners and floor of the machine, and your dishwasher is ready for another load.

On to the fridge.

Spills can leak into the bins and crevices in the shelves. Remove them and soak in warm soapy water. Use a solution of a tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of water to wipe down and sanitize the inside of the fridge.

Another source of mysterious smells - the garbage disposal. To freshen the drainpipe, layer six ice cubes, a tablespoon of baking soda, three lemon slices, a teaspoon of bleach and six more ice cubes.

Grind it, rinse, and enjoy the non-aroma.

And don't forget whenever you're running your garbage disposal, you want to make sure you're also running the water. That should help keep it from getting gunked-up in the first place.