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Have you ever had that moment where you walk into an area of your home and a stale stench of “Is that the trash or the dog?” takes over your nose? Even for the smells that linger despite the deodorizers and expensive candles, there’s a way to remove them from your carpet, trashcan, and other stinky corners of your home. The goal isn’t to cover or mask the smell, but to actually rid your space of the odor-causing proteins. From dirty socks to pet stains, here are the best ways to make your home smell better.

Carpet

Carpet can hold more than just dirt. Even if you vacuum regularly, your carpet can be a breeding ground for lingering proteins that cause odor. Pet stains are difficult to handle and despite your best efforts, odors can stay in your carpet for so long that you become numb to the scent. The best way to remove odors from carpet is with a biological organism treatment. The solution will digest the proteins causing the bad smell, eliminating the problem, not just masking it. A 4-strain biological organism treatment, like Clean-Zyme, uses active bacteria produced enzymes to treat the source of the problem.

Trashcan

It’s time to end the ongoing battle with your trash can. The bleach, antibacterial aerosol spray, and Tropical Paradise deodorizer hanging from the side of the can simply aren’t doing the trick. To eliminate the bad smell from your trash can, use a cleaner with no ammonia, toxins, or phosphates. You want to remove the bad smell, not create a more powerful one – as with bleach.  Spray the inside and outside of the can and wipe thoroughly. Add a little baking soda in the bottom of your trash bag to help absorb the odor of food and other waste.

Toilet

While a number of things in your bathroom could be the culprit of a bad smell, the toilet usually gets the blame. Biodegradable cleaning products are a great fit for the bathroom – shower, sink, and toilet – because the cleaner will get the job done and you protect the environment. A non-toxic cleaner, like Pro-Tek Lemon, is also a good fit for homes or businesses with a septic tank.

Laundry

You’re standing in line at the grocery store or sitting at your desk and you keep getting wafts of a mildew-like smell – that damp towel scent – until suddenly you realize, it’s you. Well, it’s your shirt, but you just got it out of the dryer! Much like chemical laden carpet cleaners, many laundry detergents are designed to cover a smell, not eliminate the source of the odor. Using a concentrated cleaner to pretreat your clothes (around the collar, under arms, or specific stains) will get rid of the stale smell.

Refrigerator

On the bottom shelf, in the back left-hand corner of your refrigerator is a plastic container or take-out box that you’re pretty sure has been there for weeks. We’ve all had the, “What is that?” moment with leftovers, and getting the remaining smell out of the fridge can be just as puzzling. The last thing you want to do is use toxic cleaners in a space that holds your food. Opt for a non-toxic cleaner and degreaser that can remove the sticky, crusted on leftovers without the stringent ammonia smell.

When you need to remove odors from your home, you want to be mindful of what you’re using around your family and the environment. Biodegradable cleaning products designed to remedy the odor problem, not paint it with a Lavender Escape scent, are the best way to make your home smell better.