Warm, humid air can cause smells to linger. That means in summertime, scents like sweat, pets, or mildew may be much harder to get rid of. But don’t despair! Our pros have shared five easy ways you can freshen your home and car in minutes. Banish odors now.
Erase sweat stink with this spray
Skip pricey products and use vodka to lift the odor of perspiration from sneakers, sandals, or furniture. “Vodka is very effective at eliminating strong smells like sweat, and it works fast,” confirms fabric expert Bonnie Fisher of Better World Apparel. Just give the item a quick spritz — once it dries, both the sweat stink and the scent of vodka will evaporate.
Banish pet smells with DIY wipes
If your pal comes in from outdoor playtime smelling a bit stinky, no need to wrangle him into the bathtub. “Instead, create your own pet wipes,” suggests Caitlin Ultimo, writer for Chewy.com. Place a few old hand towels in a plastic container with a lid. Then combine 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of your favorite dog shampoo and pour over the towels. Voilà — instant (and reusable!) wipes.
Outsmart garbage odor with essential oil “cubes”
Took out the trash, but the smell remains? Scent-infused tablets can help! Just add water to 1 cup of baking soda until it forms the consistency of wet sand. Add a few drops of your favorite fragrant essential oil, and pack the paste into an ice cube tray; let dry completely. Place one cube in the bottom of the trash can and replace once a month.
Refresh your car easily with a charcoal sachet
All that time spent in the car on a road trip leave it smelling less than pleasant? Simply put a couple of unused charcoal briquettes in a pair of old pantyhose, tie a knot, and stash the “sachet” in your car, says cleaning expert Shawna Dirksen of Practically Minimal. “Charcoal is a powerful deodorizer that will also soak up humidity, leaving the car smelling fresh and clean in no time.”
Mildew-proof your towels with a simple spritz
Our towels get quite the workout over the summer. If the wash cycle doesn’t remove that soaked-in mustiness, try this trick from Lauren Simonelli, founder of sustainable cleaning brand ThreeMain: In a spray bottle, combine equal parts water and 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, then spritz towels before throwing them in the wash. “This kills mildew spores on contact, ensuring odors wash out completely in the next cycle.”
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.