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5 Everyday Things That Get Rid of Smells

Take a deep breath and try these everyday items to get rid of even the most potent odours.

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Vanilla Extract

It’s an old realtor’s trick. Put a drop or two of vanilla extract on a lightbulb, turn on the light, and your house will be filled with the appealing scent of baked goods in the oven.

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Photo: Thinkstock

Cider Vinegar

If you’ve recently burned a steak – or if your chain-smoking aunt recently paid you a surprise visit – remove the lingering smoky odour by placing a shallow bowl about three-quarters full of white or cider vinegar in the room where the scent is strongest. Use several bowls if the smell permeates your entire home. The odour should be gone in less than a day. 

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Toothpaste

The ingredients in toothpaste that deodorize your mouth will work on your hands as well. If you’ve gotten into something stinky, wash your hands with toothpaste, and they’ll smell great.

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Tomato Juice

To remove foul odours from a plastic container, pour a little tomato juice onto a sponge and wipe it around the inside of the container. Then wash the container and lid in warm, soapy water, dry well, and store them separated in the freezer for a couple of days. The container will be stench-free and ready to use again.

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Vinegar

If Fido has an unpleasant encounter with an ornery skunk, here are some ways to help him get rid of the smell:

– Bathe your pet in a mixture of 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid soap in 1 litre of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Work the solution deep into his coat, give it a few minutes to soak in, then rinse him thoroughly with clean water.
– Bathe your pet in equal parts water and vinegar (preferably outdoors in a large washtub). Then repeat the procedure using 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water, followed by a good rinsing.
– If you happen to have an unscheduled meeting with skunk, use undiluted vinegar to get the smell out your own clothes. Let the affected clothing soak in the vinegar overnight.