The Best Ways To De-Stink Your Stuff

The Best Ways To De-Stink Your Stuff

It doesn’t matter how clean you think you are, your stuff is bound to get a little stinky once in a while. That means your clothes, shoes, carpets, couches, and who knows what else. So what’s the best way to handle the stench? Let’s take a look.

Different deodorisers work better for different situations, but a few catch-all odour-destroyers work better than others. Let’s break it down by the general size and take it from there.

De-Stink Your Whole House


Opening the windows to let air in isn’t always enough to de-stink the house. The easiest, most carefree method is to stick bars of soap all around your house, but that will only freshen it up. To truly destroy a nasty scent in your home, you need to break out the big guns, and that means vinegar.

We’ve mentioned before that vinegar is a good way to reduce the stink, and it really does work. Fill up a bowl with vinegar, leave it in the various rooms in your house, and take off for an afternoon. When you get back, the house will be rid of that funky scent. To keep the house smelling fresh going forward, toss a few bits of charcoal around the house. Photo by Wendy Harman.

De-Stink Clothes, Shoes and Small Areas


Now that your house is smelling fresh, it’s time to move onto your wardrobe where your clothes and shoes are still adding a nefarious odour to the air. If a good wash doesn’t rid your clothes of their stink, it’s time to turn to one of the most powerful deodorisers: cat litter.

Cat litter exists for one single purpose: to eliminate the smell of cat poop. So unless your clothes smell worse than that you’ll be able to deodorise a good chunk of your wardrobe. You can pour a little into your shoes to deodorise them within 24 hours, clear out the musty smell in all types of clothes by storing them in a suitcase with cat litter, and leave a small amount of litter in a closet to freshen it up right away.

Of course, if you have a cat, you might not want to leave a bunch of cat litter all over the house for fear you’ll be creating an impromptu toilet. If that’s the case, bicarb soda is your go-to method to de-stink small areas. For your shoes, just pour bicarb soda into a coffee filter and stuff the filter inside your shoes overnight. According to home improvement blog The New Homemaker, bicarb soda can also be used as a substitute for detergent as a way to get clothes fresh. Better yet, you can sprinkle a little in your dirty laundry to get rid of the stink of your clothes hamper. For any other small areas, you can take the same approach as cat litter and just leave little canisters of bicarb soda around to freshen up small rooms. Photo by Jon Ross.

De-Stink Furniture


Bicarb soda is great for all sorts of things, but it’s also perfect for upholstered furniture. Apartment Therapy recommends you sprinkle on a little bicarb soda and let it sit for as long as possible (24 hours is recommended). The only trick is to keep the furniture shaded during the process because otherwise the baking soda will bleach it. When the 24 hours is up, wipe down your furniture and you’re good to go.

For wooden furniture, your best bet is white vinegar. According to DIY home blog Brightnest, cleaning wooden furniture is as easy as wiping down the wood with vinegar and water. Take a sponge out, dip it in a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water, wring it out good, and then wipe down your furniture (or shelves, walls, windowsills or any other stinky wood). Photo by Jessica Mullen.

With just a few simple ingredients, your house and everything in it will be smelling great. The best part is that none of these methods require much work and you probably already have everything you need. Did we miss your favourite (non-Febreeze related) de-stinking method? Share your tips in the comments.


  • I know it’s not a cheapie option, but get and ozonizer. They de-stink a lot of stubborn smells, I run it in my shoe cupboard.

    Professional cleaners use it to get rid of cigarette smells out of cars and houses.

    Just a word of warning some people are sensitive to the smell (it disappears within minutes after the unit is turned off) and can cause headaches and nausea, so just run larger units when you go out shopping or at work.

    • Borax is my go-to for effective deodorizing.

      *Couple of tablespoons in a smelly bin.
      *Sprinkle on shoes, carpets, mattresses ect. leave for 15mins and vacuum.
      *Cat urine odours are no match for Borax. Sprinkle a little into kitty litter container and rinse with warm water.
      *add to a 50:50 vinegar,water mix to clean and or deodorize almost anything.

      It’s also quite deadly if you are a German cockroach – but for humans and pets it has a similar toxicity to salt.

    • I have used it many times over a long period of time, with zero results. I was so frustrated and surprised, I conducted some small-scale experiments to see if they had any impact. By itself, it didn’t.

      I thought I might be biased by my frustration, so I secretly placed bicarb in some slightly whiffy family fridges, and asked them if there was any difference in their fridge-smell after a while. None noticed any change.

      When you used it, did you clean out your fridge as well, or do anything else that may have reduced odours instead of the Bicarb?

  • I have massive problems with smelly feet and shoes. I went to a podiatrist and tried several treatments afterwards. My personal tip is cedar wood. It is naturally anti-bacterial and the cedar wood essential oils effuse a pleasant scent. I am using cedar wood shoe trees and soles. I usually wear Zederna insoles in my shoes.

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