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Natural Odour-Eaters

By: Helena Stratford - Updated: 21 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Natural Odour-eaters

Every so often we all get nasty odours permeating our house. Whether we’ve been cooking fish, someone’s been smoking, or maybe just left their old trainers under the bed, there are times when we want to get rid of a bad odour quickly and freshen the air.

But don’t be tempted to resort to air fresheners or sprays. Innocent though they might seem, air fresheners are usually made with synthetic chemical copies of natural ingredients and can often be polluting to the atmosphere.

So what natural odour eaters are there out there?

Natural Odour Eaters

The best and most natural odour eater of all, of course, is the outside air itself. If the air in your home smells stale, then open the doors and windows and give the house a blow through!

If the smell persists, then track it down and find out what is causing the problem. It is better to tackle the issue at source rather than try to mask it with other smells.

There will be times, however, when this is impractical (you may not want to get rid of the dog!), or else you have located the origin of the problem and want to rectify it for the future. In this case, don’t despair – there are many natural odour eaters you can use.

Baking Soda

Yes, you’ve heard your granny talking about it and you may even have a tub of it at the back of your kitchen cupboard somewhere, but what has it to do with freshening the air?

Well, believe it or not, baking soda – or sodium bicarbonate to give it its fancy name - is a natural odour eater. It easily absorbs smells and de-odorises the surrounding air. Try placing a couple of teaspoons of it in a box at the back of your fridge for a fresh-smelling appliance, or else sprinkle a little in your bin and see what a difference it can make! You can also use it in the bathroom by placing a small amount in a container behind the toilet.

Lemon Juice

Lemons are another wonder-food. They not only have a lovely sharp, fresh scent of their own, but the juice has antiseptic properties and also acts as a natural odour eater. You can use lemon juice for all sorts of odour-eating purposes, including getting rid of the smell of garlic, fish, or onion on your hands after you’ve been cooking.


White vinegar is also great at banishing stale smells and odours. It can be used for cleaning all kinds of things (just add some to your normal wash, or tub of cleaning water) and although things might smell of vinegar for a short while, this smell goes and the bad smells do not return. It is particularly good at getting rid of the smell of urine (think potty training and cats at this point).


Another good one is coffee granules. Put some in a bag at the bottom of your dustbin and they will magically absorb the old food smells. And you don’t have to waste your fresh coffee – it works just as well using left over coffee grounds.

So next time there’s a bad odour wafting through the house, track the source, open the window, and reach for the kitchen cupboard!

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