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Rainbow Restoration Blog

Odor Control

Your Guide to Getting Rid of Lingering Odors

Illustration of pungent aromas

Some of the lingering scents in your home are pleasant. Chocolate chip cookies, flowers and fresh laundry are the kinds of smells you want to stick around. Unfortunately, it’s usually the not-so-good odors that endure. Use our ultimate odor removal guide for help.


You want your kitchen to smell like tonight’s dinner, not yesterday’s scraps. To counteract the garbage smell:

  • Place lemon or orange peels at the bottom of the trash can every time you change the bag. You can also absorb nasty odors with coffee grounds or baking soda.
  • Remember to clean out the garbage can every so often with a solution of warm water and white vinegar.

Last Night’s Fish Dinner

The best method to counteract kitchen odors like fish, garlic, hardboiled eggs and onions is to prevent them from lingering in the first place:

  • Run the kitchen hood vent while cooking.
  • Clean up promptly after eating.
  • Simmer cloves, orange peels and cinnamon sticks in water on the stove.
  • Run a diffuser with a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
  • Leave a dish of vinegar out on the counter overnight.

Cigarette Smoke

If someone in your home smokes, you know all about the lingering scent of cigarettes. If someone smoked inside recently:

  • Open the windows and doors to air the place out.
  • Dampen a towel with water and spray it with white vinegar. Wave the towel around the room to soak up any lingering smoke.

Musty Odors

To soak up the stench from slightly damp carpet, laundry hampers and old shoes:

  • Sprinkle baking soda over the offending surface.
  • Allowing the baking soda to sit for at least 15 minutes, and then vacuum it up.


Skunk smell is second to none. Skip the tomato juice and go straight for this DIY skunk odor removal treatment:

  • Combine 1 quart hydrogen peroxide with 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 to 2 teaspoons liquid soap. If you’re de-skunking your whole property, add warm water to make the mixture go further.
  • Apply the solution to your skin, pet’s fur or the ground around your house. Let it sit for at least five minutes.
  • Rinse with water and test whether the smell is gone. Repeat these steps if necessary.

Pet Accidents

It’s vital to neutralize pet accident odors to prevent your dog or cat from returning to this “accident zone” in the future.

If the soiled item is machine washable:

  • Wash it with your regular detergent plus one pound of baking soda.
  • If the odor still lingers, try washing again with an enzymatic cleaner that breaks down pet accident odors.

If the carpet is soiled:

  • Soak up as much of the mess as possible with paper towels.
  • Rinse the accident area with clean, cool water. Blot the area dry.
  • Apply a commercial pet stain and odor removal product to the area. Follow the directions carefully for the best results.

Gym Clothes

After a workout, your clothes smell far from fresh. Even a normal cycle through the washing machine may not be enough to restore a clean scent. When this is the case:

  • Pre-treat your gym clothes with 1 one laundry detergent and the juice from a lemon in 1/2 gallon of warm water.
  • Let the clothes soak. Then scrub particularly offensive areas such as the neckline and armpit area.
  • Wash the clothes in warm water with half the normal amount of detergent.
  • Add 2 ounces of white vinegar during the rinse cycle.

Do you suffer from overbearing odors in your home? Contact Rainbow Restoration® to access the tools, technology and experience needed to eliminate even the most set-in smells.

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