There is nothing more jarring than entering a home and immediately having your nostrils assaulted with bad smells. 

Various odours around the home are simply a fact of life — especially when you’re dealing with animals, cooking, and rubbish — but smells that sticks around can make things particularly difficult. Unpleasant odours have a way of making your entire home environment unpleasant to live in and it can make it embarrassing to have visitors.

If this an issue you’re facing, you’re probably eager for practical solutions on how to get rid of a bad odour in a house and have it smelling its best again. Below we’ve outlined the ultimate plan for tackling those big whiffs, finding the issue, and improving the scent. We’ve also got some practical tips for ways you can prevent bad smells from returning. 

Got a home odour issue? Do your nose a favour and read on.


First Step: Find Where the Odour is Coming From 

This might seem a little obvious, but sometimes it can be really difficult to locate the origins of a smell. A bad odour can permeate spaces and it can make it hard to discover the root cause. If you’ve caught wind of something nasty, here are some ideas for where the offending smell might be coming from:


Your pet might be like a family member, but sometimes these four-legged companions can cause a little odour-based havoc. If your animals have a litter tray, first check this before scouting places they might have used as an alternative. This could include carpets, under beds or couches, and even pot plants. And, if your pet fancies themselves a hunter, be on the alert for any “gifts” they may have dragged indoors.

Underneath furniture

Even if you don’t have pets, checking under and around furniture is a good plan. Check to ensure no food or rogue items such as nappies have been forgotten under couches, tables, or beds. 

Kitchen sink

With the kitchen sink being used to wash pots, pans, and other items that have food on them, take steps to check that old food hasn’t become trapped or blocked in the sink — particularly the U-bend.

Bathroom sink and drains

Much like the kitchen sink, it’s not unusual for bathroom drains to smell due to items like hair and soap scum building up and blocking drains. If you notice strange smells in this room, check that your bathroom drains are clear.

General damp and mould

A very distinctive smell, dampness and mould in the home will result in a musty odour that is incredibly hard to get rid of. Damp in the house clings to surfaces like walls, cupboards, wardrobes, and soft furnishings such as beds and couches.



Easy Ways to Improve the Smell Inside Your Home

Whether you want to get rid of a particularly bad smell or you just want to improve your home’s general odour, there are many ways you can improve the aroma in your abode and have it smelling fantastic again. 


Although it may not be a smell that will please every nose, burning incense will give your home a distinctive sweet and spicy smell that will help to cover bad odours. Incense are cheap and readily available in either stick or cone form. Many people use incense for meditative or calming effects, as well as purely for its scent, so you may find it has a dual purpose! 

Scented Candles

If incense are a little too strong, scented candles are another great option. Some scented candles will improve the smell of a room, even when they aren’t burning. Candles can be purchased for very little, though on the other end of the scale you can also find expensive candles that will have a longer burn time and promise a high-quality scent. If you do use candles in your home, be mindful to properly extinguish them after use, and don’t use them once the wax has burned low.  

Extractor Fan

For a home that tends to smell bad during and after food preparation, making use of a range hood or extractor fan is key. Both of these units vent outdoors, meaning the steam, vapour and smells produced by cooking is quickly whipped away before it has time to settle in your home. This not only reduces odours but also helps to keep moisture levels down — a win-win. 

Reducing moisture in the bathroom is also important so you can keep damp in the house away. You should also make using an extractor fan in your bathroom common practice to ensure vapour and steam is vented outside after showers or baths. If your home doesn’t already have an extractor fan installed, don’t worry, they can be purchased and installed at a low cost. However, it’s important to buy and install a fan large enough for the size of the room it operates in, or it will be inefficient. 

Carpet Cleaners

Smells can become trapped in furnishings, carpets, and walls. Regular cleaning can help the odour situation significantly. Carpet cleaners can be rented at most supermarkets and some have special upholstery tools that can be used on your couches and chairs. As for cleaning walls, try washing them with sugar soap, a cleaning material great for cutting through the grime that regular products can’t remove.

Give the Drains a Clean

If your bathroom or kitchen sink stinks, try unscrewing pipes near the drain and cleaning them out — just be sure to have a bucket underneath the pipes at all times! By removing any blockages and scrubbing the pipe sections clean with a non-corrosive product, your drains will smell much more pleasant.

Open the Windows

And of course, be sure to open your windows frequently to air out your home. Creating a cross-wind by opening doors and windows throughout your house is called passive ventilation. This is a good way to help prevent dampness in your home as it allows stale air and bad smells to escape and fresh, clean air to replace it. 

While these are some quick and easy ways to improve the smell, if you’re facing an ongoing issue, these alone may not do the trick. 


Long-term Solutions for Odours

If you’re interested in a more long-term solution that will keep the air in your home fresh, clean, and filtered, installing a home ventilation system is a great course of action. An HRV home ventilation system works in cycles that means stagnant air is forced outside before it has time to settle and cause odour. This results in a home that is filled with clean, dry air.

In addition to keeping your home smelling and feeling fresh, a home ventilation system also helps reduce dampness and mould in the home due to the constant flow of air. With the stale, damp air not having enough time to convert to moisture before it’s pushed outside, condensation and moisture are reduced. 

Not only that, but the air in a home with a ventilation system is cleaner because it’s pushed through a filter before reaching each room. For example, in an HRV ventilation system, the air is pushed through nano-fibre filtration technology. These hardworking filters remove common airborne asthma and allergy triggers from the air before it reaches the rooms of your home.

How Does a Home Ventilation System Work?

Our positive pressure ventilation systems work to keep your home as fresh, whether that’s by keeping the air clean, or ensuring that all bad smells are pushed out. To do this, the ventilation system is installed in your home’s roof space and is then connected to the rooms of your house by individual ducts. 

When a home ventilation system is operating, it draws in the dry, clean air from your ceiling space and pushes it along the ducts with the help of a fan. Because the air is passed through filters, it’s clean and fresh by the time it silently enters your living spaces. With the flow created by the fresh air being pushed into your home, the stale air is forced out and the cycle repeats. With an HRV ventilation system, the air in your home will be replaced up to three times every hour.

With the air circulating so frequently, bad odours don’t have as much time to set in and cause bad smells. And not only that, because the moist air is being replaced with clean air, your home will be drier, making it faster and more efficient to heat in the colder months. What could be better than a warm, dry and odour-free home?

If you’re interested in learning how your home might benefit from a home ventilation system, book a free home assessment today. Our friendly experts will talk you through the options best for your home and family.