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Chase away the stink

| On 31, Jan 2015

From pet accidents to rotting garbage, there are natural ways to erase unpleasant odours.


High on my list is that oh-so-simple combination of vinegar and baking soda. This duo worked when commercial deodorizers and neutralizers (including expensive ones from the pet store) failed to erase the alkaline pong of doggy pee from my car. I was desperate! The smell made my eyes water and every time I thought a product had done the job, the sharp stink returned with a vengeance. Here’s my collection of solutions for icky smells.

vinegar & baking soda


  1. First on the list, pet pee. Or human, whichever is your problem. If it’s on a hard surface, wipe up and spray or pour a couple of capfuls of white vinegar. Spread the vinegar on the affected area and clean off with a damp cloth or mop.
  2. If the animal or human has urinated on a carpet or mattress (don’t laugh, it happens to the incontinent, to people who’ve had too much to drink, and of course, to bed-wetters), you need to first use a thick towel to soak up the offending liquid. Next, wet the sodden spot with vinegar. Leave for 5 minutes and press a clean towel on it to absorb the vinegar. Repeat. Liberally sprinkle the area with baking soda. Leave to dry, and vacuum the next day. You might have to do this a couple of times to remove the last of the malodour.

dog in car


  1. I have yet to try this, but I have faith in vinegar, so I’m sure it works. If your garbage bin is reeking despite conscientious use of garbage bags, wet a slice of leftover bread with white vinegar and leave overnight at the bottom of the bin. You can use any vinegar but I feel it’s a waste of good quality cider/malt/rice/wine vinegars.



  1. Another air freshener is orange peel although I don’t think it will be as effective as good ol’ vinegar. Place orange peels at the bottom of your garbage bin, or hang the peels from a string in your bathroom for fresh citrus scents. Useful to know during the Lunar New Year when we have Mandarin oranges in excess.


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