Now hiring for full-time maintenance technicians.

Learn more and apply!

Keeping Your Apartment Smelling Great

Woman sitting on a couch with contented look. Image credit: Enes Celik.

May 2024


Walking into an apartment or townhome that smells fresh and clean is a great feeling. But what if your place smells, well, not so great? Even with regular cleaning, funky odors can still sneak in. Can’t figure out where that weird smell is coming from? Here are eight common culprits and how to tackle them.

Taking Out the Trash

Even if your garbage cans aren’t overflowing, it might be time to take out the trash. Rotting food can be a major offender. Before you pop in a new bag, give your garbage can a good wipe down with a multipurpose cleaner. Don’t forget to check all your bins, wastebaskets, and diaper pails if you have them. Pro tip: line the bottom of your garbage cans with a few layers of newspaper or brown craft paper to soak up any smelly leaks.

Refrigerator Spills

We often forget to clean the inside of our refrigerators. Spills, food leakage, or expired items can get pretty funky if ignored. To clean your fridge, remove all the shelves and wash them with hot, soapy water. Wipe down the inside walls with a mix of white vinegar, baking soda, and water. Aim to do this at least four times a year but clean up spills as soon as they happen.

Wet Towels

Got musty bathroom towels? Excess moisture can lead to mildew and bacteria. Wash your towels with a good detergent and some vinegar or baking soda on a hot cycle. After each use, spread them out to dry properly and avoid that musty smell.

Vacuuming and Dusting

If your place doesn’t smell bad but just not fresh, it might be time for a deep clean. Dust is a mix of bacteria, dead skin cells, pollen, dirt, and other particles that can create a stale odor. Regular vacuuming and dusting can make a big difference.

Carpets and Rugs

Carpets and rugs can trap odors, especially if you have pets. If vacuuming alone isn’t cutting it, try sprinkling some carpet deodorizer, let it sit for 15 minutes, then vacuum it up. Regularly clean your vacuum filters too, as they can spread smells while you clean.

For washable throw rugs, give them a clean every month or two as per the manufacturer’s instructions. If you have wall-to-wall carpet, consider renting a steam cleaner or hiring a pro for a deep clean.

Stinky Shoes

Smelly feet are a part of life, and that means our shoes can get pretty ripe too. Keeping several pairs together can create a stinky cloud. Stash them in a closed bench or basket to contain the smell and wash them to get rid of the odor at its source.

These tips should help keep your apartment smelling fresh and clean!