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Smelly house

(20 Posts)
MisguidedAngel Fri 23-Jun-17 17:56:49

Not mine! A friend looks after holiday homes. One of them doesn't get let very often and she finds it difficult to freshen it up when guests are due. She can't leave windows open or use scented candles for obvious reasons and she hasn't been able to find a scent diffuser which doesn't make the place smell like a funeral home/public lavatory. We live in rural France so she might not be able to buy the proprietary brands you can get in UK. Any suggestions? Maybe tips from your gran?

wowfudge Fri 23-Jun-17 20:03:47

What does it smell of?

MisguidedAngel Sat 24-Jun-17 09:30:18

Musty, fusty, a bit damp so a hint of mould. She always cleans it meticulously when someone leaves, but it just spends too long shut up.

wowfudge Sat 24-Jun-17 09:39:58

A dehumidifier would help, but ultimately if there is damp, it needs to be addressed. Bowls of bicarb in the worst rooms will help absorb odours. What about the damp absorber things you put on windowsills, etc? They could help. Also cotton wool balls soaked in essential oils might be better than commercial airfresheners but you are just masking the smells.

Mumteedum Sat 24-Jun-17 10:15:49

I use essential oils as natural air fresheners. They're good for an instant nice smell. Mix water, small bit alcohol (gin or vodka works) and oil of choice. I like lavender but bergamot and citrus slap good. They do have anti bacterial properties so not just about smell.

InferiorDecorator Sat 24-Jun-17 10:17:17

Ooh @Mumteedum how do you use them exactly? Got loads of lovely oils that would work well.

Mumteedum Sat 24-Jun-17 10:46:25

Just mix in spray bottle and use as airfreshner. I also like having pine cones on radiators when it's colder and just put few drops on them.

Mumteedum Sat 24-Jun-17 10:47:58

Oh and another top tip... Put few drops on tissue. Shred it and vacuum it up. It then spreads nice smells as you hoover.

InferiorDecorator Sat 24-Jun-17 10:56:14

Sounds good, what proportions do you use of alcohol to oil?

MisguidedAngel Sat 24-Jun-17 13:11:27

Thanks for your suggestions, I'll pass them on.

Mumteedum Sun 25-Jun-17 09:05:57

I use as many drops to get requirements strength of smell. Capful of gin. Top up with water and shake. Highly scientific I am! wink

Mumteedum Sun 25-Jun-17 09:06:23

Required not requirements!

Miscella Mon 26-Jun-17 15:13:25

A bowl of white vinegar left in each room works really well. Then a quick airing with the windows open before guests arrive.

pimmsy Mon 26-Jun-17 15:35:48

These guys do good sprays and you should be able to find them at pharmacies

If not as PPs have said white vinegar in boils should work, of if it's really musty, boil a pan of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water plus some drops of essential oils to a roiling boil then move from room to room with the pan whilst it's steaming.

MisguidedAngel Thu 29-Jun-17 11:50:08

Thanks for all the replies. She's trying them all out, she particularly likes the idea of vinegar. You can buy white vinegar really cheaply here.

Mumteedum Thu 29-Jun-17 19:25:47

Do report back! I didn't know white vinegar absorbs smells. I use it with lavender essential oil as fabric conditioner.

SofaToad Sat 01-Jul-17 00:27:27

I use silica cat litter in bowls, with some lavender flowers or oil in. The litter absorbs smells and damp.

I used vinegar when we moved into this house to remove the smell of curry from the kitchen units and the unpainted wooden stairs (and in some cases, the walls). Along with a tray of cat litter.

Letmesleepalready Sat 01-Jul-17 04:52:10

How often can she go to the house before the guests are there? If it's musty, then an electric dehumidifier may be the best thing, but she'll need to empty it once a day, to begin with. We bought one and it really helped again the condensation/smell, and our neighbour bought one and got 23 litres of water over a week from his flat (we both had massive issues due to electric heaters and single glazed windows)
We tried those little dehumidifying boxes, but they didn't really touch the problem.

Ivory200 Thu 06-Jul-17 21:26:22

A small bowl of ground coffee in every room! I used to work in a nursery, and if a child had an "accident" and the smell lingered, we just left a bowl of coffee grounds on a high shelf. It worked like a charm.
I also use it if the fridge is a bit niffy, from strong cheeses.

picklemepopcorn Thu 06-Jul-17 21:48:37

A splash of bleach in all loos, drains, plug holes, makes a huge difference when I go on holiday. Really stops the stale smell.

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