10 Stinky Smells and How to Get Rid of Them

Bad smells can be harder to get rid of than your office lurker. Luckily you probably already have some of the tools to fight these odors, and you don't even know it.

Gym Shoe Funk
If you have non-leather shoes, you can wash them in the washing machine. If that doesn't work, heat or freeze the funk out. Try leaving the shoes in the sun or putting them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer overnight. Then sprinkle the insoles with baking soda or store-bought Odor Eaters. And next time, wear socks.

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Mold and Mildew
Serious mold requires professional help, as it can cause health problems. But if it's just a musty smell that's bothering you, run a dehumidifier to pull some of the odor-causing moisture out of the air. Activated charcoal (available at most pet supply or garden stores) will neutralize mold and mildew smells in damp basements and crawl spaces. White vinegar, tee tree oil, and grapefruit seed extract (which can be found at health food stores) are natural fungicides that can be mixed with water and sprayed on mildew. Ground coffee in a (clean) sock, hung in a closet, can also get rid of musty smells.

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Refrigerator Stink
First, get rid of the source. Clean out food that's moldy, rotten, old, and smelly, and anything that has changed color or physical state. If it looks like it could walk out of the fridge on its own, into the trash it should go. Wipe down the walls, shelves, and bins with a solution of warm water and white vinegar, and stash an opened box of baking soda in the back to absorb odors. (Replace every few months.)

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Cat Urine

Cats mark their territory with a super odiferous, ammonia-scented urine that is one of the stinkier substances known to man. Traditional cleaners leave behind (and even reactivate) the protein crystals that are responsible for the smell. Luckily there are a number of special enzymatic cleaners on the market for just the purpose. Try Urine Off, Anti-Icky-Poo, or Nature's Miracle Just for Cats.

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Skunk Spray

When Fido gets up close and personal with Pepé Le Pew, your best friend becomes your nose's worst enemy. The most effective recipe for getting the stench out: scrub with hydrogen peroxide (3 percent), baking soda, and mild dish liquid.

See 5 More Stinky Smells and Tips for Getting Rid of Them

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