Recently I got a chance to visit one of those magnificent homes in one of Kampala’s opulent suburbs. This home makes you feel very self-consious from its electric gates, the winding driveway, the car shade that made you think of Jay Leno’s garage, the exotic plants and the paved walkway that make it seem as if you are stepping on a cloud. It was lifestyle goals all the way until I entered the living room.
Do not get me wrong, the finishing, furniture, lighting are as opulent as they come and they entranced me with the same degree as the odour that oppressed my senses. At first I tried to ignore it not wanting to embarrass my hosts whom I thought were embarrassed by its presence. So I went with the usual complimentary about the house, hoping to give my hosts a chance to explain the offending odour but in vain. We settled down and refreshments were brought but by this time I was holding back my gag reflex with all my willpower which gave way as soon as I opened my mouth to sip on the mint leaf topped tall glass of fresh juice. I excused myself and stepped outside. I came up with an elaborate excuse not to enter the house again. On our way back, I asked my colleague whether he had smelled the dead rat mixed with ammonia stench in the house. He looked at me as if I was making up things but smiled after a while. “Oh you mean the smell of the house? Do not worry, you get used to it after a while,” he assured me.
Why your home smells
Aggrey Agira, a professional household cleaner, explains that homes smell like the total sum of activities and their inhabitants. So the home will have a combination of the foods prepared and eaten, cigarette smoke, drinks, perfumes, shampoos and pets that live there. Usually proper ventilation and opening windows everyday will control the odours from getting out of hand but sometimes more is needed.
He further explains that most bad are caused by water getting into surfaces and not drying up properly. “A dump carpets and fabric furniture have the worst household odours imaginable. The odour worsens when it is milk that has been spilled,” Agira explains.
Getting rid of odours
“To get rid of the odour I usually sprinkle a generous amount of bicarbonate of soda over the surface, let it stay overnight. I also use it to rid fridges of bad ordours and smelly shoes,” he explains further.
He recommends dropping a few spoons of the bicarbonate of soda in water when cleaning places that tend to be smelly like sinks, toilets, bathtubs and dustbins.
Another effective method is using limes, oranges and lemons. Citrus fruits are natural deodorisers. After removing or cleaning up the source of the unappealing scent, put citrus fruit skins in a warm large bucket of water and let it sit on your stove or on your table until the funky fumes have faded away.
Tinashe Sibande, a lifestyle blogger swears by the magic power of vodka. “Because I have two dogs in the house, accidents happen daily which would stink up the whole house if I had no first aid. My to-go-to trick is spraying vodka on the soaked surfaces before they dry. My friends always ask why a born again Christian has a bottle of vodka in the kitchen until they see what it can do,” Sibande explains.
She also recommends using vinegar to fight odours. For those moments you feel fried food, do not worry about the smell, and just place a bowl of vinegar in the kitchen. It will absorb and contain all the smells.
Margret Okot uses ash to keep her dustbins free from stench. Our dustbins absorb all the smell resulting from fermentation process your waste goes through. To control the odour, remove the bin-liner; thoroughly wash with vim and vinegar. After that, put some ash at the bottom of the bin and let it sit. Remove it when it dries and wash again. It will leave your dustbin smelling as good as new.
To remove bad odour from the fridge, clean with vinegar cleaner and place a slice of salt sprinkled lemon. The salty-sour combination absorbs smells on the spot.
Your toilet is defying all your effort? Go native and light it up like your grandmother does in the village. Just light a few matches in the toilet; the sulphur odour effectively distracts from all other smells. You can also light candles and live them burning in the toilet they have the same effect as matches.