Having a lingering odor in your bedroom can be a nuisance. Sometimes you may have to do a bit of detective work to locate the source of the bad smell before you're able to get rid of it. Well, we've done a bit of research to find the best ways to get rid of the most common household odors for you.
Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
There can be several sources that may cause your bedroom to become permeated with foul smells, such as dirty laundry, lingering pet odors, lingering cigarette smoke, or mildew (to name a few). To eliminate odors in the bedroom, try any of these solutions:
- Wash dirty laundry immediately or store it in a bin with a lid.
- Wash bedsheets weekly.
- Use an air freshener, scented gel beads, or scented candle.
- Use an air purifier.
- Run a dehumidifier daily (to prevent mildew growth and odor).
- Increase ventilation by opening the door(s) and window(s) to allow fresh air to circulate.
- Do not eat, drink, or store food in the bedroom.
- Do not keep trash in the bedroom. If you do, use a bin with a lid, discard trash frequently, and keep an odor eliminator at the base of the bin.
- Vacuum regularly, and apply a carpet deodorizer as needed.
- Clean spills immediately.
- Refrain from smoking cigarettes in the bedroom.
As you can see, there are several methods to mitigate or eliminate a foul smell. Please keep reading as we discuss how to use each of these methods to keep your bedroom and home fresh!
How to Get Rid of Odor in the Bedroom
Now that we know what to try to eliminate odors, let's take a closer look at what causes odors, specifically in the bedroom. We'll identify the best odor eliminating solutions for each scenario and discuss methods to prevent odors from lingering in the first place.
Do you leave dirty clothes lying around your bedroom? Are you wearing home sweat-drenched clothes after playing a sport or exercising? Dirty clothes are known for harboring bacteria and other microorganisms. Also, sportsf jerseys, socks, jock guards, and other equipment can easily cause bad smells to linger in your home--especially when they are not washed immediately.
In some cases, everyday fabric softeners can actually make the odors worse by locking them in (particularly if the clothes are made with moisture-wicking fabric). The best solutions are using a sports detergent and washing the clothes immediately or placing them in a plastic laundry hamper with a lid. To get rid of the lingering smell, you can simply open up the windows to ventilate the room. An air freshener, such as a plug-in or air purifier can also help.
Food & Drink
Many home maintenance experts agree that food and drink should only be eaten in the kitchen and dining room and should not be brought to other areas of the home. Doing so can create an odorous and pest-inviting environment. If you make a habit of eating in your bedroom, it's best to use a tabletop. Vacuum regularly to catch any scattered crumbs -and spot clean any spills immediately. Do not discard food wrappers, containers, or leave dirty dishes in your bedroom.
Carpet deodorizers work well to help neutralize odors from food. You can also use air purifiers, plug-in air fresheners, and oil diffusers (in addition to opening windows) to help remove any stale odors caused by food.
Sometimes air coming from indoors can be more polluted than the air outside. Smoking indoors is definitely a factor that can add to polluted indoor air. If it's combined with outside pollutants such as dust, animal dander, and dead skin cells, it can definitely contribute to unpleasant smells-- especially if there is no ventilation. If you are a smoker, it's best to do it on an outside porch or patio, as the smell can linger inside your home for days. You can also use air purifiers and ventilate rooms that have contained smoke (i.e., windows, doors, etc.).
Overflowing Trash Bin
Overflowing trash bins are known to be one of the biggest culprits of foul odors in a home, particularly when they don't contain a lid or don't close completely. A bin with a lid will help contain odors; however, it's best to discard garbage into a small bag inside the bin and empty it frequently. To get rid of lingering odors, place an odor eliminator at the bottom of a trash bin or in a window nearby. You can also sprinkle a little baking soda inside the trash bin to absorb the odors as well.
Mold and Mildew
The smell of accumulated mold and mildew tends to stand out from other odors. It can also be a smell that is hard to get rid of and one that can easily permeate the entire house if not eradicated quickly. Mold and mildew develop when there is an excessive amount of moisture in the air, and on porous and non-porous surfaces. Dehumidifiers work well to help reduce indoor humidity and prevent of mold. You can also ventilate your bedroom by opening up windows and doors to allow fresh air in from the outside.
Unclean bed sheets
If bed sheets are used daily and not washed at least weekly, it's easy for them to become the culprits of foul smells. Because they can become overrun with a buildup of body oils, lotions, sweat, and bacteria from repeated use, they will eventually smell stale. This can be worsened if you are someone who sweats in your sleep. It's best to wash and replace your sheets at least once a week to avoid this. You can also add an air freshener or purifier to your room to help remove the stale odor.
Pet Urine and Dander
Pet urine and dander can be another common source of foul odors in a bedroom. If you have pets, it's best to regularly vacuum or sweep flooring to keep it free of pet dander, and clean any accidents immediately. Regularly launder bedding, weekly if possible, if pets share your sleeping space.
The best way to eliminate lingering pet odor is by using carpet or upholstery cleaners specially formulated for pets. The solutions usually contain oxygenating chemicals that can neutralize the odors and lift them from the fibers in the carpet or the upholstery fabrics.
Lack of Ventilation
Sometimes odors can develop in the bedroom simply due to a lack of ventilation. We tend to leave bedroom doors close for privacy. During colder months, windows usually remain closed as well. But even during warmer months, you might be apt to leave windows closed if you suffer from allergies and prefer to minimize pollen and dander entering your room. If you cannot open your windows periodically, you can simply use an air purifier to get the same results.
What absorbs bad smells?
You likely have odor absorbing products already at home, sitting in your pantry or utility closet. Here are some great remedies that can naturally help you to fight odors in the bedroom.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can work quickly and effectively to eliminate bad odors that may seep up from your drain and plumbing system, particularly if you have an ensuite bathroom. To use, pour 1/2 cup down your sink strain, and let it sit for two to five minutes before running cold water to flush it down the drain.
Most homeowners well know the odor-eliminating effects of baking soda, and this versatile product can be used safely in your bedroom (including on clothing, bedding, and shoes!). Baking soda can be sprinkled onto carpeting or inside of sneakers, dresser drawers, and trash bins to fight odors. Simply vacuum or wipe up after allowing it to sit for at least 30 minutes.
Lemon Juice & Baking Soda Solution
You can also mix 1/8 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of lemon and 2-cups of water to create your own odor eliminating solution. You can spray this solution on dresser tops, and wipe down closet hangers or flooring. It will eliminate odor and leave a refreshing, citrus scent.
Home Sloth Charcoal Bags
These charcoal bags work great to eliminate a variety of odors--at a low price. Place them into your shoes, dresser drawer, or the base of your laundry basket. They are even handy to keep your linen closet fresh.
FunkAway Odor Removing Gel
This is a gel made from non-toxic ingredients that effectively absorbs and neutralizes odors caused by dirty laundry, stuffy rooms, and pets.
Zep Commercial Smoke Odor Eliminator
The Zep spray works wonderfully to remove odors from carpets, upholstery, and curtains.
Will a dehumidifier get rid of musty smell?
Yes, dehumidifiers work effectively to reduce indoor humidity levels to avoid the buildup of mold and mildew in a home, which are common causes of musty indoor smells.
Why does my room smell after sleeping?
If your bedroom smells stale after sleeping, it could be caused by a combination of things, including:
- Bad breath (the release of CO2)
- Dirty or sweaty clothes
- Sweaty or dirty bed sheets
The best way to quickly get rid of the bad smell is to open up a window and the door to allow fresh air in. Next, inspect your room to locate the bad odor source (smell the sheets and check for any dirty laundry). You can then remove or remedy the issue with our previously discussed methods.
Wrapping Things Up
As you can see, there are quite a few reasons factors that can cause bad odors to live in your home and just as many ways to get rid of them. Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts: