Ethyl or Isopropyl Alcohol: causes flushing, headache, dizziness, CNS depression, nausea, vomiting, anesthesia, and coma and can be dangerous if ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin.Propellants (usually Butane, Isobutene or Propane): inhaling butane can cause drowsiness, narcosis, asphyxia, cardiac arrhythmia and frostbite, which can result in instant death from Asphyxiation, Acute toxicity and ventricular fibrillation.Pine Oil (comparable to turpentine in terms of toxicity): irritates the skin and mucous membranes and has been known to cause breathing problems. Large doses may cause central nervous system depression.Limonene: an irritant and sensitizer, classified as dangerous for the environment.Paradichlorobenzene (also called 1,4-Dichlorobenzene, p-DCB, etc): causes dizziness, headaches, and liver problems.Formaldehyde: causes irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes; inhalation may cause headaches, a burning sensation in the throat, and difficulty breathing, as well as triggering or aggravating asthma symptoms.
Phthalates: causes damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs, and developing testes
In the Kitchen—in this part of the house, most unappetizing odors stem from rotting food.
- Wipe down all counter tops after preparing food—all you need is a small amount of dish detergent or white vinegar on your sponge.
- If you have food items like fruit stored on top of counter tops, check them regularly for any pieces that might be going bad.
- Your nose can help you track down the source of odors—it’s far better to remove the odor than mask it. Removing the offending food or food residue will prevent pests like fruit flies, cockroaches and ants from invading your home as well.
Trash Bins—it’s a smelly job, but someone has to do it.
- Typically trash should be taken out every other day—or everyday, depending on what was recently thrown away.
- If the trash bin itself is the source of the scent, simply wash out the bin with soap and water (usually it’s easiest to take it outside and use a garden hose). If the smell still won’t come out, try spritzing the bin with straight white vinegar and let it dry in the sun.
Bedrooms—some of the most overpowering smells are found in kids’ bedrooms.
- Use your nose to “seek and destroy” the sources of odors, which often are caused by dirty clothes, damp and mildewed towels, or spoiling food and snack items.
Pet Smells—animals are as sensitive to the chemicals in air fresheners as you are.
- Clean out litter boxes regularly, but if the litter box itself smells after you’ve filled it with fresh litter, try washing it with a pet safe odor neutralizer like those made by Natures Miracle.
- Wash all blankets, pillows, sofa covers and pet beds that your pet sleeps on. This will not only alleviate smells, but remove excess animal allergens and fur.
- Clean up pet accidents and treat the spot with a odor neutralizing spray made for pets or a mixture of white vinegar and water (do a spot test first to make sure that neither of these will strip the dye from your furniture, rug, etc.)
Whole-House Odors—musty scents, pet smells and other unpleasant aromas may signal bigger problems.
- Musty smells may clue you in to mold infestation. The main problem with mold is that the heavy scent of it is accompanied by spores, which can be very bad for your health. Investigate musty areas for mold. If a small amount is present, you may be able to clean it up yourself—consult our mold tips for methods of clean-up. To keep mold from returning, you may want to install an Biozone Air Purifier in your duct work so that any “live” spores are neutralized before they find a new place to sprout in your home. For larger areas, call a mold remediation company as soon as possible.
- Pet odors often indicate that the proteins that cause allergies are present. Pet dander contains this allergen protein, but so do pets’ saliva and urine. If you have allergies or asthma, you may want to consider using an air purifier along with your existing cleaning and medication regimen. Dynamic Air Quality Solutions makes two different free-standing purifiers that use HEPA filter to capture allergens as well as carbon to adsorb odors.
- Air Purifiers that use UV technology are often prescribed to neutralize strong odors, but air filters with carbon will also work to remove scents. If you have asthma, allergies or some other respiratory condition, your first choice should be a HEPA/carbon filter like those made by Dynamic Air Quality Solutions so that you aren’t simply removing odor, but allergens as well.