Here at 1st Hoarding Clean Up, we know that strong odours in the home are a big problem for many people. That funky smell is not only gross, but can cause irritation, headaches, and respiratory issues. We work in many hoarding situations and have found many effective ways for anyone – even those who are cleaning a hoarder’s home – to relieve their noses of bad odours.

Hanging coats inside of a room - could they be the source of bad smells in your home?

What causes bad smells?

For any smell in the home, you have to prioritize finding the source of bad smells. The stink will continue to permeate your home if you don’t find out exactly what is causing it! Some possible sources to consider include:

  • Old sports equipment: If you’re a soccer star or a hockey pro, make sure that you’re cleaning out that gym bag before the offseason! Sweaty and smelly sports equipment can develop odours very quickly, creating a gross smell that can take over the house.
  • Mildew: If you live in a wet area, have experienced flooding, or live in a basement, there is a higher chance of mildew growing on wet clothes or in humid parts of the home. Mildew creates a strong smell, as well as a thin layer of dusty mould.
  • Dead Animals: Sometimes, an animal will try to find refuge in our home and die within the walls. While this is an unpleasant thought that we don’t want to consider, it can lead to even more unpleasant smells. As any decomposition can be harmful, you should call in professionals if you suspect an animal has died in your home.
  • Smoke: Whether you’ve suffered fire damage or someone has smoked cigarettes in your home, smoke smells can make their way into the walls of your home and cause endless unfortunate odours.

For those dealing with a hoarding situation, there might be many different sources. Many hoarders’ relationship with their possessions keeps them from maintaining a clean space, leaving lots of room for smells to take over the home. Luckily, there are many easy ways to help ease your nose.

Products That Get Rid of Smells

Certain cleaning agents can help to absorb smell in the air, relieving your nose and your mind. The following products, most of which can be found at your local grocery store, will help to refresh your home.

  • White Vinegar: Place bowls of vinegar throughout the home. The strong smell of vinegar absorbs other smells that have gotten into the walls, floorboards, and furniture. If the smell of vinegar begins to bother you, you can cut the scent with lavender essential oil to make it more pleasant to the nose.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda can be an effective product to absorb smells; you can leave it in bowls around the home like vinegar or use it to scrub and clean smelly surfaces.
  • Charcoal: Activated charcoal has become trendy in the house cleaning world, and for good reason. It can absorb smells in your fridge, placed in closets to freshen them up, or strategically placed around the house in places that get particularly smelly. To properly use this odour absorbing wonder, make sure you put it in a jar or purchase it in pellets so as not to cause an additional mess.

Of course, simply absorbing the smell isn’t going to cut it; you’ll need to deep clean the home as well.

Cleaning to Get Rid of Musty Smells

While refreshing the air in your home is terrific, to really clear out those musty smells, you’ll need to put in a little bit of elbow grease in order to get your home smelling back to normal. Along with your regular deep clean, consider the following things when you’re removing musty smells from the house.

  • The Carpet. The carpet is a hotbed for all the dirt and smells that could possibly exist within your home. You want to make sure that your carpet is freshly cleaned, either by yourself or a professional.
  • Furniture and Curtains. Smells don’t just permeate the walls; they really love to stick to fabric. Make sure that you clean your curtains and furniture – baking soda or vinegar also work excellently for this – so that musty smells don’t linger within your home’s furnishings.
  • Air Ducts. You never know what kinds of smells might be lurking within your air ducts. To keep the air circulation in your home as clean as possible, it’s important to get into the air ducts as well. If you’re concerned that there might be a dead animal in the ducts, remember to hire a professional to take care of this potentially dangerous work.
  • Fresh Air. If you have musty smells in your home, bring in as much fresh air as possible! Open those windows and doors while you clean to get fresh air circulating in the home.


When you’re dealing with a hoarding situation, you might not know where to begin, even with these additional cleaning tips. Don’t fear – 1st Hoarding Clean Up has been effectively deep-cleaning hoarders’ homes for years, providing passionate service to hoarders while restoring the home’s cleanliness and scent. Contact us today to learn more or book an appointment; we are here to help.

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