how to make apt/house smell good?

parents are visiting my apt for the first time next weekend… need to impress since they are always condescending to me. tried those sprays you can pick up at your local grocery store but they aren’t that good.

basically i need something relatively strong to get the smell of beer/chicken/ketchup out of here.
i’d start by making sure that you thoroughly clean the place. vacuum the carpets and floors, then steam clean the carpets and mop the floors. dust all of your furniture (use a cleaning polish). maybe get an air purifier if for whatever reason you’ve got "moist" air. also try out some air fresheners from bed bath and beyond.

maybe that stuff that you sprinkle on the carpet and then vacuum up? Never tried it though.
Fabreeze in the spray bottle works really well at eliminating odors (the plastic one, not the aresol spray one). Nothing will mask unhygienic living though, make sure you clean your house really well–mop, dust, sweep, vacuum, etc.

Glade Vanilla candles are also pretty amazing–burn a few of those?

Also, take dryer sheets and put one in your air vent so when the air turns on you’ll get a refreshing smell with the cool air. They’ll have to be changed often, but they really do make a difference….just make sure that you tuck it in there far enough where you can’t see it hanging out-that’s tacky. lol I guess you could even take one and put it in your air return thing (Where you put your air filters–idk what it’s called).

Really though, just make sure you clean up after yourself so your place doesn’t smell…ladies don’t like smelly homes.

edit: To get odors out of your carpet sprinkle baking powder (the orange box) and let it sit for a few hours then vacuum it–a lot of the odor should be absorbed)
Vinegar is actually a pretty amazingly versatile product. It seems so counter-intuitive to use against odors:

Every home has smells, from the children, from cooking, from the pets and some are just there. You can get rid and neutralize odor using vinegar. Your home can smell fresh and clean everyday! Read on for some great ideas in regards to vinegar use in the home. While you may find that vinegar can cure the ‘smell’ of many odors in your home, this is a short listing to give you an idea of how to start using vinegar.

Cooking smells
Using one teaspoon of vinegar with one teaspoon of baking soda combined with one cup of water in a spray bottle will keep your home air fresh after frying or cooking in your kitchen. Just spray a little in the air to cut grease odors.

Pet odors
Do your carpets smell like a cat or dog? Use one-cup water to one-cup vinegar in a spray bottle and mist over the carpet.

Smell absorber
Using a pan or bowl, fill with vinegar and place in the room that has a smell. No matter what the smell, after twenty-four hours the smell will be absorbed into the vinegar and your room will be fresh once again! This works great for a burnt smell of food.

Smoke
If you have a smell of fire in your home pour vinegar on white bread and place around the house on plates. This bread and vinegar mixture will absorb the odor of fire and smoke. This method even works to get out smells of fresh paint!

Odor trick
To remove an unpleasant odor while releasing a fresh scent, using a bowl of vinegar placed in the coolest side of the room, put a oil warmer or scented candle in the other warmer end of the room and the fresh scent will be pulled into the room while the unpleasant odor is pulled out.

Smoke on clothes
To remove smokey odors from clothes; hang them in the shower with vinegar in the bottom of the tub. The rising steam from the vinegar and water will pull the smoke right out. Another way to remove the smell of smoke in clothes; add two cups of vinegar to the wash cycle of your laundry.

Smelly drains
If your kitchen drains or your bathroom drains smell, pour a cup of vinegar down the drain once a week, and don’t run water through for about an hour.

Onion odor
If your hands smell like onions, rub vinegar over them like you are washing your hands.

Jars
To get the smell out of old jars so you can reuse them, rinse well with vinegar, and then wash with soap and water.

Kitty litter
To keep the kitty litter box smelling fresh rinse with vinegar every time you change the litter in the box.

Cabbage
When cooking with cabbage, add a cup of vinegar to the water to eliminate the smell of cabbage in the house.

Skunk odor
If your pet has had a run in with a skunk rub vinegar over your pets fur to absorb the odor.

plug in febreeze things from grocery store/walmart, they work wonders
It’s been a little chilly and rainy in SoCal lately, so here’s a couple that will make your house smell great.

1. Couple drops of vanilla extract in the oven and turn it on low

2. Get a 20qt stock pot and fill it up to the brim with water. Toss in one cinnamon stick and 4 knots of cloves, and turn on the gas nice and low. It’ll warm up your apartment and it smells great. If you can get your hands on an all-steel or all-aluminum stock pot then stick that fucker in the oven and kill two birds with one stone. Gas only, don’t do this with electric. Too expensive.

3. Vacuum

Then the usual shit. Baking soda and vinegar in the garbage disposal, clean the bathroom, do the laundry, air the place out, clean out the fridge.

ALSO

Throw out your dryer sheets. Get a bottle of fabric softener and pour a little on a washcloth, work it into the material, and throw it in with your laundry. Cheaper, and works much better.
Your best bet is to air things out, make sure the trash is taken out at least a day before they come over, scrub your bathroom well. Moms pay attention to the floor around the toilet, and under the seat. The dust that gathers on your counter needs to be wiped down too. I’ve noticed that wiping surfaces down with Chlorox wipes kills 2 birds with 1 stone. They smell nice, and they get all the dust and junk off of stuff. Simmering a small pan of water with a cinnamon stick works too. Put cups or bowls with baking soda all around your apartment too, they’ll absorb odors. Air it out all day the day before they come over and make sure that your clothes are all clean.

Can’t believe nobody specifically recommended opening your windows and turning a fan on.

I mean, do all that other stuff too, but also open your windows too to get some fresh* air in.

*

….
3. Vacuum

Then the usual shit. Baking soda and vinegar in the garbage disposal, clean the bathroom, do the laundry, air the place out, clean out the fridge.

How the hell do you air things out without opening windows?
just to reiterate what some others have said, Febreeze is awesome.

oh, and look under your couch/bed/etc for that food that someone left behind and you all forgot. 😛

I commonly air my apartment out by closing all the doors and windows, and by shutting off all the fans. It’s a wonderful method.

Once that’s taken care of, I do pushups and jump rope in the living room for a couple hours, and then set my sweaty ass down on the sofa and try to leave a sweatring of salt directly on the leather. That helps, too.

Finally, I take some fish out of the freezer and stuff it into holes I punch in the drywall all over the apartment. Did you know that it’s more energy efficient to run your A/C on Heat than it is to use a heater? Who knew. Anyway, I leave a couple fillets of tilapia on top of the A/C and crank it up to 110 degrees and let it run for a few hours.

I’ve found that this is a great way to air out my apartment without opening any doors or windows and without using a fan.

Once that’s taken care of, I do pushups and jump rope in the living room for a couple hours, and then set my sweaty ass down on the sofa and try to leave a sweatring of salt directly on the leather. That helps, too.

No gym for home?

The reed in oil things work nice too, a little pricey but they work.
probably too late for this since it’s nearly the weekend

in addition to those said above –
empty all trash containers and wipe down inside and out with cleaner/vinegar

spray febreze on any curtains/cloth window treatments and couches, mattress in addition to floors

scrub around the toilet bowl exterior/interior and floor

run the stove vent insert through the dishwasher and get a degreaser onto and inside the range hood – just go ahead and buy a 6 pack of scotchbright pads if you’ve never done it, also a razor blade scraper, old grease is stinky!
I’ve got a better idea. If they say anything about your place, tell them they can always leave if they don’t like it.

Who pays the rent, bitch? You or them? Don’t forget that.

EDIT: But yeah, clean everything too. Clean is always good, regardless of who’s coming to visit. Just don’t forget that their authority ends at the front door of their house.

Fabreeze in the spray bottle works really well at eliminating odors (the plastic one, not the aresol spray one). Nothing will mask unhygienic living though, make sure you clean your house really well–mop, dust, sweep, vacuum, etc.

Glade Vanilla candles are also pretty amazing–burn a few of those?

Also, take dryer sheets and put one in your air vent so when the air turns on you’ll get a refreshing smell with the cool air. They’ll have to be changed often, but they really do make a difference….just make sure that you tuck it in there far enough where you can’t see it hanging out-that’s tacky. lol I guess you could even take one and put it in your air return thing (Where you put your air filters–idk what it’s called).

Really though, just make sure you clean up after yourself so your place doesn’t smell…ladies don’t like smelly homes.

edit: To get odors out of your carpet sprinkle baking powder (the orange box) and let it sit for a few hours then vacuum it–a lot of the odor should be absorbed)

Cool suggestions. I need to get my room smelling fresh and clean again. I didn’t know about the vinger thing either
all of the above

I like to completely air out a place after cleaning, and before doing things like air fresheners

If you want to get rid of strong odours, bake coffee grinds (not used ) and ground cinnamon in the oven for half an hour or hour on low temperature

no joke, this works awesomely

Clean up the house of odd smells and light a scented candle now and again.
also clean out garbage cans with bleach

under sinks, under fridges, shit like that… you’d be surprised how much a quarter cup of spilled milk can stink up a place
IFL

I live in an apartment with no fans anywhere. Kitchen, bathroom, etc. Place stinks to high heaven after I cook. Smelled like chili for about a week, now it smells like fish (cooked salmon).

Does this vinegar trick really work or is it crap? Cheap and simple if it does work.

How about the Febreeze plug-ins? I saw it mentioned, but any other input on them?
Plugins make strong smells usually. Try misting with febreeze, run your fans and open your windows. That’s your best bet.

My apartment is pretty moist, I have a large fish tank going, my bathroom fan isn’t very effective, I boil beer inside, and I cook a lot, which means lots of moisture in the air. I come home every day and open up the windows to get rid of excess moisture and my apartment smells fresh most of the time.
I tried this vinegar trick. Put a couple cups out around the ol’ apartment and all it did was make my place smell like vinegar.

Picked up a Glade plug-in (clean linen scent, nothing outrageous). Gonna just mask it for now. I might try the baking soda trick for the carpet and see if that helps.