What's That Smell, Bro? A Guy's Guide to Keep Your Place From Stinking

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clean a smelly apartmentThere's nothing quite like the cacophony of smells to be found in a single-man's apartment. In those years between living at home with their mothers and then their girlfriends or wives, it seems that most single men fail to learn (or implement) basic cleaning skills. Just take a whiff from the funk wafting from a grungy couch or the stink coming out of a cluttered closet, if you don't think it's true.

Thankfully, the sloppiest of bachelors can change his ways, according to Tom McNulty, the author of "Clean Like a Man" who also runs CleanLikeAMan.com -- even if it seems they're biologically incapable of noticing when things need to be cleaned.

"We're just kind of oblivious to the dust," admitted McNulty. "We use the wrong kind of cleaning tools and it doesn't get the job done properly. We get frustrated and let things slide."

So listen up guys, here are some of McNulty's tips to help you get rid of the smells in your apartment.


Ask a female friend to smell your place and help find the source of odors. "It's kind of like having a bomb-sniffing dog," said McNulty. "Female olfactory senses are stronger than the guys'."

Defunk your athletic shoes. Wash the shoes themselves or even better, the insoles "that's where all the odors come from," McNuly explained. Leaving a dryer sheet or two in each sneaker will also help prevent them from getting smelly.

Clean out your fridge regularly. "That's huge," said McNulty. "You have to toss out food that's post-peak on a regular basis." Already got a fridge that stinks even though you threw out that spoiled milk? Leave an open container of baking soda in it.

Clean out your drains. Sometimes drains in either your bathroom or kitchen can get plugged up with the stuff that doesn't have the most pleasant aroma. McNulty recommends a mix of 1/2 cup of baking soda with a 1/2 cup of vinegar, followed by flushing it out with hot water.

Put some baking soda in your hamper. Got a hamper of funky clothes that just won't quit? Leave a box of baking soda in it or sprinkle some on the clothes (your washing them anyway, right?). Another option: an old sock (a clean one, of course!) filled with cat litter and tied off at the end.

Take out the trash.
Though it seems pretty obvious, this one is another biggie. McNulty also recommended rinsing out smelly trashcans with Pine-Sol, then leaving baking soda at on the bottom of the can with cat liter or coffee grounds in the liner (aka the trash bag).

Steam clean furniture and carpets.
For those smells that won't quit haunting your favorite recliner or lush shag carpet, McNulty said you're going have to bite the bullet and pay to either have a steam-cleaning service come in or rent a steamer for yourself to neutralize the smell. Sprays like Febreze, while nice, are only short-term solutions. Once it's clean, leave a dryer sheet or two under each cushion to help prevent it from getting overly ripe again.
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