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Sundesert RV Park: Camp Recipes

Eliminate Odors



Have certain areas of your home been smelling a little funky lately? Here are the most common household offenders, and how to eliminate them.


The warm, sometimes humid weather of early fall is the perfect breeding ground for the mold and bacteria that cause most household odors. Rather than covering up your stinky garbage pail, stale upholstery, or musty smell with a room spray, try these techniques to tackle the root of the problem.

elimodor2-11. Cigarette smoke in upholstery and carpet:  The smell of cigarettes lingers in carpet and furniture fibers long after the smoke clears. Sprinkle baking soda over the offending surface, let it sit for several hours, and clean it up with a HEPA vacuum, which traps small particles. If odor lingers, take a day to deep clean your carpet or upholstery; you can rent a Rug Doctor machine in your area. Then take preemptive measures: ban smoking inside the house.

elimodor32. Garbage can odor:  After a while, even throwing out the garbage every day isn't enough to eliminate the odor of rotten perishables; the smell clings onto the can itself. Toss whatever is in your garbage and give the trash can a good scrubbing inside and out with a disinfectant cleaner. If you'd rather use natural methods, clean the can with your favorite eco-friendly cleaner and then deodorize it by spraying it with white vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean. If your trash can requires more desperate measures, bring it outside, spray it down with detergent, and spray it thoroughly with a garden hose. To prevent odors in the future, clean your pail at least once a month and consider switching to garbage bags that block odor from seeping out. Pour perishable items into a smaller sealable plastic bag before tossing them out, and take the garbage out more frequently.

3. Garbage disposal odor:  Are offending odors rising from the depths of your sink? Pour white vinegar down the disposal, or freeze it into ice cubes and let the disposal chop them up. Or try this solution for cleaning the garbage disposal with oxygen bleach. If you're not feeling particularly inspired, you can just pick up a cleaner specifically designed to freshen garbage disposals. To stave off smell in the future, flush the garbage disposal with soap and hot water after every useelimodor4.

 4. Refrigerator odor:  You guessed it -- that old standby, baking soda, is the best offense when it comes to fridge odors. But if you still sense that something's awry, try doubling up with some activated charcoal, available at home and bath stores. Routinely check your fridge for expired or spoiling food, and give the interior a good wipe down with soap and water every week or so.

elimodor65. Coffee pot odor:  The smell of freshly brewed coffee may be inviting, but the lingering scent it leaves behind is a wake-up call that your coffee pot needs cleaning. Fill the pot with one part white vinegar to two parts water, then pour this solution into your water reservoir and turn the coffee maker on. If you have a reusable mesh filter, leave it in, but otherwise you don't need a filter. Let the vinegar go through an entire cycle in the coffee pot. You may want to open a window to dissipate the scent of vinegar (it will eventually die down). Once the solution is done brewing, dump it out, let the coffee maker cool, and repeat the process. Then do two brews of water only. Lastly, wash your pot with dish soap and rinse it well with water.

elimodor76. Pet odor:  Air out your furniture if you can (putting it in the sun for a bit may help zap some of the odor naturally). Then vacuum it carefully using a machine with a HEPA filter (it's designed to trap small particles). You may also need a cleaning product designed to remove pet odors; check your local pet store.elimodor8

7. Dishwasher odor:  Can't figure out where that kitchen odor stems from? Check your dishwasher: this appliance can hold on to odors of dinners past even when it looks clean. Run the machine while it's empty, using two cups of white vinegar instead of detergent. In the future be extra vigilant about scraping dishes before loading them into the machine, especially if you know they'll be sitting there for a while (or if the weather is particularly swampy).

elimodor98. Mildew odor in the bathroom:  Mildew thrives in moist environments like bathrooms and basements. The best solution is to open all windows on a dry day and run a dehumidifier. Use the exhaust fan -- or an oscillating fan -- to circulate the air. Remove damp towels, rugs, and shower curtains and run them through the laundry. The best (albeit not the most pleasant) way to eradicate that mildew smell is by mixing equal parts bleach and water and spraying down your bathroom tiles (be sure to wear protective gloves and a dust mask). Prevent buildup of mildew by drying off the stall after every shower.

9. Musty closet or drawer odor:  There are actually eight very efficient ways to remedy a musty drawerelimodor11.

  • Baking soda: Leave an opened container of baking soda inside the drawer and shut for a few days. The baking soda will absorb any unwanted odors, leaving behind a fresh, natural scent.  The old tried and true remedy:  sprinkle baking soda into your drawer and let it sit for at least a few hours (or a few days, if you can). Then vacuum it up. If odor still lingers, try cleaning the drawer with a wood oil soap.
  • Bleach: Try a quick swipe of bleach water to neutralize any unwanted odors.
  • Activated charcoal: Place activated charcoal inside the drawer or musty space to absorb the odor, much like baking soda. This also works well in a refrigerator!
  • Wood Oil Soap: A quick wipe down with a wood oil soap has been known to freshen up dozens of musty space.
  • Apples: Leave a sliced apple to dry inside the musty closet or drawer to absorb the musty odor.
  • Vinegar: A rinse with vinegar will subdue any unwanted odors -- in any space.
  • Kitty litter: Pour a fair amount of kitty litter in an open container and place inside the closet or drawer. The litter will absorb the offensive smell overnight.
  • Good ole' sunshine: One of the best ways to air out a musty drawer? Let it air out in a sunny spot to freshen like only the great outdoors can!

elimodor1210. Compost odor:  Healthy compost should smell like soil, not rotting food. Ideally, microbes will break down your scraps before they decompose. If your compost has a foul odor, turn your pile to aerate it (you should be doing this once a week anyway), and mist it with water: this will create an ideal environment for the microbes to work. And be sure to layer "green" items like vegetable peels with items like dead leaves to keep levels of carbon and nitrogen (which microbes feed on) balanced.


6 Time-Saving Home Cleaning Tricks

elimodor9These easy habits will save you serious elbow grease down the road.

  1. Place a couple of dryer sheets (even used ones work) in the bottom of the trash can to absorb spills and mask odors.
  2. Switch to liquid soap or glycerin bar soap. The binders in traditional bar soaps are the main cause of soap scum and contribute to clogged drains.
  3. Line the bottom of the microwave with 10 or so paper towels to protect the turntable. Take the top one off after each use.
  4. Run the bathroom exhaust fan or crack open a window while you shower—and for at least 10 minutes afterward—to prevent mold buildup.
  5. Eradicate hard-water stains in the toilet by pouring in a cup of distilled white vinegar once a month. Let sit overnight, then flush.
  6. Wipe down tile walls and glass doors after showering with a small flexible squeegee to curb soap scum.


Speed-Clean Your Car Interior Checklist

car-trunkHave your car looking like new in just 15 minutes. Gather a few tools—a small plastic bin, garbage bags, glass cleaner, car cleaning wipes, air-conditioner treatment, a flat-head screwdriver, paper towels, and a hand vac—and get ready for your car to look fresh off the lot.

  • Minute 1: Toss items that shouldn’t be in the car into a small bin. Throw trash into a garbage bag. Spritz the cup holders with glass cleaner and let sit.
  • Minutes 2 and 3: Using the wipes, clean the dashboard, center console, inside door pockets, steering wheel, and gearshift. Spray air-conditioner treatment into the air vents below the windshield and let sit.
  • Minutes 4 and 5: Clean leather seats with a few wipes. (Seats that are upholstered will get vacuumed later.)
  • Minutes 6 and 7: Wrap a wipe around the end of a flat-head screwdriver, and run it along the buttons and switches on the dashboard. Wipe out the cup holders with paper towels.
  • Minutes 8 through 10: Spray glass cleaner on paper towels and wipe all the windows, including the windshield, sunroof, and rear window.
  • Minute 11: Remove the floor mats and whack them against each other to dislodge any dirt.
  • Minutes 12 through 14: On the driveway, vacuum the floor mats with the bare hose of a hand vac for maximum power (do not attach a tool). Vacuum the seat upholstery and foot wells, shifting the front seats fully forward, then back, to hit every spot.
  • Minute 15: Replace the mats and return the seats to their original positions. Open all the doors and let fresh air blow through.

Fish and Chips With Homemade Tartar Sauce

Great way to serve freshly caught fish for dinner.  Favorite for all ages.  Serve wrapped in a colored box or newspaper cone with lemon wedges and/or tartar sauce.   Prep: Cook: 1 hr., 10 mins

vegetable oil, for deep frying
rice flour for dredging
Fresh caught Walleye filets (or cod fish fillets) cut in 1/2 on an angle
4 large russet potatoes
1 3/4 cup rice flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bottle (12 oz) beer, pale ale or lager works well

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French Breakfast Puffs

Great breakfast treat.  All you need to add is fruit, eggs,
and bacon/sausage for a special breakfast for any occasion. 
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup melted butter
1/3 cup melted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar mixed with 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease 2 mini-muffin pans and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg; set aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine egg, milk, and butter; pour into flour mixture and stir just to blend. Do not over mix.
  4. Fill prepared muffin tins evenly with batter.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until tested done.
  6. While warm, dip puffs in melted butter and roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Makes 2 dozen.

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