When your house begins to smell sour, it means there is an unhygienic accumulation of moist dust, dirt, rotting food particles and other decaying matters. The most common sources of sour smell are moist areas, hard to clean areas, carpets and rugs, ceilings, vents and ducts, jars, attics and basements, old furniture, rusty items and dead animals. When left alone for a long time, these places accumulate dust, dirt and moisture which together turn the place into a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi and insects like silverfish. The chemical reactions that they cause result in the familiar sour smell in houses. These then gradually spread and affect other parts of house. Here are some methods you can use to get rid of the sour smell.
Remove moisture: Moisture helps breed bacterial, mold and mildew, which are the main culprits for the smell. If you see any spilled water and water droplets on the walls, floor, furniture and any other surface, immediately wipe them off with a dry and clean piece of cloth.
Remove dust, dirt and food particles: Accumulated dust, dirt and food particles become breeding grounds for bacteria, fungi and insects when they collect moisture. Use a broom and a vacuum cleaner to remove all the dust and dirt from the floor, walls, ceilings and furniture. Scrape or suck out the dust, dirt and food particles from cracks, crevices and holes and cover them with cement or any other suitable material.
Clean Vents and Air Conditioners: These are usually the neglected parts of the house and are filled out dust and dirt. When they collect moisture, they become fertile breeding ground for bacteria, fungi and insects. Clean the vents with brooms and vacuum cleaners. Clean the air conditioners by taking out the filters, grilles and other removable parts. Remove all the dirt and dust before putting them back. If you don’t wish to get your hands dirty, call the professionals.
Wash carpets and rugs: Carpets and rugs accumulate so much dust, dirt and decaying matters over time that they practically become home for bacteria, fungi, germs and parasites. Suck out all the dust and dirt with a vacuum cleaner and then wash them thoroughly using liberal amounts of detergents and water. After that hang them out in the sun to dry. This will remove the remaining odor.
Use bleach on walls and wallpapers: Walls and wallpapers can also accumulate dust, dirt and moisture. If left untouched for a length of time, fungi may grow in the corners and spread to the other parts, harboring bacteria and germs. Washing them with bleach is the best solution as it is made to kill bacteria and fungi. Add bleach to hot water and use generous amounts of the mixture to clean the walls and wallpapers.
Use vinegar for hardwoods and linoleum: The best way to clean hardwoods and linoleum is to use vinegar mixed with hot water. Use liberal quantities of the mixture. The acid in the vinegar kills the fungi and germs.
Use Odor-Repelling Products: If you do not have the time to clean and wash, use odor-repelling products like Febreze Odor Remover, Citrus-Scented Neutralizing Spray, Ozium Air Freshner and Ionizer.