Unpleasant Odors in Small Apartments

People who live in small apartments, particularly in urban areas, are often faced with the strange problem of stale-smelling air or odor caused by various activities. Poor ventilation is common in apartment buildings, and although there is a world of products available to mask strange smells, they don't solve the problem for good.
If you live in a small apartment, especially in an urban setting, you may have noticed various problems with keeping your home smelling cozy and clean. Even the most conscientious and tidy individuals can run into trouble in this area, particularly in studio or one-bedroom apartments. Because apartments like this are enclosed in a small space and are usually bounded on at least two sides by other dwellings, it can be difficult to get air to flow through the apartment in a way that keeps the place fresh. Below are some of the most common problems apartment-dwellers experience with stagnant air and odor in their homes. Be sure to read to the end of the article for general tips on how to avoid this widespread issue. You can also go through this Buzzle article to read more on apartment cleaning tips.
Stagnant Air
Small spaces and lack of airflow are the main culprits in the biggest apartment smell problem: tepid air. Even if you don't do anything in your apartment, air that isn't constantly being replaced and flowing around the space will start to smell old. Combined with the natural smells that every person gives off, this can lead right to that well-known stale apartment odor.
Coffee Scent
Regular coffee drinkers understand that there's a definite scent-trade-off to making coffee regularly in a small space. First thing in the morning, the scent of coffee can be invigorating and can lend a comfortable, morning smell to any apartment. Day after day of making coffee in your apartment takes its toll, however. After a while, the smell can start to settle in, and your apartment, especially if it's a studio, can start to smell a little like a coffee shop. Fresh coffee smells good because oils from the coffee escape from the coffee pot, espresso machine, or percolator along with the steam. When the steam cools, it settles, oil and all, and the smell can stick around.
Frequent Cooking
Other kitchen activities can contribute to apartment smells in the same way that coffee does. If you cook regularly, you may start to notice a buildup of kitchen smell even outside the kitchen area of your apartment. Particularly fragrant cooking styles, including cooking with lots of onions and spices, frequently preparing fish, and making food in various ethnic styles, can make the problem worse. Sometimes, a distinct smell from regular cooking can be a good thing, but this is largely a matter of personal preference.
Poorly Ventilated Bathroom
Simply put, some apartments are not well ventilated. That means that any strong-smelling thing you do in your apartment, including in the bathroom, could stick around longer than you would like. This can be especially problematic if you have guests. The best way to avoid this is to be very careful when you are looking at apartments to find one with a very good bathroom fan or windows in the bathroom. If you're already stuck in an apartment with poor ventilation, though, there are a few things you can do to make the problem less serious.
Avoid Odor-Masking Products
There are, of course, several well-known options for introducing new smells into small spaces, which are intended to mask any bad smells. Incense, scented candles, room sprays, fragrance oils, and air fresheners are among the most popular choices. However, these options are not really long-term solutions to the problem. The artificial scents will mask bad odors to some extent, but will also mix with them and can make the air feel thick with fragrance, rather than fresh and comfortable.
The Solution: Improved Airflow
To really solve the problem of tepid apartment air, the solution is simple: get the air moving. There are a number of ways to do this. During the summer, you should keep windows and sliding doors open whenever possible. If you live in a city and don't want the noise, grime, or urban smells to penetrate your apartment, this may not be feasible. In that case, you can use the "fan only" setting on your air conditioner to ventilate the space without leaving the windows open. Additionally, you can invest in a couple of floor fans and place them strategically around the apartment. In general, you want to create a continuously cycling air flow, so try to ensure that the air doesn't get trapped in a corner. This will keep your apartment smelling fresh because the air will constantly be renewing itself, preventing a buildup of particles that can cause odor.
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