How to Get Smell Out of Tent

When tents are smelly, it can make for an uncomfortable camping experience. These shelters are meant to provide comfort and protection from the elements.  However, when they possess odorous fumes, you may choose to sleep under the stars.

Fortunately, there remain several things that can be done to remove odors from tents, and prevent them from developing within the future.  By following the the below suggestions, you can be assure that you tent will be smelling fresh and offer a pleasurable camping experience.

Smell Removal Solutions

1 Open & Air Out in Sun (Minor Mildew Odor)

The musty smell within a tent usually results from packing the tent within the bag while it is still moist from morning dew or rain.  This results in mildew when the moisture is trapped and is unable to evaporate from within the confines of the tent’s bag.  Once you get home, some of the musty odor can be eliminated by unpacking the tent, setting it up, and placing it within direct sunlight.  In most cases involving minor mildew odors, an entire day within the sun will be enough to freshen the tent.

2 Hot Sponge Wipe (Mild Mildew Odor)

Take precaution in using harsh chemicals that can strip the waterproof sealant from the tent canvas.  Often, using hot water in combination with open air and direct sunlight will be sufficient to remove the odor.  Draw a bucket of warm water and apply a damp sponge to the interior and exterior surface of the tent.  Provide sufficient time for the entire interior and exterior of the tent to dry before repacking the tent within it’s bag.

3 White Vinegar (Strong Mildew Odor)

This household compound is effective at cutting through mildew and rendering a tent odorless.  Additionally, unlike harsher compounds like bleach and soap detergent, it will inflict a lesser impact on the waterproof sealant within the tent’s canvas.  Mix a formula of one part white vinegar with six waters warm water and sponge down the interior and exterior of the pitched tent canvas.  Leave tent setup until all moisture has evaporated before packing away within the tent’s bag.

4 Enzyme Cleaner (Strong Mildew Odor)

Similar to white vinegar, enzyme cleaning solution works well at killing mold spores without harming the waterproof sealant within the tent’s canvas.  Pitch the tent, and mix a formula of enzyme cleaning solution and warm water in equal parts.  Using a sponge wipe down the interior and exterior of the tent and leave tent setup until all of the moisture has air dried from the canvas.

Smell Prevention & Precautions

1 Dry Before Storing

Once you return from your trip, remove your tent from it’s bag and setup within direct sunlight on a clear day.  As an added step you can use warm water to scrub down the inside and outside of the tent as outline above.  Allow moisture to air dry from canvas before repacking tent and storing within a cold and dry location.

2 No Detergents

The use of detergent soaps and bleach will have the effect of leaving residues within the fabric that will not go away.  It has the additional effect of the weakening the waterproof sealant within the canvas, and can lead to the tent’s inability to provide shelter from rain.


How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Stuffed Animals

Kids love to hug them, sleep with them, and take them wherever they go. Unfortunately, because stuffed animals get so much of our children’s attention, they can easily develop a mildew odor.

There are things that can be done to add freshness back within your child’s stuffed animal. By applying some of the below tips, you can be assured that the stuffed animal’s odor will be removed and will not return anytime soon.

Stuffed Animal Smell Removal Solutions

1 Color-Safe Bleach

Color-safe bleach provides protection for the stuffed animal’s colors while working to ensure the eradication of any existing mold spore.  Place the stuffed animal within a pillow case, tie the end, and place within the washing machine.  Measure a normal cup of color safe bleach and add within the washer before running an entire cycle.  After the  completion of the wash, place within the dryer and run on gentle.

2 White Vinegar

This household substance is the best solution for cutting through mildew within a stuffed animal.  The chemicals work to eat through mold spores and lift off residual odor.  Put the stuffed animal within an enclosed pillowcase and place within the washing machine.  Use normal detergent and add 1-2 cups of white vinegar to normal rinse.  After wash has completed, place within a gentle drying cycle.

3 Baking Soda

This powder works wonders at absorbing odors and freshening musty stuffed animals.  Measure a full cup of baking soda and pour within a sealed trash bag along with stuffed animal.  Give the bag a heavy shake and place aside for 24-48 hours. After 1-2 days have passed, return to remove the stuffed animal and shake off the baking soda.

4 Fabric Softener Sheets

This is a quick solution to freshening any small-medium sized stuffed animal.  Place 2-4 fabric softening sheets within the dryer along with a musty smelling stuffed animal.  Close the door and run the dryer on a delicate setting for 15-30 minutes before removing the stuffed animal for a smell test.  If the smell persists, place the stuffed animal back within the dryer and run for another 15-30 minutes.

5 Febreze

If the odor within the stuff animal is mild, using Febreze can be an effective solution.  Heavily spray down the stuffed animal and provide 3-4 hours for the moisture to air dry.  Once dry, return the freshened stuffed animal back within your child’s hands.

Photo credit: Pete Toscano


How to Get Smell Out of Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bags are a essential part of the camping experience. When they smell bad, they can put a damper on your backpacking trip and cause great discomfort during sleep.

There are a variety of smells that can develop within a bag and often require different treatments. Fortunately, there exist several solutions that can be used to neutralize the funk within your camp sack, and have it smelling fresh again.

Deodorizing Solutions for Sleeping Bag

1 Inside Out & Hang in Sun

The combination of fresh air and UV rays can go a long ways to neutralizing odor within a sleeping bag. Make sure that you flip bag inside out if the smells origins are coming from the interior of the bag. Next, find a nice spot in direct sunlight to hang the bag and allow for it to aerate. Allow the bag to hang for a minimum of 8 hours to allow the odors to naturally be carried away.

2 Grass & Sun

For an additional boost, you can lay the sleeping bag across the lawn. The chlorophyl within the grass will work to neutralize the odor in combination the the sun’s UV rays.  Place the sleeping bag in direct sunlight for a minimum of 8 hours.  Within the middle of the day, it’s advisable to flip the sleeping bag so the the underside can receive some UV rays.

3 White Vinegar Spray & Hang

This compound is highly effective and is used across a wide range of odor issues within a household.  Flip the bag so that the affect areas are exposed and spray down the affected areas of the sleeping bag with a formula on water and white vinegar in equal proportions.  Hang sleeping bag out side to allow the combination of white vinegar and open space lift the unwanted odor from the fabric.

4 Baking Soda

This solution is a great formula for odor absorption.  Flip bag so that the odor affecting the bag is located on the inside of the sack.  Measure a 1-2 cups of baking soda and pour within the sleeping bag.  Close the sack and shake the bag to allow for the powder to cover the entire interior of the sack.  Roll bag up and allow for it to sit for 48-72 hours before returning to open the bag and sake the powder free of the bag.

5 Vodka Spray & Hang

This party drink works wonders doubling as a deodorizer.  The alcohol within vodka neutralizes a wide range of smells and dries away odorless. Pour vodka within a spray bottle and mist down the entire affected area of the bag.  Hang the bag outside for 1-2 hours to allow for the alcohol to quickly evaporate off.

6 Activated Charcoal

If you have the time, this solution be highly effective at absorbing an unwanted odor within your sleeping bag.  Place several activated charcoal briquettes within used nylon leggings and put them within the sleeping bag.  Roll sleeping bag up and put aside for 5-7 days.  After a week has passed, simply remove the nylon enclosed charcoal briquettes and enjoy the freshened sleeping bag.

7 Dry Cleaners

If you are tight on time and don’t mind paying for to have the bag treated, you can take your sleeping bag to the dry cleaners to have the odor removed.  You can rest assured that the funk will be removed and that the bag will be returned to normal.


How to Get Smell Out of Old Books

Old books have load of character and can tell a story in more way than one.  Often, the older the book is, the more that becomes sought after.  Despite their appeal, many old books do carry an unfortunate musty stench.


This mildew odor can often be unpleasant and distract the reader from the content being read. By following the  below tips, you can rest assured that the odor will be wiped away and will not return anytime soon.


Smell Removal Solutions


1 Cat Litter

Cat litter has more than one use, and can work wonders as an odor absorbant for musty booksPlace cat liter within a large ziplock bag and add a full cup of cat litter before sealing it.  Provide a minimum of 48-72 hours before returning to remove the freshened book from the the bag


2 Microwave It

This may sound like a strange solution for removing musty odors from an old book, but it remains highly effective.  The microwaves cut through the microorganisms producing the odor and work to kill them off.  Place the book within the microwave at 20 second intervals taking breaks to smell to book to ensure that the odor has been zapped away.  As a note of caution, be sure that the books do not contain any form of metal as this can lead to destruction and fire hazard within the microwave.


3 Fabric Softener Sheets

Fabric softener sheets work well as bringing fresh to clothing, and have a similar result when applied to old books.  Place five dryer sheet strategically throughout the pages of a the old book and place book within a enclosed ziplock bag.  Allow the book to sit for 5-7 days before removing the book and taking the freshened dryer sheets out.


4 Baking Soda

This household substance is highly effective in absorbing unwanted odors within books.  Place a the old book and a cup of baking soda within an a enclosed ziplock bag and place for a few days.  After 48-72 hours have passed, return to remove the freshened book and brush off remaining baking soda over the sink.


5 Sunlight

The power of UV rays and open space can do wonders at eliminating musty old smells within books.  On a sunny day, take book outside and place within sun ensuring to weigh the book open so that all the pages can freely receive air.  Make adjustments if the pages are weak, as this can lead to tearing and being carried away with wind.  As a note of precaution, if the book is of great value prolonged UV rays can lead to harmful deterioration of the book.


6 Bleach

Bleach is a strong compound for disinfecting surfaces and removing odors.  Mix a small solution of one part bleach and three parts water and moisten a paper towel within the mixture.  Lightly apply the formula to the surface, binding and corners of the book.  Allow 20-30 minutes for book to air dry before putting into use.  Avoid this technique if the book is of value, as it could lead to minor lightening or deterioration of cover.


7 Freezer

Similar to the microwave, the freezer deprives the microorganisms of a hospitable environment to live.  The cold temperature of the freezer slowly kills the mold spore and eventually leave the book smelling fresh.  Place the old book within a ziplock bag and place within the freezer for an entire week. After 5-7 days, return to remove the freshened book and put into use.


8 Citronella Essential Oil  or Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Both of these oils work well at masking the musty smell of old books.  Damped a cloth and apply a teaspoon of either of these formulas.  Using the cloth, wipe down the cover, corners, and along the ends of the pages.  Allow 30 minutes to dry before putting into use.


How to Get Smell Out of Sea Shells

While collecting sea shells on the beach, the smelly effects of decay are usually not at the forefront of one’s thoughts.  Unfortunately, many of the shells that are collected still require treatment before being used as an ordainment within the household.

If shells are not treated, they can smell extremely bad while the organic materials within them dry away.  By applying the following instructions, any shell can be treated and added to your decor.

Smell Removal Solutions

1 Boil

Place the shells within pot of boiling water and allow for them to sit within water for 30-40 minutes.  During this time the interior organics will cook and loosen within the shells interior.  After time has passed you can shake shell to eject the organism within.

2 Freeze

Freezing the shell allow the organics this the shell to disconnect, and become easier to remove. Place shell within a ziplock bag and place within the freezer.  Approximately 24 hours later, return to remove the frozen sea shell from the freezer and place within kitchen sink to thaw out.  After 3 hours, return to shake shell to remove the organism within.

3 Microwave

This is one of the fastest methods, but it can cause an unwanted odor within the microwave.  Place shells within the microwave and heat for several minutes until the organism within the shell have been thoroughly cooked.  Once completed, shake shell and pull at organism to remove from interior.

4 Bleach

This substance works great at eat through organics within seashells as well as removing the “periostracum” that cover them.  After removing the organisms with the above methods, you will want to place the shell within a mixture of bleach and water in equal parts.  Allow the shells to soak for 24-48 hours as they become sterilized and stripped of odor.

5 Hydrogen Peroxide

As a household solution, hydrogen peroxide is a great substitute for bleach in sterilizing sea shells and removing odors.  Fill bowl with hydrogen peroxide and water in equal parts and place sea shell within solution.   Allow the shells to sit for 24-48 hours before removing and drying off.

6 Bury

If you have time, and a great memory you can bury the shells within the backyard.  Bury them at least a foot below the soil and provide 2-3 months for the organism within the shell to naturally decompose. So you don’t forget the location, be sure to place a marker above the soil so you can easily return and remove the freshened seashell.


How to Get Smell Out of Tupperware

After cleaning out the back of your refrigerator, you’ve found a mysterious tupperware container containing an unknown smelly matter.  After dumping the contents into the trash, washing it out thoroughly and allowing time to dry, the off-putting odor is still present.


This smell is often the result rotten food which has been infused within the plastic of the tupperware.  While there is often nothing that you can do to minimize rotten food bleaching the clarity of the plastic, you can often do something to remove the odor.  By following the tips below, you will be able to increase your chance of putting your tupperware container back into active status.


Smell Removal Solutions


1 Hot Water

The use of hot water helps in expanding the plastic container to allow for dish detergent to get in and wipe out residual odors.   Fill sink with hot water and with 3 teaspoons of dish detergent and dunk the tupperware containers in mixture.  After leaving the containers to sit overnight return and rinse off to return to rinse off.


2 Vinegar

Pour one part white vinegar and 3 parts water within the tupperware container and seal lid.  Shake the tupperware and allow for it to sit overnight before returning and pouring the contents out.


3 Baking Soda

Place five teaspoons worth of baking soda within the the tupperware container, before closing the lid and shaking thoroughly.  This will cause the baking soda to cover the walls of the container for better absorption of unwanted odors.


4 Bleach

This substance works well at wiping out residual odors within a variety of plastics. Fill the sink with hot water and add a half cup of bleach within the mixture.  Submerge the tupperware within the solution and allow for it to site for 2-3 hours before returning to wash it off.


5 Crumpled Newspaper

Newspaper works well at absorbing odors within enclosed spaces.  Crumple up newspaper and stuff within the interior of the tupperware and close the lid.  Allow the tupperware to sit for 24-48 hours as the newspaper  slowly extracts the unwanted aroma from the plastic siding.  After this time has passed, throw newspaper away and enjoy freshened tupperware.


6 Vanilla Extract

Fill the tupperware half way up with water, and add 3 teaspoons of vanilla to the mix.  After closing the lid, give the tupperware container a good shake allowing the substance to cover the side of the tupperware.  Allow the tupperware to site for 5-8 hours before returning to pour the substance out and rinse the interior.  Much of the smelly odor will be wiped away and replaced by a freshened vanilla smell.


7 Sun

If all else has failed, place the tupperware outside within the sun to sit for 24-48 hours.  The open space, fresh air and UV rays will all help in freshening the container.  Be sure that you leave the container open, and leave it facing upwards for the process.


How to Get Smell Out of Starfish

Like many sea dwelling echinoderms, starfish have become a prized item among people visiting the beach.  Unfortunately, when starfish have not completed their decomposition process, they can emit an unwelcome aroma.

It may seem like the starfish stink will never go away, as it requires time and treatment to successfully neutralize the odor.  By following the below tips, you will increase your odds of eliminating your starfishy funk.

Soaking Tips

Soaking a starfish prior to drying helps in neutralizing much of the decomposition odors.  Drying the starfish without first soaking it will lead to a worse odor-filled drying process.

1 Baking Soda

Soak starfish within a mixture of baking soda and water for 48 hours.  Once Starfish has fully absorbed mixture, much of the odor will be neutralized and it will be ready for drying.

2 Bleach

Place in a solution of bleach and water for 24 hours.  After a full day of soaking, much of the odor will be removed, leaving the starfish ready to dry.

3 Boil in Alcohol

Place starfish within a boiling pot of alcohol and water in equal parts.  Let starfish sit for a minimum of another 60 minutes before removing to dry.

4 Soak in Alcohol

A water and alcohol solution works great at neutralizing much of the remaining odor.  After letting the  Starfish soak for 24 hours, it will be prepared for drying.

5 Fresh Water

This is the ideal solution if you wish to go chemical-free.  Letting the Starfish soak in fresh water straightens the legs out and prepare it for drying.  Ideally, allow starfish soak for 24-48 hours within fresh water before placing it out to dry.

Drying Tips

Once you have neutralized much of the rotting smells within the starfish, you must then lay the starfish out to dry. The following tips will ensure that it is dried with straight arms and free of odors.

1 Weigh Down Corners

It is easy to forget to weigh down the corners during the drying process.  However, when this is not performed it can have nasty consequences when the starfish legs begin curling up.  Use small weights at the end of the arms to ensure that this does not happen.

2 Cardboard + Pins

A sure-fire alternative to weights is by pinning the starfish on a piece of cardboard.  Place the starfish on top of the cardboard, and strategically place pins through the arms and into the below cardboard.  This will ensure that no arm curling occurs so that the starfish maintains it’s original structure.

3 Dry Far Away

Many people seem to underestimate the foul stink of starfish during their drying process.  For this reason it is very important to place them within high, hard-to-reach corners of the exterior of your house.  Placing them atop the garage roof is a common spot as this location provides a dry, sunny, remote place for them to make their final transformation.

4 Keep Clear of Dogs

Our canine companions seem to love these sea dwelling echinoderms.  The more that they smell, the greater the allure that they possess.  While drying, take extra precaution to place the starfish in a location out of your dog’s reach.  If your dog does get hold of it, it will smell twice as bad when he throws it back up.

5 Go Small

The smaller the starfish, the less time it will take to remove odor.  By only selecting small starfish, you will minimize the need for a long-lasting odor removal process.


How to Get Smell Out of Yarn

When beginning to knit your next big project, there is nothing worse than starting off with tarnished yarn.  Yarn can often develop a musty odor when it is left in storage for too long of a period.  When this happens, it is important to treat the yarn before weaving it into your next great masterpiece.

Fortunately, there are many solutions available for removing the unwanted aroma inhabiting your balls of string.  In the below tips, this guide will present a range of household remedies and ensure that your next project gets off on the right foot.

Yarn Smell Removal Solutions

1 Sunlight + Lawn

In unraveling much of your yawn ball across your lawn in the sun, you will be able to remove much of the nasty odor that has developed within the organic fiber.  The chlorophyll from the lawn and the UV rays of the sun both go to work in neutralizing mothball and mildew odors. After a 1-2 days lying within the sun, whined the odor-free yarn ball back up.

2 White Vinegar + Sun

Pour a healthy amount of white vinegar and water into a bowl in equal amounts.  Begin by dunking and squeezing yarn ball within the solution to ensure that the liquid reached the innermost portions of the ball.  Once you are sure that all of the balls fiber have been dampened, unravel string outside in the sun.  After a full day drying within the sun, whined the freshened yarn ball back up.

3 Dryer + Fabric Softener

Tighten knot holding yarn ball together to make sure that there is no undoing it.  Place 3-4 fabric softener sheets within dryer and place yarn ball in on the lowest setting of dryer.  After 15 minutes, stop dryer and check freshness of yarn.  If some of the smell continue to persist, add some new fabric softening sheet and run for another 15 minutes.

4 Baking Soda

Seal yarn ball within container with large amounts of baking soda poured on top of the organic fiber.  After 5-7 days, check on the status of the yarn ball to see if the odor is fully remove.  If there continues to be odor, add new baking soda and reseal for another week.

5 Activated Charcoal

Place several briquets of activated charcoal with an old pair of nylon legging to be stored in a sealable container with the smelly yarn.  After container has been sealed for 5-7 days take yarn to check on status.  If the smell remains, place contents back within container for another week until fresh.