Old people smell is not an urban myth. Research has shown that it isn’t all in your head. You won’t always be as young and buff as you are right now, and someday you may be called upon to get rid of old people smell, either for a loved one or because you have crossed the line into seniorhood.
We don’t make the rules; we simply provide solutions you can use, so without further ado, check out these ways you can combat old people smell.
You can get old people smell out of wood furniture by mixing up a batch of vinegar and water. One cup of vinegar to three cups of water should do the trick. Use this solution on unvarnished surfaces. Before you try it on finished surfaces, try it on a test patch in an unobtrusive spot and let it dry thoroughly before you continue with the rest of the piece. The last thing you will want is to damage the furniture in an attempt to remove the smell. If you feel you can use the vinegar and water safely, go ahead and clean the furniture and place the piece in the sun to dry.
If you want to get the old people smell out of a chest of drawers, grab a box of baking soda and sprinkle it liberally in the furniture. If you have a lot of furniture to clean or the smell is particularly stale, you can find it in a bulk food store. (Just saying.) This solution to the problem will work, but you need to be prepared to let the baking soda work for a few days before vacuuming it up.
A lemon or citrus scented furniture polish can cover up a number of evils, and old people smell is no exception. A product like Pledge is a good choice for this task if you need to get the smell off of a hard surface. Spray it on and wipe it off. The room should have a fresher scent, and not trace of its former occupants that you have to deal with.
Once you have given the furniture in the room a good polishing, you can make sure that it stays fresh by placing an air freshener in the space. This is a great idea of you have been put in charge of getting a home ready to sell after the former owner has moved out or passed on. People who are going to view a house want to picture themselves living there, not seeing it as someone else's place, and walking into a cloud of old people smell will not give off the right impression. Placing a citrus air freshener in the house will keep any lingering aromas at bay and make sure that all your hard work was not all for naught.
Some seniors may have trouble making it to the bathroom in time. (There's a reason why Depends and products like these are marketed towards this age group.) These kinds of accidents, coupled with vision and mobility issues, can make house cleaning challenging for even the best-intentioned seniors. When old people smell invades a carpet or a rug, you need to use a different approach. Here are some tips to deal with it effectively:
When you detect the telltale aroma of bathroom smells in flooring, be proactive about removing the old people smell by mixing some deodorizing cleaner and water. Use a microfiber cloth to clean the area thoroughly and let it dry.
The pet store stocks products designed to remove the smell of urine and feces from carpets and fabrics, and they don't necessarily have to be used on messes made by critters. The person behind the cash really doesn't care whether Fluffy, Fido or Grandpa was the cause of the problem, so don't feel that you have to share any details when you go in to buy something to deal with the problem of old people smell in a carpet. They just want to finish their shift and go home. For all you know, they have to do some old people smell cleaning of their own, but that would be far too much information, now wouldn't it?
Just go in, ask if the store carries a product can be used to remove the smell of X, and you're good to go. Follow the directions on the label, and be sure to test it on an inconspicuous area first to make sure that the color doesn't run.
Steam cleaning the carpets is another good idea if you want to get rid of the old people smell. If you don't own a machine, you can rent one, and you should be able to get a deodorizer to go along with the shampoo when you pick up the unit. Follow the instructions carefully and allow the rug to dry completely and you should be able to banish the musty smell from the room.
Here are some general tips which can help you freshen up a room and say goodbye to old people smell for good:
Old people smell can linger on window coverings, so you may want to remove them and update them with something more modern. If replacing the drapes isn't an option, consider having them dry cleaned instead.
Prepare a mild solution of bleach and water and wash the walls down. One part bleach to four parts water should do the trick if your goal is to get rid of old people smell. The bleach will disinfect any other nasties that have accumulated over time. Just be sure that the room is well ventilated by cracking open some windows or you run the risk of passing out from the fumes, and no one wants to create a medical emergency when all you want to do is create a clean, fresh space!
You can reclaim the room and make it your own by burning some scented candles or incense. Choose something that you especially like and you won't have to deal with any more old people smell. No need to draw any funny symbols on the floor or dress up in robes and chant to banish the smell; that would be just silly. Just light the candle or burn the incense and you'll be all set.