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Homekeeping · Cleaning · The Best Weird Trick For Deodorizing Something You Can’t Wash

The Best Weird Trick For Deodorizing Something You Can’t Wash

Ever struggled to remove bad odors from something you couldn't wash? This unexpected item makes it easy!

Much like any good relationship, my relationship with all of you is not a one-way street. It’s an exchange of ideas and information that goes both ways! Every so often, I receive emails or comments from readers who are willing to share their own tips and tricks with me, and I love that! I learn so much from all of you, and I think we make a great team. 🙂

Speaking of reader emails, I recently received an excellent one from a reader named Caroline sharing the brilliant method she used to deodorize some oriental rugs she’d inherited. After various other attempts had failed to remove the strong smell of cats from her expensive rugs, Caroline finally honed in on a solution that worked: cat litter!

I gave Caroline’s method a try on one of my own less-than-fresh rugs at home, and it worked like a charm! I think this brilliant tip could be a real life-saver in certain situations, so that’s exactly what I’ll be sharing with you today!

Why Use Cat Litter To Eliminate Odors?

Cat litter makes an excellent deodorizer because it contains odor-eliminating ingredients, such as baking soda or activated charcoal. Continuously neutralizing litter box odors is no small feat, so just imagine what cat litter could do for other household odors!

Another advantage of using cat litter is that it is highly absorbent. (It has to contend with cat urine, after all!) Unpleasant odors are often related to dampness and moisture, and cat litter can help draw out any moisture that might be contributing to the odor.

When you take both the deodorizing and absorbent effects of cat litter into consideration, the idea of using it to fight odors on other surfaces suddenly doesn’t seem quite so far-fetched! 🙂

What Can I Deodorize With Cat Litter?

One of the best applications for this method is to freshen up items that you can’t wash in your washing machine. It’s also useful for eliminating odors from items that are technically machine-washable, but that shouldn’t be washed very frequently.

For example, I try to avoid washing my rugs too frequently because I’ve found that the backing eventually starts to peel away after a certain number of washes. So cat litter is a great option for keeping those types of items fresh between washes!

Here are some other things you could deodorize with the help of cat litter:

  • Rugs
  • Furniture cushions
  • Curtains
  • Heirloom quilts
  • Lace
  • Shoes
  • Pet beds

Here’s how it’s done, so you can try this method at home for yourself!

How To Use Cat Litter To Eliminate Odors

You’ll need:


Take the item that you want to deodorize and put it into a large, sturdy trash bag.

Pour a generous amount of cat litter into the trash bag. (You can’t really add “too much” cat litter to the bag. Use at least a few cups of litter, or more for larger items.)

Tie the trash bag so it is sealed up tightly, and let it sit for 1-2 days, or up to a week. (If your item really smells, leave it alone for a full week.)

When the wait is up, remove the item from the bag and shake off any excess cat litter. Then use your vacuum to remove any lingering litter dust, and you’re done! The item should smell fresh and clean.

So there you have it! I just want to give another quick shout-out to Caroline for sharing this brilliant tip with us. I’ve already benefited from learning about it, and I’m sure you will find it just as useful! 🙂

What’s your best tip for eliminating unpleasant odors?

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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