Laundry 101: When the sniffing test fails

“Honey….what’s that smell?” I say to my husband. There’s a sweet and pleasant odour wafting up from the dishwasher, which is humming away happily.

“I used those new power packs you bought,” he says.

“Oh ya?” I say. “The power packs that were meant to CLEAN OUR CLOTHES!?” 

He gives me a blank look, and then goes to check the Arm & Hammer package. Sure enough, this is laundry detergent that hubby has just put in our dishwasher. For the record, there was no massive soap explosion, and a quick re-run with dishwasher soap did the trick.

In my spring quest for a better smelling home and laundry pile, I never imagined for a second that my husband would take things to such an extreme level (I have to admit though, the house smells great!)

Built in 1961, our house is on the older side, with original storm windows (we’re replacing these, slowly) and a lack of insulation. Things get damp pretty quickly, and we have a hard time keeping root vegetables, bread or baked goods on the counter without mold growing after just several days. The dampness also means that our towels smell a bit like eau-de-musky, despite regular laundering.


Along with leaky house problems, we have a 5 year-old pug who is not the sweetest smelling of animals. Yes, I’ve read all the research that shows how much healthier my kids are living with a dog, but this drooling, butt-sniffing hound makes “fresh” seem like a long shot.

For some ideas on how to banish these pesky odours, I turned to cleaner and organizer Patty Searl. Patty owns and operates Clean POV Ottawa, whose goal is to help families clean and organize their homes using an eco responsible approach.

“We’ve had many clients deal with problems from smells,” says Patty. She points to culprits such as diaper pails, pet beds or litter, damp cloths or towels, and humidity. Together, Patty and I came up with five handy tips for any homeowner looking for a fresher scent.

Tackle the bacteria

Use a cleaning solution that combats mold and mildew, as this is often the source of those pesky smells. Baking soda and vinegar are your best friends for this job! Check all of your windows sills where mold likes to grow. Make sure to seal any areas where moisture might be getting into your home (replacing old windows is a must, but if you’re like me, this might take some time!) 


Try Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean 3-in-1 Power Paks

Once we got over the dishwasher disaster, I tried Arm & Hammer’s new power paks on my laundry pile. This is the only detergent boosted with the stain-fighting power of OxiClean and the freshness of Arm & Hammer baking soda.

These little paks DEFINITELY made a difference. The towels smell fresher for a lot longer, and at just $0.19 per load, I can put more money and effort into tackling the other sources of smelliness in our home. With two youngsters in school, the added OxiClean got their dirty clothes a lot whiter and brighter than normal.

And bonus, it passed my “smell sensitivity” test – I tend to get headaches from fragrances, but this detergent works for me! 

Suck up that humidity

Patty recommends using a dehumidifier in your basement to take the moisture out of the air. All of that extra moisture is guaranteed to promote the growth of mold and mildew. 

Use essential oils

There are a number of companies out there selling pure essential oils, which are great for those of us with allergies or sensitivities. Patty suggests trying an essential oil diffuser to permeate the whole home with a lovely aroma.

Try a carpet and upholstery deodorizing spray

Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 2-3 drops of your favourite essential oil. Grab a spray bottle, and add the baking soda mixture to the bottle along with distilled water. Shake well, and go to town on those places where the smelly dogs sleep!

With just a little bit of thought and hardly any effort, my home smells much better. I can now entertain the thought of friends dropping by unannounced, and I know my house guests will appreciate the fluffy and fresh towels. 

The next step? Some new laundry room storage bins, so that my poor husband doesn’t confuse the dishwasher soap with the detergent!!

Want to learn more? Visit your local Loblaws store to try the NEW Arm & Hammer™ Plus OxiClean™ 3-in- 1 Unit Dose Paks and change your perspective on laundry forever! Like Arm & Hammer Canada on Facebook for product news and updates.

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post from Arm & Hammer Canada, and we were compensated for our time. All opinions are our own.