Home and garden checklist

Published: Saturday, Apr. 13, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6CALIFORNIA LIFE
Last Modified: Sunday, Apr. 14, 2013 - 9:38 am

Does something smell funny in your house? Unwanted odors can cling to rooms – no matter how much you try to air them out.

Try a little lemon, vanilla or even onion (yes, onion!) to remove those unwanted scents.

Evette Rios, Bissell's lifestyle expert, offers these quick tips to keep every room smelling fresh:

If the garbage disposal still smells like last night's dinner, run a lemon peel or an orange peel through it to eliminate the odor.

Hide unused dryer sheets under couch or chair cushions, underneath mattresses and inside pillow cases. The dryer sheets give off a laundry-fresh scent.

Carpet fibers often trap unwanted smells. Use a deodorizing carpet powder (Rios recommends Febreze Carpet Deodorizing Powders) to freshen fast. Baking soda also can remove these odors. Sprinkle the powder on carpets, wait for a few minutes, then vacuum as usual. The vacuum powders help pick up dirt and hair while leaving behind a light, fresh scent.

Put a little dab of vanilla extract on light bulbs when turned off. Once the lights are turned on, the bulb will heat up the extract and smell delicious.

If a basement has a moldy smell, cut an onion in half, place it on a plate, and leave it overnight. The onion smell eventually goes away, and it neutralizes the moldy odor.

Potted plants are natural air purifiers. Some of the best: indoor palms, orchids and peace lilies.

Got a cat? Mix tea leaves with its litter. The tea will help neutralize that litter-box smell.

Garden Checklist

As the weather warms, garden growth – and work – really speed up. Keep an eye on weeds; don't let them get big. Whack 'em while they're small.

Last chance to plant such bedding annuals as pansies, violas and primroses.

Flowers that can be planted from seed directly into the garden include alyssum, aster, celosia, cosmos, four o'clocks, marigold, morning glory, periwinkle, portulaca, salvia, sunflower, verbena and zinnia.

Transplant lettuce and cabbage seedlings. Plant seed potatoes.

Fertilize shrubs and trees once during spring with a slow-release fertilizer.

Feed citrus with a low dose of a balanced fertilizer during bloom to help set fruit.

Apply chelated iron to azaleas and camellias if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

– Debbie Arrington

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