Whether you're raising boys, girls, toddlers or teens, keeping your child's room fresh and clean can seem like an uphill battle. Hampers full of dirty clothes, beds with sweat-stained sheets and stains from food and drink spills can lead to unpleasant odors in your children's bedrooms. As such, you and your child will need to practice proper housekeeping to keep smelly aromas at bay.

A consistent cleanliness and upkeep routine is the key to combatting foul smells in your kid's bedroom. Scope out your child's room to figure out where the odors are coming from, then consider what furniture and cleaning processes you need to get rid of the stench and keep it from coming back. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

kids ivy league 20 white twin loft bed with chest
Create a consistent cleaning routine to prevent smelly odors in your child's bedroom.

1. Regularly Clean the Linens

Bed linens that accumulate dust, dead skin cells and dried sweat are a common source of bedroom odors. Musty sheets, blankets and pillowcases become smellier the longer they remain on your child's bed, causing your kid's mattress and upholstered bed frame to smell as well. If left unchecked, dirty linens can worsen allergies, cause skin irritation and trigger symptoms in kids with asthma.

A good rule of thumb is to wash and swap out your child's bedding about once a week. You may need more frequent cleanings, depending on how often spills and stains occur. For example, if your little one gets extra sweaty during the hot summer months, you might have to wash their bed linens every few days or so.

kids ivy league 20 white 5 pc twin bookcase bedroom
Clean your child’s sheets once a week to keep their beds smelling fresh.

2. Use a Mattress Cover

Mattresses absorb sweat, saliva and snack spills, leading to unpleasant smells over time. Washing your child's sheets may not be enough to remove the aroma, which is why mattress covers are a smart investment for your kid's room. Mattress covers serve as a protective barrier that helps keep your little one's mattress free of stains and odors.

Removable, machine-washable mattress covers can make cleaning your kid's room a breeze. Instead of spot-cleaning or deep-cleaning the entire mattress, simply strip the protector off the bed and throw it in the laundry with the other linens. Add this step to your regular housekeeping schedule to ensure that your child's bed continues to smell fresh and clean.

graphite queen box spring protector
Regularly wash your kids' removable mattress covers to get rid of any lingering smells.

3. Regularly Clean the Floor

Your child's hardwood or carpeted floor may become a landing spot for food crumbs, muddy shoes and dirty clothes. If you have pets, their urine, droppings and dander might also contaminate your kid's bedroom floor. All this grime and debris can lead to unpleasant smells as well as harmful bacteria that could make kids and teens ill.

Regularly sweeping, vacuuming and sanitizing your floors is an excellent way to keep your kid's room tidy and odor-free. Typically, cleaning your floors every few weeks or at least once a month is enough to maintain a neat, fresh-smelling space. You should also break out the broom, vacuum or carpet cleaner to get rid of messes and spills as soon as they occur.

blue rug
Sweep, vacuum and wash your floors once a month or so to keep them from developing bad odors.

4. Minimize Absorbent Materials

Thick carpeting and heavy blankets tend to hold on to odors longer than lighter materials. Smells soak into the fibers of these absorbent fabrics, making them much harder to clean and sanitize. As such, limiting the amount of heavy, absorbent materials in your child's room is a good idea when it comes to eliminating unpleasant aromas.

Consider swapping out the carpeting in your child’s room for easy-to-clean hardwood or vinyl flooring. Instead of absorbent plush mattresses and down bedding, opt for microfiber sheets and hybrid mattresses for the bed. These light, breathable materials are less likely to absorb odors over time.

irenee yellow rug
Thick bedding and carpet fibers can host lingering unpleasant odors in your child’s room.

5. Ventilate Well

Maintaining good airflow is key to removing unpleasant smells from your child’s room. Stagnant air can give your kid's bedroom a stuffy, bitter aroma that can waft into other parts of your home. Whenever possible, keep doors and windows open to introduce fresh air into the room. Also, use overhead and box fans to circulate the air throughout the space.

Ventilating your child’s bedroom also means keeping airflow sources clean. Wipe down your ceiling fan and box fan blades regularly to avoid spreading dust and musty smells through the air. Make sure to check, clean and replace the filters in your air conditioning unit as well to keep your home smelling fresh.

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Use fans, doors and windows to ventilate your child’s space and clear out foul smells.

6. Air Out Wet or Sweaty Clothing

Damp clothing creates unappealing odors, especially in enclosed areas like bedrooms and closets. Adding sweaty clothes to hampers and putting away damp laundry can lead to a foul scent in your child's room. As the moisture permeates the clothing and starts to mildew, the fabric will take on a pungent, musty smell that is difficult to get rid of.

As soon as you find wet or sweaty clothes in your child's room, take them outside and drape them over a banister or clothesline to dry them out. Next, run the clothing through the washing machine to get rid of any lingering odors. Also, remind your child to keep damp clothes out of their rooms and instead hang it up in the mud room or laundry room.

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Be sure to air out damp or sweaty clothing before you wash, fold and sort it back into your children's drawers and closets.

7. Be Mindful of What Detergent You Use

Certain laundry detergent brands are better at getting rid of foul smells than others. Some detergents have chemical compounds that target and neutralize bad odors at the source and leave a fresh, clean smell behind. Meanwhile, other laundry soaps contain fragrances and scents that help mask the unpleasant aromas in your kid's clothes and bed linens.

Powerful detergents with odor-removing ingredients are best for cleaning your kid's favorite clothing, school uniforms and athletic wear. Laundry soaps with scent boosters could be perfect for giving extra bed linens and seasonal outfits a pleasant smell before placing them in storage. Consider which type of detergent works best for you to ensure that your child’s laundry always smells great.

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Using laundry detergent with odor eliminators can remove foul smells from your kid's clothes and bedding.

8. Don’t Allow Food and Drinks in Their Room

Food and drinks often lead to spills and messes in kids' rooms. If your teen's unfinished snacks start to spoil, it can cause a foul rotten food smell that wafts through your entire home. Also, dirty dishes and forgotten spills are an attractive draw to pests of all kinds, including ants, mice and cockroaches.

One of the easiest ways to prevent smelly food and drink messes in your children's rooms is to create a household rule against eating in bedrooms. Talk to your kids about how restricting meals to the kitchen or dining room is a great way to keep your home clean. Create a mealtime and snack schedule to ensure that the whole family eats at the same time and in the same place.