Identifying and Addressing Unpleasant Household Smells

Wiping down inside of refridgeratorFoul smells at home can be a big nuisance. Your home is the one space where you can truly relax after a long day, and being bothered by off-putting odors is the last thing anyone wants to deal with. So how can you identify and address unpleasant household smells quickly for the safety and sanitation of the house? Here are some tips for figuring out what that mysterious smell is, and how to get rid of it:

Mold – Some people are able to identify the dank smell of mold right away. But if you are unsure, look for visible leaks, wet patches, or flooding on floors, walls, or the ceiling. If you have difficulty finding the source of the moldy odor, call a mold remediation specialist who can assist with getting rid of the problem.

Gas – If you smell or suspect a problem with your gas line, call your local gas company immediately. While
faults in gas appliances are a very common cause of gas leaks, cigarette smoke and improper ventilation can also be a factor. Address gaseous odors by installing a CO detector and/or smoking outdoors.

Methane-Sulfur – Homeowners who have an extra, unused bathroom in the house sometimes get a methane-sulfur odor from the sink or shower drain. Address this smell by running the water at least once a week.

Isolated Sink odor – If an off-putting odor is isolated to one drain, the pipe under the sink could be blocked. The P-trap (bend in the pipe) can collect gel, toothpaste, food remnants, and other buildup. To fix the problem, remove the P-trap, clean it out, and replace. Alternatively, pour an enzyme-based cleaner down the drain everyday until the trapped waste dissolves.

Fridge Fumes – Catch a whiff of something bad when you open the refrigerator? Open a box of baking soda and place it inside the fridge. If the odor persists, chances are you just need to remove everything and toss out old items. Spray the shelves with hydrogen peroxide, wipe off, and restock.

Closet odors – Use a ladder to check the upper shelves of your closet to ensure there are no visible signs of molding. Hang activated charcoal or potpourri in a mesh bag.