Is Your House Stinky?

Is your house stinky? 


One of the first impressions a potential buyer notices is the house smell.  Good or bad.

Unfortunately, you as the present homeowner may not even notice it. But I can guarantee you any one visiting your home WILL notice it.


The worst odors – Pet smells, tobacco smoke, rotting garbage, diaper pail and spoiled milk!

There are all kinds of things that can cause that sour house smell.  Finding the source is  your first action step.  There are also lots of products that can be used to help get rid of the smell but be careful not to think that a quick aerosol spray will take care of the problem.  As soon as the spray has dissipated the smell is back!



These are a few of the common problems that can be found in a foul smelling house.


Smokers – that sticky yellow stuff you may see on your walls and windows….

Pets – we love them but they do have accidents

Mold – can be in the attic, basement, behind the walls, under the carpet etc.

Mildew – can be in the bathroom, windows, window sills, basements etc.

Cooking – what did you have for dinner last night? I bet I could tell you what was in it!

Attics – musty, mold, mildew

Basements – musty, mold, mildew

Crawl space – water, mold, mildew

Carpet and carpet pads – mildew, mold.  Lots of times cleaning carpets can leave the pad wet

Walls and wallpaper – smoke problems, mold

Windows – mildew, mold

Roof – mildew, mold

Furniture – stains from moisture, pets etc

Rotting food?  Check your refrigerator and under beds etc.  Yes, I said under the bed…



Once you have located the problem area, get rid of it!  Some things can be taken care of by just throwing it out.  Others can be taken care of by simply using soap and water. If soap and water isn’t going to be enough then try some of these other ideas.



Saturate carpets, furniture fabric or curtains with a product like Fabreze or a household product like baking soda which is a good odor absorber and then vacuum it up in an hour or so.  Don’t rub the area but blot it.  Rubbing will just work the soiled area in deeper and will probably ruin what ever your rubbing on.


Vinegar is great for pet odors and is also good to use after you have cooked something like fish for dinner by leaving a bowl of vinegar on the kitchen counter to absorb the smell.

Use baking soda – a couple of tablespoons per 1 cup of water in the microwave for food spatters.  Heat for a few minutes and then wipe it down.


Do you have a wood chopping block in the kitchen?  Scrub it down with lemon juice and baking soda.  Rinse and then season it with mineral oil.


Bathroom smells – For the toilet use about a cup of vinegar, pour into the bowl and let stand for a few minutes.  Scrub the toilet and flush!  For sinks use about 1/2 cup of bleach and 1/2 cup of water and pour down the drain.  Wait for about an hour and rinse with lots of cold water. Don’t leave wet towels out!


Some pets just stink!  Use 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with a 1/4 cup of baking soda and a teaspoon of mild dishwashing liquid.  Rub this through your dog’s fur but be sure to watch the eyes please!  Rinse Rover well.


Here is one for your cat box – Empty the litter and use about 1/2 inch of vinegar into the box.  Cover with a very good amount of baking soda.  If you have a school age child they will probably enjoy seeing this mixture bubble!  Top it off with several inches of water and stir it all up.  Let the box soak for a few hours and then drain the liquid and scrub that box out!  Wash with HOT soapy water and let dry.  Use a thin layer of baking soda on the bottom of the box and then refill with your fresh litter.


Have a musty smelling closet?  Fill an old sock with a few tablespoons of fresh UNUSED ground coffee and hang in your closet!


Commercial products can be expensive so try this sometime – Soak a cotton ball with vanilla or peppermint extract and place in a clean glass jar with holes punched in the lid.


Dust your home and don’t forget to clean your vents and ducts!  Dust actually does smell.


Check the crawlspace for dead rodents!!


Use bleach on walls and wallpaper and vinegar for hardwood floors and linoleum.


In some instances you may have to repaint or replace carpets.  You may hire a professional to come in and clean the carpets to help get rid of smoke odor in the carpets.  This is one of the most difficult odors to get rid of!


Apply some of these hints and then nose around your home frequently and RE-APPLY when necessary.


A first impression should be a smell good impression!




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