Phew, What’s that Smell? 5 Unusual Household Smells and Their Causes

Has your house been emitting some strange smells lately? Even worse, does the odor seem like it’s impossible to track? This could be due to a ton of different reasons. If you suspect you might have a mold problem, you should look at this article on 10 Warning Signs of Mold Toxicity:

But if you know it’s not mold, then what is the source? Whether it’s the animal droppings, smelly dishwasher or sitting moisture, multiple side-effects of daily life can fill your home with a non-pleasant smell. If you can figure out where the scent is coming from, you can get rid of it.

Check out the following household smells and get what the culprit is.

1. Smelling Gas Natural gas doesn’t have any smell but when the chemical mercaptan is added, it creates the ‘rotten egg’ smell. If you’re smelling a cabbage type smell in your home, it could be a dangerous gas leak. Leaving it untreated could lead to a fire explosion.

Leave the house immediately and call the gas company using your neighbor’s phone. Avoid calling using a landline phone in your home, using a car, turning appliances or lights off, as they could lead to sparks.

2. Garbage Smell

This is one of the most annoying household smells. It almost smells like a waste treatment plant. It might be a leak of the sewer gas that is toxic and potentially dangerous such as hydrogen sulfide that could cause unconsciousness or eye irritation. Methane can also deplete oxygen, causing asphyxiation. One leading cause is a bathroom that isn’t used often. The pipes under a sink or shower have a U-shaped trap that holds a small amount of water that prevents sewer gas from leaking back into your house. If you’re not using your bathroom the water will evaporate, leading to the odors.

To eliminate the smell, pour a cup of water into the bathroom drain. You can go an extra step and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to prevent the water from evaporating. If you still can’t find the source of the problem, it might be that a vent pipe that routes sewer gas up and out via your roof is clogged or broken.

In this case, ask for the assistance of a plumber or home inspector to investigate.

3. Smokey Smell

Strong smoke smell is a reason to cause panic but even a small smoke smell could be utterly disturbing. If you can smell the odor every once in a while, like when starting an appliance or particular light, it could be an electrical smoke. This could be very risky.

Call your electrician or fire department for help immediately. Consider leaving the house until the source of the odor is detected.

4. Dirty Dog Odor

You might detect a raunchy, weird smell like a fur friend who needs a bath. But then you realize you don’t own one. This could mean you have raccoons, squirrels or rodents in your attic.

Their feces might contain roundworms eggs that might cause health issues. If you find these feces, don’t pick them up yourself. Instead, call the pesticide control.

If you do have a dog in the house, bathe your pet more often. Also, clean where your pet sleeps with soap and water. Avoid harsh chemicals to protect your fur baby.

Additionally, vacuum under your sofas and bed to prevent hair and odor build-up.

5. Mildew Smell

An unpleasant mildew smell might indicate that there is a sink or broken pipe that has led to mold that loves to grow in the dark, damp spots. It could be dangerous for people with asthma and allergies. If you see any mold in your home, disinfect non-porous surfaces such as tiles with a 10% water/bleach solution and let it sit for at least ten minutes when ventilating.

For surfaces such as walls, it’s best to replace them. If you can’t see any mold, it might be inside the walls. Seek assistance from the local health department to check where the issue might be. Here are some drain cleaning tips to get rid of the smell in the meantime:

Physically get rid of the mold. The best method to remove the mold is by using water and detergent to scrub the surface. Since mold collects in the drain tailpiece, scrub both the stopper and strainer inside it.

Natural cleaning alternatives. You might not want to remove the strainer to clean the mold physically. In this case, pour a half cup of baking soda followed by a half cup of vinegar. Cover the pipe for at least ten minutes to restrain the foam of the pipe.

Rinse the pipe with a gallon of hot water with a half cup of salt. If your pipes are made of plastic, use warm water to avoid destroying them and boiling water if your pipes are made of metal.

Keep the drain clean. Frequently treating the drain with baking/vinegar soda is a great way to maintain it. For maintenance purposes, divide the portions by half.

You can also make your mold-cleaning cleaner by mixing hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and borax. It foams when you add water.

Cleaning the global disposal. Mold is likely to stay in garbage disposal where it feeds from food waste. Regular maintenance includes filling global disposal with soapy water. You can also add one or two chopped-up lemons.

Say Goodbye to Household Smells!

Dealing with odors in your home isn’t always easy. You need to know where the smell is coming from as a first step to eliminating them.

After realizing what the smell is, take action right away so you don’t leave the mess lingering. Some household smells could lead to health issues so the best thing to do is act fast.

If you’d love to learn more tips and tricks, visit our blog.

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