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“What’s that smell?” The three dreaded words that homeowners or guests evoke when they step into a home. Humans have the capability of distinguishing 10,000 scents. Our olfactory sense alerts the brain of any odor such as rotten fruits or dead animals.

Most homes have scented candles, plug-ins and stick-ons designed to mask bad odors. Problem is, you cannot mask certain house smells and you may find family members are allergic. Also, such products may contain toxic compounds such as HCFC. These compounds affect the ozone layer when released in the air.

Common house smells are a nuisance and a disgust. To protect your family and have a clean and odor free home, you must locate the source and get rid of it.

In this article, we discuss the 5 common house smells and how to get rid of them.

1. Foul Odor of Sewage

If you open your door and your olfactory senses are hit with sewage odor, then the problem may be with the P-trap. This is a plumbing device shaped into a 90-degree fitting. Not only does it allow for easy connection but it prevents sewer gases from escaping the drain pipe.


If you were away for a few weeks either on business travel or for vacation, the P-trap will dry out. When this happens, the barrier between your drain and your home is no more. As such, sewer gases from the drain will escape into your house. To prevent this, use your sink frequently.

2. Musty Smell

Why does my room smell? If you detect a musty smell under the kitchen sink or in your bathroom, it means you have mold. Mold infestation comes about when water sources such as plumbing pipes leak. The presence of moisture allows mold to thrive.


Inspect your home for mold. Presence of mold spores in your home can cause various health effects. For instance, asthma, coughing, and skin irritation. Also, they have a negative impact on air quality. Hire a plumber to fix the leak and a mold remediation expert to get rid of the mold.

3. Smelly Carpet and Pet Beds

Carpets experience high traffic as people move from one room to another. Not only that. Accidental spills such as coffee and wine will stain the carpet and produce a bad odor after a few days. This is the same for the pet bed. As your pet uses the bed, he or she will leave traces of pet urine and pet hair.


Start by sprinkling baking soda on the carpet and pet bed. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes to 30 minutes before vacuuming. If this does not do the trick, hire professional cleaners.

4. Smoke

Whether it’s tobacco smoke or burned dinner, smoke residue sticks on fabric, and walls. If a smoker lives in the house, yellow streaks may be visible on the wall. To get rid of smoke residue, try the following cleaning tips.


Start by opening your windows and leave them open for 48 hours. Fill a bucket with warm water, add 2 or more cups of white vinegar and pour the mixture in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture on the walls and other surfaces. You can also sprinkle baking soda on your carpet and upholstery. Machine wash the fabric on a cold water cycle with 2 cups of white vinegar.

5. Dead Animal Odor

If you detect a dead animal smell, you need to find the source ASAP. Areas to search include loose boards, duct systems, drywall, ceiling, and basement.


Hire an HVAC professional to check the duct system for any dead animals. You can also check the areas listed above. Doing this will protect your home indoor air quality.

Keeping Common House Smells at Bay

Common house smells have a negative effect on indoor air quality. These issues cannot be solved with HEPA air purifiers, scented candles, and plug-ins. If you find a hidden odor, find the source immediately and resolve it.

Are you in need of professional house cleaning or maid services? We can help. Feel free to contact us today!


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