smelly, stinky, foul odor

4 funky house smells (and how to get rid of them fast)

Ewww, what is that smell? When you own a home, you tend to ask yourself this question. For some of us, we ask that question a lot, especially when there are kids or pets in the household. Nothing ruins your vibe quicker than funky smells permeating throughout the house. Our living spaces can harbor all sorts of unpleasant odors that stick around longer than an unwanted guest. From cat litter box smells to last week’s fried fish dinner, icky smells that tend to linger are just part of living in a closed-in space.

Isolating the source of the smell and determining whether it is a risk to your health is always the first line of defense. Here are 8 of the most common odors that love to live in our homes rent-free.

  1. Ammonia smells
    When you are not using ammonia anywhere in your home – yet it sure does smell like you are – is never pleasant. It can quickly irritate your nasal passages and other airways. If your home has this kind of smell, it could signal a dead animal trapped somewhere in your home. No one likes to think about it, but the fact is, small animals can and do get into our homes and turn them into their final resting places. Mice are the usual suspects since they are small and can get into spaces not easily accessed. If you are fortunate enough to find it, you can remove the dead animal (rest their furry little souls) and thoroughly clean the space. If they have died in a hard-to-reach place, do not feel compelled to destroy your home to get them out of it. In a few weeks, that dead smell will disappear. In the meantime, you can open windows to encourage fresh air flow or diffuse some essential oil to help mask the stench. We recommend our Thieves essential oil blend
  2. Wet dog smell
    We love our furry friends. The wet dog smell that comes with them, not so much. It is a fact of life when you own a dog that they will bring unpleasant smells into your home. Let’s be honest. Dogs can be quite…gross. They roll in poop (it is one of their favorite pastimes). They splash in puddles and muddy areas. That lovely doggie aroma has a way of wafting throughout the entire house, stinking everything up. The good news is you do not have to get rid of Fido to get rid of that wet dog smell. Regular baths will help. No time for a bath? In a pinch, you can use our Animal Scents – T-Away essential oil. Put a few drops on your hands and rub it into your pooch’s fur or diffuse it until you can find time for a bath.
  3. Rotting food smells
    You know the smell. It usually likes to hang out in the kitchen, where our garbage cans live. No matter how frequently you take out the trash, rotting food smells can linger. Using a trash can with a lid can help trap those smells inside the can. Still, those odors escape every time someone opens the lid to put more trash in there. Diffusing some lemon or orange essential oil in the kitchen is a great way to control the stink. You can also use a few drops on a cotton ball and put it under the bottom of the trash bag to help control the stink.  
  4. Gym socks smell
    If you have a teenager in the house, it can be easy to point the proverbial finger any time your nose detects a gym socks smell in the house. Alas, there are times when the teenager is not to blame for the funky smell. A buildup of bacteria on your HVAC coils could be the culprit. Cleaning the coils with a non-acid coil cleaner should do the trick. In the meantime, diffusing your favorite essential oil can help make those smells a little more tolerable. We highly recommend our Purification essential oil blend.
Wet dog smell is a common complaint.

When smells spell big trouble

Sometimes there is more to a smell than a wet dog or moldy air vent. Phantom smells can sometimes spell big trouble and should not be ignored. There are times when putting your favorite essential oil into a diffuser is not the right answer. We know what you are thinking. How can we suggest there is ever a bad time to use essential oil? Well, when a foul smell is happening because of a serious problem somewhere in your home, ignoring it can affect your health. We are all about health and wellness here, so we do not want that.

Here are some smelly situations that require the immediate assistance of a qualified professional.

  • Burning rubber smell is how most people describe it. If you have this kind of odor in your home, it is no Bueno. This kind of smell can mean something electrical in your home is overheating. That burning smell might be melting plastic or rubber. If left unchecked, it can lead to a fire. If something smells like it is burning, it probably is, and you should contact an electrician post haste.
  • Rotten egg smell can sometimes be from clogged drains. Those are simple enough to fix yourself and not life-threatening. Other times, that smell can signal a natural gas leak somewhere in or near your home.  How can you tell the difference? When drains are clogged, they are usually slow to empty. If you are not noticing a slower-than-usual drainage issue, then you may have a natural gas leak. Open windows and doors in your home to provide ventilation and immediately evacuate your home (do not forget to take your pets with you). Notify the natural gas company and the local fire department. Your local fire department can quickly assess whether it is a gas leak.
  • Gross bathroom smells are somewhat normal (especially when you have small children). There are times when that strong smell of poo is something more serious than an unflushed toilet or diaper that needs changing. It could be a sign of a broken vent pipe, which will allow sewer gas to seep back into your home. Besides smelling gross, it can sometimes contain toxic and potentially explosive components like hydrogen sulfide. If left unchecked, it can cause eye irritation and in some worst-case scenarios, unconsciousness.

Using some common scents

Once you rule out a funky odor as a serious issue or risk to your health and well-being, there are some things you can do to help keep your home smelling fresh. Opening doors and windows during warmer weather can help air out your home. Diffusing your favorite essential oils also is helpful.

Need some help choosing the best essential oils? Consider becoming a member at On Call Essentials. Our members are granted exclusive access to our Oily Education resources. Join today to get started on your oily journey!

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