What's That Smell?

What's That Smell?

There are some odours which are quiet and unassuming. They lay dormant, subtly wafting, occasionally making themselves known to the sensors in your nostrils. “Did you smell that? sniff, sniff*”…then it’s gone…. Then there are some which are like a brass brand alarm clock. Loud, proud and in your face. There’s no walking away from these ones. Whatever the smell, when you’re presented with one in your home, it can be frustrating. Especially when the cause isn’t an obvious one. To assist your detective work, we’ve got 17 ideas of what those smells might be…

  • 1

    Old home smell It’s the musty smell we associate with older houses. It smells like your grandpa’s old tweed jacket that’s been in the trunk for too long. This can mean mould or damp issues, caused by several things. Whatever it is, you should most definitely find it as some types of moulds can be toxic.

  • 2

    Dog Ah, our canine besties. They bring so much joy to a home. BUT, they can also bring that unmistakable ‘doggy’ smell.

  • 3

    Is that my fridge or my bin? So we’ve all stored leftovers in the fridge with the best intentions. Then forgotten about them until the fridge cleanout. But, what if you cleaned the fridge and there’s still the distinct smell of rubbish each time you open/walk past it? Food can get stuck in the seals, so make sure you make cleaning them part of your regular cleanout.

  • 4

    Foul stench in your kitchen You could have mildew in your sink pipes. Attracted to dank, dark places the sink hole, it’s the ideal habitat for the spores to spread. If left undetected it can cause a very unpleasant odour.

  • 5

    You have a frisky cat You can see where we’re going here? Tom cats like to mark their territory. You need to train them out of this habit ASAP.

  • 6

    Pet stains Pets, like children, bring mess. They have accidents which we of course clean up. But sometimes you may miss one. Perhaps it’s behind the sofa or under the bed?

  • 7

    Dirty Dishwasher It can be easy to forget that something in charge of washing, actually needs to be washed. Run the dishwasher empty with some vinegar regularly, to keep it clean and fresh.

  • 8

    An animal has died somewhere in your home It’s sad but true. Perhaps a possum got stuck in your roof? This one’s not hard to miss. It’ll make itself known and it certainly won’t go away until you’ve removed the cause.

  • 9

    You forgot your washing Unfortunately, wet clothes left in a washing machine are unforgiving. You have about a 3 hour window (based on no scientific evidence).

  • 1

    Old home smell It’s the musty smell we associate with older houses. It smells like your grandpa’s old tweed jacket that’s been in the trunk for too long. This can mean mould or damp issues, caused by several things. Whatever it is, you should most definitely find it as some types of moulds can be toxic.

  • 2

    Dog Ah, our canine besties. They bring so much joy to a home. BUT, they can also bring that unmistakable ‘doggy’ smell.

  • 3

    Is that my fridge or my bin? So we’ve all stored leftovers in the fridge with the best intentions. Then forgotten about them until the fridge cleanout. But, what if you cleaned the fridge and there’s still the distinct smell of rubbish each time you open/walk past it? Food can get stuck in the seals, so make sure you make cleaning them part of your regular cleanout.

  • 4

    Foul stench in your kitchen You could have mildew in your sink pipes. Attracted to dank, dark places the sink hole, it’s the ideal habitat for the spores to spread. If left undetected it can cause a very unpleasant odour.

  • 5

    You have a frisky cat You can see where we’re going here? Tom cats like to mark their territory. You need to train them out of this habit ASAP.

  • 6

    Pet stains Pets, like children, bring mess. They have accidents which we of course clean up. But sometimes you may miss one. Perhaps it’s behind the sofa or under the bed?

  • 7

    Dirty Dishwasher It can be easy to forget that something in charge of washing, actually needs to be washed. Run the dishwasher empty with some vinegar regularly, to keep it clean and fresh.

  • 8

    An animal has died somewhere in your home It’s sad but true. Perhaps a possum got stuck in your roof? This one’s not hard to miss. It’ll make itself known and it certainly won’t go away until you’ve removed the cause.

  • 9

    You forgot your washing Unfortunately, wet clothes left in a washing machine are unforgiving. You have about a 3 hour window (based on no scientific evidence).

  • 10

    Rotten eggs If you smell rotten eggs or a Sulphur type odour then please contact your gas company immediately. There could be a gas leak. Another cause could be leaky sewage pipes, a water heater in need of maintenance, or a blockage in your bathroom plumbing.

  • 11

    Your bathroom smells like drains When the smell of drains is strong despite all your cleaning efforts, it can be demoralising. The good news is, it’s nothing to do with your cleaning skills. The bad news, it could be time to clean your pipes.

  • 12

    Something smells fishy but you haven’t cooked any fish It could mean a more serious issue with your electrics.

  • 13

    Your washing machine smells like a sewer It’s wet, it’s enclosed, and it’s connected to your home sewage system. It’s no wonder it can start to stink sometimes. There are a few causes to eliminate — mildew, must, mould or plumbing issues.

  • 14

    Your carpet and walls have absorbed years of stink They’ve been there through thick and thin, so it’s natural they could have picked up some odours. Nothing a good scrub, new lick of paint or steam clean won’t fix. And if it doesn’t fix it maybe it’s time to start fresh.

  • 15

    That thing you thought was mud? Well it wasn’t. Hopefully no-one’s trudged it through the house…

  • 16

    You need a new housemate No-one’s perfect but some are a lot less so than others. If you can categorically say the unpleasant smell is coming from your housemate, maybe it’s time to place an ad?

  • 17

    Air your bed and wash your sheets Most of us are aware that we need to change and wash our sheets every couple of weeks. The same goes for mattress protectors and pillows which are easier to be overlooked.  

  • 10

    Rotten eggs If you smell rotten eggs or a Sulphur type odour then please contact your gas company immediately. There could be a gas leak. Another cause could be leaky sewage pipes, a water heater in need of maintenance, or a blockage in your bathroom plumbing.

  • 11

    Your bathroom smells like drains When the smell of drains is strong despite all your cleaning efforts, it can be demoralising. The good news is, it’s nothing to do with your cleaning skills. The bad news, it could be time to clean your pipes.

  • 12

    Something smells fishy but you haven’t cooked any fish It could mean a more serious issue with your electrics.

  • 13

    Your washing machine smells like a sewer It’s wet, it’s enclosed, and it’s connected to your home sewage system. It’s no wonder it can start to stink sometimes. There are a few causes to eliminate — mildew, must, mould or plumbing issues.

  • 14

    Your carpet and walls have absorbed years of stink They’ve been there through thick and thin, so it’s natural they could have picked up some odours. Nothing a good scrub, new lick of paint or steam clean won’t fix. And if it doesn’t fix it maybe it’s time to start fresh.

  • 15

    That thing you thought was mud? Well it wasn’t. Hopefully no-one’s trudged it through the house…

  • 16

    You need a new housemate No-one’s perfect but some are a lot less so than others. If you can categorically say the unpleasant smell is coming from your housemate, maybe it’s time to place an ad?

  • 17

    Air your bed and wash your sheets Most of us are aware that we need to change and wash our sheets every couple of weeks. The same goes for mattress protectors and pillows which are easier to be overlooked.  

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