What’s Causing That Bad Smell In Your Home?

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Noticed a bad smell in your home, and not sure where it’s coming from? Below are a few possible sources worth looking into and what these smells could mean. 

Your garbage

The first place worth checking is your kitchen trash can. This is often a source of unpleasant smells which may come and go every time someone opens the lid. Empty your trash outside and make sure to thoroughly clean the inside of the trash can (otherwise the odor may continue to linger). Check out this guide on how to thoroughly clean your kitchen trash can. Other waste containers around your home can also be sources of smells and are worth checking. 

Your fridge

Your fridge could be causing the funky smell. This is another smell that may come and go intermittently every time someone opens the fridge door, potentially drifting through the house. Open the fridge door to check - if you’re immediately hit with a bad smell, consider checking for any expired foods. It could also be worth giving your fridge a deep clean to make sure there aren’t any stinky spillages. 

Your washing machine

Washing machines can sometimes harbour mold and bacteria within seals and crevices that can cause a bad smell. Open your washing machine door and check if this is the source of the smell. If it seems to be the culprit, try this washing machine cleaning hack. If the smell remains after, consider hiring a professional to take a look. Obviously, you should also make sure no wet laundry if left in your washing machine for long periods, as this will also cause a smell. 

Your dishwasher

Dishwashers can also be the source of bad smells. A dirty filter is the most common cause of this and is worth checking first. If your dishwasher is still smelling, consider checking seals for dirt or mold. Persistent smells may need to be checked out by a professional appliance technician. 

Your AC

Your air conditioning system may be to blame for the foul smell. Give your vents a sniff and see if this is where the smell is coming from. AC cleaning or AC repair may be needed to eliminate this smell. This is something you should call a professional to handle. 

Your carpet

Food, dirt or even dog poop from outdoors can sometimes get trod into carpets without us knowing. This could cause your carpets to smell. This is why it’s recommended that you occasionally use a carpet cleaning machine to clean your carpets. These machines use water and chemicals to break down dirt in your carpet before vacuuming it up. 

Your plumbing

Bad smells could be coming from your pipes. Sinks and toilets that don’t get used regularly can be a big offender - the p-trap may have dried out from lack of use, enabling sewer gas to emitted. Dirty kitchen sink u-bends can also cause unwanted smells. Check out this guide to smelly drains for possible causes and solutions. 

Something damp

If there’s a musty smell in your home, it’s likely due to mold growth. Mold can grow just about anywhere, but in all cases requires moisture to thrive. Look around your home for potential sources of dampness - this could be anything from a leak under a sink to a forgotten wet towel. 

A dead animal

If it ‘smells like death’ in your home, that may well be the cause. An animal may have found its way into your home and died. If you’ve got a cat that likes to bring back mice, it’s possible that there could be a dead mouse somewhere. Other sources may include dead birds or squirrels that have found their way into your attic. Check out this guide to keeping out pests to avoid such smells.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich:

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