Why Does My House Stink? The Trick to Hidden Odors and How to Treat Them

Why Does My House Stink? The Trick to Hidden Odors and How to Treat Them

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The Internet can answer just about any question. But when it comes to finding odors in your home, the search for ?what?s that smell? can be daunting. Upon researching this blog post, we came across everything from greasy kitchen cabinets absorbing and omitting odor to a stinky ghost.

But when it?s your home, it?s important to know what gives? What?s the source of the foul odor?

That?s because odor is generally associated with cleanliness and indoor air quality. When something stinks that?s a natural way of telling you to stay far, far away from it. If you?re buying or selling a home, or just living in one. The last thing you want is a rank mystery smell killing your mood and invading your lungs and nostrils.

In the following article we are going to explore some common, not supernatural, causes of odor in the home. Hopefully we can help you figure out ?what?s that smell? and how to treat it.

What?s That Smell?

If what you?re smelling goes beyond pet odors or cooking smells. You may have a problem in the home. Some common sources of odor include mold, pesticide and chemicals, hidden leaks or sewer vents and even building materials that just stink. Here are a few of the more common sources of uncommon odor.

Dead Animal

If you?re smelling something dead, most of the time you know it. So before the smell gets out of control try to find the source of decay. Loose boards, cavity drywall and duct systems can be prime locations for this kind of hidden odor. Get your HVAC and plumbing people out here ASAP to find the source of the odor and protect your home?s air quality.


If you?re not expecting it, it?s a jarring experience to smell the foul odor of sewage in your home. But luckily the fix for this one is simple. In many cases where homeowners find a foul sewer smell, it?s as simple as wetting your P-trap.

?Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?? You?re probably asking. But rest assured a P-trap is a component in any standard drain system. It holds water to prevent sewer gases from rising through your plumbing.

If your P-trap dries out so does the barrier between sewer gases and your home. Which is why every sink should be used at least once a month to prevent this happening.


The only time you want to smell fish in your home is if you are cooking it. Otherwise a fishy smell in your home could indicate an insidious electrical issue. If you smell fish, start looking at electrical outlets and plugged in equipment for wires or shielding that could be burning. Don?t mess around with the prospect of an electrical fire.


A musty smell in the home probably means there is mold somewhere. To identify this smell check all of your water sources for leaks.

Depending on the severity of the problem, you may have to consult with professionals to inspect your home for mold and treat it. Mold spores can have a major impact on air quality and the health of those in your home.

Controlling mold in the home can sometimes hinge on ventilation. Ensuring that the most moist areas of a home are properly ventilated can help you breath easy. Humidifiers are available to assist you with ensuring certain moisture levels in your home.

Rotten Egg

The smell of rotten eggs in a home is never good as it usually signals a problem with plumbing or a gas leak. If it?s another P trap issue, you can check your drains and you should be able to tell if the smell is coming from there.

If not, the problem could be gas, and that?s a dangerous problem to have. When gas smells like rotten eggs that?s actually a safety precaution manufactured by gas companies to signal a leak since most household gas is odorless in nature.

Don?t wait to call your HVAC tech ASAP if you smell rotten eggs. It?s a better option than the alternative.

A Significant Risk

Many of these issues cause a significant risk to your family because the smell is indicative of a larger problem. These are not issues to be solved by negative ionization, house plants or hepa air purifiers like pet odors or onion smell.

If you find that your home has a hidden odor call a professional right away to check plumbing, air ducts and other areas that could be problematic. A professional evaluation is the only sure-fire way to know you?re treating the actual problem.

For more common odors that aren?t likely to harm you, like cooking smells and pet dander, Sollievo has a number of products that assist with air purity and make your home more habitable. Or head to our blog to learn how to DIY household odors with some products you may not expect.


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