Getting Rid of Smelly Household Odors

There are many causes of household odors. For example, a sump pump smell can be caused by stagnant water, waste build-up, a dirty sump pump, or even cracked equipment. But, there are also other causes of household odors including trash can smells, mold, dirty clothing, food odors, and more. This guide will provide you with useful information you can use to help discover bad household odors and ways you can eliminate them.

Tips for Getting Rid of Household Odors

Here are some common household odors and ways in which you can get rid of them:

Food Odors

If the smell is coming from your kitchen, it could be a number of things. Food is typically to blame when you smell something foul in your kitchen. There are plenty of ways food smells can accumulate from cooking to storing the food. The good news is that cleaning alone can eliminate these foul odors.

If it’s your refrigerator that smells, you can clean up spills, toss spoiled food in the garbage, and sit an open box of baking soda inside the fridge to help freshen it up. If it’s your trash cans that smells, you can try using a solution mixed with soapy water and bleach if the smell lingers even after emptying out the trash.

For stovetops and microwaves, the best way to eliminate odor from these sources is by cleaning them after each use.


If the odor that you notice is similar to a sewage smell, it could be due to clogged plumbing. Sometimes this issue can easily be fixed by pouring boiling water or vinegar down the drain. You can also try baking soda and vinegar, allow it to bubble for several minutes, and wash it down with boiling water.

Additionally, plumbing odors can be the result of a dried-up P-trap. This is the pipe that is seen under the sink. If you don’t use the drain frequently, the trap can easily dry up and cause a foul smell.


If you notice a musty smell around your household, it could be caused by mildew or mold somewhere. The best way to pinpoint exactly where this issue is coming from is by looking for any pipes that may be leaking, or faucets that may be dripping. You should check humid areas in your home, such as the laundry room, bathrooms, and basements.

The best way to eliminate the musty smell caused by mold or mildew is by correcting the leak first. Sometimes, all that is needed is a simple tightening of the shower head or faucet. If you are dealing with major plumbing issues, your best bet is to hire a professional.


Your pet could leave all types of lingering odors around your home. It may be the result of a stinky litter box, a dirty cage, or a wet dog.  Not to mention, health problems can also cause your pet to smell. If you notice any unusual smells or behaviors in your pet, you should take them in to get them checked out by your vet.

If your dog smells, a good bath may just do the trick. For cats, the main cause of the odor is generally their litter box. The best way to prevent smelly litter is to scoop the litter box at least once or twice a day. You can then follow up with a deep cleaning once a month.

If it’s your pet’s cage that smells, regular cleaning is the only way to prevent this issue. On a daily basis, you can spot-clean your pet’s cage by eliminating feces and cleaning the surfaces of the cage. You should also consider placing the cage in a room that is well-ventilated.

Wild Animals

Pets aren’t the only cause of smelly odors in your home. Rodents and other wild animals can leave an unwanted odor around your home. If you believe that you may have a dead rodent somewhere in your home, you can try to find droppings or other signs to help you determine where it is hiding.

To prevent you and your household from getting sick, be sure to properly dispose of and disinfect areas where droppings are found. If you’re unable to successfully locate a rodent on your own, you can contact pest control.


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