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My house stinks. Help!

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
OK we have multiple odor situations going on right now & I can barely stand to be in my house (and would be horrified if unexpected company came by!)

#1 - the biggest issue:
Our entry way smells like cat pee!! I have scrubbed it, soaked it in vinegar & TTO, thrown down a whole box of baking soda, and poured a bottle of hydrogen peroxide on it. After all that, it's only slightly better, still stinks!

#2 - DS & DH joined forces and spilled beer on the couch. THE BRAND NEW COUCH. How do you get out beer smell???

OK there is a bunch of other 'stinky stuff' but I'm too embarrassed to keep going, hopefully there are one or two things that will work on all the smellies!!! I'm suffocating in here!!
post #2 of 28
Maybe tea tree oil could help with the entry way? I don't know about the beer smell, though... Sometimes when I want the house to smell nice, I'll boil cinnamon and cloves in a bit of water and it gives the house a nice, clean scent.
post #3 of 28
Can you rent a Rug Doctor? They have a special pet enzyme cleaner you can put in the machine that works really well on pet smells.

As for the couch, well, the rug doctor also has an upholstery attachment you can use.

I'd recommend scotch guarding your couch after this, or make a "No drinks on the couch" rule.
post #4 of 28
natures miracle is the only thing that has ever worked on our cat pee issues.
post #5 of 28
What's the material in your entry way? Is the smell coming from the floor or from drywall?

This works for cat pee in carpet, though you may end up with a paler area on your rug...
- spray with 50-50 water and vinegar until it's almost soaking wet and blot it until it's almost dry (or let it air dry if you like). Then put baking soda on it. Mix a bit of dishwashing liquid (1 teaspoon) with half a cup of hydrogen peroxide, and pour that on. Scrub in until the baking soda is all dissolved. Dry. Vacuum.

As for your couch, try spritzing it with water until it's quite damp and blot that out as much as you can. Then try:
- club soda (the fizzy drink), full strength. I know for sure that works on stains, not totally sure it would take the smell away completely but it can't hurt!
- vinegar (diluted, about 1/3 vinegar, 2/3 water). Your couch will smell of vinegar until it dries but that will go away.

If all that fails, try diluting dishwashing soap in water (a teaspoon for a 1L - a quart - bottle, I guess) and spraying that on, bloth, spray with plain water, blot again.

Aww man, I feel for you! Let us know what works!!
post #6 of 28
charlie's all-purpose in a carpet cleaner cleans everything, and takes out smells.

The only thing that is going to get the smells out is to remove the items making the smell. In this case- cat pee and beer.
A good carpet cleaning for the whole house will do wonders. Cleaning the furniture will also help. Heck- if you're doing all the furniture, do the mattresses as well!

For maintaining a sweet-smelling house, mix your fav EO into baking soda, and throw it down before you vacuum. House plants, like ivy, help keep the house smelling lovely. Also, periodically "airing out" the house will help. Create as much of a cross breeze as possible. Fans in the windows will work well for this. Turn some of them so the air is sucked from the inside of the house out, and vice versa.

Good luck!
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the ideas. The entryway isn't carpet. I don't know what it is, some weird subflooring with lots of layers... at this point I think it might be easier to just tear it up & start fresh (though I'm terrified to see what's under there & I really don't want to destroy MORE of the house, we're supposed to be putting it back together!!)

I'll try some of these ideas... I'm so hypersensitive to smell since I got pregnant with DS -- so it really is getting to me!!
post #8 of 28
So it's wood? If it were tile or something, I would suggest bleach. Not totally crunchy, but it's the only thing that got the pee smell out of my bathroom tile. I would suggest ripping it out if you can.
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yeah it's not wood either. I can't figure out what it is, seems like something on the idea of drywall but harder & more layers. I have been tempted to try bleach but if I'll end up ripping it out anyway, no need to have all those bleach fumes in the house...
post #10 of 28
Non-chlorine bleach may work instead of regular. I got the recommendation on the pets forum but only had regular on hand for my semi-emergency pee situation.
post #11 of 28
Do you have lots of fabrics/carpeting in your home? things like linens,curtains,obviously your sofa and the like? They are notorious odor holders. Laundering them or at least letting them air out if they are not washable works well. I use a few drops of EO in a travel spray bottle mixed with water to freshen up along with opening windows as much as possible.

I use baking soda at night when everyone is asleep and let it sit all night and vacuum up in the morning that way it can sit on the carpet as long as possible.

the couch probably needs to be steamed cleaned. We ended up with one of those small bissels and by george its awesome for cleaning the couch because it has paid for itself in 2 cleanings. I personally odnt like those rental ones because of stories from our friends on what they used it to clean up. I guess my germs are one thing.

I swear by natures miracle, the trick is it has to saturate the liquid causing the odor. so if the odor is in the subfloor unless the nm reaches it it wont work. Could it be the materials itself that are causing the odor?
post #12 of 28
Originally Posted by MamaJenese View Post
natures miracle is the only thing that has ever worked on our cat pee issues.
This. Or you might try BacOut. Or removing the floorboards...

Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
Thanks for all the ideas. The entryway isn't carpet. I don't know what it is, some weird subflooring with lots of layers... at this point I think it might be easier to just tear it up & start fresh (though I'm terrified to see what's under there & I really don't want to destroy MORE of the house, we're supposed to be putting it back together!!)

I'll try some of these ideas... I'm so hypersensitive to smell since I got pregnant with DS -- so it really is getting to me!!
So. Here's a weird question. Are you sure it is cat pee? Does your DH confirm that it is cat pee? Seriously, not such a weird question. When I was pregnant, my mother's laundry room smelled like cat pee. I was super-concerned because they did have a cat box in there, and the cat was older. And they were planning to put the house on the market...so, YUK. BUT, when I went to visit my aunt, her laundry room smelled like cat pee, but they did not have a cat. (and my aunt's laundry room usually smells GREAT, even though it is a half-bath, too) Turns out, SOMEthing about the laundry detergent smelled like cat pee to me when I was pregnant! How strange is that? (I began to notice it in other areas, too. Ugh. Clean laundry that smells like cat urine.)

ETA - oh. I re-read your post. It sounds like you are not *currently* pregnant...just that smells have changed for you since pregnancy. Well, the question still stands, but not as likely a possibility as I first thought.
post #13 of 28
Bac-out got out beer smell for us, I'd try that before nature's miracle (it smells better to me : p)
post #14 of 28
another Bac-Out fan.

One of my dogs had a horrible kidney infection and his urine had the worst smell, but the Bac-out eliminated the smell. I saturate an area with a stain sometimes more than once and periodically I spray all the floors before we go to bed.

I am very sensitive to smells too. Recently I kept telling my husband our living room smells like urine but I've sniffed every part of the floor and cannot figure out where there c/h been an accident. Turns out it is an odor from a desk he painted weeks ago.
post #15 of 28
If it is cat pee it could have ran under the base boards and into the wall and insulation. You are going to have to tear it all out probably. And natures miracle etc do not work on already treated things. It says so on the bottle.

The couch I would have professionally steam cleaned.

Go ahead and tell us the other odors so we can help you. no one is judging you.
post #16 of 28
I use bac out for everything (literally everything. cat vomit. cat pee. red wine spills. tomato sauce spills. chicken gravy spills. fish sauce spills. It takes it all out, just wipe or scoop it up, (rinse in the case of cat vomit) and treat it right away.)

It might be too late for the bac out in this case though, it does sound like the best plan of action is to clean the couch, and then steam clean the carpet (and maybe an enzyme cleaner too) and if that doesn't work you might have to tear it up. (and put something easier to clean in next time and keep a bunch of bac out or natures miracle on hand).

In terms of overall house smells, our apartment used to smell foul all the time. I even had a ton of house plants. I started airring the house out every single day, for a little while, no matter how freezing, which made a huge difference. I also started taking out the trash more often. (I was only taking it out when the tiny bag filled up but that wasn't often enough. I'd rather waste a few more bags and not live in a smelly place.) I put out open bowls of baking soda in smelly places to absorb odors. I got religious about tossing fruit and flowers that were turning, and just buying less fruit so none of it rotted. I cleaned everything that could possibly smell down with vinegar more often.

The biggest thing was just opening the windows an hour or more a day. froze me half to death in winter but I piled on the sweaters and got under the comforters.

tell us the other smell sources if you know and we'll try to help you eliminate them.
post #17 of 28
bowls of vinegar with a little EO works for eliminating smells, too.

On a side note- I lived in an apartment that was in a renovated department store building. Fantastic place, except the windows didn't open! ZERO way to air out the apartment. Loved it, but that was my only complaint.
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hmm I guess keeping the windows closed is contributing to the problem! I have bad allergies so I always keep them closed to minimize the amount of pollen etc. that makes its way into the house. So question is, allergies or bad smell?? Which is worse?? Right now, that SMELL!!

OK so some of the other smellies --

Our compost bin (the small one we keep in the kitchen) -- we take it out every day or two (and rinse the bucket out every time as well) but it still ends up smelling -- never used to until recently! It's not covered, but it's in a cabinet under the sink... Maybe we should cover it?

Then, speaking of the kitchen, there is this rotten smell emanating from our tupperware drawer. I've looked in there & pulled the drawer out and looked behind it but can't find anything rotten!! Though now that I think of it -- it's right near the stove... I probably should pull the stove out too & check.

The bedroom is the worst. First of all, there is wall-to-wall carpet in there that badly needs to be pulled up -- but we are in the middle of multiple renovations & just can't tackle that right now, keeping it safe for DS is more important at the moment! But it smells... musty. Gross. Maybe I can try steam cleaning that? (I don't have a steam cleaner but it does sound like a good investment if it really works!)

OK now onto the bathroom, it always smells like pee!

post #19 of 28
I would scrub the compost bucket out, making sure there aren't corners that little things can get into and get stuck in. (my old trash can was like that even when we used bags stuff got stuck). Then I'd let it sit with baking soda in it overnight (maybe outside)Then I'd rinse it with vinegar. (And if it's moldy/mildewy, I'd put tea tree oil in said vinegar before using.) That to get you back to sort of a clean slate. I'd then spray it with vinegar after every time you rinse it. A cover would also be a good idea.

Pull out the stove and check as well. Have you had pest problems (specifically mice or rats which you laid down poison for?) If so, it's possible (though I know appalling) that you could have a rotting mouse in the wall, if you don't find anything. Then scrub the whole area down with vinegar (tupperware drawer and behind the stove), and wash all the tupperware again. Just in case, you know?

I'd try maybe putting down baking soda and leaving it, then vacuming it up a few hours/ a day later. And then if that doesn't help I'd probably rent or buy a steam cleaner.

For the bathroom, how old is your son? Is it likely that he misses the toilet a lot and doesn't clean it up or let you or DP know he missed to clean it up? I presume it's tile in your bathroom? I'd try cleaning then vinegaring all the surfaces around the toilet (walls too) and putting a little container of baking soda in it. If that doesn't help, one mama here said that bleach got the pee smell out of her tiles.
post #20 of 28
A steam cleaner is totally worth the investment!
I am always surprised at how much those cleaners do, and freshen things up!
Plus, with your allergies, regularly steam cleaning your mattresses, pillows, and window linens will help keep aggravation to a minimum.

N-95 masks would a good item to get for when you are airing at the house and pulling up carpet/tearing out walls. They can be purchased at any drug store, and some walmarts carry them.

I second scrubbing out the compost bin. A baking soda scrub made with baking soda, dish soap and a bit of water will clean it out will, and the bs will help freshen the bin. Spray the inside with vinegar mixed with your fav EO and let it dry. Do this once a week, and it should help with stinkies!

Pulling out, and cleaning behind, the stove will help with smells. Grease and other cooking leftovers emit and trap smells. When you pull it out- mop the floor, clean the wall, and clean the back of the stove. Don't forget to get the sides of the cupboards that are adjacent to the stove.

If you still have a smell- there may very well be something dead and decomposing in your walls or behind the cabinets.
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