Home Fresh Home: Common Sources of Odor in the Home

Home Fresh Home: Common Sources of Odor in the Home

Let me start this off by saying that I love my kids. I love all kids. However, I don’t think there’s a mama alive who will disagree with me when I say that kids stink—literally. From teenagers who are still learning about deodorant to kids who are allergic to bath time, they bring a certain amount of funk into the house that just won’t go away. Even so, there are times when the kids are all clean, and the house is still a little musky. That’s when it’s time for us to put on our detective hats and do a little digging to figure out what is stinking up the joint. These common sources of odor in the home are the prime suspects.

The Refrigerator

I don’t know about y’all, but cleaning out my refrigerator is usually the last thing on my priority list. With laundry to get done, dishes to wash, and adorable little fur babies to walk, the fridge just slips my mind. That is until I realize I’ve forgotten about the leftover salmon a few days too long, and suddenly the house smells like a fisherman’s nightmare.

Cleaning out the fridge is the easiest way to cut back on old food odors. Still, there are times the smells linger even after you’ve pitched the old food and taken out the trash. All you need to do is leave a box of opened baking soda in the fridge, and those scents will be gone in a flash.

Mold and Mildew

There’s nothing that makes your nose wrinkle quite like the musk of mold and mildew. Since mold thrives in dark, warm, and moist areas, there’s a never-ending list of places where it can grow. A few common places include:

  • Under the kitchen sink
  • On the bathroom ceiling
  • Around the washing machine
  • Near the basement heater
  • Beneath the paint in places where there have been leaks or flooding

Now, when mold is growing on hard surfaces, a bleach and water solution and some elbow grease will take care of the problem. That said, when it’s growing on a porous surface like wood, it may still be lurking beneath the surface like the creature from the black lagoon. If that’s the case, consider calling a mold specialist.


The same thing I said about kids can easily apply to pets. We all love them to death, but pets are one of the most common sources of odor in our homes. (Sorry, Allie.) They also add their smell in a plethora of ways. For example, pet odors can come from:

  • Dirt within their fur
  • Skin diseases
  • Accidents
  • Bad breath

There are plenty of ways to address the smell of your pets. You can give your dog a bath or take steps to help keep their breath fresh. You can also gently remind the cat where the litter box is. If the smell persists, consider checking in with your vet to see if there is a medical problem.

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