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What’s That Smell: Tips for Identifying Smells in Your Home

We can go “nose blind” to strange or unpleasant odors at home. You might notice strange smells more intensely after you’ve come home from running errands or a weekend away. If you notice a strange odor at home, use these tips for identifying smells and their sources around your house.

Tips for Identifying Smells in Your Home

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What's that smell?

When the kids were all living at home, that was a common question, especially with three teenage boys! But now that it's just my husband and I, I thought that wouldn't be as much of an issue. However, every once in a while we do discover that there is a FUNKY smell and we become smell detectives trying to track it down.   In our home, it's usually either a lost bag of potatoes or onions in the pantry, workout clothes that didn't get washed, or we need to open the windows and air the house out.

Here are a few common bad smells:

Garbage Can or Trash Odor

If you notice a rotten smell in your home, the first place to check is your garbage can. The odor could be due to food scraps starting to decompose. Try using trash bags and swapping them out more frequently if you notice trash odor becomes a reoccurrence.

You could also consider starting a compost pile in your backyard to reduce the odor-causing food scraps in your garbage can each week. Composting is the perfect eco-friendly habit to build if you enjoy gardening and want to create your own soil. If it’s been a while, washing out your garbage can is another way to deal with bad smells from your trash receptacles.

Pet Odors

Every pet owner knows the struggle of combating pet odors and trying to keep their home smelling fresh and clean. Unfortunately, we can adjust to pet odors in our homes after living with our furry friends for a while. Cleaning your carpets, pet beds, and other surfaces thoroughly can help cut down on pet odors. Be sure to inspect and change your air filters regularly as well.

Even if you don’t have a pet yourself, it’s still wise to check for animal odors throughout your home. Some homeowners may run into the issue of a stray cat or critter living underneath their front porch or deck. If you notice the infamous “wet dog” smell in your home, this could be a sign of critters like mice, squirrels, or other creatures making their homes in yours.

Related: 10 Things Your Should Never Put In The Dishwasher

Musty Smell

Discovering a musty smell in your home could allude to a couple of different things. Musty smells are often a sign of mold or mildew growth hiding in your home. Call a professional mold removal service or contractor to conduct a proper inspection of the nooks and crannies in your home where mold likes to hide. A musty or stale smell could also indicate that your home doesn’t have enough ventilation. It’s always a safe idea to schedule a mold inspection sooner rather than later, as mold spores spread.

Burning, Smoky Smell

A burning, smoky smell indoors may suggest electrical issues. When electrical wires, cords, circuits, and outlets start to overheat, it results in that smoky smell. Some electrical burns can even start with a fishy odor. If you don’t remember having fish for dinner recently, be on the lookout for signs of electrical issues, like sparks or flickering lights.

If you notice any of these strange smells at home, use these tips for identifying smells and their sources in your home. The sooner you address these odors, the better. With some detective work and cleaning, you can get your home back to smelling fresh.

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