Ew! Quick fixes for a stinky Southern Maryland home

Kimberly Bean
Published on September 30, 2019

Ew! Quick fixes for a stinky Southern Maryland home

Stinky house remedies

Inured.

Know what it means?

It’s a fancy way of explaining how we humans can, over time, become accustomed to something unpleasant.

If you’ve ever lived near railroad tracks or under the flight path of a local airport, you know what we’re talking about. At first, the noise was torture. After time, however, you may have barely noticed it.

You can get inured to smells, too. We become accustomed to the odors in our home, and it’s not until either someone very honest comes to visit or we return home after some time away that we realize just how stinky the house is.

While pets and smokers are obvious causes of home odors, other sources are a bit harder to track down. Let’s take a look at some of the first places to check if you have stinky house.

That kitchen drain smell …

If you’ve ever been hit in the face with a nasty sewer-like odor coming from the kitchen sink’s drain, getting rid of it almost becomes your life’s mission.

Plumbers recommend that you start simple during the process of elimination. In this case, start with the garbage disposal. Over time, food particles can get stuck on the blades. As they build up, and decay, they’ll become smelly.

The kids will love the clean-up process. First, empty a tray of ice cubes down the drain and let the disposal run until they’re ground up. Then, run cold water through the drain for about 30 seconds.

Now comes the fun part: Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar (white or apple cider; it doesn’t matter).

Like a child’s science project, the drain will begin to foam and fizz and pop. Allow the self-made volcano to erupt to its fullest and when it’s finished, run hot water down the drain.

If you still have a stink – and it smells like rotten eggs — you may have a larger problem.

It could be hydrogen sulfide gas, also known as “sewer gas,” coming from the main sewer line. “Sewer drains that have dry traps can allow hydrogen sulfide gas to enter the home,” say the experts at the Illinois Department of Health.

While breathing low levels of sewer gas won’t typically cause health problems, at high levels, “hydrogen sulfide gas can make you sick and could be fatal,” the health department says.

While we can’t vouch for this detection method (published at WomansDay.com), it may be worth a try. Pour one teaspoon of peppermint oil down the kitchen drain, followed by hot water.

Walk around the home, especially to rooms with sinks (bathroom, laundry room). If you can smell the peppermint, call a plumber. The trap may be dry or even cracked.

And while you’re in the laundry room …

Laundry rooms centrally located within homes are often an overlooked cause of household odors.

If you tend to let wet loads sit for too long, the first step is to be more mindful and move the clothes to the dryer sooner. But, after a load is finished, and you’ve removed the items from the washer, it’s also a good idea to leave the washer door open so that the moisture dries.

If your washer has a rubber seal around the door, clean it periodically with a solution of equal parts of white vinegar and warm water.

Newer washers have self-cleaning cycles that should be set in motion once a month. If your front-loading washer lacks this feature, run an empty load of hot water to which you’ve added 2 cups of white vinegar to the detergent dispenser.

Allow the cycle to complete and then run another, long, hot cycle with 1 cup of baking soda added to the drum.

Top loaders get a bit of a twist on the procedure, according to the experts interviewed by Today.com. Again, set the washer to the hottest setting, at the highest water level. Place four cups of white vinegar in the detergent dispenser (or in the drum if your washer lacks a dispenser). When the machine fills and begins agitating, set it to pause and wait one hour before allowing the cycle to continue.

Run a second cycle with 1 cup of baking soda added to the hot water.

Are your dishes really getting clean?

The dishwasher is the workhorse of your kitchen. Experts say it should be cleaned once a month, and it’s an easy process. Run a load, without dishes, but with 1 cup of vinegar added.

You may also want to do a deep cleaning to get rid of the food debris that can cause quite a stench. This process is a bit more complicated, but worth it if it gets rid of odors.

Your owner’s manual may have deep-clean instructions. If not, the following procedure should help:

  • Remove the bottom rack from the empty dishwasher.
  • Inspect the drain, and remove any debris.
  • Wipe up food scraps and other nasties from the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Locate the dishwasher’s filter (if it has one) and remove it. Open it and clean out debris trapped inside. Rinse it well in hot water before replacing it.
  • Use a damp rag to which you’ve added a few drops of liquid dish detergent or vinegar to wipe down the dishwasher door along with its seals and the dishwasher’s racks and spray arm(s).
  • Use a toothpick to pick out any debris in the holes in the spray arm(s).
  • Check for other areas where food debris or a buildup of soap may be causing odors (for instance, around the soap dispenser and the inside of the door).
  • Run an empty load to which you’ve added dishwasher cleaneror 2 cups of vinegar.

Appliance owners’ manuals contain a wealth of valuable maintenance and cleaning information.

If you’ve lost yours, you may find one online. Go to your favorite search engine and enter the name of the manufacturer and your appliance’s model number.

White Plains MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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