3 Common Sources of Bad Smells in a House

Random household odors are very common but their sources aren’t always obvious. The next time you encounter bad smells in the house, check out this list of common causes and fight malodor at its source.

After a day of running errands, you’re greeted by an unpleasant smell. During a weekend at home, you notice a bad smell in the house (and you can’t figure out from where). Random household odors are common … but their sources aren’t always obvious. The next time you encounter bad smells in the house, check out this list of common odor causes and fight malodor at its source.

Common Sources of Bad Smells in a House

  1. Lingering Food Odor
  2. Garbage Odor
  3. Mildew Odor

1. Lingering Food Odor

Sources: Refrigerator, garbage disposal, dishwasher, dirty dishes in the sink

One of the most common is food odor. From forgotten tupperware to dinner remnants lodged in the garbage disposal, food smells have a tendency to hide in plain sight or in unexpected places.

To scrub food smells follow these quick tips:

  • check leftover containers in the fridge
  • run the garbage disposal once or twice to clear out any large pieces of food
  • remove racks and dishwasher blades from your dishwasher to check for the presence of leftover food

One of the reasons food odor can be so difficult to place is due to the fact that they tend to build over time. If you aren’t regularly cleaning your dishwasher, flushing your garbage disposal, or keeping track of leftovers in the fridge, the ever-elusive smell of food waste will crop up in places you wouldn’t expect, leaving a lingering odor throughout your home.

Solutions: Eliminate odors in the air and in appliances with a combination of at-home remedies and Fresh Wave Laundry Booster.

Sometimes, the best solution for food odors is a deep clean with odor eliminating remedies like white vinegar, ice, even activated charcoal. Remove bins, shelves, and all leftover containers from the fridge and wipe down your fridge’s surfaces. Once your fridge is clean, you can add bags of activated charcoal or loosely balled up newspaper with vanilla extract to eliminate odors from the fridge.

Don’t forget other areas of your kitchen once your fridge is done. Clean your dishwasher by removing the blades and wiping down any silverware trays and the inside of the machine with warm, soapy water. Next, the garbage disposal: you’ll want to clean under the blades here, as well, to remove any built-up debris. You can also get rid of foul odors from your garbage disposal with ice and ½ a cup of salt. For safety reasons, never manually clean your garbage disposal like you would other appliances in your kitchen.

If you want to avoid cleaning with harsh chemicals in your kitchen, you can use Fresh Wave Laundry Booster to wipe down surfaces in your fridge, the inside of your dishwasher, and the inside of your sink. Fresh Wave uses a plant-based formula with natural oils to create an odor eliminating solution for any bad smell in the house.

2. Garbage Odors

Sources: Kitchen garbage, bathroom garbage, garbage bin

To detect smells in the house from garbage odor, empty every garbage bin in the house. The only issue with taking out the trash after it begins to smell is this doesn’t immediately eliminate the odor. You may need to follow up with odor eliminating products or even wash out the bin itself.

Solutions: Take out the trash, rinse out the inside of the bin itself, and use Fresh Wave Gel Packs and Fresh Pods to prevent odors from coming back.

After you’ve taken out the trash, inspect the inside of the empty bin for old spills or residue. Then rinse the bins out with a hose in the backyard or wet a rag/sponge with warm soapy water and scrub it out. Sometimes it isn’t the trash itself that is creating bad smells in the house but rather the inside of the bin.

Follow up cleaning the inside of the trash bin with an odor eliminating solution from Fresh Wave. You can wipe down the inside with Fresh Wave Laundry Booster for an instant refresh, but the odor fighting solutions don’t stop there. Continue to quell odors from trash with Fresh Wave Fresh Pods. These discrete Pods can either stick to the inside of the trash can lid or the on the back of the bin to provide 24/7 odor elimination in your kitchen, bathroom, and mudroom.

Another great way to eliminate trash can odor is to use Fresh Wave Gel jars on countertops nearby or in cabinets where small trash bins are stored. As the gel evaporates, Fresh Wave’s proprietary formula will adhere to volatile molecules in the air, replacing the foul odor. When all of the gel has evaporated, simply refill the container with Odor Removing Gel Refill and this set-and-forget solution will have you saying hello to more eco friendly practices and goodbye to common bad smells in the house.

3. Mildew Odors

Sources: Cabinets, seasonal storage bins, bathroom storage.

The tricky thing about mildew is it can really exist anywhere moisture exists. That means cabinets, drawers, storage bins, basements, even under the sink can take on that unpleasant mildew smell if moisture is present for too long.

To detect smells in the house from mildew, you may need to do some serious investigating: open closets with seasonal storage and inspect for any leaks or drips under your sink and remove under the sink storage. 

Then, once you’ve discovered the source (or sources), be sure to fix any leaks or broken seals where water may be seeping through before you add any storage containers back in their designated spots. The source of a bad smell in the house that comes and goes may not be the bathroom, the kitchen or even the trash, it could be a long-overlooked leak under your sink or your seasonal storage.

Solutions: Clean under the sink, place Fresh Wave Gel, wash clothes with Fresh Wave Laundry Booster, and freshen clothes in storage with Fresh Wave Odor Removing Spray.

After you’ve found and repaired any leaks under the sink or in the basement, you eliminate lingering mildew smells with Fresh Wave Gels. Like all Fresh Wave products, this powerful odor eliminating Gel absorbs odor-causing molecules while they evaporate in the air.

As you remove storage bins from closets, spray seasonal clothes with Fresh Wave Odor Removing Spray to freshen clothes that have been in storage. You can even lay them in the sun to fully dry before transferring them into drawers or the dresser. Or, add Fresh Wave’s powerful Laundry Booster to get rid of mildew smells in clothing. Getting rid of mildew smell requires storage boxes and storage items to be fully dry when they’re put away. Otherwise mildew smell will return with a vengeance.

Approach cleaning under the sink similarly to the way you cleaned the closets. Remove all items and storage bins out from under the sink. Clean up wet spots and spray the inside of the cabinet with odor removing spray. Be sure to thoroughly clean and dry storage bins before returning them to under the sink and make sure any leaky bottles are properly disposed of or replaced. 

Common bad smells in a house are elusive and often come from multiple sources. With a little elbow grease a detective work, you can discover the source of your on-going battle with common household odor. Keep smells at bay with any one of Fresh Wave’s natural odor eliminating products.