How to Get Rid of That Old House Smell (and Other Smells)

5 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.


Is mildew dangerous?

Figuring out how to get rid of mildew smell is about more than just your comfort level. While mildew isn’t considered to be quite as toxic as mold, left untreated it can lead to a range of respiratory symptoms—including sneezing and coughing—as well as headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.

Mildew can be dangerous to your home, too. Like most fungis, mildew gradually eats away at the surface that it inhabits. If it gets to be serious, that can mean structural damage to walls, ceilings, stairways, furniture, etc., depending on where it’s growing.

Cat Urine


Even people without feline friends may smell cat urine, especially after it rains. That distinctive odor can be an indication of a mold problem. Certain types of mold have a smell similar to cat urine, including dangerous toxic black mold, which should be remediated by a professional.  Another source of cat urine odor is ornamental boxwood, a common landscaping shrub. And finally, if your home’s previous owners had cats, any moisture that comes into contact with wood floors and walls will release the ghostly odors of cats long past. RELATED: Solved! What Does Mold Smell Like?

Pickle Odor


If you smell a strong pickle-like odor in your home, it may be the chemical formaldehyde. Although formaldehyde is classified as a dangerous carcinogen and a VOC, it is widely used in a range of manufacturing processes and products including adhesives, resins, preservatives, disinfectants and fixatives.  Many manufactured homes use building products containing formaldehyde, including walls and flooring. Carpeting, upholstery, paneling, and pressed wood furniture all can be sources of formaldehyde, which can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems for sensitive individuals.  Formaldehyde turns into a gas at room temperature and the “off-gassing” produces this strong odor. In manufactured homes and building materials, it can take as long as 2 years for this off-gassing to diminish. To get rid of the odor, open doors and windows and run ceiling fans or stationary fans as often as you can. You also can try covering carpets or upholstery with baking soda, allowing it to sit overnight and then vacuuming thoroughly.  RELATED: 10 Things You Might Not Realize Have VOCs


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How do you get rid of bad odors in a room?

Most methods involve cleaning the air with a device such as an air purifier or suppressing the bad odors with sweet ones from another source.

The best way to get rid of odors is to buy an air purifier.

Consider the type of filter, change rate, decibels, and CADR. Stay away from ionization or UV air purifier models.

How to Get Rid Of Bad Odor in a Mobile Home

Like we mentioned in the previous section, the best way to get rid of bad odor in a mobile home is to know the source.

From then, you can provide suitable solutions.

Elimination of the source of the bad odor is the surest way to keep your rooms serene and clear from any awful smell.

In this section, we have added additional tips and hacks on how to rid your mobile home of bad odors.

a. Deodorize Your Fridge

Should you notice that your fridge is the cause of the smell, then you need to stick a piece of baking soda box on its back or the shelf. Such boxes should be changed annually.

Also, care must be taken to ensure that its placement does not go near stuff like vegetables as it can cause them to wilt.

b. Dealing with Kitchen Odors

Kitchen odors emanate from several activities done daily in the kitchen.

A bad smell may originate from burnt toast, fried meat, and any other burnt food.

To eliminate such odor from the kitchen, you need to keep the windows open.

An air freshener can also do a good job of keeping the room refreshed and healthy.

c. Keep Your Garbage Disposal Clean

In nearly all homes, the garbage disposal is the chief source of bad odors.

To contain this smell, cut lemon fruits into pieces and drop them in.

An orange or lime can also work well. Vinegar can also be used to remove the smell coming from the garbage.

d. Thorough Cleaning of the Carpets

You need to maintain your carpet clean. You can hire a professional to clean it with appropriate cleaning agents.

Carpets are prone to dirt because they are the most trampled on surfaces in a mobile home.

As a result, there is every chance food substances and stains accidentally fall on them.

After a long time, a bad smell will begin emanating from such surfaces causing discomfort. So make sure that your carpet is kept clean always.

Why is this old house smell an issue?

Alongside being unpleasant to breathe in day after day, old house smell may damage your health if it is in fact a sign of mVOCs in the home. While the effects are unknown, there’s some concern that repeat exposure to mVOCs can lead to fatigue, nausea, dizziness, headaches, and eye and nasal irritation — even if you can’t see visible mold growth in the home. If you have asthma or allergies, some experts worry that mVOCs may aggravate those issues and even lead to disorientation and neurological effects.

It’s extremely important to note just how serious repeat exposure to mold is, as some molds produce toxins called mycotoxins that lead to symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting or acute liver disease or even death.

This is a problem you need to tackle sooner rather than later. If you decide to remain in the home, you deserve a better quality of life. If you choose to sell your home, you’ll find that easier to do with a fresh smelling home. 

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