You know how it is: smells tend to permeate an entire house without warning. You can leave for work one morning with a clean, fresh-smelling house, and arrive home that evening to a horrible smell that definitely wasn’t there eight hours ago.

When you don’t recognize an odor, where do you look first? Sometimes it’s even hard to pinpoint where the stench is coming from—when this is the case, try sniffing out these places first.

Laundry Hampers

It’s amazing how badly dirty laundry can smell. Be particularly careful of damp, dirty rags—if someone has wiped up spilled milk and dumped the dirty rag into the bottom of the hamper, the souring milk left on the rag will stink up the whole house in a matter of days.

Once you’ve identified a certain item as the culprit, be sure to wash it on a separate cycle as your other laundry so that it doesn’t contaminate an entire load. Add ODOREZE™ Natural Laundry Smell Removing Additive to your regular detergent to really get the nasty smell out. In the future, you can also consider pre-soaking smelly rags or items in ODOREZE™ prior to washing to save a step.


If you’ve narrowed down the source of the smell to the kitchen, check your garbage disposal first. Old food that is wedged down in the plumbing can send up a horrible smell—luckily, it’s usually easy enough to fix. Try filling your sink with hot, soapy water, and then turn on the disposal and let the water drain while the water is distributed around the various parts of the disposal.

If that doesn’t work, dump ODOREZE™ Plant Based Drain Odor Eliminating Concentrate down the drain. Let it sit for an hour, and then run warm water down the disposal to rinse it out. This should enable you to get rid of the smell in no time at all. Repeat this monthly to prevent odor build-up in the future.

Behind Appliances

If the disposal isn’t to blame, check behind your appliances. Pull out the oven, fridge, washing machine, and dryer, and check for rotting food, mouse droppings, or mold.  Sweep and mop with ODOREZE™ Eco Floor Cleaner & Deodorizer Concentrate to get rid of any odor-causing culprits.

Sewer Line

A broken pipe somewhere in your plumbing system can easily stink up your entire house. Open the cupboards under kitchen and bathroom sinks and try to pinpoint where the odor is strongest. Leaky pipes provide optimal places for mold and mildew to grow, and if it isn’t caught quickly those smelly growths can spread through your entire plumbing system.

If you suspect a leaky pipe is the culprit, get a plumber out to fix the problem as quickly as possible. Then use MOISTURESORB™ Reusable Moisture & Odor Absorbing Pouches in damp areas like your cabinets to keep them dry and prevent the growth of mold.

Inside the Walls

Mold doesn’t just grow in damp pipes. It can also grow inside your walls, which is why you might not be able to pinpoint the smell’s exact location. If your home is newer you might not have to worry about this as much, but if you have an older home, the wooden structure behind the sheetrock might be rotting or molding. Once again, you can use MOISTURESORB™ to eliminate dampness and odor.

Another source of a smell inside your walls might be dead rodents. If the weather is particularly humid, decomposing rats or mice can be particularly malodorous. Opening up the walls is not worth the effort and expense. Your best option is to invest in some SMELLEZE® Reusable Dead Rodent Smell Deodorizing Pouches to dissipate the horrible stench.  It will work even if you do not find and remove the carcass.

Under the Eaves

If you believe that the unidentifiable odor in your home is coming from the roof, get up into your attic or crawlspace if you can and check for rodents, droppings, or mold. If you can’t get up into the eaves, call a roofing company to take a look. You might be facing the same scenario as smells in the walls—opening up a roof to remove dead rodents is costly, and it’s definitely worth using SMELLEZE® Reusable Dead Rat Odor Eradicating Pouches to tackle this problem and save yourself stress and money.

While you have the roofers out, have them check your gutters for mildew. You might get lucky; the smell could be coming from mold or debris in your eaves troughs instead of from inside the roof itself, which is a much easier fix. Cleaning out your gutters on a regular basis is a good idea anyway—leaving them cluttered with damp leaves or garbage for too long can lead to rusting, which in turn can damage your roof.

There are many places for smells to originate, but before you go on a quest to exhume your entire house, start with these common places. If you’re lucky, getting your house smelling clean and fresh again won’t be harder than doing a load of laundry.