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'That' smell - Carers UK Forum

'That' smell

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Sorry if this has already been covered, but I can't find anything in recent posts. I was away this weekend and on my return last night noticed quite a strong musty smell as I came into the house. I have noticed it before after being away for more than a couple of days. I assume it's always in the house, but I just don't notice it any more, not until I have a break. Mum is pretty clean, she washes regularly (well, she showers twice a week!), and is good in the hygiene stakes, as far as I can see/sense, so I don't know where that horrible musty/unfresh smell is coming from. I do keep a clean house and there is no damp. I am thinking I need to get some of those automatic air freshener sprays around the house. Does anyone else have this issue, and, if so, how has it been overcome/eased? I have asked a couple of friends if they have noticed it when visiting. They say no, but they may just be being polite! I would open windows a bit wider but, guess what, Mum is always cold! Thanks in advance for any useful tips.
No idea what it could be, but I can say that the automatic air fresheners work well, although I tend to use fresh lavender from the garden Image Image
How funny that you have posted on a topic we have been experiencing ourselves only recently!

We moved to a bungalow back in February and a couple of months later, we started noticing a "strange musty smell" in the lounge. Like you, you could only smell it when you walk into the lounge, after having been out of the lounge for a few hours or more but after a while you "get used to it" and no longer smell it again. So any attempts to "sniff it out" by sniffing around the lounge was fruitless.

The carpet was brand new, the underlay too, laid on a clean (and disinfected) floor, ceiling and all wooodwork freshly painted, walls washed down and new wallpaper hung - what could it be?!?! The only thing my wife suggested it might be was a ramp I made from ex-bandstand boards obtained on Freecycle, placed at the back door but I was sure it wasn't that.

Then we found it! Or rather, my wife did. And only last week too.
She was cleaning the lounge (well, giving it a tickle, as we call it, lightly dusting and polishing) when she thought she could smell the musty smell again.
The source? A ceramic plant pot!
Sticking our noses in it, it was definitely the musty smell we had been smelling.
Wifey cleaned the pot, which holds a plastic pot full of compost with a triffid in it, in bleach. Not only is the decorative pot nice and clean and super shiny again but the musty smell has gone!

Not saying this could be your problem but it's something to think about. Image

In another house we lived in, we had a shoe cabinet in the hallway, placed in from of a radiator panel. During the cold months, especially the winter when the radiator would be on, caused the shoes and slippers within to heat up. This used to emit a pongy smell too. (All the sweaty feet drying out of the footwear I guess! LOL)

Using air fresheners is good but they only mask the smell. The only sure-fire way to eliminate them is to find the source. Maybe a dead rat under the floorboards? Dead bird in the chimney breast behind the fire? Image
My musty smell turned out to be a box of dishwasher salt granules stored beside the gas meter. The salt drew the moisture from the pipe and made the shelf damp! Also wet gloves put into a jacket pocket without airing has caused similar problems in the past.

Creepier is when we go away I always close all the doors. On return the dining room always smells as if someone has been smoking a pipe there. Asked if the previous tenant had been a pipe smoker, but was told restricted to his shed, so not his ghost. Then I remembered the aroma was "bogey roll" my grandad`s favourite brand. Suggested in conversation one night with my late mother who haunts me at the kitchen sink if she has her dad with her on visits he should smoke outside, and have never smelt it since.xx
That reminds me of another source of smells - rotting potatoes (or other veg) in the vegetable basket we used to have in a cupboard under the stairs in the kitchen. One time it was just the one mouldy potato buried under all the other potatoes.

They don't 'alf Pen and Ink!
I think a rotting potato is the worst ever smell! I had one festering that had fallen down the back of my tumble dryer and thought it was a dead mouse, so took everything out of back hole and found the potato, god its horrible!
We have a smell in the lounge since having the laminate down its not nasty but very musky and woody
If 'that smell' is lurking in my house it usually means the dog has been stealing cat food again Image
One of my carees has a catheter and I don't think the care staff are always as careful as they ought to be when emptying etc. There are sometimes, but not always "nasty niffs", such a shame because this caree has always religiously had a bath every day and would be mortified if she knew. Anyhow, I told her about my "new gadget", an automatic air freshener, and bought one for her, with a couple of refills. Worked well. A word of warning though, some of the fragrances are truly awful, others good, so to start with get a couple of different fragrances and see which you like the best. I like white lilac but can't stand the lavender, which is odd really because I usually love the smell of lavender and always use Yardleys Lavender soap and talc. Hope that helps.
One way I've found of dealing with nasty smells is to use Flash All purpose as a part of my regular cleaning routine - I've found that it not only cleans but leaves a nice smell, too. It's also good to splash into commodes and other portable urine containers, too. It's worth experimenting to see which of these you like though because some of them will give me a headache when I use them.

As far as the automatic air fresheners go, I've found that it pays you to experiment with different brands as opposed to deciding that they aren't nice and that's that. I've tried some before that just don't smell very nice... then I found out that the reason it didn't smell nice was because it had been mixed with another scent that I didn't like.