9 Most Common Causes Of Bad Smells At Home

young woman covering her nose with her hand

9 Most Common Causes Of Bad Smells At Home

By : angila

Keeping your house tidy is necessary to maintain its hygiene, have a healthy home and prevent bad smells. Irregular or ineffective house cleaning can lead to various sources of foul odour in your home.

With constant exposure to bad smells, household members become habitual to them, but it leaves an unpleasant impression when someone comes to your house. You can avail of a house cleaning service for regular sanitation or end of lease cleaning in Melbourne at the end of a tenancy.

However, you should know common causes of bad smells at home when you want to improve your home’s indoor air quality and keep it smelling fresh at all times. Thus, here is a complete guide outlining the nine causes and how to eliminate them.

1. Heavily-Soiled Carpets

Keeping carpets in the home clean and sanitary is challenging, especially when you have small children or pets. But, you should prevent these fixtures from getting extremely dirty, as stains, grime and spots become breeding grounds for illness-causing germs.

Bacteria grow in the fibres of the carpet and cause a bad odour. To refresh carpets, sprinkle baking soda on them before vacuuming, and the powder will absorb any nasty smells permeating the fixtures.

For effective and efficient cleaning, divide the carpets into four quadrants and always move from the central point towards the edges. It is a professional technique experienced end of lease cleaners in Melbourne use for saving time and cleaning optimally.

2. Dirty Kitchen Sink & Dishwasher

Since both the fixtures accumulate dirt, food bits, grime and grease, they develop a biofilm to which smell causing bacteria, viruses, mould spores, and other pathogens stick & multiple. Thus, dirty kitchen sink and dishwasher permeate pungent odours, making your entire kitchen sink.

You can wash these fixtures with a cleaning solution of 50% water, 50% white vinegar and one-two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid. Make a paste of baking soda, dishwashing liquid and water for stubborn stains, food carbons or build-up. Apply the paste generously on the affected areas and scrub it after 30 minutes to clean the fixtures without any hassle.

3. Dirty Trash Cans

Even if you throw household trash every day, the trash can stink up your home when it is dirty. It is common for trash cans to become grimy, stained and dirty while disposing of wet or try garbage.

Therefore, develop the habit of washing trash cans in your home at least once a week. Additionally, sprinkle baking soda at the bottom to absorb bad smells and keep the garbage from smelling. Baking soda is a natural sanitiser and deodoriser that can clean household items and surfaces without hassle.

4. Clogged Drains

Drains in your kitchen, bathroom and other areas are constantly exposed to soap scum, dirt, grime, hard water and germs. Therefore, they develop a strong smell caused by the biofilm created by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other pathogens.

You can use a commercial drain cleaner to unclog a drain, but most contain dangerous, volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Thus, use baking soda, white vinegar and boiling water to sanitise drains naturally. If the drains still smell, pour 1/4th cup of bleach and cover the opening with a plug for 30 minutes. Next pour a litre of hot water to sanitise the fixtures completely.

5. Grimy Garbage Disposal

Since garbage disposals break down food and constantly get exposed to dirt, soap scum, limescale, and other contaminants, it is common for these fixtures to become grimy and create a bad odour that pollutes the indoor air quality.

Make ice cubes with lemon wedges and white vinegar to clean garbage disposal regularly. Sanitise the fixture every day by turning on the equipment and water before putting two-three cubes inside. This way, you not only clean the disposal naturally but also sharpen its blades.

6. Mould & Dampness

Among the first signs of mould in any area is a musty odour caused by the fungi spores or dampness that pollute the indoor air quality. Mould can grow on floors, grouts, ceilings, baseboard, or other areas that remain dark, poorly ventilated and moist.

Therefore, it is common for mould to develop in the bathroom, kitchen or laundry room. You can remove the spots with warm water, soap and a soft-bristled brush. To prevent regrowth, spray the clean area with white vinegar, letting it air dry by keeping windows/doors open.

7. Dirty Laundry

Start doing one load a day instead of doing laundry every week to avoid bad smells in your home. Dirty laundry can stink up any room because the clothes accumulate sweat, body odour, dirt and grime and the longer they remain unwashed, the more bacteria grow inside the fibres.

Therefore, use a mild detergent and a safe disinfectant to wash, then disinfect the clothes gently and effectively. Furthermore, store dirty laundry in one place using a laundry hamper with a lid. It will help prevent the smell from permeating every corner of your house.

8. Unclean Beddings

Beds, pillows, and other beddings gather dead skin, dirt, sweat and other pollutants that attract dust mites, bacteria, etc. Therefore, these items start smelling bad when they are not cleaned at least once a week. You can wash bed sheets, pillow covers, cushion covers and pullovers of frequently used rooms every few days.

Additionally, sanitise mattresses, upholstery, cushions and pillows by sprinkling baking soda on them and letting it dwell for 15-20 minutes before vacuuming. The powder will absorb bad smells and remove dust, dirt and grime, making the items look as good as new.

9. Pets

Homes with pets usually smell more than homes without pets, especially when the pooch lacks grooming and regular house cleaning is neglected.

If you have pets:

  • Keep your fur baby bathed & groomed
  • Regularly vacuum, wash or clean carpets, floors, rugs and common areas where your pet sits/sleeps.
  • Wash pet’s toys, utensils, blankets, bedding and other belongings frequently.
  • Clean pet stains and accidents immediately.

Tip: Inform the end of lease cleaners in Melbourne or house cleaning professionals you have pets before booking. They will bring cleaning supplies & equipment accordingly.


Have a clean and sanitary abode all year round by mitigating the above-mentioned nine common causes of bad smells at home. However, if you lack the time, energy or expertise to sanitise your home adequately, don’t hesitate to take the assistance of professionals providing house cleaning service or end of lease cleaning solutions in Melbourne, as per requirement.