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Why doesn't my house smell nice?

(28 Posts)
fruitstick Wed 10-Sep-08 14:39:43

We are trying to sell our house at the moment and I want our house to smell nice. Instead it just smells a bit musty.

We have a cleaner once a week and I'm a fairly clean person so it's not dirty, but I can't quite put my finger on what this musty smell is. I open the doors and windows as often as possible to let the air in but nothing seems to make the house smell clean and fresh.

We have no pets but have toddler so it may be him!

My 2 questions are
- where the hell is the smell coming from?
- what can I use for that 'please buy my house' smell that doesn't come from an artificial air freshner.

Trebuchet Wed 10-Sep-08 14:41:28

Crush up coffee beans abd cardamom pods, stuff into some old stockings/tights legs and dangle them in amoungst things, like your coats or in wardrobes, and use as pot pourri. It's lovely. Good luck

expatinscotland Wed 10-Sep-08 14:41:45


maidamess Wed 10-Sep-08 14:42:12

It may be your carpets. They store up the stinks. Use some of that vanish mousse for high traffic areas to freshen them up.

To make your house smell nice when folk are viewing, an oil burner makes a nice smell, with scented oil .

wittyusername Wed 10-Sep-08 14:43:07

I hope it's not a dead mouse under a floorboard? They can reek...

I hear that brewing coffee or baking bread can help create the smell you're llooking for. Good luck!

WilfSell Wed 10-Sep-08 14:43:29

in our house it's huge piles of crusty laundry that do the damage blush

carpets can benefit from some cleaner and a steam clean...

fruitstick Wed 10-Sep-08 14:44:52

It might be damp. How do I tell? Can you get rid of the smell without locating the damp?

Am off to crush some cardamom!

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Wed 10-Sep-08 14:45:41

apparently the smell of freshly baked bread is good for selling homes. its true i saw it on property ladder or something similar.

if you are rubbish at baking buy that par baked bread and finish it off in the oven.

probablyaslytherin Wed 10-Sep-08 16:03:37

For months I tried to track down a horrible stale (sour) smell in our bedroom. I found it last week - the curtain linings had been damp on the window side. They weren't even noticably stained - there were just a few light spots.

Spraying with Febreeze helped a bit but it is still there. Nearly posted on here to ask whether anyone thought drycleaning would help.

I agree that carpets can also harbour smells.

DrNortherner Wed 10-Sep-08 16:07:10

I was thinking dead rodents somewhere....

tigi Wed 10-Sep-08 16:10:06

musty duvets?

Tutter Wed 10-Sep-08 16:15:05

i am addicted to those diffuser stick thingies

but they are "fake"

but more like a perfume than an air freshener

this kind of thing

platypussy Wed 10-Sep-08 16:19:53

I think houses always seem to smell if they have carpets (unless the carpets are brand new). We got rid of all ours and the house dosent smell of anything at all.

WilfSell Wed 10-Sep-08 16:46:21

Bicarb of soda is generally pretty good for getting rid of smells too but I've not tried it on carpets. Might give it a go on my 'wet dog' rug (don't have a dog, but it is wool and if it gets damp, it smells of dog!)

I haven't seen diffuser sticks before - it looks like sticks in a bottle of perfume, is that how it works?

slayerette Wed 10-Sep-08 17:02:44

Stargazer lilies will mask the smell for when you have viewings. Oil burners/scented candles ditto.

Getting the carpets cleaned with one of those heavy-duty steam-cleaner thingies might help. I tracked a particularly horrid smell in our understairs cupboard to the mop that had been put away damp, so look out for anything like that.

DwayneDibbley Wed 10-Sep-08 17:04:23

Message withdrawn

Thefearlessfreak Wed 10-Sep-08 17:55:17

i like Prices household candles - Chefs candle; eliminates odours! It is patchouli & basil scented.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thehouseofmirth Sun 14-Sep-08 13:19:09

or spraying furniture polish on the radiators (if they're on low)

indignatio Sun 14-Sep-08 13:36:45

house plants (& growing pots of herbs) with mouldy roots smell like cat wee

PavlovtheCat Sun 14-Sep-08 13:42:03

bicarb of soda on the carpets, leave for 2-3 hours, then hoover off. Great at removing smells.

MrsBick Sun 14-Sep-08 14:21:33

fresh baked bread (banana bread is good)
ground coffee brewing

cinnamon sticks in the oven

Anna8888 Sun 14-Sep-08 14:22:58

Sometimes fitted carpets can smell bad - and the solution is to have professional cleaners in. Ditto all sorts of upholstery and curtains.

mrsleroyjethrogibbs Sun 14-Sep-08 14:24:52

a normal candle lit will eliminate most odours. that and cleaning your carpets will work wonders

TheConfusedOne Sun 14-Sep-08 14:40:54

I'm addicted to Yankee Candles and burn them constantly, (mainly as a CM, there are always at least one bum to change)

And I have a Partylite diffuser in the hall.

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