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Odd smell when entering the house

Posted by sweet_home (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 11, 10 at 16:46

I smell something whenever I enter the house but only if it is later in the evening(say 8 or 9 pm). That smell is not present during the usual time I get home after work(around 5:30 pm). The unfortunate(and very frustrating) part is that my husband and kids don't smell anything and I am very sensitive to any odor. The smell seems to be somewhat closer to the wooden smell we used to have in our unfinished garage in our previous home but I am not able to say that for sure. Whenever we leave the house, we try to aerate it by opening a couple of windows at different ends of the house and did the same yesterday. When we came back at 8:30 pm, the smell was so strong in the entry way and kitchen. If the kitchen was remodeled 5 months back, is it still possible to get construction/cabinet related odor? Once I am inside the house for some period of time, I don't smell anything. Is there something I can do to investigate this further? I know it is hard for folks to give any suggestions if I cannot even describe the odor properly but I am desperate :(


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Odd smell when entering the house

Hi, you said your husband and children can't smell whatever it is you think is there. Please don't think I'm disputing your smelling something, but I wonder if you might consider this - and it comes from someone working with neurologists for many years. It may just be possible that you are experiencing a 'personal' odor that originates somewhere in your nasal passages, sinuses, etc. and is activated later in the day in your house, but not by something that's part of the house, but by you alone - in other words I wonder if an appointment with an ear,nose & throat MD just might be an idea. It MAY be something in the kitchen and your family MAY just be insensitive (maybe they should be checked :-) but it's also just possible that you could have a built-in (minor, not cause for alarm) thing happening that you could ask about.


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RE: Odd smell when entering the house

Thanks for your suggestion. Sometimes I do wonder if something is just wrong with me ;) I can smell perfume odor even hours after someone has left the room. That's how sensitive I am :( I would prefer it to be a problem with my smelling senses rather than the house having any issues. Like you suggested may be I should bring it up with my Dr.


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RE: Odd smell when entering the house

I'm very odor sensitive also. 1 night yrs ago I jumped out of bed in middle of night & ran to the kitchen & pilot light was out on 1 side of stove. DH didn't smell anything. Same thing happened next night & DH insisted in going to kitchen 1st(I could smell it all the way out) & sure enough it was out again. He smelled it right as he got down to see if it was out.I took it completely apart & cleaned gas hole with needle. If you had work done ,it could be glue/contact cement, particle board fumes, even if painted, stain or varnish used on cabinets. Try bowls of vinegar on counters for few days to see if that helps. If it was in your nose it's odd that it only happens at home. You say perfumes bother you also. My bro. when in grade school always had to sit next to teacher(smallest kid in class we figured) in auditorium. He always came home sick. We said it must be her perfume. Mom wore perfume tho & it didn't bother him. As adult he asked me to make his favorite "childhood" cookies. Molasses crinkles- he got really sick & vomited. Rest of us were loving them. Then he got some chili & got sick & went to ER ,they called to get the ingredients of the cafe's homemade chili, it had ginger in it. So I did some checking on Internet & in my medical books, several I got from Dr., well,ginger is part of any number of perfumes. So it took about 15 yrs to find out what made my DB so sick. Some folks are super sensitive & may vomit, get headaches or migraines, dizzy etc. Hope you get to bottom of it.If vinegar doesn't work next thing I would do is wipe down everything with vinegar water, or whatever cleaner safe to use on things. Maybe rag with something on it was used to wipe off a little dust or a drip. Good Luck!


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RE: Odd smell when entering the house

Thanks sunnyca. I was about to login in and post an update and saw your response. We were out of town for 4 days and got back home yesterday night. Since we had turned off the heater, there was no air circulation in the house. When we entered the house the smell was kind of strong and luckily this time my husband was able to smell it too. I just wanted a second opinion about the smell from someone other than me as I wanted to make sure that the smell was not musty. He also feels that it is some kind of odor from the wood. (may be the plywood gassing off something like formaldehyde etc?) The main puzzling thing was why it was happening only when we enter later in the evening. Once the weather gets a bit better, we are going to aerate the house very well and see what happens. I have also heard about vinegar before. What vinegar(and how much) should I use? I would like to use it to see if that changes or odor the odor.


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RE: Odd smell when entering the house

it might be just you..you can try candles,,those helps creating nice ambience around..also try keeping the windows open during day

Here is a link that might be useful: modern furniture


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RE: Odd smell when entering the house

Double check that there is no water leak wetting any new wood. It would smell like fresh wood until it developed a more musty mildew smell. (speaking from personal experience) I am also cursed with a strong sense of smell :)


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RE: Odd smell when entering the house

Thanks for the suggestion. The first thing we checked was to see if there could be any water damage. We don't have any clues to suspect that. Since the weather has become a bit better we are aerating the kitchen well. We'll be going out of town again for a few days and without any air circulation we'll know how the smell is when we get back. Hope everything is ok.


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RE: Odd smell when entering the house

The title of this post reminded me of my friend's house, that had a strange odor for years. Just recently they resealed the concrete floor of their attached garage. The smell is gone & I wondered if the cracks in the concrete floor would have caused the strange smell in their house. Wondered if anyone has heard of this?


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RE: Odd smell when entering the house

I once had an odd smell in the house, musty though, so probably not the same as yours. I wasn't able to trace it to anything though. Then as the days wore on, I finally traced it to the potatoes in my kitchen. Embarrassing to say, but one had almost liquified!!!! Yikes!!! I told a friend, and funny thing is, it happened to her too! At least I wasn't the only one!
You will probably find it sooner or later. Good luck!


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RE: Odd smell when entering the house

Too funny, fleur222. Just a week or two ago I noticed a strange odor in my coat closet, a bit like stinky feet.
Later I happened to find a old bag of dog treats that contained what I believe once was some cheese or meat
product (I sometimes use the cheese in training). Well,
it was all liquified and quite disgusting. The smell
went away immediately. ;)


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