Asked on May 23, 2017

How do you eliminate previous homeowner's odor from house?

GrnandbrwnJohn EverettJean M. Tedeschi
+13

Answered

There is an odor that i have not been able to identify but you can smell it as soon as you come into the house. It doesn't matter how much I clean and I have cleaned everything from floors, walls, sink drains, toilets, jets in the tub, (actually took them apart), windows and sills, built-in bookcases etc. if it can be cleaned chances are I've cleaned it. I live in the north GA mountains where humidity is high, so much so that I had to use oil base paint on the walls in the basement just for the paint to completely cover. I was thinking maybe mold or mildew. But, this odor doesn't smell like mold or mildew. It's an odd smell! Someone suggested using an ozone generator. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
6 answers
  • C. D. Scallan
    on May 23, 2017

    Have you tried placing small dishes of baking soda discretely around your house ? If it works in the fridge....just a thought . It's cheap and worth a try.
    • Grnandbrwn
      on May 23, 2017

      Thank you for your suggestion. Yes, I've used baking soda and occasionally put it on the carpet.
  • Susan Savarese
    on May 23, 2017

    If you've tried all sorts of things, Leslie, you may have to hire a company to come in. They seal up your house and clean the air.
    • Grnandbrwn
      on May 24, 2017

      Thank you for your suggestion Susan. What kind of company would I call to clean the air in my house? I've never heard of this.
  • Jennifer | CrazyDiyMom
    on May 23, 2017

    I know exactly what you're talking about - we had the same thing and it made me crazy! We live along Lake Michigan so we have high humidity as well and the house we bought was closed up for about a year so it smelled like a mix of old and musty. We cleaned everything and it was still there. Vaccumed out all the ducts - still there. Washed walls - still there. It was driving me nuts.

    I ended up borrowing an ozone generator from my uncle who swore by it when he bought it after he had a fire in his house and wanted to get rid of the smoke smell. After I used it I bought my own the next day! Here's a link to the one I got - http://www.crazydiymom.com/ozonegenerator.html The company gives great details and instructions on how to use it so you can get even more information. I put it in each room for about an hour and then I also sent it through the duct work and vents in the house. It made a HUGE difference and I still use that thing. It cost about $100 and is worth more than that! Good luck!



  • Jean M. Tedeschi
    on May 23, 2017

    Also, have your ac/heating vents cleaned. You can also use air freshener filters for the intake vent.
  • John Everett
    on May 23, 2017

    If they all else fails, try essential oils around the house .
    • Grnandbrwn
      on May 24, 2017

      Thank you for your suggestion. Once I get rid of the odor I will use EO's for aromatherapy but I'd rather get rid of the source than cover it up. Thanks again!
  • Grnandbrwn
    on Jun 26, 2017

    I ordered an ozone generator. Thank you Jennifer @ CrazyDiyMom for the suggestion. Amazon was out of the one you (Jennifer) suggested so I went to Foreverozone.com. They actually had an updated model, OG-20,000, which I purchased. I used it today in my basement.

    I have two bedrooms, a family room, a storage area, and a third of the basement is where the tools, craft table, and exercise equiptment are kept. I set up the generator in the middle of the basement (in the family room) and ran it for 2 hours. I waited an hour after 'shocking' the basement and went to see if the odor was gone. What I smelled is hard to discribe. It sort of smells like the windows were left open on a rainy day. The two bedrooms, which had a strong basement odor, do not smell like they once did. My DIL told me the odor left behind after shocking will disapate. The area of the basement where there's tools and storage, still has a bit of a basement odor so I will shock that particular area tomorrow. After that, I will shock the main floor. I'm excited with the results so far. I think I need to shock more than once because the house was lived in for 10 years by an older couple who probably didn't notice the odor and/or did nothing about it.

    A word about Forever Ozone. I got the generator rather quickly. When it was shipped, it included two older model ozone plates as the company had run out of the newer updated plates. The note in the box said they didn't want to hold up my order waiting for the newer plates and they should be in within the following week. I did have to call two weeks later to find out where the new plates were. I was told they had just come in and were in the process of being shipped. I recieved them two or three days after that call.

    Also, I am new to ozone generators and had a lot of questions than were on the enclosed information. So, I called the company and ask several questions. The man I spoke with was very nice and answered all my questions and put any jitters I had about using the generator at ease. All in all, I am glad I bought the generator ($100 no S&H or tax. No charge to send the updated plates either). I can't wait to get the rest of the house done.
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