Your student apartment may stink for various reasons: some you can control, and some, well… not so much.
Maybe your apartment is old or maybe you don’t do a good job keeping it clean. Here are some common stink sources and their solutions:
Mold can be in the walls, in the bathroom, on the shower curtain, alongside windows, in places where’s there’s poor ventilation, where there are leaks in the plumbing, and all over the kitchen.
Solution: Preventative care is key and the best way to control mold growth is to control moisture. Try to keep high-humidity areas clean and as dry as possible. Purchase a dehumidifier if necessary. Most types of mold are non-toxic and can be easily cleaned with soapy water, vinegar, or bleach. Some kinds – like black mold – are too dangerous to be around at all. If you suspect this might be an issue, immediately alert your apartment’s maintenance staff.
I know you were really attached to the idea of eating healthy on the 1st of this month, but it’s time to let go of that wet bag of spinach. If the stink is emanating from your kitchen, there could be many suspects: expired food in the fridge, dirty dishes, the trash, and even smells trapped inside your sink’s garbage disposal.
Solution: There’s nothing wrong with having lofty ambitions for your new year’s diet, but know when to say goodbye. Get into the habit of going through your refrigerator once a week and disposing of any expired goods. Take the trash out immediately if you throw away any raw meats like chicken and fish. Keep up with the dishes and try not to put any raw meats or dairy down the disposal.
If your roommate is an athlete, well then you’ve pretty much just asked for this one. Sweaty armpit is not something you can take out with the garbage.
Solution: You might try having a delicate, well-planned conversation with them about hygiene, keeping up with their laundry, or suggest various prescription deodorant alternatives. You may also deem having this talk socially impossible and would much rather deal with the funk than confront the stinker. In which case, do what you can on your end to freshen things up around the apartment. Here are some ideas.
Your apartment’s dutifully absorbent carpet might not have been replaced in years. It’s likely full of moisture, dirt, pet “business,” and various allergens. Apartment staff are required to clean it every time the key changes hands, but how thorough are they really?
Solution: If you suspect your carpet is to blame, cover the floor with baking soda before you go to bed and vacuum it up in the morning. If that doesn’t work, rent a steam cleaner or hire a professional. It’s the next best thing to changing it out entirely.
Problem: Mittens and Barkley.
Pets are family. Pets are also animals, who get may get dirty and sometimes (just sometimes) make messes around the apartment.
Solution: Of course, we do not suggest getting rid of you pets. However, animals require regular upkeep and if you cannot provide that, you probably shouldn’t have one. Dogs should be washed often and with more frequency if they have longer coats. Take them outside twice a day so they do not make business inside. Cats should not be bathed at all since they prefer to do that themselves, but the litter box does need to be cleaned at least every other day. Make sure you clean your carpets more regularly if you do own pets.
And most importantly, don’t panic! If you find your stinky apartment living situation unbearable and/or unfixable, you’ll only have to stew in it until the lease is up!