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Identifying and Eliminating Odor in Mobile Home

Category Odors
Excess moisture, pets and pests can create troublesome smells in a mobile home. This is a guide about identifying and eliminating odor in mobile home.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 29, 2010

I live in a mobile home and have just moved in. My question is there is a smell in the house that I cannot seem to find. No, it does not smell like a dead animal. It is an odor that just does not smell right.

The house was closed for awhile, how long I do not know. Does anyone know how to attack this head-on? I am in the process of putting a coat of Kilz on before the color. I do not think this is helping. Is there someone who can help me or is there a service I can contact that can educate me or help me eliminate the odor? I think at times this is making me nauseated or something. Please someone help me out.

By Stephanie Peterson from Tavares, FL


August 29, 20100 found this helpful

Could it possibly be in the carpet?
Maybe a good steam cleaning or shampoo would help.

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August 29, 20100 found this helpful

Your carpeting might be the culprit, as mommyof_4 says. If you can, get down and smell it and if it's stronger, then you have found the culprit. If you have carpeted closets, take a small corder of the carpeting, pull it up, and take a good look/smell. The padding underneath is often less expensive and can soak up dead skin, grease, mold, mildew, and so much more. Even the subflooring can be affected.


If you can afford a professional cleaner come in, have them do a urine test. Urine contains salt, and they have little "prods" that when stabbed into the carpeting, give off a "beep" when they contact the salt. This says that something or someone (babies come to mind) peed over a long period of time, and human urine is not as acrid as animal, so it's harder to identify.

If not, try and look under the unit. All mobiles have what is called a belly board. It is a band of metal strips that hold in the insulation. Sadly, cats and critters love to play, then get caught and never get out.
I wish you luck. Airing out the unit will help, as well as baking soda in all the rooms.
Hope this helps.

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August 31, 20100 found this helpful

Before moving into this mobile home we had new carpeting put into the home and the linoleum is not the origin of problems either (that also is new). Now as far as the bands under the house he said they were recently replaced.


He is coming to the house with someone who is going to check under the house and also under the sinks where the plumbing is. He said something about filters under the sinks connected to the draining pipes, so whatever it is I am hoping he finds it quickly.

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August 31, 20100 found this helpful

Sometimes mobile homes can have leaking between the inner and outer walls.There could also be wet areas under the home, it may need to be dried out?Cleaning the drains may help too. Good Luck.

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September 1, 20100 found this helpful

Find out if any drywall has been replaced, its possible that you have Chinese dry wall. It gives off an odor and causes respiratory issues, supposedly it can out gas for over a decade

By the way its up in Maine too, even though they said it wasn't here, friend of mine did his whole house and had been having breathing issues.


He remembered some of the drywall looking different so that's the culprit. Now to figure out which ones and remove.

By the way, do not use kilz. Walls they won't breathe and mold builds up, personal knowledge.


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September 1, 20100 found this helpful

The culprit might be in your heating ducts. Check underneath for a hole in the insulation of the dusts and see if an animal could have crawled in and got trapped, I know of this happening before.

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October 22, 20100 found this helpful

My father-in-law had similar issues when he bought his mobile home; they knew it needed work to begin with and were already planning on tearing up carpeting and such. Is it a "musty" smell?

The in-laws thought at first it could have come from old rugs or from having been closed up, but when they started literally poking around, they found a portion of soft wall in a bathroom and also on the floor in the kitchen under a cabinet near the sink.


Turned out there were a couple of leaks that hadn't been taken care of and the smell was mold--lots of it.

They ended up replacing about 4 ft. sections of floor and wall in both rooms, as well as insulation and also replacing plumbing parts in both the kitchen and the bathroom.

It sounds like a lot, but my DH and his Dad were DIY guys and did it themselves for around 100-200 bucks in supplies.

So--check for soft, spongy areas all over, water damage spots or marks. In FIL's case, they were near plumbing and easy to pinpoint, but if there are roof leaks, mold could be anywhere.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 13, 2015

I live in double-wide mobile home in Central Texas, the Waco area, where in the last few weeks we had 16" or more rain. I live in the country in a field where there we always have rats, mice, etc. that also get under the house, so I keep poison under there. Now an odor is coming thru the floor vents which is a combination of dead varmints, but also is more stagnant smelling with water from all the rain in short period of time.


My son in law removed 2 sheets of underpinning and then covered with wire so cats and dogs don't go under there and swarms of mosquitos also came out! He did not see any large critters, but there could be rats. He saw a few snake skins which is not unusual here. I know mosquitoes breed in standing water and there are still several big puddles around the property, but not that close to house.

I have lived here 11 yrs and never had this problem before, but in a 24 hr period we had 11 inches of rain have had addional the last few weeks. It is probably not over. It was 84 degrees on Tuesday and lowest has been 44 so far. I have septic system in back yard and it hasn't been pumped in very long time, but ground doesn't show signs of mushiness (lot of rock in soil here). I need helpful advice on how to get rid of the odor and any other suggestions to dry out. I have already filed an insurance claim because of roof damage and leakage in my house. It has just been smelly for a week now. The mosquitos will die soon. 1 piece of underpinning was removed on the southwest side (we have lots of wind from southwest) and another piece from the northeast side. Would having septic tank pumped even though the ground is not mushy help? Thanks for advice.


November 16, 20150 found this helpful

sprinkle old coffee ground s over area , be generous , Can buy inexpensive coffee and sprinkle it aroungd ,

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November 17, 20150 found this helpful

I suspect there is standing water or at least mud under your house.
Certainly you need to pump your septic if it is time to do that. It doesn't matter about the ground being rocky or whatever. It can make you sick.
You may need to actually sandbag your trailer to keep water from running under the trailer. If this is too difficult or cost prohibitive, maybe a small trench can be dug that will make the water run away from the trailer and not under it.

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August 15, 20160 found this helpful

Lime will a eliminate odors.I know there are two different kinds of lime .One is used for whitewash,The other a barnyard
Lime.The Barnyard lime will eliminate odors of any kind.Call your local co-op Or feed store.

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November 30, 20160 found this helpful

I live in a mobile home. I have lived here for 3 years and now I have a dead animal smell in living room. Never had a problem like this since living here. We have looked all in the area that the smell is coming from and found nothing. Had the outside and under mobile home checked and found no dead animals. Not sure where this smell is coming from, but need help getting rid of smell. Will coffee grinds still help eliminate oder? Where else should I look to find where smell is coming from?

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April 17, 20150 found this helpful

We bought a mobile home last August. When we bought it under the kitchen sink had a bad smell like something dead, but not as bad. Then when it cooled off for winter the smell went away. So I thought it was a dead animal. Well now that it has been hot, the smell is back, but this time it smells that way in our wash room that's right beside the kitchen and it smells a little under the sink. No smell in the bathrooms. You would think that if it was from a dead animal that it wouldn't smell almost a year later.

By Stacy


April 18, 20150 found this helpful

I'm no expert, but it sounds to me like maybe mice have gotten into the wood and/or insulation, made nests, and possibly some of them have died in there. I have found that heat really amplifies smells--for example, I drive a carpool route with three other parents, on rotating shifts. We share a 12 passenger van, provided by family A, for this purpose. It works wonderfully, as each mom gets 6 weeks off between shifts, but the ones who have their turns during the hottest part of the school year do have to tolerate certain lingering odors, because family A has also used the van to haul farm animals, feed, dogs, etc. and no amount of cleaning can seem to permanently get the smells out.

If you check the crawl-space and find nothing, the only suggestion I have for you is to keep those rooms immaculately clean and perhaps a bowl of pot-pourri? Hope someone else has a better suggestion than mine!

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