Identifying and Eliminating Odor in Mobile Home?

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


September 1, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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

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4 More Questions

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.

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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July 30, 20190 found this helpful

i have the same problem n still cant find what is causing it!

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May 21, 2019

It's not something I can identify. It is nothing I've ever smelled before. I live in a single wide trailer, you know, the generic, run of the mill kind, they used to make back in the day. The kind with ugly brown shutters. I keep getting this odd smell that isn't something dead or rotten. It doesn't smell like must or mold. It doesn't smell like gas or a chemical. I don't know what it is. I'm not even sure how to describe it. It reminds me of microwaved chicken nuggets that aren't quite right. It has a sour quality to it, and perhaps a hint of bad breath. Weird, I know. It doesn't smell bad per say, more that I just can't stand the smell.

My husband doesn't seem to notice. The trailer we rented before this one was a few lots down in the same trailer park and I smelled it there too. I notice it indoors more than outdoors. I thought maybe it was the soil (we have a natural spring that runs under the yards) or something in the walls. I feel like I'm going crazy and I don't know what it is, where it's coming from, what to do about it, or if I'm even really smelling it (I am.) Before we moved into this trailer park I never smelled anything similar before. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?


May 21, 20190 found this helpful

You may have rotting vegetation under your mobile home. Clear it out and see if things improve.

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June 13, 20190 found this helpful

Did you get this resolved? I ask because we just went through this with our kitchen sink. A weird smell. Turned out, I had a sinus infection and it was just me smelling it. My husband never smelled it and it was so frustrating. You said it doesn't bother your husband, but does he smell it. My first hint with my issue was he didn't smell it. I thought I was going nuts! 10 days of antibiotic later, no more smell. It was me all the time. It also explained the headache I had for the week I kept smelling it--I thought the smell was CAUSING the headache..turns was a symptom from it. The doc said that what I was smelling was basically infected mucus. Sorry for the TMI. I know EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!! That was how I felt, but I am better now!

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March 17, 2019

We moved into a modular house that was built in 1986. We had to remove the trim in the kitchen and dining room for a re-model project, and the smell about knocks our socks off. It's not a moldy or mildewy smell, it reminds me faintly of sagebrush when you crush the leaves. I am just curious if anyone knows what this might be, a preservative or a type of wood?, so we can make an educated decision on whether or not to replace it.

Thank you!


March 18, 20191 found this helpful

Make sure the smell is not coming from behind the walls. If it is not, then replace the trim.

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April 17, 2015

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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