Friday, October 10, 2008

"What IS That Smell?"

This is the question I ask myself every time I go into my kitchen.  It isn't a 'hit you in the face' smell but more of a subtle smell that seems to just linger. I have scrubbed my cabinets, countertop, sink, and now even disposal.  I can not seem to find the smell.  

My kitchen already has some issues so I at least try to keep it clean. That way I can ignore the door-less cupboards, drywall backsplash, gaping holes in the ceiling, and even the temporary countertop.  But with this odor I am constantly feeling my kitchen is dirty.

I thought it was due to our container for food scraps. Now that we can put food scraps in the yard waste bin, we have a nice stainless steel pail (with a lid!) to hold food scraps.  Not so bad, we used to just have a bowl, that was kind of gross. But I have emptied and cleaned that daily and I still have the smell.

I thought it was the garbage disposal so I cleaned that. I did have a very unpleasant surprise, which I was sure was the origin of the odor. Did you know that the little black plastic thing above the garbage disposal comes out? I did not. As I was scrubbing it, it moved and I thought, oh this is interesting. I pulled it out and nearly gagged. I've dealt with some seriously disturbing things in this house but the stuff clinging to the rim of the drain was disgusting. I cleaned it, I sprayed it with good smelling, environmentally friendly cleaner. Nope, that was not the smell.

I've scrubbed the sink, under the sink, around the faucet. Nothing.

I finally decided it must be the countertop. When we bought the house we did not plan on re-doing the kitchen. Yes, it was disgusting, but a little spic and span, a little paint, and good as new! Or so we thought until we started cleaning and found the entire countertop was rotted. So, out went the cabinets and countertop. In went Ikea cabinets and no countertop. We didn't want to put in a laminate countertop so we decided to go without until we could afford what we wanted.  Instead Brandon nailed down a big piece of plywood and called it good. I covered it with stainless steel contact paper (at the time we thought we might like stainless steel countertops) and we were set.  So, my last idea, Brandon came home from work to find me ready to take off the old contact paper, scrub around the sink and faucet and put down new contact paper.  That was a big project but we uncovered some nasty things under the rim of the sink, plus some mold where the wood had gotten wet. New contact paper, some serious scrubbing, and it was like a new kitchen. Yay! I was so happy.

Next morning I walk into the kitchen and pause. Oh, yes, the smell is back.  

What to do now? Stock up on candles. I have a vanilla one for this  month, pumpkin spice for next month, and a spruce tree smelling one for Christmas. My new plan is simple. Burn a candle at all times and embrace the smell. 

So, if you come over and think, you catch a whiff of something unidentifiable, chances are you are right. But don't worry the longer you are here the less you notice the smell, pretty soon you are thinking, "Do I smell something? Oh, yes, that nice vanilla candle that is burning. What a lovely smell!"

What my kitchen looked like the day we bought it:

What my kitchen looked like on moving day:

What my kitchen looks like today:

Now onto the next issue. Get the buckets and the hose honey, the sewer pipe is backed up again!


Lisa said...

I didn't notice a smell when I was over last week! But burning candles are my tried and true method to cover disturbing smells in our house. Have you tried running orange peels through your garbage disposal...they naturally freshen the disposal/sink/air. Just a thought! :)

Michelle said...

Nice! I saw your new counter and wondered if it was all part of your sleuthing....It's cute paper! And the smell is not bad at all. Hardly noticeable! Able to be blamed on your compost pail!

Karen said...

This proves my point! Environmentally friendly, organic cleaners can't hold a candle (oops no pun intended) to good old bleach!

Did you move the fridge or stove? I found grosser than gross behind my stove last week when we moved it out.

Seriously whatever you think you smell, it isn't that noticeable...