4 Undeniable Sources of Kitchen Smells You’d Rather Not Have

cooking in the kitchen

Nobody wants to walk into their kitchen and find that it does not smell the best. If anything, It’s a red flag. A clean kitchen is essential to have for several reasons. When looking for a house and land for sale, home seekers put the kitchen space at the top of their list of priorities. Naturally, a quality kitchen and a bathroom are the most sought-after amenities in a home. But most importantly, a quality kitchen increases the value of a home.

Suppose the original homeowners have these red flags around their kitchen; who know what else they might’ve overlooked. That in itself is telling of something. Buying a house is a huge financial decision, and this makes house hunting all the more a serious business. Here are the common sources of funny smells in the kitchen. In other words, red flags to watch out for when house hunting and even when managing your own kitchen.

Under the Kitchen Sink

A common reason for the musty smell under the sink is a leak. The water leak contributes to the growth of mold and mildew, which can be a health hazard depending on the severity. Fortunately, this can be easily fixed by yourself or by a plumber.

Garbage Disposal

Similarly, the kitchen drain can smell too. This is often caused by food scraps and bits building up in the drainpipe. Depending on what foods are clogging the pipe, they can rot, which can even worse the smell. Fortunately, this is a temporary problem. All it needs is a little cleaning, and the smell will surely leave.


As suggested by its name, the dishwasher’s job is to clean the dishes. Although previous homeowners might’ve built the habit of throwing the leftovers and food scraps separately before putting the dishes in the dishwasher, some food particles may be left behind. These little pieces of food, thick sauces, and grease can clog different parts of the dishwasher that are essential in its function. Luckily, this is easily solved and prevented with regular cleaning. But should the smell persist even after a thorough clean, then there could be a problem with a hose or drain. Contact a professional for an inspection.


Cooking can be a messy business. A couple of food splatters and grease spills here, and there are almost impossible to avoid when cooking on the stovetop. When the cleaning after use is put off, it will undoubtedly be a source of foul odor when the pieces of food spoil. Additionally, it’s can because bacteria multiply too. Bacteria grow at their fastest between 40°F (4.4°C) and 140°F (60°C), growing in amount every 20 minutes.

kitchen stove

Other Possible Red Flags to Watch Out For

It doesn’t stop in the kitchen. Here are other things to look into when choosing a home.

Structural Damage

Cracks on the walls, rotting wood, uneven floors, water leaks, shifted door frames, and more could indicate that the integrity of the house is compromised. Should there any be even the slightest indication of the possibility, take it seriously. Pushing through with a purchase could even mean putting yourself in harm’s way as it may also be a safety hazard.

Unupdated Systems

Be it the electric wiring, water heater, plumbing system, or the cooling system, all systems in a house age break down, or undergo issues. Again, this is a home inspector’s job to evaluate the systems, but it’s always worth looking into on your own. An extra pair of eyes is always welcome.

Evidence of Mold

Speaking of safety hazards, seeing signs of mold growth around the house is another one. Mold can be an indication of many things but is often associated with water damage. Although the home inspector will most likely call it out first, it’s something to remain vigilant about. Inhalation and exposure to mold are dangerous to health. That should be reason enough to steer clear of them.

Cosmetic Wear

Although this has little to no effect on the structure of the house or the function of its parts, it’s important too. It’s an undeniable fact that aesthetics adds property value. Some homeowners don’t mind it, but most do. Unless you’re willing to spend extra to beautify the property, it’s not a common route that prospective buyers take.

The Takeaway

The bottom line is that cleanliness is key to a fresh-smelling kitchen. Although some homeowners can supplement the cleanliness of their kitchen with some scents, it shouldn’t be used to mask the odor of an unclean stovetop or kitchen sink. The best solution is to go straight to the problem and take care of it for good. The only way to do that is by cleaning. If it seems evident that the original homeowners might not be doing that, who knows what other things they could be overlooking?

Our collection of articles delves deep into the intricacies of real estate laws, insights into financing your dream home, and the latest industry updates. Alongside, our expert guidance on home improvement empowers homeowners to transform their living spaces into havens of comfort and style.

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