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Bizarre and gross housecleaning question

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well, my roommate and I have been hunting the source of a "funk" in our kitchen for the few days. Pungent and unsettling, it has been a monkey on our backs.
Well, today... I found it.
There's this little corner cupboard under the sink (you know the ones with the TINY doors and the HUGE space in there?) Well, when we moved into this place four months ago, we were big on potatoes. We bought a whole lot of them, and they got stored in there. Then, we got sick of potatoes and forgot about them. We also shunned the cupboard, because Napoleon loved to get stuck in there. So it was sealed.

I wish I had never opened it.

I think in another week I'd've had vodka in there! It was the grossest smell/gunk ever -- potato rotten beyond all imagination.
After scraping it all out, I cleaned the whole cupboard with an aggressive spray cleaner. No real help, the smell stayed. Then, I soaked the whole thing in white vinegar. Funk remained. I covered the bottom in baking soda. Funk hangs on. Cut up onions and put them in. Now it's just Funk and Onion. (sounds like a hideous chip flavour.)
This is SO GROSS! Whenever I go to the fridge or sink, I get hit by the Funk. The cats avoid the kitchen because of it. I wish I had never released it...

Anyways, any ideas on how to get rid of this demon? Please?! I'm pretty desperate...

If nothing else, maybe some prayers (or an exorcism ) will help.
post #2 of 10
Take a bowl with low sides. Go to the store and buy pure vanilla extract and a loaf of white bread. Bring the bread and extract home, put the bread in the bowl (you probably need several bowls) then pour the extract on to the bread. Leave the bowls out overnight near the source of the smell
post #3 of 10
I would also try cleaning the area with pure ammonia or a strong smelling cleaner like Pine-Sol or Lysol.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
hissy, just so we're clear, you're a genius. Is there ANYTHING you don't know?

I'm going go go get some vanilla in the morning; is there anything else I can use, since I don't have any on hand (and have little cash?)

As a stopgap solution, I'm going to Febreeze the heck out of it -- just remembered I have some in the bathroom.
post #5 of 10
oh noooo! don't remind me of rotten potatoes

there was a rotten smell in our kitchen a few months back so i did a clean up and search for the offending smell, eventually i came across a heap of potatoes, they looked fine but the smell was stronger near them so i searched through and underneith them was one potato that was so rotten the inside looked like cream cheese, i picked it up with a plastic back and stringy bits of the stuff were dangling toward the floor, it was the most aweful thing iv'e ever seen or smelt

hard to believe that a hard potato can turn into a foul smelling, gunk filled monstricity...blah

took ages to remove the smell from one, i can't even imagine how bad your kitchen smells right now.

goodluck with the smell, great idea too hissy, will have to remember that for next time.
post #6 of 10
There is nothing, but NOTHING!, like the smell of potato that has passed beyond the pale Best of luck with your exorcism.

This doesn't happen often here, but occasionally a couple of spuds get buried and wreak their vengeance -- I shall certainly remember your words of wisdom, MA!
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Update: I have a small fan blowing directly into the cupboard. This means the WHOLE KITCHEN smells like the Ghost of Potato Past, but my father assures me the smell will be gone by morning.
Here's to hoping.
post #8 of 10
AAAUUUGGGHHHHH! I just had to chuck out about 10 lbs. of potatoes that were sprouting & rotting!! EEEWWW!! I sprayed their spot on the shelf (they were in a basket that leaked) with Tilex Mildew Root Remover, and it worked, but the Tilex odor is almost as bad as the spuds' . I wish that I'D been smart enough to post here and get Hissy's good advice!! Much safer!!
post #9 of 10
There is nothing, but NOTHING!, like the smell of potato that has passed beyond the pale Best of luck with your exorcism.
Another thing that is just wrong when off is fish.

my husband and i went fishing and had a heap of bait left in the esky, we were so tired after the five hour drive home that we just left it in the yard....and forgot about it

a few months later we were looking for the esky when we remembered it's fate and with great hesitation went into the yard to see how bad it was..

Jeff lifted the lid and damn was that the worst smell i have encountered in my whole life

there was maggots crawling all through it and it actually managed to make both my stomache turn, my throat close and my eye's water all at the same time.

neither of us wanted to clean it so we left it there...it's still out there now, waiting for us to clean it
post #10 of 10
now.. i know noone is going to believe me, but if you put dish washing detergent (yes the liquid one such as Pril or fairy) with no water all over the cupboard and scrub the smell and stains do go away..
I am a potato freak, and i chuck the potatoes out once they get soft so ive never see a rotten or smelled one.. but i would advise you to use the detergent, and then the vanilla extract.. because febrees and other sprays DO NOT WORK! (they do for like a few hours but i wouldnt waste my money on it!)

P.s i know this because when i bought my kitchen it smelled rotten, the old lady had passed away so god knows when she last cleaned the cup boards.
So yeah buying expensive stuff isnt goign to work, just the good ol bubbly detergent
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