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Stink in cabinets under kitchen sink! #5265872 11/13/19 10:11 AM
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Blue_Goose Offline OP
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I just moved into a new apartment and for the most part I like it. Until I opened the cabinets under the sink....phew! It smells to high heaven...very heavy musty smell....It's not damp under there, it just stinks. There is a garbage disposal and dishwasher copper feed and rubber hose dishwasher discharge under there as well.

I asked the Property Manager and she said try running the dishwasher.......I did but the smell still remains.


So before I have their maintenance guy come in there I'd like to see if I can remedy it myself (I'd like to give it a shot at least)

I've read that using vinegar, then hydrogen peroxide and then baking soda is a good solution.....thoughts on this?

Or could it be something else like a bad vent etc? The apartment was vacant for maybe a month or so before I moved in. At first I though it was a sewage death smell but seems more like a heavy mildew stink.....I don't see mold but the copper line for the dishwasher is discolored and turning green a bit.



2018 Honda Civic EX Hatchback 1.5T

Re: Stink in cabinets under kitchen sink! [Re: Blue_Goose] #5265883 11/13/19 10:18 AM
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Re: Stink in cabinets under kitchen sink! [Re: Blue_Goose] #5265891 11/13/19 10:28 AM
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Blue_Goose Offline OP
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I've put a cheaper no name fresh linen gel odor eliminator under there and it has done zilch so far. Is the Arm Hammer a much better option?


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Re: Stink in cabinets under kitchen sink! [Re: Blue_Goose] #5265898 11/13/19 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Blue_Goose
I've put a cheaper no name fresh linen gel odor eliminator under there and it has done zilch so far. Is the Arm Hammer a much better option?

Might be! I like them.


'04 Mazda6 V6 wagon 5-spd.
'88 Dodge Daytona 2.5 5-spd.
'95 Ford Taurus SHO 5-spd. SOLD
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Re: Stink in cabinets under kitchen sink! [Re: Blue_Goose] #5265916 11/13/19 10:57 AM
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Fawteen Offline
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Originally Posted by Blue_Goose
It's not damp under there, it just stinks.
but seems more like a heavy mildew stink.....

I don't see mold


Those three lines tell me what I need to know. If the issue was biofilm in the dishwasher or the garbage disposal you'd smell it above the sink or inside the dishwasher. You've got a mold issue behind the sink base cabinet or under the sink base cabinet. Get a mold detection kit and test for it-the 5 minute test kits work pretty well and are fairly accurate.

Personally, having been in residential real estate for over 35 years and knowing what I know about mold, I would not spend any time in that apartment until you get it tested for mold. On any property that I own, if the tenant complains of a possible mold issue, the property management company is there within an hour with a 5 minute test kit. If remediation has to take place, we put the tenant up in an extended stay facility until the mold is remediated and the issue is corrected.

Mold is not something you want to mess with. At all.


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Re: Stink in cabinets under kitchen sink! [Re: Blue_Goose] #5265925 11/13/19 11:03 AM
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Donald Offline
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I would run the faucet in sink, garbage disposer and dishwasher and look and feel the drain pipes for a tiny leak or drip.


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Re: Stink in cabinets under kitchen sink! [Re: Blue_Goose] #5265938 11/13/19 11:14 AM
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Miller88 Offline
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Probably leaking under the base of the cabinet. One of my apartments had that problem.


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Re: Stink in cabinets under kitchen sink! [Re: Miller88] #5265976 11/13/19 11:33 AM
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pandus13 Offline
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Originally Posted by Miller88
Probably leaking under the base of the cabinet. One of my apartments had that problem.

^^^ sewage leak.

Probably multiple times over the years.

Trow some ice cubes in the disposal. Run. Then a lemon or orange cut in quarters. Run.

Dump the baking soda in the sink drain. Dump vinegar. Wait.

Dump HOT water. Also on the disposal drain (if 2 bowl sink)

Feel the drain pipes under sink for leaks.

Under sink:
(if floor not mushy or drain pipes not leaking)

use some disinfecting wipes on the whole surface. twice.
spread some baking soda over the entire surface.
let it sit.
vacuum.
use a good nice smelling cleaner (not bleach, your head and nose will hurt)
force dry with a fan
use a good nice smelling cleaner (not bleach, your head and nose will hurt)
force dry with a fan
use a good nice smelling cleaner (not bleach, your head and nose will hurt)
force dry with a fan

use a liner.


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Re: Stink in cabinets under kitchen sink! [Re: Fawteen] #5265980 11/13/19 11:37 AM
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pandus13 Offline
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Originally Posted by Fawteen
Originally Posted by Blue_Goose
It's not damp under there, it just stinks.
but seems more like a heavy mildew stink.....

I don't see mold


Those three lines tell me what I need to know. If the issue was biofilm in the dishwasher or the garbage disposal you'd smell it above the sink or inside the dishwasher. You've got a mold issue behind the sink base cabinet or under the sink base cabinet. Get a mold detection kit and test for it-the 5 minute test kits work pretty well and are fairly accurate.

Personally, having been in residential real estate for over 35 years and knowing what I know about mold, I would not spend any time in that apartment until you get it tested for mold. On any property that I own, if the tenant complains of a possible mold issue, the property management company is there within an hour with a 5 minute test kit. If remediation has to take place, we put the tenant up in an extended stay facility until the mold is remediated and the issue is corrected.

Mold is not something you want to mess with. At all.

[off-topic]
I know some guys have given you some attitude because of your sometimes blunt style, but ^^^ this right here tells me that even in your price range you where never a slumlord.
Good people make the place.


16 Golf SportWagen
13 Mazda5
08 Yaris
04 Elantra
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Re: Stink in cabinets under kitchen sink! [Re: Blue_Goose] #5266005 11/13/19 12:00 PM
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Mad_Hatter Offline
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I'm, im no rocket scientist but using vinegar and baking soda together or back to back, is gonna neutralize either won't it? And fwiw, I use Borax from time to time in the dishwasher/disposal as it has antibacterial properties. I don't believe either vinegar or sodium bicarbonate do??

To your issue...your problems not your disposal or dishwasher, I'd bet dollars to pennies it's mold..as someone already posited. Could be there was a drip/leak at some point prior to your move in. And before you go packing up your apartment, determine what it is first. It may be something that can be resolved in an afternoon.

Last edited by Mad_Hatter; 11/13/19 12:09 PM.
Re: Stink in cabinets under kitchen sink! [Re: Blue_Goose] #5266023 11/13/19 12:13 PM
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Blue_Goose Offline OP
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Thanks for the replies guys. I'll stop at HD or Lowes and get on of those mold kits to test. What is odd is on the cabinets on either side I don't smell anything. It just seems to be situated to the particular cabinet?

If it was a bad mold situation do you think I'd be able to smell it in the other cabinets?


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Re: Stink in cabinets under kitchen sink! [Re: Blue_Goose] #5266111 11/13/19 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue_Goose
Thanks for the replies guys. I'll stop at HD or Lowes and get on of those mold kits to test. What is odd is on the cabinets on either side I don't smell anything. It just seems to be situated to the particular cabinet?

If it was a bad mold situation do you think I'd be able to smell it in the other cabinets?

Not necessarily...could be that the one particular area you're smelling things provides air flow such that it's more easily noticed. That's a good question you ask but I don't think the lack of not smelling it another cabinet rules out mold in that one area definitively.

There's only going to be a handful of potential sources of the smell. If it were the disposal or dishwasher I'd think the drain up top would also reek to high heaven. I just can't envision how it wouldn't but the bottom/underside of the cabinet would??

Last edited by Mad_Hatter; 11/13/19 01:52 PM.
Re: Stink in cabinets under kitchen sink! [Re: Blue_Goose] #5266122 11/13/19 02:01 PM
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Fawteen Offline
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Originally Posted by Blue_Goose
If it was a bad mold situation do you think I'd be able to smell it in the other cabinets?


The reason you don't smell it in the other cabinets is because the sink base has holes around the supply lines and drain and those holes are what is letting the odor into the sink base cabinet. If you really want to stick your head down there (and I don't recommend it) you can sniff right where the lines go through the cabinet-either in the back or bottom-and that's where the smell will be the strongest. But again, knowing what I know about mold (and I would recommend you assume it's mold until proven otherwise) I would not recommend it.


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Re: Stink in cabinets under kitchen sink! [Re: Blue_Goose] #5266281 11/13/19 05:44 PM
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Bottom line...property manager needs to deal with it immediately. This is what you pay for.

Re: Stink in cabinets under kitchen sink! [Re: Blue_Goose] #5278594 11/27/19 07:01 AM
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Blue_Goose Offline OP
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Update-

They put a new dishwasher in yesterday. Said they have run into this issue before and it more than likely is the hose that connects the dishwasher to the disposal.

Said it may take a bit of time for the smell to dissipate......


One thing I will say.....they don't make things like they used to. This new dishwasher is built like a plastic piece of garbage....the replacement hose looks like a clear flex tube. Frigidaire...I guess they buy the cheapest thing out there.


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