View Full Version : Unidentified terrible cabbage smell in my house

Nov 29, 2007, 01:51 PM
I have had a terrible smell in my house for at least 6 weeks. It smells like cabbage/rotten veg and it is unbearable. It was really bad and then it seemed to disappear, but now it's back with a vengeance.

The smell is worst in the study and at the front door in the hall, also in a small toilet that we have. All three of these areas have a common wall. My patrner thinks it might be because our house is not built far off the ground, i.e the front door is on ground level, but I am not so sure.

The house is only 14 years old.

There are no drains in the affected area that I know of.

It is not a sewage or gas leak smell.

I have checked the guttering and there is no blockage.

A plumber came out and checked under the floor and there was no sign of any leakage or plumbing problems, or dead animals.

The chimney appears to be clear of dead animals and is nowhere near the area where the smell is worst.

There are no physical signs of dampness or water anywhere that I can see.

I have had a lot of bluebottles in the house recentlyand I have no idea where they are coming from.

I swear, I am at breaking point over this problem. I have turned the house upside down looking for a dead mouse or something but I can't find a thing!! I don't think it is related to a kitchen appliance as the kitchen doesn't smell. I contacted Environmental Health who were worse than useless. If there was a dead animal in a wall cavity how would you know, and how do you deal with it? I don't even know if that's what it is. Why would the smell last so long if it was?

Please, anybody, what can I do? Who do you call to diagnose such a problem? I can't live like this!! :(

Jul 29, 2008, 11:12 AM
Hi Koolkitty
Sorry this is not an answer, but I am surprised no one has ansered you. I have the same problem, and wondered if you had solved the answer?

Aug 1, 2008, 08:30 AM
Yes, we finally got to the bottom of it - we have a sink in our utility room with a waste pipe that runs along under the floor in our hall. The waste pipe had fallen off so that all the waste from the sink was falling straight under the floor and lying there rather than being carried away. A plumber had to cut a trap door in our floor and go underneath to glue the pipe back on. Within a week or so the smell was gone!

Hope this helps, I know how infuriating it is.


Aug 1, 2008, 11:37 AM
Thanks for that, I don't think that's our problem, as the smell is coming from the outside toilet area (which we never use!). Glad yours is all sorted though, and thanks for answering.

Feb 4, 2011, 07:35 PM
Hay guy that is good that u have found the problem, as for me I am still smelling the odor. It seem to be coming only form the front door,under there some where. It smell like sewage when we leave the house for a while and come back as soon as we open the door and walked in we smell the odor.If hope u can help

Feb 6, 2012, 01:01 AM
Hi this isn't an answer either but we are having the same problem.for about 2 months or more we have had this terrible odor that smells like cooked cabbage it is the strongest in one of the rooms in our finished basement.we thought it was a dead animal but surely the thing would have decayed by now? I guess i am somewhat used to it since i am home a lot because when family comes over they smell it as soon as they come into the house.we don't smell it in the upstairs bedrooms or bathrooms.but to me i notice it near the back door and stairs which share a wall with the downstairs room that happens to have the most odor.we are at a lost.don't know who to call.our house is about 20 years old.we have a septic.we just installed a new garbage disposal a few months ago.any ideas please? Ty jamie

Mar 15, 2012, 09:52 PM
Wow. I am NOT ALONE. I was beginning to think I was cursed. I have had eight plumbers including the man that designed this building out here and they are all perplexed. Rotten cabbage is as close as I can come to describing this horrific odor. I have to move. They have decided that short of cutting into various walls they have no answers whatsoever. I am sorry you are experiencing this issue as well. This is a very large high end apartment complex. I am the only unit in the building with this issue. It is so odd that the smell goes away and returns with no explanation. I am exhausted from trying to figure this issue out. Best of luck solving this nonsense. I have no idea what it could possibly be and this is not the first bizarre issue I have had with plumbing.

Mar 16, 2012, 05:05 AM
I'm having the same problem but I am beginning to think I am crazy as my husband said he doesn't smell anything apart from one day which was a week ago, the smell in my front hall seems to be coming from around my radiator I can smell it once I walk in the house after being out and when I am going up or down the stairs there is no smell in any of the other rooms. Apart from the smell occasionally drifting into the living room when the living room door is open that leads to the front hall.There is no sign of damp it did seem to be worse 3 night ago when we had the heating on and the radiator was warm so we turned radiator in the front hall off to see if it was maybe the radiator but the smell is still there. Its been there for about 2 going on 3 weeks and its frustrating me as I cannot figure out what it is, as I have checked that there was nothing stuck behind the radiator etc.

Mar 29, 2012, 01:30 PM
I had a rotton smell the last 3 days and when I tore the sink unit out I discovered a rat underneat,
Seemly it was doing a tour of the attics on our terrace street and one of the neighbours set down rat poison in which the rat took and made his way down the pipes within the walls and under my sink where I found him.

Jul 16, 2012, 03:15 PM
I have the same problem, I bought my house just 3 months ago and from day one I have had this awful sptouty cabbage smell, as I walk into the house it hits me, in the hall way and the kitche, it travels into the lounge if the door is open. I have had B Gas out also seven trent twice, they have checked all the outside pipes with no blockage, I did have a storm pipe that connected to a main sewage pipe that needed a u bend fitted, Ive had this done but the smell is still there ! I ve had a camera down the pipe in the kitchen that goes through the lounge to the garden that is fine no breakage?? Im so fed up with it the next step is to get the fllor up and see what's happening there ! Its not what you want to do when you have just purchased a new house... Its 14 yrs old I have no smell upstairs at all ? Can anyone suggest anything please...

Sep 7, 2012, 06:40 PM
I had a sour cabbage smell in the house. I found a baby possum in my bathroom last night---they have a strong sour waste and one possum can have 13 babies. So while I have been checking the drains, I suspect the sour smell belongs to a litter of pole cats!

Sep 8, 2012, 01:42 AM
I had a sour cabbage smell in the house. i found a baby possum in my bathroom last night---they have a stong sour waste and one possum can have 13 babies. so while I have been checking the drains, I suspect the sour smell belongs to a litter of pole cats!

Note that this post is 5 years old! In the US, a polecat is a skunk.

Nov 18, 2012, 02:39 AM
This is not an answer either! Last night I could smell rotten cabbage mainly coming from near the stairs in our open plan cottage? The smell appeared to be getting worse when I was trying to sleep upstairs so had to eventually sleep with the Velux wide open, but not before checking the gas was all switched off.
We have had a mouse problem recently and a few blue bottle flies which lead me to finding a decomposing mouse under a access hole in my built-in wardrobe, but that was weeks ago and the smell wasn't that bad?
It's a real stomach churning smell too and thought it could be coming from the upstairs bathroom which only the sink and toilet are used so flushed through the bath in case the traps were dried out.
Will keep you updated if we find the problem/culprit!

Mar 22, 2013, 02:55 PM
This is not an answer, but I have been experiencing that terrible cabbage odor in my house.. it started about 4 weeks ago.. my house was built in 2005.. It is a block home as I live in Florida.. We have no gas.. we have no leaking sewage.. None of our drains have an odor.. no odor coming form eletrical outlets.. my husband climbed up the ladder a smelled into our duct system.. no odor there.. we smelled our floors , rugs and walls.. no odor there either.. just the odor in our bedroom at nose level.. Went into the attic and no odor there either.. no odor outside.. it is driving us crazy.. Using air fesheners, but that does nothing except add another fragrence to the odor.. HELP!

Apr 2, 2013, 09:06 PM
I noticed that these posts are over a year old but it is now April of 2013 and we are now experiencing the same problem! Thought we were all crazy but everyone in the house is smelling what I thought of as cooked cabbage, right from the start. It is upstairs in one corner of our livingroom. It is no place else in the house and it comes and goes several times throughout the day. We are at a loss. We bought our house 5 years ago after sitting empty for a few years. After we moved in, we could smell mice. It took us two years of cutting open walls to rid the entire house and basement of mice. We have an exterminator every 3 months and have not had one problem, of any kind in the last 3 years. Now the cabbage smell. I pray someone has an answer to this horrible problem! Who would even guess that putting this out there, that there would be so many people with the same problem, but no answer yet! Thanks for any cures to this problem.

Jul 8, 2013, 10:18 AM
Check for clogged or broken plumbing vents. We had the same problem and we found out that one of the plumbing vents that goes to the roof was broken in the attic. The smell would come in to the house especially when the attic fan kicked on when the temperature rose. The fan sucked the gasses out of the broken vent pipe into the attic space and the smell was eventually everywhere in the house.

Jan 9, 2014, 12:14 PM
FOUND THE ANSWER! We too were plagued with a terrible "spicy" rotten cabbage smell in our house and could not find the source of it anywhere. Desperate, we were almost ready to take a jack hammer to the cement floor in the basement and dig under the house! (Catastrophe on nicely finished and carpeted floors). But then we ask a home builder if he had any idea what the problem might be. He immediately said, "Have you checked the vents on your roof?" He said they sometimes plug up with ice and snow especially in a severe winter such as we've been having. (Or in the summer it could be possible that a bird got in) So my husband got up on the roof and checked the vents and found one of them completely blocked with ice. H knocked the ice out and almost immediately the bad smell was gone in the house! If vents are clear and all the traps in your sinks and toilets are holding water, you should have no odors.