Monday, June 12, 2006

Is there a piss line of furniture at IKEA?

I've always been comfortable in chaotic situations. I had a pretty big family and noise, activity, acrimony, all that comes with too many people related to each other in too small of a space - I was okay with it. But now we've gone and made a quiet little life for ourselves here. Both kids protest when the TV/radio/teapot are too loud. I found myself dreading taking a shower this past weekend because the shower head makes a grating whine when the water is turned up all the way. I feel like we move around our home, arms pressed to our sides lest the scrape of skin against cloth irritate our sensitive eardrums.

The last three or four days were pretty hellish as we purged our belongings to put our house on the market today. The kids were pissed half the time. Quinn, because nobody was holding him at the appointed time, and Madeleine because she's 4. But finally, now that we've completely emptied our house of all unnecessary furniture and cleaned out the closets and put away the bookshelves and rolled up the rugs I'm enjoying this false monastic setting. It's peaceful and clean. The way I picture people living in fancy Scandanavian countries. It certainly doesn't look American, without the magazines spilling off of the coffee table and glamour shots of our children plastered all over the walls. In fact, I think I'm just pretty goddamn cool to be sitting at this plain white table with a pretty blue lamp and a laptop. It's as if Ikea pimped my office.

BUT! Did you think there would be a but? There is and it's a big fucking BUTTTTT! What smells like piss??? The house looks like it just rolled off the truck. The carpets are spotless, the hardwoods may still be oozing sap, they look so new. BUT WHAT SMELLS LIKE PISS???? I think Teebs had this same problem during her home prep-for-sale time. She's even more OCD than me about the whole cleaning thing and she smelled something dead - didn't you T?? Tell me it's psychosematic and I'll flip you off, I swear to god, because even if it is, it's making me insane. I just poured Fantastik down all the heater vents, which may actually asphixiate the next owner, but at least the piss is drowned out by dangerous cleaning chemicals right now. I probably should light some candles too, but I'm afraid the place might explode. My first thought was to dump baking soda down the vent, but, um, the air actually blows out, right? I wonder what a home inspector would say when he turns on the heater and a white cloud bursts out of all the vents. I'm guessing that wouldn't be good...


Anonymous stella said...

this sounds like a personal problem to me.


6/12/2006 11:49 AM  
Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

Quinn and Madeline are channeling pissed off thoughts and smells into your home space. You were TOO LOUD when you were cleaning and ruined their serenity.

6/12/2006 12:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

If you can't find the source, maybe it's *under* the carpeting (spotless though it may appear)? I recommend Nature's Miracle, poured liberally over the affected areas. Of course, you may have to crawl on your hands and kneesover the carpeting to find the particular area.

My brother has a cat that used to piss directly into the heating vents. Every time the heat kicked on, the smell of hot pee wafted through the house. But if that's what happened here, the Fantastik should put paid to it.

In the meantime, stock up on Yankee Candles to cover the stench. Those things could disguise a bloated corpse under the floorboards.

6/12/2006 1:06 PM  
Anonymous TB said...

First of all, congrats on getting the house ready and listing today!!!!

Secondly, dude that sucks donkey balls. Yes I did have an unidentified odor of rotting meat in my basement that no amount of Lysol could get rid of. It almost drove me batshit. Thankfully it went away on its own after a week or two, as did the recalcitrant frige smell.

If it's in the house, try Glade Plug Ins scented oil. That stuff can truly mask anything if you put a few of them around the house. I'm partial to the vanilla scent. They also have these things that you can put in your air vents or vacuum bags that freshen the air also, I think you can get them at Home Depot. (you knew I would have an answer for you, didn't you?)

Good luck with the sale and the smell!

6/12/2006 1:10 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Quick...right before the house is to be viewed by any potential buyer, bake a roll of slice-n-bake cookies. I know reall cookies would be better, but we're going for SMELL here...not taste. Also...that bread (Bridgeford) which is frozen dough that you can thaw/rise and then bake?? Smells like homemade. A house that smells like homemade bread will sell.

Let me know where the pee smell is coming from.

6/12/2006 3:52 PM  
Blogger Arabella said...

Good smell-masking ideas. I'll add mine: use "body spray" as air freshener. It's a little stronger and less cloying and lasts longer than regular air freshener. Calgon makes some nice ones that you can get at the drugstore.

Hmmm. Now I feel like slice-and-bake cookies.

6/13/2006 5:41 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

I think I burned all my nose hair off with cleaning chemicals. So I don't know if it's just a moving-frenzy-syndrome. BTW, a neat little tip: after you wash your shower, coat it in Rain-X. It keeps it clean longer.

6/13/2006 9:39 AM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Thanks guys - I know I'm not just "smelling things" because last night Jim had to go sleep downstairs because our bed is suddenly too small and the baby is suddenly too big and he heard mice running around in the floor right below where my feet are at this very moment.

I love the alternative smell options, but I'm worried that it might be a little obvious, you know, that I'm trying to cover something up? Although the bread baking one I hadn't heard and that just sounds straight up yummy, so I'm going to do that this afternoon. Tink - good idea about that rain stuff. The cleaner I use leaves white streaks wherever I haven't scrubbed, like a nasty drill sargeant coming around wiping his finger on my window sills. It's good on scum, but no good on the ego.

6/13/2006 10:57 AM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

I feel for you. Phantom smells are the worst.

But a little hot water in a pot on the stove with some lavendar oil will really help mask that stench.

6/13/2006 11:25 AM  
Blogger Jaye Wells said...

When I sold our house I would put apple cider into a tea kettle with cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, whatever I had around and let it simmer for a while. Very homey. Good luck with the piss smell. At least it's not ferret stench. I will never forget the home I viewed that housed two ferrets. I almost gagged.

6/13/2006 12:04 PM  
Blogger Mitch said...

What about getting rid of the piss smell instead of just masking it? As yummy as bread and cookeis sound, no one likes piss flavored cookies.

Febreeze. Lots, and Lots, and LOTS of Febreeze! My spoiled hell-cat pissed on the bed once because she thought the box was too dirty. I cleaned the sheets, and there's a mattress pad on the guest bed, so the mattress was fine, but the room still stank of piss. I think Febreeze is only supposed to be for fabrics, but I sprayed it over every inch of that room.

Funny you have the pic of the litter-quitter up. I was thinking about it this morning as I cleaned the cat box. I want to get one for hell-cat, but the senile one won't adapt, so I'll have one cat taking up my toilet, and the other stinking up the box, while I'll have to run downstairs to potty because my cat's constipated in the middle of the night when I wake up having to pee.

Also, re: your comment on my blog, not too much up, I'm going to motivate myself to post tonight, about...something.

What genre(s) are you into? Did you get The Great Rescue Opperation yet?

6/13/2006 6:16 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

(as if you have time, but) Apparently the smell of fresh baked bread makes people wanna buy a house. I think febreeze sprays will cover up virtually any smell (if they can cover up wet dog, I think they're good for anything). Good luck on the hunt for the cause. (and lots of cleaners have ammonia... maybe that's it) (and dude I use WAY too many brackets)

6/13/2006 7:30 PM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

I dread doing this same thing come September when we will be selling the house we are in.

Do you own a cat, m? Cat piss is the worst smell in the world.

I do like the AirWick plug in things. Put one in every plug in the house and cover that shit up.

6/14/2006 5:21 AM  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

"WHAT SMELLS LIKE PISS????" hehehe! Sorry, juvenile moment. Moving on.

Everyone has made some great suggestions as to covering up the smell. I also vote for candles, Glade Plug-Ins, and Nature's Miracle on the carpet. Since my dog is partial to vomiting on the living room rug, this product has become a staple on our shelf. Good luck!! I'm so excited for you.

6/14/2006 8:10 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

You could always mention that the "coke party got a bit out of hand"...

6/17/2006 4:37 PM  

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