Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mystery Smell SOLVED!

Oh my goodness, this has been driving me MAD for over a week now.  Mad, I tell you.

For a while now, I've noticed a strange smell coming out of the lower corner cupboard that sits between the sink and the stove.  It's a loooooooong cupboard that we use to hold a lot of our smaller appliances and a few other odds and ends.  You know, crockpots, blenders, immersion blender......

But then within the past 2 weeks the smell suddenly got much stronger - to the point that I hated opening the door because it smelled so bad.  It wasn't any kind of rotten smell, more like a musty, dirty smell.  Reminded me a little bit of how old dish rags smell, but not quite.  Last Wednesday when I was off work, I took everything out, wedged myself back in there and couldn't figure out where the smell was coming from.  It's open at the very back in this one spot and I wondered if it could have been the sink drain pipe that was causing the smell.  Jason did the same thing later that night and stuck his nose back there and couldn't smell anything.  We also could smell it, although not as intensely, in the cupboard under the sink - but there's a small air passage between the two so it would make sense that the smell would travel.

Still no ideas, we kind of tried to ignore it but the smell seemed to be getting worse.  Ugh.  Jason was convinced maybe we had a small leak under the sink and that the smell wasn't as bad under there because the dishwasher detergent somehow was absorbing the smell.  I didn't agree with that deduction because the smell was SO intense in the other cabinet.  Jason even had his dad poke around in there today and he couldn't figure anything out.  He was starting to have worries that maybe there was some kind of nasty leak in the wall that we couldn't see yet.  Great.....

Well, we decided tonight to clean everything out again and for Jason to get back in there with a mirror and try looking around this one edge.  So he's wedged all the way back in the cupboard with his legs sticking out while the kids are trying to climb in on top of him and I'm trying to shoo them away.  I walked over to the table where all the cabinets contents were sitting and I noticed I could still smell the smell so I started sniffing things.  I could still smell it lightly on a few of the items as I kind of expected but then I smelled the box that contains my immersion blender.  EWWWWWWWWWWWWW!  That was it.  It had to be it.  Jason got up and smelled it - yep, he agreed, that was it.  But so weird.  It's the original Braun cardboard box that the immersion blender came in almost 10 years ago as a wedding gift.  It's in pretty good shape - in fact if I had to ship it back to the company or something, I could.  There's no wet marks on it or anything, it just stinks!  Reeks even.  Of all the things......  So we did an experiment and closed the cupboard back up without anything in it and the smell didn't come back.  So we disposed of the box (duh!) and put everything back.  I am washing all the parts to the immersion blender though.

What's funny is that my MIL said today that the smell reminded her of wet cardboard - she was totally right about the cardboard - I'll hire her to be my sniffer in the future.  I'm so glad that's solved - it's really been bugging me.  And of all places you don't want a stench, it's in the kitchen.  So watch out for old cardboard, even cardboard that doesn't look bad.

So then, once the problem was figured out we let the kids play in the cabinet.:





When it was time to put things away, Caroline and Bryce got out but Piper had decided to take up residence. She was SO angry that it was time to get out and crawled all the way to the back to get as far away from me as possible.  She screamed, she cried, she flailed.  It was so hard getting her out because it was so easy to hurt her.  She kept throwing herself around and then when I finally got her close to the door, she spread her arms out so it was hard to get her back through the door.  Nothing like pulling your baby out of a cabinet.

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