Why Is There a Strange Cabbage Smell in My House?

A green vegetable such as cabbage is a fundamental ingredient in numerous culinary traditions, making it a common item in many homes.

However, it’s one thing to smell cabbage in the kitchen but it’s completely another to smell it everywhere in your house.

There can be quite a few reasons behind this strange smell. Knowing the cause behind it is an effective first step, as it could be something serious.

What’s the Reason Behind the Strange Cabbage Smell in My House?

Why would a house smell like cabbage?

A strange cabbage smell in houses can stem from a variety of reasons. Let us explore some of the primary causes that may result in this issue.

Remember, the first step is to find the source of the odor (see all of the steps below).

The second step is to remove the smell with a scent device or a purifier.

1. Mildew and Mold

The presence of mold and mildew in your home may, strangely enough, emit a strange cabbage odor.

Whether it is in the basement, kitchen, or bathroom, mold and mildew build-up can cause a rotten vegetable-like smell. 

Mold and mildew result due to the presence of water, fluid, and moisture in certain areas of your home.

While the scent of mold and mildew may not bother you at first, it can still be injurious to your health and hygiene.

2. Refrigerant Leakage

A rotten cabbage-like odor in your home may also result from a refrigerant leakage situation. Refrigerant is a substance that aids in the proper operation of a refrigerator. 

If your refrigerant leaks, it can give off a strangely cabbage-like scent.

If the leak is not fixed immediately, it can lead to serious medical problems as the refrigerant contains some hazardous components.

3. Air Conditioner Leakage

Like refrigerants, air conditioners too come with a liquid that helps aid proper function. If this air conditioner liquid escapes, your house may smell cabbage-like.

Air conditioning leakages occur when formic acids from various parts of your home combine with the copper in your air conditioner.

4. Furnace Leakage

Another source of a cabbage scent circulating your home could be a leaking furnace. The smell may resemble cooked cabbage.

In most cases, the heat exchanger in the furnace pumps hot air via the air ducts. If it spills, it will emit a pleasant, formaldehyde-like smell. 

However, unlike the other reasons, this cabbage smell is out of the ordinary, potentially signifying a threat that must be addressed right away.

If your heat exchanger starts to give off a cabbage smell, shut it down immediately and get it looked at by a professional.

5. Insect Infestation

It may sound strange, but an insect infestation can also result in a cabbage smell in your home. In general, bugs or insects go rancid and emit a cabbage-like odor. 

If you come home after a vacation and detect a cabbage smell, be sure to consider a possible insect infestation.

6. Shower Drain

If you notice a rotten cabbage-like smell coming from your shower drain, there’s a good chance that it’s due to a build-up of organic matter.

Over time, things like hair, soap scum, and dirt can accumulate in the drain, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. 

When these bacteria break down organic matter, they release sulfur compounds that produce a foul odor.

If you’re unsure whether the smell is coming from your drain or somewhere else in your bathroom, try pouring boiling water down the drain. 

If the smell becomes stronger, then you know that the issue is with your drain. To get rid of the odor, you’ll need to clean out the drain.

Start by removing any visible debris, then use a plunger to dislodge any material that’s stuck further down. 

Finally, pour a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain and let it sit for an hour before running hot water down the drain. 

With regular cleaning, you can keep your drains smelling fresh and prevent any unpleasant surprises.

7. Additional Chemicals and Glasses

We use many electrical devices, all of which contain an array of chemicals and glasses.

Cabbage-like smells may result due to gas or chemical leaks. Cyanide gas, for example, might leave your home smelling like a delicious almond.

Another cause could be mercaptan, an odorant that is added to natural gas. It has a distinct rotten cabbage smell that can also smell like rotten eggs.

If you notice this smell, it could be a telltale sign of a natural gas leak.


How can you get rid of the cabbage smell from your home?

If you know the root cause of the issue, you can direct your eradication efforts accordingly to get rid of the smell.

What to do if the smell is due to molds?

If the cabbage odor is the result of mold and mildew build-up, you must clean them to eliminate the smell. 

Clean any areas that are exposed to persistent wetness like the kitchen, bathroom, and basement, for example.

Cleaning carpets, rugs, mats, and other such items can also be beneficial.

How to fix refrigerator and air conditioner leaks?

To address a refrigerant or air conditioner leak, it is best to seek expert assistance.

How to deal with a furnace leak?

If you suspect a furnace leak, get professional assistance right away and evacuate your home because rotten cabbage leakages can be very dangerous.

How to get rid of pest infestation?

In most cases, bed insect infestations can be resolved by washing the bedsheets in warm water.

Furthermore, you can use vinegar or commercial remedies to repel mosquitoes or bugs.

If you suspect a massive infestation, however, seek professional assistance.

Can I fix the ventilation problem?

You can remedy a ventilation problem by ensuring that the house has adequate ventilation.

Open the house’s doors and windows and switch on the fans to allow air circulation.

I am experiencing chemical odors. What to do?

If you notice other gasses or substances that have a sweet fragrance in your home, you should seek professional help because you may not be aware of how hazardous the fumes or chemicals are.

Final Thoughts

A strange cabbage smell in your house could be a sign that something needs attention. It’s not pleasant, so it’s best to take action immediately.

The main issue could be one of the seven reasons we have mentioned above. Once you’ve gotten to the primary culprit, then it’s much easier to take the next steps.

Some of the causes, like mold and insect infestation, can be addressed using simple household tools.

However, for problems that are more technical, like issues with leakage, don’t hesitate to call for help and let professionals do it.

Remember, it’s “safety first” when it comes our beloved home.

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