Why Is There a Strange Garlic Smell in My House?

The aroma of garlic is a familiar presence in kitchens, but it becomes unusual if it persists for days after cooking. Even more concerning is when the scent spreads to other areas of the house.

If you’re having this problem at home, don’t worry you’re not alone.

Find out what could be behind this unusual smell so that you can easily get to the step of getting rid of it completely.

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

Why am I smelling garlic in my house?

A strange garlic 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 by cleaning what needs to be cleaned.

Check and repair the things that need maintenance and, if needed, call the professionals if it’s something more serious.

As a final touch, a scent machine and an air purifier do a good job of keeping the air refreshed.

1. Mildew and Mold

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

Whether it is in the basement, kitchen, or bathroom, mold and mildew build-up can cause a garlic-like, pungent fragrance, or a garlic sticky 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 seem garlic and pleasant, it can still be injurious to your health and hygiene.

2. Refrigerant Leakage

A garlic 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 strange garlic 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 garlic and maple syrup-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 garlic scent circulating your home could be a leaking furnace. 

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 garlic smell is out of the ordinary, potentially signifying a threat that must be addressed right away.

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that may leak from heat exchangers.

While carbon monoxide does not have a distinct smell, it can occasionally give off a pleasant garlic odor. 

If your heat exchanger starts to give off a garlic 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 garlic smell in your home. In general, bugs or insects that can generate garlic oil emit a garlic scent. 

A garlic odor can indicate a bug infestation, such as ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, etc.

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

6. Kitchen

If you’ve ever noticed a strong garlic smell in your house, there’s a good chance it’s coming from your kitchen.

Garlic is a powerful ingredient that can add a lot of flavor to food. 

However, it can also be quite pungent, and the odor can quickly spread throughout your home. There are a few simple things you can do to help control the garlic smell in your kitchen.

First, be sure to ventilate the area while cooking. 

This will help to remove any lingering odors. You can also try using citrus fruits to neutralize the garlic smell.

Simply place a lemon or lime wedge near the stove while cooking. The citrus scent will help to mask the garlic odor. 

Finally, be sure to thoroughly clean your kitchen after cooking. This will help to remove any residual smells and prevent them from spreading throughout your home.

By following these simple tips, you can help keep your kitchen smelling fresh and free of garlic odor.

7. Dead Animal

If you’ve noticed a lingering garlic smell in your house, it may be due to a dead animal.

Garlic is often used as a natural repellent for pests, so if there’s a carcass somewhere in your home, it’s likely that the garlic scent is coming from there. 

If you’re not sure where the carcass is, start by checking any areas that are difficult to reach or that haven’t been cleaned in a while.

Once you’ve located the source of the smell, you’ll need to dispose of the carcass and clean the area thoroughly. 

Otherwise, the garlic smell will continue to be a nuisance.


How can you get rid of the garlic 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 garlic odor results from 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 carbon monoxide 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 gases or substances that have a garlic 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

An unusual garlic smell at home could point to many things. It’s a common kitchen ingredient so make sure to check there first.

If the smell still persists after, then you know you have to check further. Use the seven causes we’ve discussed above as a reference because, more often than not, it’ll lead you to the root of this issue.

And as you get rid of this unwanted smell, make sure to take note of the things that you’ve learned throughout this process to avoid having the strange garlic smell at home in the future.

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