Why Does My Room Smell Like Fish? (And How to Fix It) - Fix That Smell (2023)

A fishy smell in the home can be caused by many different sources. The most common are pets, but it could also come from cooking or a leaky roof. There are some things that you can do to make your room smell less like fish, but the only way to completely get rid of it is with professional help. If a professional comes in and does some deep digging inside your walls, they might find other problems. It’s time for you to take control of this problem by learning everything about why it happens and how to fix it yourself- starting today

Table Of Contents

  1. Why Does My Room Smell Like Fish?
  2. 7 Possible Reasons Why A Room Smells Like Fish
    • 1. Burning Electrical Equipment
    • 2. Smell From Old Mattress
    • 3. Mold In The AC Unit
    • 4. A Faulty Condensate Drain Line
    • 6. Spoiled Food
    • 7. COVID-Related Smell Disorder
    • 5. Dead Mouse/Rat in the Air Ducts
  3. How do you get rid of fishy smell in the house?
  4. How to get rid of the smell of fish after cooking
  5. Does an electrical fire smell like fish?
  6. Does carbon monoxide smell like fish?

Why Does My Room Smell Like Fish?

It’s not uncommon for a room to smell like fish every once in a while, but when it becomes a persistent problem, it can be quite frustrating. The cause of this condition is unknown, but individuals can take measures to prevent it.

Fishy smell in a room is often an indicator of an electrical problem. The smell can be carried through the home by the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. If you are experiencing a fishy smell in your home, it is best to call an electrician to investigate and fix the problem.

It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact source of a fishy smell in your room. It may grow stronger or fainter with changing temperatures and circuit usage. However, there are some things you can do to try and fix the problem. You can start by checking your sink, toilet, and shower for any leaks that may be causing water damage. If you’ve ruled out water damage as the source of the smell, you can try airing out your room or contacting a professional to help identify the source of the smell and fix it.

If the house smells like a sewer because of an overflow pipe, there may be something you can do about it. New construction sites might also have an odor due to raw sewage seeping into the ground. If your fish tank is causing a fishy smell in your room when it’s not properly cleaned out or if water is allowed to evaporate from them over time, you may need to get rid of the tank altogether

7 Possible Reasons Why A Room Smells Like Fish

1. Burning Electrical Equipment

When people smell an electrical fire, the first thing they often think of is a burning plastic smell. Burning electrical equipment can produce many different smells, depending on what is burning. Electrical fires can start in any type of appliance or device that uses electricity, such as:

(Video) What to do if your House Smells Like FISH #Shorts

Faulty breakers, overloaded circuits, loose plugs in outlets, old frayed wires and overheated electrical shielding are common causes of fishy smells. If you smell fish while sleeping, it might be a sign you have an electrical problem or your wiring is old and needs to be replaced

The wires in the room are coated with plastic insulation. The wiring gets overheated when they heat up and emit a fish or urine-like smell, according to statistics given by NFPA (National Fire Protection Association).

Poor connections can cause significant electrical overheating, leading to an electrical fire. While all these potential causes for a burning electrical smell may be scary – remember that most appliances will give some warning before becoming engulfed in flames. So if something doesn’t seem quite right – unplug it!

2. Smell From Old Mattress

A heavy amount of bacteria and fungus can lurk on a mattress. The average adult in the US sweats 26 gallons per year, which creates a paradise for bacteria to grow on the bed. Statistics show that most people have 15 million colony-forming bacteria per square inch on their bed every seven years old.

Remove your mattress and cover it with baking soda, let it sit for at least half an hour or one day. Wash the mattress as soon as possible to avoid staphylococcus bacteria from growing on the wet surface. The use of sunlight can disinfect a mattress. Vacuuming is suggested to clean the mattress if possible with a vacuum cleaner and brush attachment.

Cleaning your mattress at least two times per year is recommended, even if it does not smell bad when you first get it since bacteria always evolve over time in the body of dust on your bedding, causing icky smells and stains that are hard to remove. A protector prevents stains and mites from accumulating on your mattress, so it stays clean.. An additional step to prevent smells is to cover the mattress with a washable and waterproof protector

3. Mold In The AC Unit

Mold is a common problem in AC units. The smell can be caused by dirty filters, water accumulation, or mold. If you have no other option, it might be wise to let the professional clean your ducts and lines instead of doing it yourself. The first step to getting rid of the smell is inspecting the room. If you can’t find anything, here are 3 possible reasons why a room may smell like fish:

  • Guests have left something behind;
  • Someone has fallen in the water and hasn’t gotten out yet;
  • The pipes need to be cleaned or replaced;

If you do have an issue with mold in your AC unit, it’s important to address it as soon as possible. Mold can cause health problems for people who are exposed to it over a long period of time.

(Video) If You Smell a Fishy Odor, Get Out of Your House Immediately!

4. A Faulty Condensate Drain Line

A clogged condensate drain can lead to smell like fish and mold growth in your home. The most common issue with a condensate drain is clogging, which can happen all too easily if you don’t regularly clean them out, especially during the warmer months.

Light sources, outlets, and kitchen appliances are the most common cause of the fish smell. If the problem persists or gets worse over time, it might be an indication that there is something wrong with your HVAC system. In such a scenario, it’s best to call in a professional to take a look at things.

Fish thrive in moist and dark environments, which make AC units a perfect habitat for mold. Mold often has a distinctive smell that resembles the smell of fish. Some people are sensitive to mold and experience negative side effects when exposed; but others don’t experience any negative side effects

6. Spoiled Food

One of the most common reasons a room smells like fish is spoiled food. This is especially true in the kitchen, where normal room temperature and the composition of a food can create a smell that’s reminiscent of fish. If your kitchen is starting to smell like fish, chances are it’s due to an abundance of these chemical compounds.

The best way to avoid smells is by storing leftovers at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below so they don’t spoil too quickly!

7. COVID-Related Smell Disorder

There’s a new COVID smell disorder that some people are experiencing lately, and it’s caused by the COVID virus. The odor is called cadaverine, and it smells like rotting food or fishiness.

The good news is that this smell only lasts for a few seconds and isn’t harmful in most cases. However, there have been rare reports of fatalities linked to the COVID virus – so if you experience these symptoms, please see a doctor immediately.

Food or drink triggers vary from person to person but primarily include rotten food and fishy odors. Chemical compounds like acids, alkylamines and aldehydes can cause the smell of rotten food or fishiness in your kitchen.

(Video) An Easy Trick to Remove Any Odor from Your House

Leftovers in the fridge should be thrown out if they’ve been there for more than a week. Produce lasts longer than dairy products, but both expire soon after leaving their packaging. The 40º mark is where most food starts to spoil – get rid of leftovers and produce that is past this point.

5. Dead Mouse/Rat in the Air Ducts

If you smell a strong, fishy odor in your home or office, it’s possible that there is a dead animal trapped in the air ducts. The most common culprits are mice and rats, but other small animals can also get stuck in the ductwork.

If you suspect that there is a dead animal in your air ducts, please contact a professional HVAC technician immediately. Clogged air ducts can lead to serious health problems, such as mold growth and respiratory infections.

Why Does My Room Smell Like Fish? (And How to Fix It) - Fix That Smell (1)

How do you get rid of fishy smell in the house?

If you’ve ever walked into your house and been hit with an overwhelming fishy smell, you’re not alone. This problem can be caused by a number of different factors, including garbage disposal, garbage and refrigerators. The best way to get rid of fishy smells is to call a professional and compare multiple quotes.

While it may not be an electrical issue, it’s still possible that there was just fish. One way to remove the smell from fish is to wash any cooking utensils that came into contact with it in hot, soapy water.

Leaving a bowl of vinegar on your counter overnight can absorb lingering seafood smells. Simmering lemon peels, bay leaves or vanilla extract in water for 20 minutes neutralizes the surrounding air and eliminates the smell of fish in the house. Febreze Air deodorizes rooms quickly. Baking soda is a great way to remove odors from upholstered furniture. Febreze Air cleans away the odor with OdorClear Technology without masking it

Baking soda will neutralize any odors Febreze fabric can be used to eliminate odors in the air, on fabrics and surfaces, or anywhere else that fishy smells are present

(Video) Aquarium Smell - Why and How To Fix It (Quick & Slow Way)

Cutting boards and baking sheets should also be cleaned if they were exposed to fishy residue at some point during cooking or just passively absorbing it. The stovetop and burners need to be deep cleaned before any other cleaning is done. Dish soap and warm water should be used to clean the stove’s backsplash, plus ¼ cup of vinegar can also be added during the washing cycle

Fabric can be deodorized with a mixture of diluted apple cider vinegar and water, including curtains or carpets. All windows and doors should remain open for at least an hour after it has been aired out to eliminate any lingering fishy smell Sunlight can help get rid of bad smells

An air purifier is a great way to combat bad smells and bring fresh air into your home. A diffuser, candles or incense and flowers can all be used to combat the fishy smell in your home before it becomes unbearable for you and your family members

How to get rid of the smell of fish after cooking

Cooking fish can often leave a lingering smell in your kitchen. This guide will give you some tips on how to get rid of the smell and make your kitchen smell fresh again.

The first step is to identify where the smell is coming from. If it’s coming from the fish itself, then there isn’t much you can do except try cooking it differently next time or eat it quickly before it has a chance to spoil. However, if the smell is coming from your pan or other cooking surfaces, then there are several things you can do to get rid of it.

One way to prevent smells from fish is by making sure your pan dries completely after each use. You can also try using white vinegar instead of water when cleaning dishes or surfaces that have held raw fish like cutting boards and counters. Baking soda can also absorb some of the smell but only while it’s in contact with moisture, so keep a bowl nearby to add more baking soda if needed!

Does an electrical fire smell like fish?

It’s not uncommon to smell a fishy odor coming from an electrical fire. This is because overheating components and the breakdown of insulation can cause this smell. Electrical fires are often caused by power surges, so it’s important to be aware of any signs of your electrical outlets, light fixtures, or appliances overheating or getting excessive current. If you notice any of these signs, call an electrician and 911 immediately.

Does carbon monoxide smell like fish?

Many people believe that carbon monoxide smells like fish, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, it can smell like a variety of different things, depending on where it’s coming from. Some common odors associated with carbon monoxide include plastic, chemicals, and trees. However, if your home is filled with CO, then you should call a plumber right away to take care of the issue.

(Video) How To Make Your Room Smell GOOD: Best Tips & Tricks 2020


How do you get rid of fishy smell in a room? ›

Leave a bowl of vinegar out on the counter overnight to absorb lingering seafood smells. Simmer either vinegar or lemon peels in water on your stove for 20 minutes or so to neutralize the surrounding air, sort of like a natural potpourri.

Why does my bedroom smell like fish? ›

The electrical components and wires in your walls and outlets are coated with heat resistant chemicals and plastic coating for insulation. When these chemicals and plastic heat up significantly, they give off a burning odor that can smell like fish.

How do I fix a smell in my room? ›

How to Make Your Room Smell Fresh in 10 Easy Steps
  1. Identify the odor.
  2. Dust your room from top to bottom.
  3. Clean your floors.
  4. Open your windows.
  5. Bathe your pets.
  6. Wash your sheets and laundry.
  7. Clean all upholstery.
  8. Turn on a dehumidifier.
Nov 20, 2017

Does fish smell go away? ›

At the longest, lingering fish smells will diminish within 12 hours as long as the source of the smell has been removed from the house.

How long does fish smell last in house? ›

A fish smell can stay in your house for 12 hours after cooking. The scent will last longer if you've burnt the fish or splattered the kitchen with grease when cooking. If you haven't taken out trash that contains fish reminants, the smell will remain until you do.

Why does my bedroom smell weird? ›

Common culprits to watch out for include mold and mildew, dust, dirty laundry, stains and spills, pet accidents and leftover food. Once you determine the source of the smell, dispose of it and clean the area as needed.

Why does my bedroom smell after sleeping? ›

As we sleep, our bodies naturally shed skin cells, secrete natural oils and may lightly sweat – although some people may sweat more than normal. [5] If you're sweating a lot at night, it could also mean bacteria is building up overnight, leaving an unpleasant smell to wake up to in the morning.

Why does my apartment suddenly smell like fish? ›

Electrical shielding, wires, and other plastic components emit a “fish” or “urine” smell when exposed to high heat. If you smell something fishy, go around your home and look for outlets and other electrical equipment that looks burnt or melting.

How can I make my bedroom smell nice? ›

Tips to make your house smell good:
  1. Display fragrant plants.
  2. Use scented candles and diffusers.
  3. Get rid of any unpleasant smells.
  4. Ventilate your home.
  5. Make potpourri.
  6. Bake or brew something delicious.
  7. Use essential oils.

How can I make my house smell nice? ›

Tips to make your living room smell good
  1. Sometimes vacuuming sends out a stinky odor. ...
  2. Mind the carpet. ...
  3. Eliminate odors with a Febreze Plug. ...
  4. Use a diffuser with a couple of drops of your favorite essential oils. ...
  5. Open a window and let the fresh air in. ...
  6. Find your zen by burning incense. ...
  7. Light a candle.

Can you get rid of smell in a house? ›

Baking soda: Open a container and place it in the area where the smell originated. Coffee grounds: Put used coffee grounds in shallow bowls and place around your house. The coffee grounds will absorb and eliminate smells. White vinegar: Bowls of white vinegar can act as an odor neutralizer.

How do you tell someone they smell? ›

Ask to speak in private. Be direct (“I'm not sure if you're aware of this but you have a strong odor about you.”) Reserve judgment ( “I don't know if it's from your clothing or if it's a personal hygiene issue.”) Open the conversation (“Are you aware of this issue?

Does fish oil smell go away? ›

These oxidation byproducts are what gives off the unpleasant smell and taste of spoiled fish. The rate at which the omega-3 molecules oxidize depends on a number of factors, including how the fish were harvested and the oil processed. But once an oil has started to oxidize, there is no going back.

How do you treat fish odor syndrome naturally? ›

Diet modification that includes avoidance of choline-rich foods such as:
  1. Eggs.
  2. Liver.
  3. Peas.
  4. Soybeans.
  5. Sea fish.
  6. Vitamin B12 supplements.
  7. Treatment with antibiotics and probiotics.
  8. Activated charcoal to remove an excess of trimethylamine.

Can fish smell scents in the air? ›

People breathe in particles dissolved in the air and carried by air currents. Fish don't breathe in air and cannot process airborne molecules. Fish can only detect chemicals dissolved in the water.

Why does my daughters room stink? ›

Most kid smells are caused by the buildup of bacteria and sweat. To keep those smells from compounding on themselves, you need to air out your child's bedroom regularly. Opening their bedroom door will help, but it will also drag those bad smells into the rest of your home.

Why do I stink when I wake up? ›

The smell that arises is due to the bacteria that live harmlessly on everyone's body. When the bacteria mix with sweat released from your sweat glands, it can create an unpleasant odor. If you are regularly experiencing night sweats with a bad odor, it may be worth investigating.

What removes odors from the air? ›

Some of the best odor eliminators are coffee grounds, tea, vinegar, oats, and baking soda. Leaving a bowl of any of these odor absorbers out in a room that's due for a little freshening up will help clear out the less-than-pleasant smells from the air.

Can an odor wake you up? ›

Summary: While sound can disrupt sleep, scents cannot. People cannot rely on their sense of smell to awaken them to the danger of fire, according to a new Brown University study. PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- While sound can disrupt sleep, scents cannot.

Can humans smell while sleeping? ›

Her research and experiments indicate people do not respond to odours while they are in the dreaming phase of sleep (REM) or deep sleep. "You cannot smell while you are asleep," she says.

What happens if you randomly smell fish? ›

Trimethylaminuria (TMAU) is an uncommon condition that causes an unpleasant, fishy smell. It's also called "fish odour syndrome". Sometimes it's caused by faulty genes that a person inherits from their parents, but this isn't always the case.

Does fish smell mean electrical fire? ›

Usually the fishy smell means overheating electrical components and melting of plastic wiring insulation. Go to the consumer unit (fuse box) and turn off the main switch. This turns off the electricity supply to your home. The effect is the same as unplugging all devices.

Why can I smell fish in my bathroom? ›

Why does my bathroom smell of fish? Along with the sewer gas problem, your bathroom's fishy smell be due to an electrical fault and the plastic of the electric wires overheating. We strongly advise you deal with this issue immediately as electrical fires are extremely dangerous and could lead to destruction and injury.

Why do I smell musty between my legs? ›

Sweating in the groin area can attract fungus and bacteria that can lead to a bad smell. Showering after exercise or athletic activity can help reduce the bad-smelling effects of smells related to sweating. Putting on clean, dry clothes after a sweat session can also help.

How do hotels smell so nice? ›

It's all thanks to a clever gizmo known as an HVAC scent diffuser. These are ultra-quiet attachments to heating/air conditioning systems that use high amounts of air pressure to deliver nanoparticles of scented oils uniformly around a room, area, or building.

What can I spray on my bed to make it smell better? ›

Water with Vinegar

Vinegar neutralizes odors. Mixing it with water makes an organic deodorizer, so you don't have to buy chemical sprays that may irritate your allergies. Mix equal portions of water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. Lightly spray the solution over your mattress.

What is the cheapest way to make your house smell good? ›

The cheapest way to make a house smell good is by using natural methods. This can include opening the windows to allow fresh air to circulate through the home, boiling spices on the stove such as cinnamon sticks or cloves and placing bowls of baking soda in strategic locations around the house.

Is it OK to boil Fabuloso? ›

Bottom line, experts don't recommend using a chemical or cleaner for anything other than its intended use. So we can verify that boiling Fabuloso and similar cleaning products on the stove can be hazardous to your health. GoodHousekeeping.com says you can still use the stove to help make your home smell good.

What is the most powerful odor eliminator? ›

The 17 best odor eliminators for every gross smell, from cat pee...
  • Ozium Air Sanitizer Spray. ...
  • Lysol Disinfectant Spray. ...
  • DampRid Moisture Absorber With Activated Charcoal. ...
  • DampRid Fresh Scent Hanging Moisture Absorber, 3-Pack. ...
  • Harris Cleaning Vinegar. ...
  • Zero Odor Laundry Odor Eliminator.
Feb 3, 2023

What absorbs that smell in the house? ›

Baking soda is one of the best items you can use to absorb bad smells. You can leave an open box or bowl of baking soda in your refrigerator and sprinkle some in the bottom of your trash cans to neutralize foul odors that tend to develop in these places.

How do you air out a house? ›

Bringing fresh, outdoor air into your home helps keep virus particles from accumulating inside. If it's safe to do so, open doors and windows as much as you can to bring in fresh, outdoor air. While it's better to open them widely, even having a window cracked open slightly can help.

Does lemon get rid of fishy smell? ›

Fish odour on the hands is due to chemicals called amines. But if reacted with citric acid in lemon juice, they form salts that do not become airborne. Washing hands with lemon juice therefore eliminates fishy aromas.

Does boiling cinnamon get rid of smells? ›

To remedy any unwanted odors, turn to your spice drawer. Simply boil a few cinnamon sticks for two minutes and then turn the heat to low and let the warm, spiced scent waft through your home; turn the heat off once the pleasant smells take over. It's a stupid-simple trick that works wonders.

Why does my house smell fishy after shower? ›

Why does my drain smell of fish? If your kitchen or bathroom is reeking of fish, despite the lack of fish in that area, this could be an indication of a sewer gas leak, poor water quality or an electrical fault.

Why does my house suddenly smell fishy? ›

Nine times out of 10, a fishy smell throughout the home means you have overheating electrical components (circuit breakers, outlets, wiring, etc.). You see, most wires, circuit breakers, etc. are made with heat resistant chemicals.

How do you get rid of smells? ›

Some of the best odor eliminators are coffee grounds, tea, vinegar, oats, and baking soda. Leaving a bowl of any of these odor absorbers out in a room that's due for a little freshening up will help clear out the less-than-pleasant smells from the air.

What can I bake to make my house smell good? ›

Infuse your home with a warm sugar cookie fragrance by baking two tablespoons of vanilla extract in a dish at 300 degrees for twenty minutes. (You could also skip the container and just wipe the oven interior with some vanilla extract, too.)

What can I cook to make my house smell good? ›

A better and safer alternative to candles with artificial scents is to do what your grandmother did: simmer a pot of spices on your stove! Ingredients like cinnamon sticks, apple peels, orange rinds, cloves, apple juice, vanilla, anise, and nutmeg will soon make your home smell like you've been baking all day.


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