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Question DetailsAsked on 12/8/2014

how do i get rid of perfume-y smell in house? former owners loved dryer sheets

here's what i've done: took up carpet. got ducts cleaned. changed filter to HEPA system. scrubbed walls w TSP. primed and repainted walls. it STILL won't go away. there is residue in ducts... i can smell it on my finger if i do a swipe test. not sure what to do about that. help! i literally might have to sell! allergic!

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1 Answer


Yikes! This is more common from smoking, as the tar seeps into the walls but dryer sheets? Wow! You have certainly already done the most obvious stuff. I applaud your use of TSP - that was certainly a good effort. But it will only clean the SURFACE, not whatever is in the material behind it.

I'm guessing that your primer was latex-based and more of a primer rather than a true primer-sealer. Stains, smells, etc can still come through from the walls if they aren't fully sealed.

On one hand, the smell will probably, eventually, dispate and go away. If you aren't willing to wait, you could try re-priming with a good OIL-BASED primer/sealer. This should, I think completely trap the odors in the walls. I personally like Zinsser but other good brands are available. You could test this out with just ONE wall to start and see if that does the trick, before proceeding further.

Note: Oil-based primer is sticky stuff - protect the floor very well and don't wear anything that you care about. But it really does an incredible job when your needs are more demanding, and usually covers in only 1 coat.

Good luck!


Answered 5 years ago by Jefferson

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