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Gross Floor Cleaning Question

I think this is my first anonymous post in Answers ever, but I'm so ashamed! My pantry floor is a wreck - we toss plastic bags in the bottom when the bag holder gets full. I didn't even realize there was a bag of potatoes in the bottom of the pantry.


I bought it several months ago and now that the weather's gotten hot the potatoes have...let's just say "decomposed" in a crime scene kind of way. The smell lead us to the bodies.

The worst part is that I have parquet tile in the kitchen (which is bad enough on it's own!) and the stinky "potato juices" (excuse me, I have to hurl now) have seeped under the tiles.

Without pulling up the floor (which I would love to do, but can't afford), is there anything I can do to remove the stench from UNDER the tiles?

I've sprayed straight vinegar on it for now and have walked away. Please help!


Asked by Anonymous at 1:01 PM on May. 21, 2010 in Home & Garden

This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • PS ... is this like a large walk in pantry? where is the offending tiles located? if they're like under a shelf or something, etc etc etc them u have more options than the replacing the tiles... take the tiles up and (temporarily) put SOMETHING there. a case of water/pop. a huge bin, a trash bucket, a piece of indoor/outdoor carpeting scrap, whatever

    Answer by hibbingmom at 1:11 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • the only thing i could tell you (but it won't go under them just in between) is scrub it with a tooth brush.

    Answer by mrsbean08 at 1:07 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • you're gonna need bleach. remove the tiles. you simply must. as the summer grows on, so will the smell. cover the missing tiles w/ a pretty rug, bathmat, whatever til you can afford to replace 'em

    Answer by hibbingmom at 1:09 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • I had this happen in a drawer. After the vinegar wash, I covered it with baking soda paste and left it there for a couple of weeks. I think time will make the smell go away.

    Answer by SWasson at 1:27 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • I say bleach

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:22 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • Bleach won't remove the smell, but it will certainly wreck the parquet. You could just clean it, strip it (like, take the shiny coating off, either by sanding or with a chemical stripper) and re-seal it (poly-urathane)... friends had to do that when they bought a house that had had dogs living in the living room --entirely 'living' in the living room.

    We lived a few doors down from the house for years and never knew they even owned dogs --they were never outside, they were never walked. To say that the whole house reeked is putting it mildly. They removed the carpets (OMG, yes they had carpets!!) and had all the subfloors sealed before replacing them. They also had the floors sealed from the bottom, in the crawlspace under the living room, to stop it seeping upwards when the space got hot in the summer. Now you'd never know there were ever dogs in the house.

    Answer by LindaClement at 2:22 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • Ladies, thank you so much! I'm going to take it in order of extremity of the solution, starting with the vinegar followed by letting baking soda sit on it for several days to see what happens.  Then I'll start pulling up tiles if that doesn't do the trick.

    And, needless to say, I'm going low-carb and forbidding potatoes to enter my house for the foreseeable future!!! laughing


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:59 PM on May. 21, 2010