Strong Smell Of Boot Polish In My House?

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Holly Saunders, Mar 16, 2018.

  1. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    For the last week there's been a strong smell of Boot polish..or even possibly new paint, emanating from my husband\s office. despite me opening windows there all day the smell isn't going away. I accused my husband of causing the smell because he smokes an electronic cigarette , he refutes this..but he has literally very little sense of smell so he can't smell it himself...and he feels I'm exaggerating when I say that I can hardly breathe in that room for the smell.

    3 days ago he stopped smoking his leccy cig in that room, to see if the smell would dissipate ..again I've kept the windows wide open, and even used air fresheners ..and instead of lessening, the strong smell is becoming worse.. I can smell it all the way downstairs, and even in the livingroom, although it's obvious it's coming from his office..

    he doesn't use shoe polish in there, and there's been no new painting, or use of paint thinners etc in the house...so something must be causing this, and I'm getting a little concerned ...anyone any ideas?
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    No, I sure don't have a good idea. I guess I'd try to think of something new that might have been introduced, such as a new type of cleaning agent. Hopefully, someone else might be able to be more of a help.
     
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  3. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    Anything possibly containing urethane present? Urethane, used in insulation and protective coatings, is known to sometimes give off noxious as well as dangerous fumes.

    "Polyurethane, a petrochemical resin that contains isocyanates, is a known respiratory toxin. Uncured polyurethane can cause breathing problems such as asthma. People who are in rooms that have uncured polyurethane floors can also experience health problems including eye and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, vomiting, coughing and shortness of breath. Children and people with respiratory diseases are especially sensitive to the toxic chemicals in polyurethane."

    See: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/polyurethane-coating-wood-floors-toxic-88120.html
     
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  4. Harry Havens

    Harry Havens Well-Known Member
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    Not sure, but what type of heating system and where is it located? Such as vents - heat/return air. Possibly a heat exchanger failing/failed. Do you have a carbon monoxide detector?

    Just throwing out a possibility.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
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  5. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Thanks everyone...no new polyurethane (that I know of) ..yes we have a carbon monoxide detector... ...yes I have a lung condition which is causing me quite severe breathing problems with this overwhelming smell. to the point where I'm ready to book a hotel room until this is sorted..

    Hubs has today off work...he has boxes of paint and glue in a large cupboard in his office, he's clearing everything out to see if a can has burst or is leaking, but thus far can't find anything. he's checked the electric wiring , nothing is hot... ..

    No new cleaning agents been introduced .

    Heating is Gas central heating... ..

    The smell is so bad, it's now leaking downstairs into the livingroom.

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions and attempts to help... muchly appreciated
     
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    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
  6. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    If it's getting worse and spreading to other rooms then your furnace and electrical wiring probably needs to be checked out by an expert as these things having some kind of problem are the most likely cause of that odor.

    I also read an article that said sinus infections could cause someone to smell strange odors, but if the odor is spreading now and your husband smells it too...something is definitely going on in your home.
     
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  7. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Well it looks like he may have found the cause of it...please God...

    he's found a bottle of Polyurethane Hardener in a box in the far corner of his cupboard , which has split..and is leaking...
     
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  8. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Sure sounds like y'all have found the problem...I'm so glad. :)
     
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  9. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    So am I Babs...I was beginning to get desperate, my breathing was getting more and more difficult, but because my o/h couldn't smell it, he was in no hurry to find the cause..then I said I was going to book myself into a hotel until it was found, so he started looking for it in earnest ..he's surmising that when the heating came on it made the smell worse...so now he's got rid of the bottle, so fingers crossed, and now with all the windows open..even though it's snowing , we can finally get rid of that smell..

    ...and maybe at long last he will do what I've been asking of him for years and put all those sprays and paints he has stored in that room, into the shed!!
     
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  10. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Putting those things in the shed would be a very good idea indeed! :)
     
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  11. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    ooooh it gets worse...I had no idea that he'd stored all the expensive winter jackets and body warmers I'd bought him underneath the shelf where the bottle was stored and the bottle has not only destroyed the shelf it was sitting on but ALL of his jackets... I'm furious with him because I've asked him not to store that glue , and paint sprays stuff in the house... we have 2 shed and a large storage box outside in the garden , it's just so bloody annoying.

    he's shrugged the destruction of those jackets off, as ''nothing because they can be replaced''...he's completely missing the point :mad:...I've had to throw all his jackets in the bin... :(
     
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  12. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Glad they weren't your jackets, etc. Holly. :)
     
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  13. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Well my jackets would never be in a cupboard with Paint Babs...I can't believe he was so callous with those jackets to store them in there..but also that I was the one who bought them not him..and they were not cheap.. In fact 2 of them had never been worn yet..

    Believe it or not, he's still up there clearing everything out..this one bottle which was stored in a plastic bottle in a polypropylene box has eaten right the way through the bottle, the box and onto the aforementioned clothing and also dripped onto lots of tools and stuff he has up there as well as a whole large leather zip case of CD;s.....

    He's dismantled the almost completely destroyed shelf and thrown it out as well as all the other stuff I mentioned ...yet I can still smell the stuff, albeit much reduced, and I'm all the way downstairs.. o_O
     
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  14. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Well-Known Member
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    Perhaps he has some of the stuff stored inside because it is harmed by freezing temperatures. He should store the stuff in a glass or metal airtight container if solvents melt the plastic. I have seen some solvents melt plastic, but not resin hardening agent. Are your sheds heated?
     
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  15. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    If noe of the above works for you, the only thing I can think of is, could somebody else's boots have been parked underf your bed occasionally?
     
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  16. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Holly Saunders Urethane was the first thing which came to my mind after reading your description of the pervasive odor. Glad you found the source. Getting completely rid of it will be a chore. Try to imagine those folks whose home contains Urethane insulation in the walls, and it begins to permeate the living space for one reason or another! Frank
     
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  17. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Oh @Holly Saunders...what a mess that must be! Just remember you love that man you are so frustrated with at the moment and will go on loving him long after the mess is cleaned up and the smell gone. :)
     
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  18. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    yes apparently that's why he had them stored there, no our sheds are not heated However after the whole of Saturday cleaning up the mess he's decided he won't store anything like that there again....yep it was the hardener that caused the whole problem and yep it did melt right through the thick plastic box it was stored in..but I've insisted if he's to store anything like that again it has to be outside and maybe wrapped in some kind of insultation during winter...

    @Frank Sanoica , yes I have you to thank because given his lack of sense of smell, he could barely smell it, and thought maybe it was the electrics or something similar so he was looking for something that was overheating at first..... but I told him what you said may be causing it , and he went straight for that box, and lo and behold...there it was!..

    I can still smell it even now..2 days after it was all cleared out and despite the snow, having all the window open.. so looks like you're right it may take some time to get rid of it completely. God help those people who have it as insulation, surely that must cause horrible breathing difficulties.. ?
     
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  19. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Holly Saunders "God help those people who have it as insulation, surely that must cause horrible breathing difficulties.. ?"

    I believe it's use has been limited lately, perhaps banned in some jurisdictions.
    Frank
     
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  20. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    I jolly well hope so...I just can't imagine having that as insulation
     
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  21. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    #21
  22. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    I'm better than I was @Von Jones , thanks for asking ... although the smell is still lingering somewhat despite all the windows been open since last weekend ..I've had to use my inhalers more often than ever this week..
     
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  23. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    Maybe there is something that can help eliminate the smell now that won't aggravate your breathing.
     
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  24. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    I'm not sure there is tbh Von... aside from fresh air...
     
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  25. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    Maybe some baking soda which is known for absorbing oders. My craft room began to smell musty so I took some very fragrant liquid laundry detergent that my sister likes and poured some into a small vase and set it on a shelf and the mustiness has gone away and I love the fragrance of it. I didn't have any baking soda but I like the liquid laundry detergent better.
     
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