The Case of The Funk or Why It Is Always A Good Idea To Be Fully Awake When Caring For Small Children

The house smelled like the funk.

I mean, when you live in a house you sort of get used to the smells and don't notice them anymore.

But every time we went outside and came back in, a bulldozer of a smell was waiting to knock you over.  It was bad, I mean curl your nose hairs kind of bad and I couldn't figure out what it was.

I cleaned the whole house in search of the odor.  We gave the kitty fresh litter.  We triple checked all the usual hiding places for dirty diapers.  I put vinegar around the house to neutralize.  And it worked.

And by worked, I mean the bulldozer 

was replaced by a bobcat. 

Still funky, still makes you want to leave the second you enter,  but slightly better than before.

I just couldn't win.  I figured it must be musty from not having any fresh air blowing through.  A house gets the winter blues just like a person does, right?  Only people get grumpy and a house gets smelly.

On Saturday I decided to wash our bedding.  I plopped our sheets in the washer with some of Keith's that I had forgotten about which were in the washer and turned it on.  Just for good measure, in case the stink was coming from his sheets, I added about a cup of vinegar.

As I was in the house constantly, I forgot about the smell.

That night, I jumped into my bed and snuggled down under the covers.  The sheets were still warm from the dryer.  I took a deep breath expecting laundry smell...

... and choked.

It all came crashing back into my memory.  A few nights earlier Keith was by my bed.  All I could see was a white outline as it was still the middle of the night.  He was half crying.

"Mommy.  Take them off me.  They are wet.  I can't do it.  Please help.  Mommy.  You do it."

His jammies were indeed soaked through with urine.  Evidently his plastic training pants don't hold up so well when he drinks a big glass of water right before bed.

I stripped him down, stripped his bed down, threw the bedding and clothing into the washer.  I wiped him down and his bed, put a new sheet on it, clothes on him and tucked him back into bed.  All with my eyes closed.  I was still mostly asleep, I think.  Then I stumbled back into my room and fell back into the warmth of Jeffrey's arms and my dreams....

....I choked and my eyes flew open.  I looked at the clock.  1:15.  One fifteen Sunday morning.  I debated for a moment, and decided I would just say a prayer that the smell wouldn't bother me, and that I could get to sleep quickly.  I didn't want to have to try throwing them into the wash again!  And then wait for them to dry.  By the time they would be ready for my bed again, it would be nearly 3:00!  And getting out my Summer set didn't even dawn on me.

My prayer worked and I was able to fall asleep without much bother, though I was breathing with my mouth to avoid that horrible smell.

Sunday after church I whipped those sheets off the bed and threw them into the washer.  Three cycles and half a gallon of vinegar later, they were ready to be dried.

Last night, I put them on my bed.  I climbed into it and took a deep breath.  They were still warm and smelled so fresh and clean.  Sleep came easily that time.

And tonight will be even better.

For our blanket we have Jeffrey's Duna.  It is a goose down comforter that he got when he was 19 on his mission in Australia.  It has never been washed.  I have hated the dingy brown it has become, but we use it because it is so warm in the winter.

I didn't know you could wash anything down.

Until Friday.

Friday I was waiting for the wheels on our car to be aligned.  In the shop there was a Good Housekeeping mag.  While mindlessly flipping through the pages I  found an article on how to wash down comforters!  And now I feel silly for not previously knowing how, but excited because my sheets smell lovely, and our blanket, for the first time in 10 years is clean.



Terra said…
I hate when the house smells like the funk. Certain foods will leave my house stinky for days...I remember using those cloth (ish) changing pads in the girls beds (under their sheets) to catch any spill over if necessary so it wouldn't settle into the mattress.
Veronica said…
Yuck! I hate when that happens to sheets. Glad you were able to figure it out in the end and get the stink out!
Susan Anderson said…
I guess all's well that ends well, right?

Emmy said…
Hey, every ten years-isn't that a good sheeting washing schedule? :)
CB said…
Oh man - I didn't even know that could happen! I'm glad you got the smell out of your sheets.

I had a funk in my house too yesterday. I clean all the bathrooms from top to bottom but still in one there was this...smell.
So I lysoled the heck out of it. I still don't know what it was but it's gone now!
LOL! If there is funk it is always the kids pee, poop, or vomit :( Sometimes the pet but my small pets can't funk a house like our kids can.

Glad everything is happily cleaned :) Yesterday I surveyed my home and I thought of the Amy standard... I'm falling short these days!
Lourie said…
I just washed everyones bedding this week. Long over due. It makes all the difference!!! I wouldn't know how to wash a down comforter either.
Sami said…
I LOVE freshly laundered sheets. I used to strip all of our beds every Friday (like clockwork) and everyone would have fresh sheets by the time they went to bed.
Now, I have to wash my kids sheets so often (some sporadic bed wetting) that my sheets often get forgotten, because I'm changing everone else's so frequently.
Hope you slept well!
By the way...what's the trick to washing down comforters? I don't have one, mine is down alternative, but I'm wondering if it would also apply.
Anonymous said…
I used to have my dog sleep on my bed until she had accidents like your kiddos do. I learned really quick how to wash my down comforter, and I think it's actually more fluffy and warmer now that it's been washed. The things I have to look forward to when I have kids; I'm so glad you post the good and the bad!

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