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Smelly Teen Girl + Stinky Bedroom

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How do you keep your teen’s room from smelling?! I never had this issue myself as a teen and DD16 did not stink until the last 6-ish months. It’s awful! Like as in it’s affecting the rest of the house bad. Mostly I think her feet are the culprit. I recently tossed out half her shoes because even after cleaning with baking soda, airing out, etc they stunk bad enough to make everyone gag just walking near them. Every item in her closet stinks too though. Her bedding. Everything she touches practically. I have to bug her to brush her teeth so breath is an issue too (brushing teeth has been an issue for 4+ years) and remind her to shower. I even got her nice smelling bath and body stuff, good shampoo, etc to motivate her.

 

So yeah, right now I just need help getting her room smelling decent enough that it doesn’t seep out into the main living areas :P Any ideas? Magical cleaning products?

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I have the same problem with DD. Opening a window helps. So do reminders to shower. I suspect we really need to gut her room and have her start over, and wash everything before we put it back in there I think.

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We’ve battled this with ds.

Keep the door open as much as possible for air flow and vent the window awhile daily even when it’s cold.

Take everything out of the closet and drawers to wash before replacing- be sure only clean items get hung back up daily.

Ditch all the shoes and start over with new ones ( one pair sneakers, one pair dressier- not tons of them). Or two pairs of sneakers to rotate.

Wash sheets and pillowcases and covers more often.

Dr can prescribe something for foot odor.

Baking soda boxes (like the fridge ones) under the bed and in the closet and in drawers.

No eating in room.

Change deodorant brands.

 

Enforce daily shower every morning upon waking and the tooth brushing. Try adding a good mouth wash.

 

Good luck!

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All of what HilltopMom said and I want to add a couple of helpful products for odor.

 

 

 

This kills bacteria without harming fabrics.  Good to spray on any stinky surfaces and in shoes (I would start with new shoes and use it from the git go).

 

https://www.amazon.com/CleanSmart-Surface-Bacteria-Chemical-sanitizer/dp/B011AJRJZI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1513107056&sr=8-2&keywords=cleansmart+disinfectant+spray

 

 

 

 

Most effective product I have found (and my kid has really stinky feet) for preventing foot odor. Must be used daily. Don't buy it from Amazon. Get it at a big box store.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Gold-Bond-Powder-Spray-Fresh/dp/B00J2V3IOI/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1513107204&sr=8-3&keywords=gold+bond+foot+spray

 

 

 

 

Consider a clinical strength deodorant.

 

 

Also consider an oral irrigator (like waterpik) and Closys Brand oral care products, especially the rinse.

 

 

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Dirty clothes in a hamper or clothes basket not on the floor, especially not on a carpeted closet floor (or under the bed, behind the door, or other random location).  Empty gym bag in laundry room immediately after use.  Same with sweaty or damp clothing.  Otherwise, open window for 10 minutes each morning before making bed.  If she sweats at night, air bed rather than making it in the morning.

 

Regular showers and tooth brushing help.  Have her wipe her underarms with alcohol preps every few days.  Bare feet go in sandals or flip flops.  Require socks with boots, sneakers, and other closed shoes.  

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Biokleen makes a wonderful bac our fabric spray that works. Very light lemon smell. DS uses it daily in his room. It makes a difference.

 

 

Adding this to my future options list.  Thanks!

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Strip her room, and wash everything on high heat with Tide and Bac-Out. I suspect that there's some bacterial growth on her clothing. Certain strains love synthetic fabrics and are hard to get rid of.

 

Have her wash with hibiclens for three days after all of her clothing is clean and see if that does the trick.

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Since the change in being smelly is recent, have you had her checked with her doctor to make sure nothing else is going on besides just being a smelly stubborn teen that hates washing and brushing teeth?  I ask because a couple of times in my life (once while I was a teen) I started smelling a lot more than normal and it turned out to be health related issues.  Once those were addressed my smelliness returned to normal human smelliness...

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Since the change in being smelly is recent, have you had her checked with her doctor to make sure nothing else is going on besides just being a smelly stubborn teen that hates washing and brushing teeth? I ask because a couple of times in my life (once while I was a teen) I started smelling a lot more than normal and it turned out to be health related issues. Once those were addressed my smelliness returned to normal human smelliness...

Any idea what types of health issues to have them check for? I had thought maybe athletes foot (she got that once before) and had her use the medication for that for awhile but it didn’t help. I’m thinking it might just be hormones? Though she’s had her period for 7 years now so it seems a bit odd that it’s suddenly an issue.

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Make sure the bed sheets are washed weekly too.

 

My dd has a stinky room. She's not even teenage yet. She has smelly shoes and a pet budgie who lives in her room so we can't open the door all the time (we also have a cat so they alternate times in for living area). I'm dreading the teen years

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There was a funky smell once from my son's room so eventually I traced it to his closet and literally emptied the whole thing. He does his own laundry and had some stinky musty sheets and clothes in there. So we went through every item and we would smell each item before putting it back in and what was left all got washed in hot water until it smelled fresh. Now everything is fine. Good luck!

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Any idea what types of health issues to have them check for? I had thought maybe athletes foot (she got that once before) and had her use the medication for that for awhile but it didn’t help. I’m thinking it might just be hormones? Though she’s had her period for 7 years now so it seems a bit odd that it’s suddenly an issue.

Well, there are several.  Two things that can contribute to body odor are diabetes and kidney disease.

 

I agree with others, though, I would pull literally everything out of the room, right down to the walls/bare furniture, and then clean it all, including her mattress/curtains/carpet/lampshade/etc.  Nothing goes back in until it has been cleaned or inspected and confirmed to be odor free.

 

FWIW, there could be several small items that were never cleaned properly (lost in the bedroom so never made it to the laundry) that are stuck in a corner somewhere emitting odors.  BTDT.

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As for getting a teenager to improve their hygiene, well that's a whole other ballgame...

 

I'm still wondering why the shift.  May be perfectly normal.  Maybe her teenage hormones are just now kicking in.  I would still be looking for answers, just in case.  Besides building up body odor during the day, does she sweat a lot at night?  Could she be building up stink overnight while she sleeps, maybe because of a change in her sleep patterns or a change in the temperature inside the house?  Is it possible to get her to shower daily, including her feet, before she goes to bed at night but then maybe also rinse off in the morning?  As for her shoes, what type does she normally wear?  Does she wear socks?  Does she go outside a lot?  Is she involved in sports or dance or something along those lines?  Did her level of activity change in the last 6 months?  Did her diet or level of stress change in the last 6 months?

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Also, has her weight changed?  Hair texture?  Skin texture?  Has she changed what type of clothing she wears (like going from cotton to polyester or something)?  Has she ever had skin allergies?  When she showers is she actually using soap over her whole body?

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One of the things about the Clinical deodorant is that it should be applied at night. This could be put on feet, too. Also, I have noticed that tops and socks vary greatly in polyester content. You might want a higher cotton content in her clothing.

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Is she neurotypical? How is her mood? I would keep an eye out for depression, lethargy, etc, in a nt teen girl who did not want to brush her teeth or wash. 

 

And agree that I would look for physical reasons also. There's really no reason for someone in her midteens, who has been on her period for years, to suddenly start smelling to that extent. Even if she is somewhat careless about personal hygiene, it shouldn't be making her whole room reek. I mean, unless she's a power athlete who refuses to shower, lol. 

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If this is the dd trying out public high school, this is a problem that needs to be solved as quickly as possible. Does the increase in stink correspond to starting school? That would make me take a third look at depression and/or anxiety. 

 

Stinky feet can really reek, so I'd think that might be it if it weren't for her having issues with hygiene. The doctor might write a scrip for prescription antiperspirant if needed, and really good socks can help as well. She should probably change her socks mid-day, like when she comes home from school. 

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I am slightly embarrassed to admit this, but I spray my DSs mattress with the spray that is for getting out pet odors. It seems to work for stinky teen too.

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I am slightly embarrassed to admit this, but I spray my DSs mattress with the spray that is for getting out pet odors. It seems to work for stinky teen too.

 

:lol:

 

If it works, it works! 

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Could she be constipated? That can increase body odor. If so, try psyllium fiber, but take it with lots of water. I would also look at diet, maybe reducing carbs and increasing fruits and vegetables. Is she eating any new spices that could be coming out through the pores? Maybe give her a vitamin supplement. Also, anxiety could be changing the smell of her sweat.

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As for getting a teenager to improve their hygiene, well that's a whole other ballgame...

 

I'm still wondering why the shift. May be perfectly normal. Maybe her teenage hormones are just now kicking in. I would still be looking for answers, just in case. Besides building up body odor during the day, does she sweat a lot at night? Could she be building up stink overnight while she sleeps, maybe because of a change in her sleep patterns or a change in the temperature inside the house? Is it possible to get her to shower daily, including her feet, before she goes to bed at night but then maybe also rinse off in the morning? As for her shoes, what type does she normally wear? Does she wear socks? Does she go outside a lot? Is she involved in sports or dance or something along those lines? Did her level of activity change in the last 6 months? Did her diet or level of stress change in the last 6 months?

The big change in the last few months was her trying out public school but that is only since august. She was miserable there and it caused endless stress so she’s home again now. As for shoes she wears flats or boots this time of year. I make her wear socks with all her shoes because that was an issue in the past but she’s pretty good about it now.

 

She has slowly gained weight again lately. She drinks plenty of water thankfully so she’s not dehydrated. But I have wondered if the weight gain (not insane but she is technically overweight again now) is behind increased smell and/or sweating.

 

I do have her shower nightly before bed. She complies, she just is so ADHD that she will forget for days on end if not reminded.

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If her feet smell that bad, she's probably not drinking nearly enough water.

She drinks from her big nalgene water bottle all day (finishes at least one every day) and has a bir of orange juice or milk with no sodas or caffeine so luckily I think we can rule out dehydration.

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Is she neurotypical? How is her mood? I would keep an eye out for depression, lethargy, etc, in a nt teen girl who did not want to brush her teeth or wash.

 

And agree that I would look for physical reasons also. There's really no reason for someone in her midteens, who has been on her period for years, to suddenly start smelling to that extent. Even if she is somewhat careless about personal hygiene, it shouldn't be making her whole room reek. I mean, unless she's a power athlete who refuses to shower, lol.

She’s not quite neurotypical. There’s adhd and overall learning disabilities. I do think she’s been more stressed than usual this year but not to the point of full depression. We are keeping an eye on that though just in case. It’s not so much that she refuses to shower but that she won’t remember/bother unless we remind her. If we remind her she does it happily.

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Well, there are several. Two things that can contribute to body odor are diabetes and kidney disease.

 

I agree with others, though, I would pull literally everything out of the room, right down to the walls/bare furniture, and then clean it all, including her mattress/curtains/carpet/lampshade/etc. Nothing goes back in until it has been cleaned or inspected and confirmed to be odor free.

 

FWIW, there could be several small items that were never cleaned properly (lost in the bedroom so never made it to the laundry) that are stuck in a corner somewhere emitting odors. BTDT.

Interesting. She does have diabetes in her birth family. Might be worth having the dr run an A1C on her.

 

We did recently clear out the entire room when switching kids’ rooms. So I scrubbed everything, rewashed her clothes, aired out the mattress, etc. it smelled fine after all that. But now just 2 weeks later her room is starting to smell bad again already! It’s crazy!

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She drinks from her big nalgene water bottle all day (finishes at least one every day) and has a bir of orange juice or milk with no sodas or caffeine so luckily I think we can rule out dehydration.

 

 I wouldn't rule out dehydration as a contributing factor. The website said the bottles aren't even a full litre.

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For my dd at that age, I think it was an overproduction of body oils and then it getting into her clothes and her clothes just sat (some probably for years  :D  -- who knows!)  without being washed.  Once we really got in there, pulled everything out of every nook and cranny, got rid of half her clothes (she had so many hand-me-downs from older sisters), washed everything that was left, plus daily showers, the smell improved a lot!  

 

For another dd who had stinky feet, we slowly replaced her multiple cheap shoes with higher quality (and fewer) shoes...  As in one pair of sandals, one pair of casual, one pair of dressy, for example.  I got her those cedar sachets that you stick in shoes when you're not wearing them, and tea tree powder for her feet.

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You mention the ADD. Are you sure that once she is IN the shower that she is actually washing WITH SOAP and not just letting the water run over her?

 

That has been an issue here.

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Make sure curtains or blinds are opened in the morning.  And rather than make the bed, pull back the covers neatly so the bed airs and the sunlight is on the sheets.

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I would be concerned about ketoacidosis. Have her blood sugar checked ASAP. If you did an overhaul just a couple weeks ago and the smell returned, I can't imagine that this is within normal parameters.

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I can tell you what I did with ds. Nothing. Well, I DID stuff, but nothing worked.  :mad:  Finally, he got bugged by coworkers enough to start wearing deodorant more frequently, and the odor of his room went down considerably.

 

This happened about the same that the next boy started needing deodorant... and not wearing it. I walked into my oldest's room one day and was pleasantly surprised at how it did NOT reek! Then I walked across the hall and into the younger boy's room.   :ack2:  You would've thought they had switched rooms or something.  :banghead:  :banghead:  :banghead:  

 

No advice. Sorry. Good luck!

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My mind goes to three possibilities--

 

--Diabetes

 

--Fungal infection, or possibly a bacterial infection or even both, of her feet.

 

--Low-level, chronic yeast infection. This can loop back with the diabetes as both relate to the body's ability to process sugar/carbs.

 

So I would suggest getting a medical workup that specifically includes a solid diabetes screening. AFTER the screening, also address possible fungal/bacterial infection with her feet and start regular dosage of acidophilus to see if that helps.

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What does the stink smell like?  An ammonia scent might mean she's not breaking down protein properly. An earthy smell might mean she's having a problem with whole wheat.  A weird sweet scent might mean diabetes or similar metabolic issue.  A sour rotten scent might mean yeast infection, either in skin folds or vaginally. General BO might mean she's not showering properly.

 

Until you figure it out, I would have her use Dial antibacterial soap on a new scrubby, rinse, and then follow by mopping her entire body with a washcloth dipped in white vinegar, which will both restore the proper acid balance on the skin for GOOD bacteria to grow AND kill yeast.  If she hates the scent you could mix in a few drops of whatever essential oil she likes the scent of (peppermint or lavender). Then when she gets out of the shower and dressed again I would have her soak her feet in white vinegar (and essential oil if you like) for at least 20 minutes a day for a week.

 

I would probably start by warning her that you will be smelling her when she gets out of the shower to make sure she's doing a good job washing everywhere.  If she doesn't wash well you'll be forced to either watch her wash or take her to the doctor for help.

 

Generally, drinking more water, eating more fruit, and eating less meat help with body odors.

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