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Getting rid of strong smell in my apartment


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Last weekend, likely Sunday, I started noticing a strong smell in my apartment, it reminded me of nail polish. After it not going away yesterday, I got a bit concerned and started doing some digging to find the culprit.

The smell seems to be the strongest under the kitchen sink, and while looking around down there, I found an aerosol can that seems to have exploded, as it appeared to be sealed, yet felt as though it was empty.

No idea what would have caused this to occur.

So my question is, does anyone have any suggestions of how to remove this stench from my apartment. At the moment there's a bowl of coffee grounds under the sink, but I'm looking for other options too. Also, anything else I should be concerned about? 

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Sometimes baking soda can absorb smells.  I bought a used refrigerator as a spare beer fridge for the basement and it smelled a little off.  I've kept a box of baking soda in it ever since and it's eliminated the smell.

What kind of aerosol can was it?  Was it super old?  Does it get really hot under your sink for any reason?

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Cans have an expiry date, you need to dispose of them before they expire to avoid this. I used to collect sealed Coca-Cola cans until random cans in my collection would explode and cover my whole collection in old sticky Coke. The liquid would quite literally eat through the liner inside the can and then the metal can itself.

You need to diagnose the alkali level of the solvent, is it acidic or basic? Use your chemistry skills to research the proper mixture to combat it.

Edited by Code Monkey
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I also wonder what was in the aerosol can, and if it could have potentially mixed with some other chemical under your sink.

Hopefully you aren't breathing in something toxic; if you have windows to the outside I would open them as much as possible to get a cross breeze going.

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