How to clean rotten potato smell on a hard wood floor
June 8, 2013 8:20 AM   Subscribe

This morning, my wife discovered a forgotten bag of potatoes that have apparently been our pantry since the Taft administration. The bag burst, leaving rotten potato mush and juice on our old hardwood floors. It smells like death has vomited more death on top of death. Help.

We have cleaned the mess up and gotten it out of the house and cleaned the floor with clorox wipes, but we cannot get rid of the smell. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thank you, as always.
posted by 4ster to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'd put a crap ton of baking soda on the spot to start...
posted by cecic at 8:24 AM on June 8, 2013 [5 favorites]

White vinegar wipe down and then put baking soda on top for a few days. No guarantees but that's what I'd try first.
posted by at 8:24 AM on June 8, 2013 [4 favorites]

A bad potato smell is a special kind of hell, but I have had success in eliminating other bad smells by using Zero Odor.
posted by analog at 8:25 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Try leaving out a bowl of ammonia, it might absorb some of the smell.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 8:32 AM on June 8, 2013

I have had success eliminating animal and kid odors with OdoBan.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:33 AM on June 8, 2013

Fresh coffee grounds eliminate many bad odors.
posted by jennstra at 8:37 AM on June 8, 2013

Microban. They clean up crime scenes with it.
posted by oflinkey at 8:42 AM on June 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

Wipe it down with Oxyclean powder mixed in warm water. Maybe check it on a part of your floor first to make sure it doesn't mark or anything. I have used this to remove cat spray smell from wooden skirting and unsealed concrete floors. That Natures Miracle stuff they use for cat pee should work too, as the enzymes in both work on anything organic pretty much.
posted by wwax at 8:45 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

You need an enzyme cleaner for organic stains, like BioKleen. It digests the stuff that is causing the stink.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:19 AM on June 8, 2013

No suggestions on the immediate aftermath, but anecdotally, the smell of rotten potatoes that have leeched into hardwood does go away after a while. We didn't use anything but some all-purpose spray with ammonia. Never was able to remove the stain, however. That might require sanding and refinishing, which we didn't bother with, because the stain isn't in a very visible place.

The answers you're getting are the same kinds of answers in response to questions about getting rid of pet odors, so you might search for previous AskMes on that topic also.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 9:29 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding SuperSquirrel.. it will go away. But man, that stink is baaadd while its there.
posted by sarajane at 1:05 PM on June 8, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for your help. For now, Pine Sol seems to have done the trick, for the most part.

Give it a couple of days, and you are all invited for dinner.

Thanks again.
posted by 4ster at 1:38 PM on June 8, 2013

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