Please Help: Teenage Boy Room Smell

Dear the Internets,

I have a situation.

A dire situation.

And I need you.


The thing is, my teenage son’s room smells terrible.


Or, in French, which is the language of high drama, his room smells TERRIBLE.



Now, before I had a teenage boy child, I heard other parents talk about a teenager’s room smelling bad. It’s not like this is a surprise, you know? It’s just, I assumed they meant body odor.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to correct that misunderstanding. 


It is not – I repeat NOT – a B.O. smell I smell every time I’m in, oh, say, a 100 foot radius of this child’s room.

I WISH it was a B.O. smell because B.O. smells can be fixed with bathing and deodorant, but nooooooo. We are not that lucky, and washing does not fix this.

Instead, this smell is… I don’t know… the smell of hormones? 

The smell of hormones plus nervous energy plus angst? 


No idea. 


But I need a solution anyway.

A solution that’s NOT extreme like washing all the sheets and blankets and pillows and pillowcases every week, because I WANT to be that mama, but HA! That is not happening, friends. 

So I need a non-extreme solution, please, like moving my son into a tent in the backyard. 

Or to Tahiti.

Or moving ME to Tahiti.

Or buying some of that anti-hormone spray they sell at the pet store, except for teenage boys at a teenage boy store. 

Or heavy chemical fumigation where they have to wrap the whole house in plastic and we go stay at a hotel with a pool.

Or nose surgery where they remove my sense of smell.


This is a cry for help, y’all.

Help a mama out.

What’ve you got??

Sincerely yours,





P.S. To be crystal clear, this is no reflection on my teenage son. He’s doing nothing wrong, other than growing into a man like all the other teenage boys around him. Turning Into a Man is, of course, problematic in its own right with its emotional / hormonal upheavals, but it’s no one’s fault, per se, other than God’s. I am working on that problem, particularly as it includes a disturbing amount of sparse facial hair and the occasional straggly pit hair I’m supposed to marvel over, but I’m tackling that whole issue separately by sending emails to God. Now, I realize God is Very Busy, but I have yet to get EVEN ONE response to my multiple missives and concrete suggestions for improvement. Should God respond in the future to my email string titled “Adolescence. REALLY, GOD??,” you will be the first to know. ‘Til then, we’re on our own.


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97 responses to “Please Help: Teenage Boy Room Smell”

  1. My teenage son who is 14 has the same thing going. It’s a God awful smell and it’s hard to talk about with him because it’s not his fault but it’s so bad that I to found this site by searching the internet. Any new ideas?

  2. Yep! My eldest son is 14 and tends to keep his room clean and tidy. I usually have to tell him to close his window at nights, so bad smells aren’t something I’ve had to deal with….until tonight. I walked into his room to make sure he was switched off and the smell was a mixture of human and dog vomit. I searched his room, smelt his bed clothes, checked his bin, sniffed him (he was delighted about that), but I found nothing. I’m now lying on my bed, in front of my window, breathing in the fresh night air and I feel sick as hell. It has actually turned my stomach.
    I turned to google for help and came across this post. Jeepers oh, I have so much to look forward to.
    Ps. God is never too busy for you xx

    • CLOSE his windows at night??… Thats the thing, Keep them OPEN… He needs fresh air to keep flushing that stale air outside !!!

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