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Author Topic: What is a polite way to say this?
StillandSilent
I Saw Three Shipments


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I have a suitemate problem. In our dorm, two rooms are connected by a bathroom with a shower, toilet and two sinks. I am not close to either suitemate, in fact I have only spoken to the one in question twice. The problem? There is a funky smell in the toilet area (it is in a closed off part). It is the smell of female NFBSK gone bad. The oder is terrible. It doesn't just smell unwashed, it smells like there is some sort of infection in there. It is driving my roommate and me crazy.Considering that we are not close, is there any polite way to approach this or are we doomed to spraying lot air freshener?
Posts: 75 | From: Morganton NC | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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If you honestly think it's some kind of health hazard, you can call maintenance. If something could actually be identified, and if you can prove that it's as a result of your suitemates' action or inaction rather than your own, you might be able to form a complaint against them.

However, you're pretty vague about "female NFBSK gone bad." Are we talking nasty tampons left in a trash can that no one ever empties? Problems with the toilet? A seriously skanky shower? Just what are we looking at here?

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Following what PI is asking, are you saying that you suspect that one of the people using the bathroom has an infection of some sort?

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Rainmom
Deck the Malls


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Grab the bleach, gloves, mask and paper towel and go on an odor hunt. Find out what it is, clean it and confront the roommate with it.

Many years ago my apartment toilet had a baaaaad smell and it was the o-ring (whatever that is) needed to be replaced.

Rainmom

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patriot1
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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If you are next to or near (in the same room) the person, can you smell an odor? If so, is it the same odor? Also if so, make a general statement, like "(sniff), does anyone smell something strange?" and don't be obvious who it is directed at. If someone asks, just start walking around the room sniffing different areas like you are trying to figure it out, again not being obvious. Think about what purple iguana said too, it could very well be a problem with the toilet or trash. Does anyone you know who also knows her (besides suitemates) notice an odor about her? If so, then I would say yes she has a problem, either not washing properly or something wrong medically (if that is true, you think she would know and feel it and get it taken care of, it may be an odor that she cannot detect (most folks with a body odor of some sort don't notice it). Good luck.

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gamixa
I Saw Three Shipments


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"Female NFBSK gone bad" makes me envision a vulva sporting a leather jacket and sunglasses while defiantly smoking a cigarette.

I'm wondering if it could be tampons or pads that have been left wrapped in the trash. After a few days, they start smelling a bit like rotting steak (sorry). I just had to talk to my newly menstrual young daughter about it, and it wasn't easy. I imagine it would only be more uncomfortable talking about it with a stranger. If it were me, and I suspected that was the problem, I'd probably just change the trash more frequently myself, but I'm a weenie about offending people.

Oh, also, my girl had neglected to use a trash bag (give her a break, she's eleven), so I had to wash the can, too. It was...a bit whiffy, to say the least.

I think that some girls and women really just don't realize how yucky those things can get. Daughter swore she never smelled it.

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Amigone201
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Rainmom:
Many years ago my apartment toilet had a baaaaad smell and it was the o-ring (whatever that is) needed to be replaced.

Slight hijack, but an o-ring is like a rubber washer that's stuffed in where two pipes meet. Its purpose is to create a seal so that water passes through the connection and doesn't leak.

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Monza305
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Amigone201:
quote:
Originally posted by Rainmom:
Many years ago my apartment toilet had a baaaaad smell and it was the o-ring (whatever that is) needed to be replaced.

Slight hijack, but an o-ring is like a rubber washer that's stuffed in where two pipes meet. Its purpose is to create a seal so that water passes through the connection and doesn't leak.
Another slight hijack, as I had to fix one this past weekend. Your toilet usually uses a wax ring, not a rubber O-ring.

OK, back to the discussion of stank.

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Neffti Noel
We Three Blings


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As someone who was once picked up on having body odour at school (which I did), can I recommend that if you think you know who the person might be, that you approach them individually about it, make it clear that you want to help them out so that they're not talked about further, and keep the results of that conversation to yourself if possible.

Sorry, patriot1, but I think the suggestion about pretending you are looking for a bad smell will either not solve the problem if the person isn't aware of their odour, or cause offence if they are. I appreciate you're intending to depersonalise things a bit, but as someone who has been on the receiving end of that kind of help I can tell you it's heartbreaking.

Finally, I agree with what others have said about faults in the bathroom itself. A sanitary towel that has got stuck somewhere for ages can be very bad. A friend of mine also had this problem and finally found a decomposing rat behind the facia around the bathtub.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Rainmom:
Grab the bleach, gloves, mask and paper towel and go on an odor hunt. Find out what it is, clean it and confront the roommate with it.

Many years ago my apartment toilet had a baaaaad smell and it was the o-ring (whatever that is) needed to be replaced.

Rainmom

I mostly agree. I wouldn't recomend cleaning a bathroom with bleah though since one of the primary components of urinie is ammonia.

I think the first step is to scrub the area down. If that doesn't make the smell go away, call maintenace. It's possibly the wax ring or some other problem in the lower plumbing.

If it does make the smell go away, I'd leave the situation alone unless the smell comes back. Then you can have a discussion as s group. How is it you think you know who is responsible?

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Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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It also occurs to me, the timeline. Has this smell always been there and has progressively gotten worse, or was there absolutely no smell when you guys took up residence and suddenly there is? I'm thinking that if the smell was there and has just gotten worse, it could be the fault of a previous resident in the suite, and accusing one of the suitemates would not only be faulty, but cause loads of hardship.

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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There are many bacteria that cause a rotten-vagina smell that need not actually be coming from a rotten vagina. I recommend cleaning the bathroom thoroughly, mopping, and taking out the trash. If the smell persists it may be something in the plumbing or the walls.

Basically I see no reason to assume this problem is being caused by your female suitemate's health until you've eliminated all other possibilities. If she does in fact have some kind of infection, I don't really see how it could be causing this smell if the bathroom is being cleaned regularly.

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Wicked Tinkerbell
Hock Harold Angel's Bling


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quote:
Originally posted by Neffti Noel:
As someone who was once picked up on having body odour at school (which I did), can I recommend that if you think you know who the person might be, that you approach them individually about it, make it clear that you want to help them out so that they're not talked about further, and keep the results of that conversation to yourself if possible.

Sorry, patriot1, but I think the suggestion about pretending you are looking for a bad smell will either not solve the problem if the person isn't aware of their odour, or cause offence if they are. I appreciate you're intending to depersonalise things a bit, but as someone who has been on the receiving end of that kind of help I can tell you it's heartbreaking.

Finally, I agree with what others have said about faults in the bathroom itself. A sanitary towel that has got stuck somewhere for ages can be very bad. A friend of mine also had this problem and finally found a decomposing rat behind the facia around the bathtub.

Thanks for posting what I was thinking. The approach to someone with an odor issue should ALWAYS be gentle and kind.

Investigate the bathroom first.

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Ramblin' Dave, quietly making noise
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by gamixa:
"Female NFBSK gone bad" makes me envision a vulva sporting a leather jacket and sunglasses while defiantly smoking a cigarette.

[lol] [lol] [lol] I know what I'll be seeing when I'm trying to get to sleep tonight!

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StillandSilent
I Saw Three Shipments


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Sadly, it is not the bathroom. We completly clean it once a week and change the trash every three days. It has to be the one suitemate because the other is only there about every three weeks (she has a boyfriend with an apartment off campus). My roomate and I have had a serious talk about this and it isn't one of us. The smell comes and goes. It seems to be the worst right after someone from the other room has used the bathroom. When it is there, it is gag-you terrible. I also think it is the one suitmate because her personal hygeine in general isn't that good. She is not big on showers or deoderant.
We have had this room for three years now, with different suitemates each year and this is the only time we have had a smell.
Neffti- Please God don't let it be a rat! I can handle a lot of things, but a decomposing rodent may put me over the edge.

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Bach_girl
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Sounds like it might be a rodent to me too.

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callee
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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If it comes and goes I am not sure it could be a dead rodent. That would smell all the time, in my experience.

I worked as a janitor during grad school, and I had to clean the female washrooms. I would put the "washroom closed for cleaning" signs, but often the women would just come in and use them anyways. I mean, I didn't care if they used it while I was cleaning, that didn't bother me, so if it didn't bother them to pee in front of a male janitor, they would just walk right in. All this to say, I am in fact in the odd position of having a fair amount of experience of being in close proximity to a wide variety of women peeing, and thus I can say that in my experience it is common for a small number of women to leave quite a strong "rotten vagina" smell in the stall after they use the toilet. Because I was there when it happened, I was able to connect the smell definitively to certain women. They were of different ages and ethnicities, so I don't think either of those are factors. Maybe it was just a matter of cleanliness, maybe it was some sort of infection, or maybe that's just they way their body works, but trust me on this, it is definitely a real phenomena, and could be what is happening here.

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a moment for old friends now estranged, victims of the flux of alliances and changing perceptions. There was something there once, and that something is worth honoring as well. - John Carroll

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Artemis
The First USA Noel


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If it is a person causing the smell, wouldn't it be strong enough for you to notice when you're hanging out with her?

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franjava
Deck the Malls


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S&S said they'd only talked to the person in question twice.

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