How do you get rid of "old house smell"?

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BEG:
Our house has an old house smell in only two areas.  In the study (which use to be the master bedroom) and the hallway leading out of the study into what use to be the only bathroom.  The bathroom kind of has an old house smell too.  The bathroom has the original sink, bathtub and the original cabinets (including a built in one in the wall).  The study has the original closet with a set of drawers under the closet doors (first time I've seen something like that).  Here is a picture of the closet: 

The original wood floors are in the study and the hallway.  The cabinets/desk in the study are from the last 8 years or so.  The previous owner stored their three tortoises in the closet in the hallway during the winter.  They left their tortoises by the way and I refuse to store them in our house.  :whatever: One of them is 55 years old.   The closet kind of smelled and I don't know if it was old house smell or tortoise smell so I hung some cedar blocks and also this thing called an Earth Care odor remover.  I used a few of those odor removers when we had a rat die in our attic last year.   Let me tell you that is the worst smell EVER...but I digress. 

Anyway, I hung another one of the Earth Care odor removers in the study but the smell is still there.  It doesn't always smell and it isn't over powering but I'm use to new houses that have no smell (unless you count the rat smell of last year).  Do I have to just live with the smell or does anyone know of a way to eliminate it?  I don't want to just cover it up with air freshener, I want to get rid of it.  Would an air purifier help?  We are planning on painting, would using kilz first help?

ColonialMarine0431:
Try burning candles. As a smoker I can attest to the fact that they help kill odors. By the way, what's with the old school desk in the corner?

Chris_:
You may be able to reduce the smell by having the ducts cleaned and using HEPA filters on the HVAC.
A portable air purifier that has a carbon filter will also help.

debk:
Depending on the age of the former owners, and you said one was quite ill....it could be it's an "old people" smell.

It's something that often occurs in houses that have elderly people living in them. As a realtor....we often see it in houses that are "estate sales" or when someone's parents have gone to an assisted living situation.

Call Serv-Pro, or some industrial cleaning type company, that cleans up after fires or floods.

Before I moved into this house, we had the house completely cleaned by Serv-Pro, after the entire interior was painted and the carpet replaced. The prior owners had a gazillion birds....or so it seemed - they had these huge cages, one had 30 some finches and another had about 20  :o :o :o, 3 dogs and 2 cats!!! The dogs and the cats were only a semi problem, but the birds were a humongous issue for me.

By the time we moved in....there was no smell whatsoever.

I know you've had the carpet cleaned, and you are doing some painting...so ask Serv-Pro or whoever is out there, if they have some heavy duty deodorizer that you can purchase. Not a floral but something else.

Also, make sure you don't have any mold anywhere. Is your house on a slab or a crawl? If it's on a crawl, make sure there is a moisture barrier over the dirt. A pest inspector will check for you....but that was probably checked out in your home inspection.

rich_t:
Quote

By the way, what's with the old school desk in the corner?

It's where she makes me sit when I've been a bad boy.

 :naughty:

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