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College Roommate Issue

tiredhbictiredhbic 0 replies1 threads New Member
So I recently moved into a dorm with a new roommate, and let’s just say things haven’t been smooth sailing. For the first few weeks, everything was wonderful. We had some great conversations and I thought I had finally found a dorm mate I could be genuine friends with; however, recently things have gotten rough, and I must rant before I have a mental breakdown. One of the main things that has been bothering me is a smell that has been lingering in our dorm for WEEKS. It is a mixture of feet, ass, and mildew. I truly have never smelled anything like it before, and it makes me want to vomit. I realized that the smell was coming from her drawer, but I didn’t say anything to her because I’m terrified of confrontation. Recently, the smell has gotten on her clothes as well, and whenever she walked through the room I’m hit with the same terrible scent. For a while I had to hide under my blanket to avoid breathing it in. I asked her if she smelled anything off, and she has said no twice. I’m not sure if she has no sense of smell, or if she knows it’s her and is too embarrassed. Either way, it’s not good. There have been times where I’ve climbed into bed and could smell her from her side of the room. I have witnesses who smelled it when they walked in as well, so I know I’m not going crazy. The thing is, she’s shy and very timid. She’s also a very nice person, so I don’t want to confront her in a mean way. I genuinely like her as a person and would never want to hurt her. At this point, I’m beginning to lose my mind; her whole drawer stinks so bad and it’s starting to radiate through the entire room. It never stops. I don’t want to bring my RA into this because I don’t want to embarrass her. Anyone have any solutions? Yes, I’ve already bought excessive amounts of air freshener, but it hasn’t been very effective.
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Replies to: College Roommate Issue

  • janiemirandajaniemiranda 518 replies24 threads Member
    Sounds like she needs to be using the laundry facilities more frequently. Clothes can get a pretty "ripe" odor and sometimes regular laundry detergent doesn't cut it. You will have to take her aside and tell her in the nicest way possible the there is an odor coming from her drawer and clothing. She will need to invest in some laundry products that can cut odors and a change in deodorant might be in order too.
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  • CMB625CMB625 373 replies8 threads Member
    Yes, I agree with @janiemiranda , tell her as nicely as possible. Maybe preface this with something like "I would want to know if this were me so her goes: ..." It's possible that she isn't using enough detergent and maybe taking her clothes out of the dryer before they are completely dry (causing the mildew smell). Maybe she can't afford laundry detergent? Maybe she is clueless on how to do laundry? Maybe there is something dead in her drawer? (yuck). Anyway, good luck and believe me, she will be embarrassed but she will thank you for it at some point.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10173 replies565 threads Senior Member
    Be honest. Say “I’m not sure if some clothing has mildewed in the drawers, but we both need to look and find out why it smells bad.” Then take everything out and do your due diligence. Maybe something smells bad in your drawers and not hers.
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  • SarripSarrip 638 replies23 threads Member
    Wow...I would start out by telling her that "I was really worried about how my room mate situation would turn out but from the beginning it's been wonderful. I enjoyed our conversations, and felt like I really had a friend (just as you said). I hope you feel the same way. I take friendship seriously and want ours to be an honest one and because of that I have to share something with you. I don't want to be the kind of friend who smiles in your face and talks behind your back so maybe no one has ever told you this before but I have noticed that you have an odor and I want to help you get to the root of it. It appears to be coming from your drawers but I also smell it when you walk by also. Others have noticed it too." It's going to be awkward no matter how it's said but if it continues you may get angry and it may not come out as nice. Good luck.
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14392 replies103 threads Forum Champion
    You have to take action. But start with the roommate.

    I would start with "I have been smelling something kinda bad in our room and I think it is coming from your top drawer. Do you think you could wash everything in that drawer? I think it is starting to spread."

    Give them a day or so and if that doesn't work go to the RA. Say that you are worried about mold and it being a health issue. They will ask you if you have talked to the roommate and you can say yes that you did.

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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3601 replies13 threads Senior Member
    bopper wrote: »
    You have to take action. But start with the roommate.

    I would start with "I have been smelling something kinda bad in our room and I think it is coming from your top drawer. Do you think you could wash everything in that drawer? I think it is starting to spread."

    This. You don't have to tell the roommate that she stinks also at this point. Start with the drawer.

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  • TS0104TS0104 1249 replies30 threads Senior Member
    You sound like a kind and considerate person! I agree that you should just have a gentle talk with her. There's a smell in our room, I've been trying to figure it out and I've checked all my drawers and laundry. I know that neither of us would want to be embarrassed if we had someone over and our room smelled, so could you check your stuff too? Or, I have to talk to you about something. I would never want someone else to say something and embarrass you and as your roommate and your friend I feel like I'm doing the right thing by letting you know that your clothes and our room are starting to smell.
    Does she do laundry? I agree that maybe it is possible that she doesn't know how, or is doing it wrong. I do think that if you use way too much soap, it doesn't rinse out and dirt and odors stick on. If you get this sense, kindly offer to help or to go down and do it together. You could also try to throw in some tips such as saying "I like to make sure I do my laundry at least once a week so it doesn't start to smell" Also Tide with Febreze works really well for odors. Good luck!
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