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Handle This: Your Roommate Has Terrible Hygiene

You just moved into a new apartment with another girl. The place was super clean and the girl was nice, so it seemed like the perfect fit. But after only a week living with your roommate, you’re starting to notice something funny — specifically, her smell.

A trail of B.O. seems to follow her everywhere, and you've never actually confirmed that she brushes her teeth. Living in such close quarters you can’t help but be affected by it. It’s really starting to gross you out, so how do you handle this?

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havok636 havok636 7 years
i'd tell her. she needs to know if it's that bad
havok636 havok636 7 years
i'd tell her.she needs to know if it's that bad
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 7 years
Get a second job and move out.
seraphimm seraphimm 7 years
I have to disagree with the thought that you do not have a right to tell her that she stinks. You're SHARING this room, aren't ya? If she turns on the music too loud, you politely ask her to tone it down because it's bothering your ears. If she leaves the lights on when you're trying to sleep, again, you politely ask her to turn on a lamp instead. So what's the difference???? and if I was in this situation, and I didn't say anything about it in the beginning... Sooner or later I'd end up coming home drunk one day and spray febreeze at her :irk: take action ASAP or watch the mold grow... metaphorically and literally.. hehe
seraphimm seraphimm 7 years
I have to disagree with the thought that you do not have a right to tell her that she stinks. You're SHARING this room, aren't ya?If she turns on the music too loud, you politely ask her to tone it down because it's bothering your ears.If she leaves the lights on when you're trying to sleep, again, you politely ask her to turn on a lamp instead.So what's the difference????and if I was in this situation, and I didn't say anything about it in the beginning... Sooner or later I'd end up coming home drunk one day and spray febreeze at her :irk:take action ASAP or watch the mold grow...metaphorically and literally.. hehe
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 7 years
My roommate has been having this issue lately. He's not normally like this and is showering the same amount he used to. I think it was on one of his batches of laundry or that it's from his GFs place. We told him and went through process of elimination with him but couldn't figure it out. You couldn't smell it on his clothes but it was on his body. He's been better and some days he's fine. Only thing I can think of it being on his clothes that he's since washed and the ones he is wearing that were from that batch are the days he stinks.
lolalu lolalu 7 years
I went through this in college!!!! No exaggeration, she NEVER washed her sheets or clothes. She slept in the same PJs every night. She would wear her clothes and then hang them up on a coat rack. She would get up, put on her dirty clothes, not wash/brush her teeth, then go to class. Our bathroom was attached to our room and I never heard her wash her hands, and when she'd shower (maybe 2x a week) she would put her dirty clothes back on! It was a nightmare. She was absolutely revolting. I lived with it for a semester, but I confronted her when it got to the point where I walked in the room and I was angry because of the old woman smell that filled the room when she was there. We weren't friends, we were randomly assigned, so I wasn't really concerned with burning any bridges but I did try to tell her as nicely as I could. I came out and said 'I don't mean to hurt your feelings but you smell'- it was the truth and it worked for a little while, but then she went back to her old ways. Sometimes people like that really don't change. -sorry for the novel ;)
lolalu lolalu 7 years
I went through this in college!!!! No exaggeration, she NEVER washed her sheets or clothes. She slept in the same PJs every night. She would wear her clothes and then hang them up on a coat rack. She would get up, put on her dirty clothes, not wash/brush her teeth, then go to class. Our bathroom was attached to our room and I never heard her wash her hands, and when she'd shower (maybe 2x a week) she would put her dirty clothes back on! It was a nightmare. She was absolutely revolting. I lived with it for a semester, but I confronted her when it got to the point where I walked in the room and I was angry because of the old woman smell that filled the room when she was there. We weren't friends, we were randomly assigned, so I wasn't really concerned with burning any bridges but I did try to tell her as nicely as I could. I came out and said 'I don't mean to hurt your feelings but you smell'- it was the truth and it worked for a little while, but then she went back to her old ways. Sometimes people like that really don't change. -sorry for the novel ;)
chicobo chicobo 7 years
Thank God I haven't had a roommate like this but I had a co-worker that was BO-licious. I had my boss talk to him. People studying for the Cali bar exam were appalled and some even complained to the librarians! Nothing changed except he did start changing his clothes. I febreezed him once...I know maybe not very polite but I was fed up with the smell. Febreeze really works.
bellaressa bellaressa 7 years
Ohh my, I meet a friend of mine through a summer internship - we didn't room together but after two years she decided to move to the city I was in and wanted us to be roommates. I went to visit her at her house in VA, she lived with her parents. The house was clean, her room was clean. When we moved in together, I had a child. The woman was K teacher for goodness sake: she didn't bathe, wash, clothes were all over room. It was a stank smell that came from her room. It was gross. I had to tell her to take a bath, wash her hair, wash her clothes, seriously. I couldn't take it. I found out later when he moved visited - she was always like this. She just cleaned for my visit.
merie33 merie33 7 years
I used to have this EXACT issue. It was nasty. I never really said anything directly, like "how about you shower, cause you stink...and brush your nasty teeth while you're at it..." however, it was mentioned a few times indirectly. For example, her clothes used to smell because she smelled, and in turn, our closet smelled like her dirty hamper (because if she's not washing herself, you bet anything her dirty clothes piled up for WEEKS) So after a few days of the offensive odor coming from the closet, I'd casually say "have you noticed our closet stinking lately? Something in there smells" I don't know if she ever really got the hint totally, but she did pull out the febreze when it was mentioned like that. It was pretty gross though.
merie33 merie33 7 years
I used to have this EXACT issue. It was nasty. I never really said anything directly, like "how about you shower, cause you stink...and brush your nasty teeth while you're at it..." however, it was mentioned a few times indirectly. For example, her clothes used to smell because she smelled, and in turn, our closet smelled like her dirty hamper (because if she's not washing herself, you bet anything her dirty clothes piled up for WEEKS) So after a few days of the offensive odor coming from the closet, I'd casually say "have you noticed our closet stinking lately? Something in there smells" I don't know if she ever really got the hint totally, but she did pull out the febreze when it was mentioned like that. It was pretty gross though.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Truthfully, I'm surprised you didn't realize this earlier BEFORE you became roommates. Perhaps my nose is really sensitive, but I can detect offensive BO when I meet a person right away. If I were you, I would bring it up in a passive way. Yes, I agree it's her body, but her body is emitting a foul smell in MY residence. I live there, too. I pay rent. I'm entitled to be at peace in my residence as much as she does. However, this is a delicate matter, so I would approach it passively and carefully. The next time, I smell offensive BO, I would ask her what fragrance she's wearing, as it's NOT agreeing with her skin chemistry. If she admits to not wearing any fragrance, I would suggest it's probably the fragrance from her soap. I would say "lately" her skin has been smelling "kind of yucky." I would also say that's "odd," as she didn't used to smell like that before. Again, I'm the type of person that would say something, but passively. That would be my approach.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Truthfully, I'm surprised you didn't realize this earlier BEFORE you became roommates. Perhaps my nose is really sensitive, but I can detect offensive BO when I meet a person right away.If I were you, I would bring it up in a passive way. Yes, I agree it's her body, but her body is emitting a foul smell in MY residence. I live there, too. I pay rent. I'm entitled to be at peace in my residence as much as she does.However, this is a delicate matter, so I would approach it passively and carefully. The next time, I smell offensive BO, I would ask her what fragrance she's wearing, as it's NOT agreeing with her skin chemistry. If she admits to not wearing any fragrance, I would suggest it's probably the fragrance from her soap. I would say "lately" her skin has been smelling "kind of yucky." I would also say that's "odd," as she didn't used to smell like that before. Again, I'm the type of person that would say something, but passively. That would be my approach.
gemsera gemsera 7 years
I agree anonnymouse :) You have to realise its not about BO, its about your right to tell someone else what to do, which no one has any right to. I might give her some bathy type stuff for her birthday or christmas, but thats about it as suggestions :)
gemsera gemsera 7 years
I agree anonnymouse :) You have to realise its not about BO, its about your right to tell someone else what to do, which no one has any right to.I might give her some bathy type stuff for her birthday or christmas, but thats about it as suggestions :)
a-nonny-mouse a-nonny-mouse 7 years
In my comment, "you" = us, meaning people in general.
a-nonny-mouse a-nonny-mouse 7 years
The simple fact is this: It isn't *your* right to tell her what she should do with her own body. It's terrible that she stinks. It's an offense against social decorum, but it is not for you to determine how this grown woman should tend to her hygiene, how often she should shower, or how much soap and deodorant she should use. You are not her mother and she is not your child. It is reasonable to expect consideration from roomies, but you are not in a position of authority over her. Management of her body is not under your mandate. It sucks to be you in this scenario, but I think it basically amounts to *better luck next time* -- hope your lease passes quickly. **Note: If you choose to press forward and set a standard in your relationship where, as a roomate, you should have influence in how the other rommie tends to herself and her own business, prepare yourself for the consequences. Do not allow yourself to feel shocked when she begins making comments about your personal style, or the foods you eat, or your manner of speaking. She might not feel that they are up to her personal standard, and therefore, may feel that you should respect her determinations about what is best for the two of you and make changes accordingly. Afterall, she must look at you, and smell your food, and hear your voice -- if her scent assaults your senses, you must consider her sensory experience as well.** I'm not saying it's reasonable, I'm just sayin'.
a-nonny-mouse a-nonny-mouse 7 years
The simple fact is this: It isn't *your* right to tell her what she should do with her own body. It's terrible that she stinks. It's an offense against social decorum, but it is not for you to determine how this grown woman should tend to her hygiene, how often she should shower, or how much soap and deodorant she should use.You are not her mother and she is not your child. It is reasonable to expect consideration from roomies, but you are not in a position of authority over her. Management of her body is not under your mandate.It sucks to be you in this scenario, but I think it basically amounts to *better luck next time* -- hope your lease passes quickly.**Note: If you choose to press forward and set a standard in your relationship where, as a roomate, you should have influence in how the other rommie tends to herself and her own business, prepare yourself for the consequences.Do not allow yourself to feel shocked when she begins making comments about your personal style, or the foods you eat, or your manner of speaking. She might not feel that they are up to her personal standard, and therefore, may feel that you should respect her determinations about what is best for the two of you and make changes accordingly. Afterall, she must look at you, and smell your food, and hear your voice -- if her scent assaults your senses, you must consider her sensory experience as well.**I'm not saying it's reasonable, I'm just sayin'.
omilawd omilawd 7 years
Every day, this girl I work with comes to work smelling like warm, rotting cheese. I still haven't been able to tell her she stinks, so I usually just try to stay away from her. But when living with someone who has horrible BO? I don't know what I'd do, to be honest. :P
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 7 years
my husband is struggling with this with his business partner. he asked me how he can politely tell him to wear deodorant. i told him there is no polite way :S i wouldnt be able to.
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
I had a roommate in high school that was like this. I handled it very poorly--I tried not to say anything about it, out of politeness, but would scream about it whenever we got into a fight.I'm curious to see what others advise for situations like these.
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
I had a roommate in high school that was like this. I handled it very poorly--I tried not to say anything about it, out of politeness, but would scream about it whenever we got into a fight. I'm curious to see what others advise for situations like these.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 7 years
I'm the type of person who would bring it up. If we're not particularly close, it wouldn't be that difficult for me.
javsmav javsmav 7 years
The girl I lived with for one semester in college smelled. It wasn't BO & it wasn't all the time, but there were times I would walk into the dorm and just have to leave because the smell was so bad. I have no idea what it was, but it was gross. I dealt with it by spending as little time as possible in my room. Fortunately she didn't come back to school the next semester--which was strange because she was a junior (I was a freshman then and didn't know anyone at the school).
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