Home PestsRoaches

How To Get Rid of Roach Smell in Cabinets

How To Get Rid Of Roach Smell In Cabinets

Roaches are some of the most common household pests, and their smell is unpleasant, especially when coming out of cabinets.

These insects crawl into unsanitary places like sewers and dumpsters. When they enter human living spaces, they bring this filth that can stink up everywhere.

This smell can trigger allergies and make your house uncomfortable to live in. Below, we consider ways to eliminate this bad smell from your cabinets.


You can live with everything but not a roach smell in your cabinets. This repulsive odor can get into the stored food and even the cooking utensils in the cabinet.

To rid your cabinet of roach smell, below are four steps to take:

  • Locate the source of the smell
  • Eliminate existing roaches
  • Clean and disinfect the cabinet
  • Caulk the cabinet

Here are four proven steps that work well in eliminating roaches from cabinets. Keep reading the guide to learn what to do in each step.

In the following sections, we will walk you through some practical steps to eliminate roach smell from cabinets. Also, we will answer some frequently asked questions about the infestation of this household pest. Here we go!

4 Steps To Get Rid of Roach Smell in Cabinets

Steps To Get Rid Of Roach Smell In Cabinets

Roaches are nasty bugs you don’t want around you – not even in the cabinet where you store cooking utensils and food containers.

These crawling insects release certain offensive chemicals as a signal to other roaches when they die.

If your cabinet smells terrible because of a roach infestation, here are four practical steps to remove the smell:

1. Locate the Source of the Smell

Locate The Source Of The Smell

Roaches hide in cabinets because they are dark and have many cracks for their flat bodies to slip through.

Their nests are often the source of the terrible smell because that is where they breed.

Other sources of roach smell are dead roaches and feces. You may find all these roach traces hidden in your cabinets.

Go from shelf to shelf, inspect all sides, and run your fingers underneath and above the cabinets. Remove all roach nests you see, and sweep out dead roaches and loose eggs.

After getting the roaches out of the way, you can deal with the smell. Removing the roach smell without removing the roaches may prolong the issue.

2. Eliminate Existing Roaches

Eliminate Existing Roaches

You cannot rid your cabinet of roach smell if roaches still have access to them. So, your priority, after noting a foul roach stench in your cabinet, is to kill off the existing roaches.

Start with emptying the cabinet and opening all drawers and compartments.

Next, check for signs of dirt and moisture, as these are two things that attract roaches the most. Suppose roaches have gotten into any food packaging or containers, set them apart for disposal. Brush out all food crumbs and dust.

Then, air the cabinet to dry if there are wet spots, as roaches thrive best near water.

You can take an extra step to set baits and roach repellents to prevent them from returning.

Home remedies like boric acid and diatomaceous earth effectively keep roaches away. Sprinkle some around your cabinets and wait for the roaches to die.

However, note that these pesticides can be dangerous when ingested by humans.

So, please don’t use them in cabinets where you store cooking utensils and food containers. Instead, use safer, alternative methods.

3. Clean and Disinfect the Cabinet

Clean And Disinfect The Cabinet

Now that you have traced the roach smell to your cabinets and eliminated the roaches, what next?

The next thing is to clean and disinfect the cabinets to prevent re-entry.

Spray a powerful disinfectant in your cabinets and leave for some minutes. Afterward, wipe down the area with a clean rag, cleanser, vinegar, and bleach.

Then, apply a degreaser around and inside your cabinets and leave it for a few minutes. The degreaser softens roach poop, making it easier to scrub off.

Use a soft brush when scrubbing, especially if the cabinet wood is painted.

For the upper parts of your cabinets, grab a vacuum cleaner and run it across, behind, and inside the shelves. This picks up all roach traces like shed skin, feces, eggs, and carcasses.

Once you have gotten everything that looks suspicious, seal the vacuum sack and dispose of it properly.

Finally, get a disinfectant spray and go over the cabinets for the last time to destroy any lingering bacteria. Leave to dry for a few hours and resume use as normal.

4. Caulk the Cabinet

Caulk The Cabinet

We have already identified that roaches pass through cracks and tiny holes in cabinets. So, to permanently eliminate their smell, you must make it difficult for them to return.

One way to do this is to fill up all holes with caulk, a sealing material for covering up joints. Caulk is a common household repair tool to secure leakages and gaps between edges like window frames.

So, get some caulk and a caulk gun to fill the appropriate gaps, and smooth them over with a scraper. This will help to reduce bumps and create smoother, even lines.

For cabinets under sinks, use water-resistant caulking to keep it going for a long time.

Alternative Ways To Eliminate Roach Smell

Alternative Ways To Eliminate Roach Smell

Another way to eliminate roach smells from your cabinets is to repaint them with scented paint additives. These additives are mixtures that improve the smell of paint, giving it a sweet-smelling odor.

They last several months and are perfect for enclosed spaces like cabinets and cupboards. So, whenever you open your cabinets, a sweet, fresh smell hits you.

You can also conduct routine checks at different times of the year to check for roaches. The best strategy for avoiding roach smell in cabinets is not to get an infestation in the first place.

If you can end an infestation before it becomes full-blown, you will save yourself a load of trouble. Inspect the top and inside of your cabinets at least twice yearly.

What you are looking out for here are nests, poop, and other tell-tale signs of an infestation.

Roaches love wet, warm spots. So, if a broken pipe or leakage is close to your cabinets, you should get that sorted.


Roaches spread diseases and can cause food poisoning when exposed to food.

Their exposed feces and egg casings can trigger asthma and other allergies.

There are some reasons why a roach smell in your cabinet is something to worry about.

For one, it can get into your food containers. Also, the smell can contaminate the cooking utensils in the cabinet.

Clearing out your cabinets, sealing holes, and wiping them down with disinfectant eliminates this smell.

We discussed these and more in this guide. Deploy them and watch your cabinet smell nice again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Roaches Sink?

Roach feces smell terrible, and as they move from one place to another, they release feces.

Another reason is the pheromones that they secrete as a communication signal.

What Do Roaches Smell Like?

Roaches have an unpleasant musty, oily odor that can fill an entire room.

They have a specific death stench that signifies dead roaches to clean up. It also warns other roaches from approaching the area.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *