People That Work In Other Peoples' Homes Reveal The Worst Stuff They've Ever Seen

It's a rough business, going into other people's houses. Even if it is well-kept, it still might be very different than what you're used to. And if it isn't well kept... nothing can prepare you for the things you will be about to see.

Redditor SilverParty, perhaps a little too curious for her own good, asked:

People who have jobs where you go inside homes, what's the worst thing you've seen?

Here were some of the mortifying answers.


Heating company person here. We went into a home to install a new furnace, but turns out he needed a new heat run put into the bathroom upstairs. I should also mention that the dude has been without running water, electric and gas for about 2 years. Guess what we found piled up all over the bathroom floor? I honestly don't know how he was living there, but we called some people to get him the help he needed.

(It was poop.)

Beyond Words

Used to clean up apartments after people had moved out / been evicted.

One apartment was Section 8 and the tennant who was receiving the Section 8 got cut off because she broke a bunch of the Section 8 rules. Aparently the last 6 months of her living there she had actually moved out and turned off services, but still let her kids live there (late teens to early 20's I think).

So the kids who lived there trashed the place, when I got there the floor was covered by 2 feet of trash / clothes / broken furniture. Food had been left to rot all over, and the place was filled with bugs and fleas and it smelled like a garbage dump.

The worst though was the bathroom. The water hadn't been on in a good long while, but they kept sh-tting in the toilet until it filled up. Then, when that had gotten full they sh-t into the bathtub and into 5 gallon buckets that they had left around the house.

All in all it was about 200 pounds of human sh-t in the tub. I had to bag it up in 1 pound bags, bag that bag, and then put no more than 5 bags in a sealable pail and take it to a special waste treatment site.

Second to that was the 5+ bedroom party house that a bunch of professional snow boarders had lived in for a year or two. They got evicted for not paying rent, or something like that, and they had thrashed the place before they left. The worst thing in that place was that there was a gap, maybe 3/4 of an inch, between a bathroom vanity and a piece of glass for the shower enclosure. Someone, or maybe all of them, decided that they were going to store their used condoms there, at least a 100 were stuck in there. It was gross, moldy, and eventually we had to rip out the vanity because that was the only way to ensure that it was clean.

The Cat

Ex removals guy. I started moving a fridge to find a rotted piece of fish in a pool of cat piss at the back. I didn't like it.

Wading Through A Window

I did remodels for a while. The worst one was a legitimate hoarder. That house was disgusting. She had to clear a path for us to get to the bathroom with our tools so we could work. Lots of cats too. The house smelled very strongly of cat piss. I'll never forget when I went to the back looking for the water hose. There was a pool filled with disgusting algae covered water and a dead cat floating in it. I was very happy when that job was over. At least her bathroom looked great.

Ammonia Pneumonia

I used to clean carpets. We went to a double-wide trailer once that had about 20 cats inside, plus 3 dogs. I didn't see a single litterbox, and by the time we were done, the slate-gray carpet was almost white again. The ammonia smell inside about made me puke, but the old couple that lived there acted like nothing was wrong...

Leopard Print Mystery

I used to work for a carpet cleaning company. Ive had some interesting stories but this one always takes the cake. We had this program where we hired special needs people part time. So we hire this new guy, bob. Bobs a rather large fella, not the fastest thinker but real nice to work with. Bob and I showed up to clean a couple rooms in this couples mansion. It was immaculate, two gay men in their 40s. Nevermind the paintings of half naked dudes all over the walls. So part of our job is to move furniture to clean under them. I had bob help move the bed, and this giant two foot leopard print veiny adult toy rolls out like a dead possum. Bob stares. No words spoken... I clean around it, kick it under the bed and move it back.

Bob and I finish the job and get in the van to leave. Bob turns to me and says, ' where did they get that leopards thing, and what are they gonna do with it?'

I still cannot tell this story without laughing.

The Carpet

I used to clean carpets for a living and we were sent to a section 8 home that had recently had the electricity shut off. We went in to survey the situation and, after locating a flashlight, realized the six-foot high mound in the living room was all dirty diapers.

We did not clean that carpet.

A Bed Situation

This one is bad, not so much for its gross factor but rather the circumstances. I used to work in pest control in a major city and this included so low-income rentals. I was inspecting for bed bugs when sure enough, I found them in one of the units.

Being that this was a number of years ago, it was and probably still is standard practice to toss out the mattress entirely. Have you ever tried to tell someone who probably has no disposable income that they need to throw out their mattress and buy a new one?

That pretty much killed my day...

Doggone It

I walked into a house where a family had two dogs that they'd trained to use those pee pads. But instead of throwing them out they just laid a new one on top.

The strench was bad, but the ammonia smell actually burned my nose. How people can go nose blind to that I'll never understand.

Had a hoarder once in a giant multi-million dollar home. I worked my way through a path to get upstairs and saw that the only accessible area was the master bed. And even then only a 2ft wide path. Down the hall I could just make out 6 bedrooms and probably a bathroom but crap was stacked up nearly to the ceiling making it completely inaccessable. The woman that owned the home said she hadn't been down to the end of the hall since the early 90s.

I've seen lots of hoarders. It usually catches me off guard because it can be any house or apartment. They can look completely normal from outside.


When I was in the Air Force I had to pull some first sergeant duty while the actual first sergeant was on leave. First sergeant was responsible for the morale and well being of the troops in the unit. We responded directly to the commander with any issues. We got a call to report to a troop's house in base housing. When we got there, CPS was outside and the cops were inside. When I got inside it was the most disgusting thing I had ever seen. Dog sh-t everywhere. On the floors, on the beds, counters. Piles of dirty clothes in the bedrooms. Dirty dishes piled up high. The troop was deployed to the Middle East, it was just his wife and kids in the house. The wife truly didn't understand what was wrong and why her kids were being taken away. Her husband got recalled from deployment to deal with it. I don't know what the final resolution was since the actual first sergeant came back and took over the case. I was happy to hand it over.


I work in the restoration business, deal with insurance companies claims for water, fire, mold etc.. I had just started my job a month before I was sent to the worst house I've ever been in. There was a house that the bank took from someone because they defaulted on the mortgage. I was sent in to clean the house out, she was a hoarder. She had no running water and had not once taken her garbage bins to the curb. Not even kidding, they were the cleanest things on her property, two garbage bins that were spotless, not a spec of dirt inside them. The house however had 18" of garbage covering the WHOLE floor of the house. Pringle cans everywhere full of sh-t. A pile of used pads beside her bed, as high as my waist and about 4' in diameter. Tea bags piled from the top of the counter, to the bottom of the upper cabinets. A pile of used toilet paper taking up every bit of her bathtub and about 4 feet higher then the top of the tub. There was a spot under all of the garbage that she was burnt clothes and a big burn mark into her hardwood floor. Mouse sh-t everywhere and dead mice. It was also the middle of the summer when I had to go in, was about 25 - 30 degrees Celsius out over the 4 days I was there. We filled 2 MASSIVE dumpsters up with garbage. That was easily the worst 4 days of my life.

Paranoid Delivery

I deliver food for my restaurant and one time I pulled up to the gate of this house. The resident told me to just come inside and deliver the food since she was wheel chair bound. Ok, cool. I get to the door and I discover a biometric finger print scanner that unlocks the door, along with a camera. I press the doorbell and the resident opens the door. I take the food to her in her living room and as I look around this lady has an electronic code lock installed on her fridge, pantry, and the backdoor to go outside is card-accessed only. The garage door is quadruple bolt locked and the windows have window-sized garage doors on the inside. I hurried the f-ck up outta there and told my manager to never put me on delivery runs again.

It's Been One Week Since You Looked At Me

Not a job, but I moved out of my apartment and told the girl living there that I'd be back the next weekend to clean MY room and the common areas (living room & kitchen & bathroom) She was notoriously dirty and I wanted to make sure that I received my deposit back. I took the items that I paid for (she was incapable of shopping for items). I took the remaining toilet paper, leaving the partial roll, my shower curtain, my pans & plates & dishes, my food and the rest of my stuff.

I came back a week later to find

Rice covering the floor

She didn't have pots or pans, and instead of buying one, she attempted to cook using one of her plates. (By the evidence of the half melted plate on the stove with congealing food in it...why the stupid girl didn't use the microwave...) She had also melted a kettle to the back burner...I had to buy 2 replacement burners for the stove.

She stopped using the toilet when she ran out of toilet paper, left it unflushed and started using the bathtub. Bits and pieces still clinging to the back of it where the shower head wouldn't reach.

Plates stuck to the floor under the couch.

Snotty tissues covering her bed, so she was sleeping in her snot tissues. (She had flunked out of the graphic design program and took it rather hard)

Food IN the bed (crackers, pancakes, syrup were just some of the recognizable foods).

Food EVERYWHERE actually.

I found that she had been stashing her empty slim fast cans in her dresser.

There were just so many things to was gross.

Moldy Brains

I used to work for a company that did fire, water, and mold clean ups. We got called to a mold clean up due to water damage, and these people were hoarders. Useless sh-t stacked to the ceiling. All of it had to get tossed due to being in contact with a really toxic form of mold. So once we reach the basement and we're tossing sh-t, we find TWO cat carcasses. The whole basement smelled terrible. We knew something was up, but we couldn't really put our finger on it until we found the decayed cats. The owners just shrugged it off. Disgusting people.

Phallic Consequences

Friend is a realtor with a bunch of crazy stories. She said she had a client wanting to sell his house. No problem. My friend sends a coworker out to take pictures of the place. When the coworker shows up she says that it might be hard to use the pictures because the house was damn near covered in phalluses It was like a d-ck museum.

The Worst Way To Die

Not a current job that I hold, but I used to be a Funeral Director and I had to go into someone's home who died and the police had to kick the door in and call us out.

It was the worst thing I have ever seen, she had rubbish everywhere and looked like she never chucked anything away. She had a cat and we couldn't see any litter tray anywhere, just Cat sh-t/piss in random corners and more hair on her clothes/furniture than on the cat likely (we never saw the Cat so I bet it was buried under all her rubbish).

The worst thing was how she died. She must have had some form of stomach cancer because she had died choking on her own poo as she vomited it up. What happens is that if you have an obstruction in the gut such as a tumour, sometimes it gets trapped and the body forces it upwards.

Litter Room

One of our clients had a water line breakage in their home and called in a claim. Our claims adjuster went out and then called us back immediately telling us he had just got done throwing up and we needed to get off this policy IMMEDIATELY.

It turns out they had converted a bedroom into a litter box room. Instead of using litter boxes, they just dumped new litter into the room on the floor. He said the litter was about 2 ft high, filled with excrement, and the whole house smelled so bad it made him sick. It was also a horder-esque type situation with piles and piles of "trash" everywhere.

We had to go out and investigate and his descriptive phone call didn't scratch the surface of how bad this home was.

How Sad

It's strange. Had a lot of jobs. Been in prob thousands of homes and I've forgotten almost all of them. Few stand out though. Yeah there are the roaches, spiders falling out of vents. The smells, the trash. People are pretty gross but the worst was sad.

Olderish lady who made me take off my shoes. Perfectly clean house and not a spec of dust. Plastic on the couches and not a thing out of place. I realize I needed to get in a room and told her and she immediately did the "no no it's terrible in there. It's my daughters room" and as always I'm like, no it's fine. I've seen it all and a messy kid isn't anything to be worried about it. After some prodding she finally let me in. Mattress was torn up and bloodstained. Holes in the walls and trash everywhere. The lady started crying and then she (mom) told me she (daughter) was an addict and she's (mom) tried redoing the room multiple times but she'd (daughter) always tears it up again.

Real sad.

Too Rich

TV repairman here. I've seen my fair share of nasty houses, a couple outright hoarders, etc.

But I'm going to go with the most memorable sign of money.

I was working on a bedroom TV and there were a couple maintenance or plumbing guys working in the bathroom attached to the room. The home owner was bumbling around, and at some point the plumber says to her "we just got a call and the new tub finally arrived from Italy. We can get it installed next week if we pull out the old one today, but you won't have a bath in the master bath over the weekend."

She goes "Paul, don't be ridiculous. We have nine other bathrooms in this house I think I'll survive a couple days."

It really wasn't the worst in any way, it was just absurd.

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

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Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!

What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."


"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.


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