How to remove the musty smell from my home? It is one of the most repeated questions among our users. Here we tell you how.
Musty odors in a home can be caused by a number of things, but generally speaking, mold and mildew are the main culprits.
The bad smell is caused by mold and mildew releasing gases. A combination of humidity, lack of air circulation (stagnant air), and darkness will allow mold to grow and release odor.
Humid air from leaky faucets or showers can cause small pools of water. Moisture, heat, areas with little or no air circulation, and darkness (such as an attic or basement) are perfect environments that are conducive to mold and mildew growth.
Mold and mildew cause the familiar "old" smell, as they release a gas that enters fabrics, carpets, curtains, and furniture. Once the odor has settled in the area, it can be difficult (but not impossible) to remove.
It can be very frustrating trying to pin down the source of the odor, mainly due to the many places where mold, mildew and bacteria grow. So the first thing you should do is locate the source of the problem.
Finding the source of moisture
First you have to find the source of the odor and take corrective action to eliminate the humidity problem at home.
If you have a water leak, a cracked pipe, or a leaky roof, you may need to call in professionals to help you, otherwise you will be fighting a losing battle with moisture and odor.
Once you've found the source of the problem and fixed it, then you can get down to business and eliminate the odor that has penetrated the area.
If you find that you have a part of your home that stays damp or dark after cleaning, using a dehumidifier to keep the humidity level down will help keep odors and humidity in check.
Get rid of odors
Simply drying the musty smelling area of the house may not be enough to completely eradicate the smell. If a number of mold spores remain then they will continue to spread throughout the room and around the house, turning that musty smell back.
The best way to remove odors from a home is to give each affected area a good cleaning with a good cleaning product. For example the following homemade cleaning product:
One part boric acid
Two parts white vinegar
Two parts of hydrogen peroxide
Four parts of water
Rub the walls, floors, furniture and other areas with the product. Make sure not to saturate items or areas that are too damp as it can aggravate the situation.
Always make sure to ventilate rooms and with the use of fans and open windows completely dry all wet or damp areas. Keep your windows open for as long as possible to help get some fresh air flow throughout the house.
Air fresheners and deodorants
If you want to keep mold and musty odors at bay, there are a number of ways to keep a room smelling fresh. You have probably noticed that moss and fungi grow in dark areas. It's the same for mold growth. One of the best ways to reduce odor is to open your windows and let the sun shine in your home.
Fresh, circulating air will go a long way in removing the odor, although unless the cause of the problem has been eliminated, the musty odor will return.
Here is a list of elements that can help you remove the musty smell from your home.
Zeolite is a natural mineral that absorbs odor, has no perfume or masking agents. Non-toxic and lasts for about six months.
Put the zeolite on the problem area and it will start to absorb the musty smell in no time.
In addition to lasting six months, zeolite is also reusable. It is very simple to recharge this mineral. All you need to do is expose it to direct sunlight or put it in a two hundred and fifty degree oven for thirty minutes and then… voila! The zeolite will once again have the absorption capacity that it had in the beginning.
Coal is also at the top of the list for heavy odor eliminators. In fact, it is used in many commercial odor removal products.
Charcoal generally takes about a week to remove mold odors. It can't be reused again, but it's super cheap and lasts a long time.
The use of activated charcoal is recommended, which is pure charcoal specially prepared to absorb impurities. You can use simple charcoal briquettes. They don't work the same, but they help. If you decide to use charcoal briquettes, don't use the kind that are pre-soaked with liquid to light the charcoal, or you will have to treat a very different (maybe worse…) smell throughout the house. Activated charcoal is very dirty, so be careful not to touch your belongings, as the stains it causes will be extremely difficult to remove.
Vinegar and baking soda don't just hide bad smells. Both neutralize and stop the bad smells that are formed. They are safe for the environment easy to use. They are the most recommended first when you need to deodorize and refresh something. Besides working very well they are cheap.
Normal white vinegar
Vinegar is a safe, environmentally friendly alternative to some cleaning products that are marketed to remove musty odors. There are no harsh or dangerous chemicals in vinegar, so it is safe to use on clothing and around the house. Plus, it really works.
If your clothes smell musty, vinegar is a wonderful solution. It is non-toxic, non-bleaching and used as an all-natural fabric softener. And for those of you who are thinking, "I'd rather my clothes smell musty than vinegar ...", don't worry, because the vinegar smell actually goes away along with the musty smell. So your clothes will have a fresh and clean scent.
How to use vinegar to remove the musty smell from clothes (pants, T-shirts, towels, sheets, etc.):
Pour distilled white vinegar into the washing machine with clothes that smell musty. Pour in two cups of vinegar for each load. You can use a little more or a little less, depending on how big your load of laundry is and how bad the clothes smell.
Soak the clothes in hot water for at least thirty minutes with the vinegar. Hot water will kill mold and help deodorize clothing. While vinegar neutralizes most odors, hot water will help disinfect and kill any bacteria that remain.
Wash clothes in cold water.
Wash clothes on a fast cycle with a mild detergent.
Put your clothes in the dryer.
Smell your clothes, it will smell fresh and clean. Ready to use.
If not, repeat steps one through five until the odor is completely removed.
If you have an odor in any other area of your home (for example in the kitchen, bathroom, shower, wall, etc.), vinegar is also effective. Make sure to wear rubber gloves.
Fill a bucket with hot, soapy water.
Fill a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar.
Dip a stiff-bristle brush in the bucket of hot, soapy water, then begin scrubbing the infected areas with mold, bacteria, or suspicious appearance.
Take the spray bottle and spray the area with vinegar.
Let it air dry.
Repeat if necessary.
Baking soda is another safe and effective way to combat musty odors.
Just sprinkle baking soda over the problem area. This will absorb moisture and neutralize the odor. Leave on overnight and then vacuum in the morning. It really works.
Baking soda is also the home remedy of choice when it comes to getting rid of the musty smell in the fridge or refrigerator. You just have to open a box of baking soda, place it in the back of the fridge or refrigerator and you will see how the smell will disappear soon.