Moldy odors are unpleasant, but they’re also unhealthy and will aggravate sinusitis and allergies unless you can eliminate both the mold and the odor. These 10 cost-effective methods will help you to get rid of the smell of mildew.
1. Find the cause of the odor
A moldy smell is just a symptom. The cause of mold is moisture. You may have a leaking water pipe under your house, and if so, having it mended will not only prevent mold from recurring but save you money on your utility bill.
To find out if you have an invisible water leak, check your meter. Now ask everyone at home not to use water for an hour or so.
Check your water meter again. If it shows that water has been used, you have a leak and should get a plumber to trace it and repair it.
If there’s no water leak, you may need to check your basement or reseal your foundations. Of course, if you’ve been through a flood, you already know the cause of your odor and can get right to work on eliminating the smell.
2. Dump moldy soft furnishings, paper and cardboard
Paper and cardboard will hold onto a mildew smell and re-infect the area with spores. Get rid of old cardboard boxes, magazines and if there are soft furnishings that reek of mildew, you may have to get rid of these too.
3. Clean up with bleach
Bleach kills germs and mold fungi. Make a solution of bleach and water and wash the entire area. Wash all fabrics thoroughly. Now air out the room or use a dehumidifier to help things to dry out.
A cup of bleach to a gallon of warm water does the trick. Before you use any of the cleaning solutions mentioned in this article, do test a small area first to ensure that you won’t cause any damage.
4. Try Lysol
This old-school disinfectant can be bought as a concentrate. Mix it according to the instructions and spray it onto all surfaces using a fine mist. A garden sprayer for insecticide or even a hand spray bottle will do the trick.
5. Suck the odor out of the air with odor absorbers
You can buy commercial odor absorbers, but you can get the same effect much more cheaply using a few charcoal briquettes. A box of baking soda or even cat litter will also help to absorb odors.
6. Use a dehumidifier
If you suspect that the mold is caused by moisture in the air, getting rid of the damp will kill the mildew. A dehumidifier may not be the very cheapest of your possible solutions, but if mold odors are caused by a need to keep windows closed and a humid atmosphere, this appliance is the solution.
Here you can find some affordable models.
7. Fresh air and sunshine work wonders
Mold hates fresh air and sunshine. So if the aspect of the affected room allows for sunshine during the day, leave the curtains open and throw open the windows.
8. Get the smell out of carpets
Before you throw out old carpets because of a moldy smell, try this mold-fighting tip. Vacuum first. Now spray on a solution consisting of 1 cup of vinegar to 2 cups of water. Don’t over-wet the carpet. Rub the mixture into the fibers with a cloth that has been lightly dampened in your vinegar solution.
Now you need to get your carpet dry and suck up the last of the smell. Scatter baking soda over the carpet and leave it there overnight or for a few hours during the day. Now vacuum it up. A light spray with Lysol will also do the trick.
9. Brush it off and disinfect
If you have visible patches of mold, you ca use a dry brush to dislodge and brush off the visible growth before cleaning thoroughly with one of the mold killers we’ve just been looking at. Spray it on, and let it stand for 15 minutes or so before wiping it off.
10. Keep it smelling good
If your mildew problem is not caused by a water leak or a flood, poor ventilation and high humidity are to blame. Correct these problems and clean regularly to keep the moldy smell away. By making the environment unfriendly to mold, you’ll be able to keep things fresh.
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