How to Remove Musty Smell From a House

Tony Case
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Locate the Source of the Musty Smell

Mold and mildew can be a very dangerous thing that grows inside your house. Any house can be affected by mold and mildew. They can grow in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, roof, basement, carpet, attic, and wood. Mold and mildew can cause allergies, aggravate respiratory problems, and other illnesses.

Mold causes walls to appear wet or colors to start fading. Other signs of mold are:

SMELL-That musty smell you smell can be a mold, although you may not know it.

BAD LOOKS-Mold causes stains on surfaces and can cause some materials to weaken.

SICKNESS-People who have mold in their houses may develop colds or other illnesses.

If you find any of those tell-tale signs, clean up the mold and mildew. If this doesn’t work, you may have to remove and replace the affected items or materials to make sure the problem is solved.

$$ – For major mold problems, call a mold-removal specialist. The cost of mold remediation can vary widely. It will depend on the size and extent of the mold.

Let Some Fresh Air IN

Fresh air is the best way to remove musty smell in a house. Open your windows and doors for a few hours. This will help remove that stale air from the house. You can also dehumidify the house to further lower the humidity in the house and also get rid of that musty smell. Squirrels have an excellent sense of smell and will be able to detect a musty smell in house.

Refresh Carpet and Rugs

You should already have a floor covering vacuum cleaner for vacuuming all hard surfaces, but if you have carpet in every room, you’ll want to spring for a carpet vacuum as well. For frequent cleanings, you’ll want to use the go-to vacuum for carpets and rugs.

A quality carpet and rug vacuum cleaner will have a rotating brush with bristles that can penetrate to clean deeply into carpet fibers to remove embedded dirt. You don’t have to replace the brush on your full-size carpet vacuum each time you replace the brush head on the hard floor vacuum, making it easy to have both types of carpet cleaners.

Rotate among sub-carpet vacuum cleaners, a large-capacity central vacuum cleaner and a carpet and rug vacuum to clean all the rooms in your house. If you can only afford one, though, get a carpeting vacuum cleaner.

Tackle Furniture Odors With Baking Soda

We all come home looking forward to a restful night in a sleep-filled bed, but a musty smell may greet you and say, “Not so fast, my friend.”

If your memory foam mattress or divan has a pungent odor, tomato juice may help. First, test the tomato juice in an inconspicuous area to be sure you like the results. Put 1 cup (235 mL) of tomato juice in a spray bottle and spray the affected area. Let it stand for 10 minutes, and then vacuum it up. If your memory foam mattress or furniture has even more of a musty smell, sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda on the entire mattress or bedding. Toss a sheet or blankets and secure it with a tight fitted sheet over the top of the mattress. The baking soda and vinegar will neutralize the musty smell. Leave it for at least 8 hours, and then vacuum it up. You may have to repeat this process two or three times.

Dust-Off the Entire House

One of the reasons why something might smell musty in our home is because it is simply dirty. You can’t eliminate mildew if there is a thick layer of dirt on the walls. The recently remodeled bathroom that is not cleaned often and has a thick layer of mildew. As time goes by, the mildew might start to smell. You also should take off the mildew, because it contains mold. Having mold in your house can be extremely dangerous.

The simple way to stop this is to remove the dust on the walls and the light fixtures. You might want to start from one room to check if the musty smell is still there. You should also open all the windows and let the fresh air to eliminate the musty smell. If the smell is still there, you may have a moisture issue and you need to contact a contractor and have it repaired.

Begin by cleaning the entire house from the top to the bottom. This does not mean you need to immediately paint the walls or replace the carpet. It simply means that you need to clean all the surfaces. Use a vacuum cleaner to pick up all the lint and debris from furniture and carpeting. Next, make sure that you mop and wash the floors. You also should clean all the light fixtures, vents, and any other surface that you could get with a damp cloth.

Craft Natural Odor Neutralizers

Kitty litter contains clay that absorbs and traps moisture and odor. Mix a cup into your cleaners or sprinkle into a charcoal dispenser for a smoky natural odor neutralizer. Chocolate soda could also do the trick.

Pine needles are the plant’s natural defense and defense mechanism against dehydration. It is able to produce pine resin that seals and protects the plant to maintain moisture. The resin can also be used as a natural odor neutralizer in your home for this same reason. It will absorb moisture and odors without you needing to replace it.

Clove oil is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer. It is an excellent choice for removing musty smells and making your home smell fresh. Use a few drops and rub onto your furniture or add to your homemade cleaning concoction.

Sprays made with lemon, grapefruit, lime, or orange are all good smelling cleaners that can also naturally remove odors and disinfect your home. If you are looking for a natural way to remove the smell of cigarette smoke, this is your best choice. Spray your couch, walls, and curtains to remove the smell.

Buying a natural cleaner can be the best choice for your family. These sprays do not contain chemical ingredients, only natural ingredients that can be good for your family. The sprays are hypoallergenic and could even be good for people who are allergic to regular cleaning products.

Boil Lemons or Lemon Peels

What about your whole kitchen and your whole life? Is there a way to rid your kitchen of that “sick” smell? Or your shower of that nasty mildew smell? The short answer is there’s a way to rid just about anything of that unpleasant odor. It’s called steam cleaning, and you can do it with either a steam vacuum cleaner or a steam mop.

But don’t go out and spend money on steam cleaning equipment for this. There’s a much better, and more natural, way to get a similar result. First, boil some lemons (or lemon peels) in a large pot. The amount of lemons you boil doesn’t have to be exact, but you will be using the juice later…or if you don’t use it, throw the peels and water down the drain!

Leave the lemons in the pot (no need to turn off the heat) and turn on your steam cleaner. You can either simply stand over the pot with the nozzle of the cleaner pointed at the lemons or you can place the pot on a high surface so the steam can rise up and hit the lemons. Either way, the steam and vapor will lift the odors up and away from your kitchen.

Absorb Damp Smell with Charcoal

Charcoal is one of the best ways to remove smell from a house. Doctors use absorbent pillows filled with charcoal to remove bad odors on beds and in hospitals. If the area has dampness and humidity, then place a charcoal briquette in a small container with holes drilled in it and place the container on the floor near the area that smells.

Activated charcoal will absorb the damp smell of the house and replace it with a fresh smell. Just change the charcoal briquette when it becomes damp from absorbing the smell.

You can also use small containers that can be placed in closets and cabinets to remove smell from linens and clothing, which usually have a musty smell. You can also sell activated charcoal to use in your charcoal grill at cookouts and give as a gift to your friends that use grills.

Overpower Musty Odors with Coffee Grounds

If you’re having trouble removing that musty odor from your home, coffee grounds may be just the trick to solve that problem. Coffee is fragrant, absorbent, and to top it off, it’s a good bug deterrent!

Take a few coffee filters and pour some of your used coffee grounds into them. Place the coffee grounds in your dresser drawers or cupboards. Close up the cabinets and let the grounds sit overnight. By morning, the coffee grounds will absorb any musty odors.

You can also bury the used coffee grounds around the foundation of your house. The grounds will prevent nasty odors from being absorbed into your home and will also fight against termites, cockroaches, and other pests. This method is especially useful in the basement.

Opt for Air Purifier

For many homeowners, musty smell is a common household problem. Oftentimes, it can be traced to mold or mildew, which thrive in dark, humid places where there is moisture. Sweaty gym clothes are often culprits that can affect the smell inside your house every time you open the wardrobe where you put them. Other times, musty smell is brought on by wet carpet.

How to remove musty smell from a house? It's important to take solid measures to detect the source of the musty smell before attempting to eliminate the smell from your house. For instance, you can make use of a dehumidifier to help eliminate dampness.

If the musty smell is found in a closet, you can opt for air purifiers which are more effective to fight off mold. A musty smell can also be brought about by mold appearing in hard to reach places like the ceiling and behind furniture.

Try to use a damp cloth to wipe the mold off. If you need to remove mildew from wooden surfaces, you can even try spraying alcohol based cleaners to lift off any stains. The only problem with this method is that the cleaning solution can often be problematic for the environment.

Apart from that, individuals can also try their best to keep moisture levels under control. Keep your windows shut during the nighttime, as it keeps moisture from entering your house.

In Conclusion

If you are like me, you love living in your home but hate that stale smell it seems to develop over the years. (I know I’m not alone, friends tell me mine is not the only home in which they have detected a strong musty smell.)

Unpleasant odors will make a house that is otherwise homey feel less like a home. You want your house to smell like home, not like a gym shoe that sat outside in the rain for a few days.

Here is a quick guide to removing the musty smell in your house.

Window Air Conditioners. Clean out those dirty air conditioners for an instant fresh scent.

Dirty clothes. Washing them will help remove the mustiness. If you are in the process of doing a load of laundry, you may want to start it right now.

Books. Yes, books! I have found that old books, especially ones that have sat on a shelf for years, can have a musty smell. Every time I have moved I have always gotten rid of some of my old books, and they always have that old musty smell.

Try putting a candle in the room to mask the odors. We have always had a scented candle lit in the den when the kids were little to try to combat a musty smell.