How To Remove Musty Mold and Mildew Smells Around Your Home

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • May 27, 2019

Home DIY: Guide to Removing Mold and Mildew Smells In Your Home

Have you successfully treated the mold or mildew in your home, only to discover that the smell still lingers? Musty mold and mildew odors are hard to get rid of—even after the mold and mildew is gone!

Areas of our home that are more vulnerable to moisture such as our bathroom, laundry and basement or crawl space are usually the ones that retain musty mold and mildew smells the longest.

Trust us, we know removing these odors is easier said than done. Which is why we want to help you eliminate these smells around your home for good!

Below, we have steps and helpful tips to help you remove musty mold and mildew smells in your bathroom, laundry and basement on your own. With any luck, this guide will help you get your home smelling fresh and clean once again!

Steps To Remove Mildew Odors In Your Bathroom Naturally

Let’s start with the bathroom. The bathroom in your home is one of the most vulnerable to moisture due to high levels of humidity–the steam from showers, water in the toilet, sink and tub, the water that drips on the floor after you use the sink or shower and more. All of this excess moisture explains why mold and mildew in the bathroom is so common!

If you’ve removed mold or mildew in your bathroom, but are still experiencing certain smells, here are three steps to getting rid of it:

Step 1: Remove all rugs and decorations

Your bathroom is going to need a deep clean, so the first step is to remove any items that may get in the way.

Wash any rugs or towels with cold water and detergent to get rid of any musty odors. Then, use an all-purpose cleaner on any decorations or frames to kill any mildew that may be trying to grow.

Step 2: Soak affected areas with apple cider vinegar

Next, use either a sponge soaked in apple cider vinegar or a spray bottle filled with apple cider vinegar to treat the affected areas. This may be on the tiles, in the tub, around the sink or on the floor. Let the vinegar sit for a few hours before scrubbing it with a brush.

You’re going to need to scrub these areas well, so be sure to use a coarse brush, or even a toothbrush for the smaller, hard to reach spots.

Pro Tip: If you don’t want to use apple cider vinegar, you can use tea tree oil to fight the mildew smell. The antibacterial qualities in tea tree oil will be able to clean the space and eliminate any musty odors.

Step 3: Spray your bathroom with essential oils

As you know, essential oils have been known to effectively fight mold. So why not use them to get rid of the moldy smells in your bathroom too?

We suggest using grapefruit seed extract oil to fight the odor. Fill a spray bottle with water, then add a few drops of the essential oil. Spray the mix over the areas where you cleaned with apple cider vinegar. This will not only help tone down the smell of the vinegar, but it will also allow the vinegar to work more efficiently at eliminating the smell!

These three steps will give your bathroom the deep clean that it needs naturally, while fighting unsettling mold and mildew odors.

How To Eliminate Musty Smells In Your Laundry

Maybe you left your clothes in the wash a little too long and now they have a smell you can’t seem to get rid of.

Clothes or towels that smell like mold or mildew can stink up your whole home—not to mention the unpleasant effect it may have on those around you.

If moldy odors have made their way into your fabrics, here are a few ways to get them smelling fresh once again!

Apple cider vinegar solution

Place your mildewed clothes, towels, etc. in the washer and begin filling the tub with hot water. Next, add two cups of apple cider vinegar to the mix and pause the cycle to let the items soak. After an hour, add detergent and wash your items normally. By the end of the cycle (and a tumble in the dryer) your items should be odor-free!

If vinegar doesn’t work, use baking soda

However, apple cider vinegar doesn’t always do the trick. If this is the case, wash your items again with one cup of baking soda in the place of apple cider vinegar.

No one wants their clothes or towels smelling like mold and mildew. To make sure that your items keep that just-washed smell, try:

  • Switching your items into the dryer as soon as possible. The more time they spend in the washer, the more likely they are to retain a mildew odor.
  • Hanging clothes or towels in an area where they can dry. Oftentimes, wet towels are left to hang in the bathroom, without being able to fully dry. This moisture can build up, and cause long-lasting odors.
  • Washing towels, rugs and other items regularly. It’s easy to reuse these items without thinking about the need to wash them. Remember to regularly wash these items to help reduce the risk of future mold and mildew odors.

Ways To Get Rid of Moldy Odors In Your Basement or Crawlspace

If you’ve been fighting mold in your basement or crawlspace, then you know how difficult it is to get the smell to go away. A few things you can try are:

  • Placing bowls of apple cider vinegar around the area
  • Sitting out open containers of cat litter
  • Spread baking soda throughout your basement or crawlspace

If your basement or crawlspace is completely dry and mold-free, these techniques should absorb the smell. However, in spaces like this that are prone to moisture, it can be hard to tell if the problem is solved, or if you’re simply covering it up.

Trust The Killingsworth Mold Removal Experts

Sometimes, the mold and mildew smells in your home aren’t residual—they could be a sign that mold and mildew are present. This is why it’s so important to contact a mold removal specialist as soon as you smell musty mold and mildew odors around your home.

Our team will be able to determine if the odor in your home is just sticking around, or if its cause for alarm. If mold or mildew is present, we can treat and remove it quickly, allowing you to enjoy a nicely scented, mold and mildew-free home once again.

To learn more about what to do about mold and mildew around your home, download our free guide, Mold & Mil-Dews & Don’ts below!

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