If you smell that familiar musty smell, chances are, you HAVE mold. It’s a musty, unpleasant scent that can linger even after the fungus is gone. Here are some ways to keep your home smelling fresh and clean.

Why Does Mold Smell Musty?

Mold gives off volatile organic compounds (MVOC). While some don’t smell at all, others have an unmistakably musty scent.

What Does It Mean If DO Smell Mold?

If you smell mold, it’s likely growing somewhere moisture and improper ventilation exists. Inside walls, under carpets, and inside heating and ventilation ducts are all suspect spots. That smell is not good for your health, as you are inhaling potentially toxic compounds produced by mold and are also inhaling mold spores. These can cause a wide range of medical problems including difficulty breathing, sinus infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, migraines, sore throats, depression, joint pain and inflammation, exhaustion, and digestive issues.

What Can You Do To Get Rid Of Musty Odors?

First, make sure to repair whatever is causing moisture in your home and properly ventilate the area. Remove the mold either by yourself or with a mold remediation specialist if you’re unsure how you should go about the job.

Fabric Odor Removal

  • Clothing, drapery, and linens can be cleaned in a washing machine by adding 1 cup (8 oz.) of white vinegar to a normal load. Let it soak for 30 minutes after adding the solution.
  • Baking soda can also be used—add 1 cup (8 oz.) of baking soda to a normal load and let it soak for 30 minutes, before completing your wash cycle.
  • Wash or soak solid white cloth items in bleach.
  • Hang clothes and linens outside after washing.

Appliance Odor Removal

You can clean appliances with a white vinegar solution by diluting a quart of warm water with 1 tablespoon (14.8 ml) baking soda

  • Place several teaspoons of vanilla in a dish or saucer in your refrigerator. Let it sit for 3 weeks to remove bad or musty odors.
  • Place an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator.

For oven odors, mix 1/2 cup (4 oz.) dish soap, 1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) baking soda, 1/4 cup (2 oz.) white vinegar, and 1 teaspoon (0.166 oz.) vanilla extract in a bowl. Add water, so your mixture forms a thick paste and coat the interior of your oven and leave overnight (6 to 8 hours). The next day, use a scrubber and water to wipe everything down. Alternatively, a spray bottle 1/2 full of white vinegar and water will work as well.

For your washing machine, clean odors with bleach or vinegar. Add 1 cup (8 oz.) of bleach or vinegar and set the temperature to hot. Run the machine on a short, normal cycle and let it drain.

Eliminating Odors in Damp Spaces

  • Air-out closets, closed rooms, and cabins.
  • Scrub non-porous hard surfaces with detergent.

Removing Odors from Furniture and Carpets

Kill mold spores with chlorine dioxide, which is used on boats and in libraries to control outbreaks of mildew. Apply the liquid to the moldy area and allow it to air-dry.

Spot-clean mold or mildew on carpets with hydrogen peroxide. Add 3 teaspoons (0.5 oz.) hydrogen peroxide to 5 teaspoons (0.83 oz.) of water. Use a thick paintbrush to brush onto the affected area, but remember—hydrogen peroxide bleaches surfaces!

Coat your carpet with baking soda, then work it into the fibers with a damp sponge mop. Let it sit until it’s dry and then vacuum.

Clean out cupboards and trunks with baking soda. Use an open box remove odor and absorb moisture. Let it stand for at least 2-3 days before removing.

If you have any further questions about how to rid yourself of the smell of mold, contact a mold remediation specialist near you.