From homemade remedies to commercial products, there are many methods of successful mildew smell removal.
The Cause of Mildew Odor
Mildew is a living organism that can grow anywhere as long as organic matter is present and the following conditions are met:
Chemical compounds cause the musty odor that the growing mildew produces as it spreads over its food source. Organic materials that mildew feeds on include:
- Natural fabrics such as cotton, wool and silk
The Origin of Musty Mildew Odor
Mildew growing in damp basements or bathrooms are common causes of the musty orders. However, there are many other places in a home where mildews can grow resulting in unpleasant smells permeating the air. Mildew odors can originate from many common locations, including:
- Under baseboards
- Behind walls
- Under sinks
- In sink drains
- In washing machines
- In cars
- Laundry hampers
- Laundry that has been left wet or only partially dried
- Storage sheds
- In air ducts
- On boats
Methods of Mildew Smell Removal
Getting rid of nasty mildew smells is not an impossible task. You must decide whether you prefer to use commercial cleaning products or home remedies.
Commercial Mildew Odor Removers
- Each Brite MDG Mildew Odor Control System is effective for three months and completely eliminates mildew odor in a 400 cubic foot area. These decorative bags are made to hang or stand up as they release a gas that is completely safe for people and pets.
- FG 300 Mildew and Mold Blocker by Damp Rid Inc. works by forming a layer of protection that stops the mildew spores from sticking and growing. Additional mildew removal products from Damp Rid include:
- Hi-Capacity Moisture Absorber
- Refillable Moisture Absorber
- Odor Genie
- Hanging Moisture Absorber
- Made for front loading washing machines, Odor Medic's Smelly Washer Formula eliminates mildew odor from towels, clothes and the washing machine itself. Mold and mildew build up inside front loading washing machines is a common problem due to the design of the washer. Odor Medic's Smelly Washer Formula is biodegradable, non toxic and has a neutral PH.
Homemade Remedies to Eliminate Mildew Smell from Clothes
- A simple solution to eliminating musty smells left in towels, washclothes and other laundry items is adding one cup of 20 Mule Team Borax to the laundry and washing the load as usual.
- Another home remedy for getting rid of mildew smells on laundry is running the clothes through a cold water rinse cycle with one cup of white vinegar. Do not add any laundry detergent. Once the rinse cycle is complete, wash the clothes as you normally would.
- Adding Arm and Hammer baking soda to each load of laundry is another effective way of removing mildew smells from clothing, towels and other household items.
Tips for Removing Mildew Odor
- In order for the smell to be eliminated permanently, the source of the mildew must be found and the mildewed area thoroughly cleaned.
- Never put wet wash clothes or towels in a laundry hamper.
- Place a box of open cat litter in a basement that smells of mildew. The litter will absorb the odor.
- Using room sprays or burning scented candles will mask the smell of the mildew temporarily.
- Periodically air out storage sheds and other closed areas.
- If you find an extensive growth of mold anywhere in your home, call a professional. Some molds are toxic and should be removed professionally.
Although mildew smell removal gets rid of the unpleasant odor, it is important to remove the mildew that is causing the smell to prevent it form returning.