Depending on how you feel about mold and where you’re smelling it, mildew smell removal can be nasty business. Afterall, mildew is mold, and mold is gross.
Nobody likes drying themselves off after a nice hot shower with a stanky towel, and nobody likes taking two steps into the living room to be assaulted by a veritable wall of stench. It’s just unpleasant, plain and simple.
mildew smell removal steps
However, the problem of Mildew can run much deeper than a simple assault on your sense of smell. It’s a problem that must be dealt with ASAP, not only for your pleasure, but for your protection as well.
What Causes that Musty Mildew Smell?
As I already said, that mildew smell you’re getting is actually caused by mold growth. Mildew is sort of like the cockroach of fungi…It finds it’s way into just about everything, and once it has a foothold it can be unbelievably difficult to get rid of.
Mildew can be found nearly anywhere because of it’s very basic survival needs. Molds and fungi really just need food and moisture to survive; everything else is flexible. A dark, damp basement is the perfect place for mildew to grow, but really it can grow anywhere.
Here’s a few favorite foods for your home grown mold:
- Fabric of any kind – Clothes, towels, blankets and carpet all look like fertile soil to a mildew spore.
- Wood of any kind – If your house hasn’t been sealed properly, it’s actually surprisingly common for mildew to grow between walls and floors where there’s lots of yummy wood to feast on.
- Dust – This is usually how mold get’s started growing in air ducts
- Food remnants – If you’ve ever seen a loaf of moldy bread, then this doesn’t need explaining.
As you can see, mildew can thrive on just about anything in the right conditions.
When is Mildew Smell Removal Easy? Sometimes it makes much more sense to try and remove the musty smell of mildew on your own rather than call a professional. For example, the musty smell in towels is usually something that you can take care of by yourself. In fact, any time you notice a musty smell in fabric other than your carpet it’s probably fine to try and take care of it yourself.
A musty smell in furniture is a little bit more of a toss up…I’ll tell you right now that you may be better off just tossing out the item in question, because if you don’t thoroughly clean every last bit of mold it will just contaminate other items in your household.
That being said, here are a few quick ‘home grown’ tips to remove mildew smell:
- Use a Stiff Brush to Physically Remove as Much Mold as Possible
- Use a Little Vinegar in a Load of Laundry
- Use a Lemon / Baking Soda / Water Mixture to Apply by Hand
- Head Over To Your Local Hardware Store And Ask For Help Finding ‘Mildicides’
- Ensure That You Take Special Care To Thoroughly Dry Everything
- ALWAYS Wear Eye and Mouth Protection
There are a wide array of specific guides online that you can check out for more ideas if you think that you can take care of mildew smell removal all on your own.
When is it Probably Better to Call a Pro for Mildew Smell Removal? If you notice that the air in your home has a general mildew odor, then it’s quite likely that your home has been invaded by mold, and it’s probably not somewhere pleasant.
As I said before, mildew can really and truly grow just about anywhere. It’s a pesky little fungi, and it’s extremely difficult to get rid of. Furthermore, every day you wait to treat a mold problem makes it that much harder to get rid of.
Because mold grows FAST. That’s what it does best.
If you’re noticing a general mildew odor in your home, but can’t identify the exact source, then you should call a pro immediately.
Here are some potential places it could be growing:
Carpet - If you notice a musty smell coming from your carpet it probably means there’s mildew growing underneath. It could be eating up the padding, the carpet itself, or if there’re hardwood floors underneath it could be eating that, too.
Air Ducts - This is a serious problem that deserves immediate attention. There’s so much dust and debris in most air ducts that it’s quite easy for a stray spore of mold to gain a truly massive foothold in your home.
Walls - Pretty much anything and everything looks like an open buffet to your average mildew mold, so if your walls and windows aren’t sealed properly it’s possible that mold could be growing between your walls. Don’t wait until you see it eating through the drywall to call for help.
It’s important to note that mold removal professionals have infrared cameras that they can use to find mildew and other molds through temperature variation; they will see things that you can’t.
Hopefully this article has cleared up any questions you had about mildew smell removal, or at least given you the direction you need to continue your investigation. Remember, if you can’t identify the source of the odor then call a professional immediately. Mildew can quickly go from unpleasant to hazardous, so the sooner you start the mildew smell removal, the better.