How To Get Rid Of Damp Smell In Easy Steps

Mouldy. Stale. Damp. Are these the words that come to your mind when you take clothes out of the dryer that should be clean? Or when you go down to the basement, for example? What you’re smelling is often described as “a musty odour.” Such odours can occur every now and then in your home.

Bad smell in a modern house

They can be found in both old and new homes, and they are usually caused by excess moisture accumulating in a stuffy part of the house. It is not only unpleasant, but it is also harmful to your health. We will show you below how to get rid of damp smells and freshen up the air in your home.

Why does my home smell musty?

Your house smells as it develops leaks over time, allowing moisture to enter where it shouldn’t. New houses are constructed in such a way that they trap far too much moisture inside. Indoor air quality is important to consider as a homeowner. It’s a red flag if you’re congested or have watery eyes at home. These are the most common sources of musty smells:

1. Water leaks

Examine the roof for leaks, particularly around any roof penetrations such as chimneys. Look for seepage in the drywalls and for signs of water damage on all external walls.

Water leaks on the roof

2. Drain hoses

Keep an eye out for plumbing leaks inside your home. Regularly inspect air conditioning or heating units for drain lines. Even if drain hoses aren’t leaking, outlet homes accumulate debris over time. It’s possible that this has a musty odour. They can also trap and hold water, causing all kinds of germs to thrive.

3. Front-load washers and laundry drains

Many front-load washers hold a small amount of water in the bottom of the machine. This water accumulates germs over time, causing musty odours in your laundry room. They have a unit with a short drain line, and you should empty it every couple of weeks to get rid of the stale water.

A drain hose that has been placed incorrectly may trap water in the pipe or allow sewage gases to enter the residence. A frozen drainpipe might also occur as a result of this. Make sure the drain lines are properly installed.

4. Windows

Windows can be problematic in a variety of ways. For starters, window condensation can lead to mould growth on the inside of the window sills. Second, if the window flashing is not properly installed, water can leak inside the house’s walls.

How to remove a musty smell from your home

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to get to work on eliminating the musty odour from your home:

1. Fix any water leaks

You can do all the cleaning you want, but if you don’t address any water leaks or other moisture issues, you’ll be right back where you started. Mould thrives in damp environments, such as the roof, windows, or pipe leaks, or in areas where there has been flooding. Once you’ve figured out the source of the smell in your house and clean accordingly

2. Thoroughly clean the mouldy or mildewy area

Bleach can be used to destroy and eliminate mildew, though this level of cleaning is rarely required. If you do decide to use bleach, make sure you have plenty of fresh air and put on safety gear like rubber gloves and a face mask. 

Fill a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar for a more natural air freshener that is quite effective. Alternatively, you can also use essential oils.

Allow it to sit for a few hours, and then dip an abrasive sponge into baking soda after soaking it in hot water. Remove the musty residues from the surface by scrubbing them away. 

Woman n cleaning mold from wall using sponge

When cleaning mould, make sure the affected area is well-ventilated, that you wear a respirator or face mask, and that you cover your arms, legs, and hands to avoid being exposed to mould spores that are stirred up during the cleaning process. Make sure you have proper ventilation and use fans to eliminate moisture. Cleaning products should not be mixed. If you do, some products can create toxic fumes. 

3. Allow some fresh air to enter the room

You should ventilate your home as much as possible now that the mould or mildew has been removed and all essential repairs have been completed. This can be accomplished by opening windows, turning on fans, or a combination of the two—the more air circulation you have in your home, the better. Good airflow will help to get rid of the musty odour and make your property less appealing to these smelly enemies.

4. Use an odour absorber

Use a natural odour absorber like activated charcoal or baking soda to get the last of the smell out of your home. Because these items will absorb the odour, you will need to replace them every two weeks or so. 

How to remove a musty smell from your clothes

Nobody wants to walk around with a musty odour on their clothes. Fortunately, getting rid of it is a simple process:

1. Examine the condition of your washing machine

First and foremost, make sure there is no mould or mildew forming inside your machine. This is especially important when you have a front-load washer. Even if there are no visible signs, you can still clean your device with a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda to be on the safe side. 

Young woman looking at smelly clothes out of washing machine

After that, wipe clean all of your washing machine’s inside surfaces with a towel or a damp cloth and leave it open to air out. Leaving wet clothes in a closed appliance can cause musty odours so remove the laundry as soon as possible after it has been washed. 

2. Clean the musty smell

Add a cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle when washing clothes in the machine. Alternatively, you can wash them on the hottest setting on your washer with a cup of baking soda. Finally, you can also consider Borax. Mix Borax, a natural mould-killer, with hot water and put it in the machine with your stinky clothes in it. Then, allow your items to air dry outside on a clothesline.

Mould prevention: Banishing musty odours for good

Enhancing the indoor quality of the air in your home can be achieved in easy steps! That way, you can kiss those musty odours goodbye! Take a look!

1. Invest in a dehumidifier or air purifier

Maintaining an ideal humidity level in your home between 40 and 50% will go a long way towards preventing mould, as well as that musty odour in your home. That’s why it’s really essential to have a dehumidifier and an air purifier.

2. Ensure that all surfaces are dry

It’s especially important to keep your bathroom and kitchen as dry as possible. After a shower or after cooking, take a few minutes to wipe down hard surfaces with a washcloth. Remember to clear away any condensation that collects on your windows and to leave your washing machine open to air out between uses.

3. Replace your air filters on a regular basis

Man replace air filters

Mould can readily accumulate in your HVAC filters. You can avoid this by replacing them on a regular basis and ensuring that your home’s air quality remains excellent.

4. Do maintenance on a regular basis

Water leaks can be avoided by doing regular maintenance in your home. Roof and plumbing inspections are examples of this.

5. Make sure your home is well ventilated

Mould can be kept at bay by bringing in fresh air from the outside. It grows in stagnant air because humidity levels rise and mould thrives. Increasing the movement of air in and out of your home will help. Don’t forget to check the bathroom extractor fan as well.

Mildew vs Mould

Both are fungi, and their appearance is one of the easiest ways to distinguish which one you’re up against. Mildew grows on the surface of moist, warm regions and is often white, grey, or yellow. It has a fluffy or powdered texture

Mould, on the other hand, is usually green or black in colour and grows beneath the surface of everything that has been moist. It has a fuzzy or slimy texture. 

They both grow quickly in warm, damp environments. However, each variety appears to have a predilection for where to begin growing. 

Mildew thrives on damp surfaces. Cloth, paper, and leather are just a few examples of typical home items that might suffer if they get wet. It can also be found on the floors, walls, and ceilings of humid spaces such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Mould is the most common type of fungus seen on food, such as cheese, bread, or meat. 

While mildew can grow on the surface of food, such as potatoes or grapes, mould is more typically found on food surfaces. Mould is also frequent in wet indoor or outdoor locations, such as sheds, crawl spaces, garages, and boats.

Woman at home smelling something disgusting

If you follow all of the cleaning tips above, you will say bye-bye to the dampness once and for all. All that’s left now is to keep mould and mildew at bay so that your home remains fresh and your family stays healthy!

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