Vinegar Is A Viable Choice
White vinegar is probably one of the most touted non-toxic ways to eliminate mold because of its acidity. Just mix with water one part vinegar to three parts water and put it in a spray bottle. There’s definitely going to be a bit of a pungent vinegar-y odor, so add a few drops of essential oil to squash it.
Even though mold can show up just about anywhere, it can also be dealt with by using a variety of tactics. Moisture control is part of preventing mold occurrence. Proper ventilation will control most molds and put your apartment at less risk for it in the first place.
Don’t hesitate to talk with your building management crew about any issues with mold, either. There are plenty of things that apartment maintenance personnel can assist with to prevent and control the problem, including:
- Waterproofing membranes, which prevent moisture under carpets, hardwood or bamboo flooring
- Air/water purifiers will kill mold and mildew spores, plus other potentially harmful bacteria and fungi.
- Mold and mildew preventive sealers can fight off mold in bathrooms and kitchens.
Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh And Void Of Old House Smell
Once youve tackled the cause of old house smell at the source, make an effort to boost the fresh, clean aroma in your home especially if youre selling your home.
Researchers found that simple smells boost sales and citrus increases buyers perceived property value. So cut a few oranges or lemons before a showing. Buyers and guests prefer neutral and natural scents over plug-in air fresheners, sprays, essential oils, and strongly scented candles.
You can also leave an open box of baking soda in concealed spots to absorb odors. For persistent smells, choose all-natural commercial products like FreshWave or DampRid that absorb smells and trap excess moisture in the air.
Above all, clean regularly, seasonally, and most importantly, before a buyer is coming to view your house.
Header Image Source:
What Causes A Musty Smell In A Room
The damp, earthy smell of mold and mildew is due to excessive humidity, especially in stagnant places like the bathroom, basement, or laundry room. When mold and mildew build up, they release foul-smelling gases, which permeate textiles like your carpet, curtains, and upholstery.
- Water leaks behind walls
- Unremediated flood or water damage
- Damp or wet fabrics, like clothes and blankets
Read Also: How To Clean Roof Mold
Three: Address Stubborn Foul Odors In Your Apartment In Conjunction With Your Landlord
Truly stubborn bad smells in your apartment can be indicative of a larger problem. If the scent is continually foul and household cleaners arent doing the trick, you will need to bring up the issue with your landlord or property manager to see what solutions are available. Stubborn pet odors or strong spicy foods can often require a substantial amount of effort to remove. A cleaning crew may need to address the rental. Filters and carpeting may need to be removed or replaced. If you live in a single-family rental, you may consider asking your landlord to purchase a home carpet cleaner so you can immediately address the smell and ensure that you are able to annually deep clean the rental during your tenancy.
Unfortunately, while foul odors caused by pets or foods can be unpleasant, they are not usually a health risk and your property manager or landlord may wish for you to split the costs or cover the costs of additional cleaning if you are unhappy with the living situation. However, there are some instances where a bad smell in your home or apartment may indicate a health risk.
Special Note: How to Get Rid of Smoke Smells
No one likes living in a smelly rental, but thankfully most foul odors can be addressed with a little elbow grease, some helpful cleaning supplies, or a few open windows. These helpful tricks can even be useful down the road to prevent smelly odors for the next tenant when you begin cleaning and are ready to move out.
Are Musty Smells Dangerous
Musty smells are often the result of mold or mildew. We hear you, that doesnât sound particularly great. But oftentimes, the source of the problem is relatively contained and all you need is to open up some windows, do a deep clean, and/or give the laundry another 15 minutes in the dryer.
That being said, you definitely shouldnât ignore it. If your mustiness is, in fact, the result of household allergens like mold and mildew, then depending on the specific type of allergen and the person being exposed, these allergens can cause irritation . And while less common than other types of mold, black mold can be downright dangerous. Another thing to keep in mind: mold and mildew, if left unchecked for long periods of time, can also wreak havoc on your homeâs structure.
Basically, if you have a persistent, musty smell, itâs time to figure it out.
Also Check: What Can You Put On Mold To Kill It
Clean Your Home Clear Your Mind
As you’re hunting for musty smells, it’s a good time to clear out clutter. Open spaces promote better air flow. Those cluttered, forgotten corners are prime turf for dust and mildew buildup.
If you need some ideas to help you get started, check out Spring Cleaning 6 Steps to a Clean and Organized Kitchen. 6 Ways to Get the Musty Smell Out of Clothes and Towels includes tips for dealing with musty closets.
Several studies have shown that folks who have too much clutter also tend to suffer from higher rates of depression. I don’t know if this is because they’re too depressed to clean, or the mess makes them depressed. Either way, I figure it’s a win-win to clean up your space. Less odors, and more room to tackle the next project.
You may also find these useful:
How To Remove A Damp Smell After A Leak
Here are some traditional methods that work really well. Dont use these methods to merely mask the smell if you havent removed its source.
- Charcoal in a jar
Get an old jam jar and fill it with pieces of charcoal. Put it next to the damp source overnight and it should help to absorb the unpleasant smell.
- Boil lemons
Use the fresh aroma of lemons to overpower musty odours in your property. Leave the pot of boiled lemons in the problematic room to cool off.
- Use cat litter
Cat litters main function is to absorb bad smells. It lasts for a few weeks so its good as a short-term solution.
Don’t Miss: How To Kill Mold Without Bleach
How To Keep Smells Out Of Apartments
First, you have to find the source. Some of the most common sources of unpleasant apartment smells include:
- Garbage Whether its yours or a neighbors, trash receptacles are the usual and most obvious cause of odor. This includes receptacles in common spaces, like the trash can inthe communal laundry room.
- Stale air If you are just moving into a new apartment thats been empty for a while, you could be greeted with the overwhelming odor of fresh paint, carpet glue and stale air. Or, if youre just coming back after an extended time away, your apartment might have that stagnant mustiness hanging around.
- Neighbors Sure, everyone worries abouthow to deal with a noisy neighbor, but what about a smelly one? Cooking and smoking odors can waft down the hallways, under your apartment door, or even small spaces between walls, leaving a not-so-pleasing odor.
- Nearby construction Construction on that building next door can kick up clouds of sawdust, sheetrock dust, chemical and welding fumes, creating an acrid, metallic smell that seems to penetrate every surface.
- Fifi or Fido We all love our pets, but sometimes they can be a bit smelly or accident prone . Especially when they arenew to apartment living and dont know the rules yet.
Safety From Mold Spores
Before we learn exactly how to get rid of mold, it’s important to understand some basic safety protocols. Mold spores can make a person pretty sick, so protective clothing and gear are a must.
Plus, some of the cleaning products involved are pretty strong, as well, so it pays to protect the skin, eyes and respiratory system. To that end, when removing mold, follow these safety protocols to the letter:
- Wear protective gear, like safety glasses. Make sure the safety glasses don’t have ventilation holes, or else mold will sneak right in.
- Wear gloves. If your plan is to kill mold with a strong cleaner, use heavy-duty rubber gloves that reach past your forearm. If it’s a mild cleaner, those yellow dishwashing gloves will do just fine.
- Wear a mask. The lungs are extremely susceptible to mold spores. Wear either a mask or an N-95 respirator for maximum respiratory protection.
- Open some windows. Poor ventilation when you’re removing mold is a bad idea, and prolonged exposure is a really bad idea.
Now that you know what to wear to do the job safely, let’s find out exactly how to get rid of mold!
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Mold In Your Home
How To Find The Source Of Musty Smells
Tracking down the source of musty smells is sometimes straightforward and sometimes…well, not so much. But if thereâs a specific cause for your musty smell, the only way to really rid your home of it is to find that cause and deal with it.
The good news is that there are definitely some common culprits behind musty smellsâand some pretty rock-solid tips and tricks for tackling them and achieving a musty-free home.
First thingâs first: consider that mold and mildew LOVE dampness and thrive in areas that donât get much ventilation. With that in mind, checking the following is a good place to start.
Wash Again With Baking Soda
Once the vinegar load has finished, spread the laundry out around inside the washing machine and sprinkle in 1 cup of baking soda. Wash once more on the hottest setting. Baking soda is an alkaline which will help neutralize any remaining odors, leaving your laundry smelling like absolutely nothing at all!
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Black Mold In Your Attic
How To Get Rid Of Damp Mould Smell In Your House
Is your home suffering from a funky, damp, and musty odour?
Dont worry, for Star Domestic Cleaners is here to help!
Mildew scent is unpleasant, potentially harmful to your health, that of your close ones, especially when moving in a new property with children and family! Also, its easy to get used to a musty odour due to air conditioning in a property.
How To Get Rid Of Musty Smells In Your Home
Okay, so youâve now diagnosed the underlying problem and have got everything in tip-top shape and mold- and mildew-free . Now, itâs time to deal with the lingering smell.
As a general rule of thumb, increasing ventilation, enhancing natural light , and decreasing humidity are your best friends in the fight against musty smells. Depending on how irritatingâand/or persistentâthe smell is, a full-on, deep cleaning of your home could also be on your horizon .
Below is an easy-to-follow guide that should set you on the right path. By completing these steps, you should be well on your way to an odor-free homeâand equipped with the know-how to keep it that way!
Recommended Reading: How To Remove Black Mold Under Toilet Rim
Change Your Air Filters And Clean Your Ducts And Vents
A general rule of thumb is to change 1-inch to 2-inch filters every 1 to 3 months and 3-inch to 4-inch filters every 6 to 9 months. However, you may need to change your filters sooner depending on the quality of your filters, the number of people and pets in your home, and common household allergens. Signs you need to change your filters include noticeable increases in energy bills and dust settled around the air vents. For best results, use HEPA air filters made of fine mesh to trap harmful particles such as mold, pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and smoke.
Beyond air filters, the air ducts themselves can host mold and readily spread miasma throughout your house. If you suspect your HVAC system could use a clean, hire a professional to service the system. Many companies run specials in the spring and fall, charging $30 to $50 for a tune-up.
Where Do Musty Smells Come From
First things first: why does my apartment smell musty? The bad and good news is the musty apartment smell is annoying but fortunately not a threat to your health.
Mold that flourishes in places that are dark with high humidity and little ventilation tends to be the source of that well-known old house smell. But the smell actually comes from mold volatile organic compounds or chemicals that evaporate off of mold. Unfortunately, they have a strong smell.
The good news is, theres plenty you can do to get rid of the musty smell in your apartment and a few natural ways to get rid of mold, too.
Don’t Miss: How Do I Know I Have Mold In My House
How To Get Rid Of Mold Smell In Your Home
The first step to getting rid of that mildew odor is finding the source. Scour your home for any evidence of rotting wood or mold growth.
You might have hidden places where you cant see it, but if theres a damp or wet area, chances are good there could be some mold hiding out.
If you have a great sense of smell, you should be able to follow any moldy odors to track it down.
Change Out Your Sponges And Dish Rags
Kitchen odors often come from the very things you use to clean with. Sponges and dish rags absorb and spread bacteria at an alarming rate. That bacteria generates extremely unpleasant odors, and if you use that sponge or rag to wipe down kitchen surfaces, then you leave traces of those odors behind. You need to change out your sponges about once a month, and wash dish rags regularly.
Recommended Reading: How To Know If You Have Been Exposed To Mold
Watch Out For Warning Signs That Specific Materials Are Damp:
Plasterboard and drywallIf theres a high level of humidity in your home and you see any plasterboard or drywall bloating this is the ideal host for mould.
WoodIf theres constant moisture in your home that isnt drying out, natural materials like solid wood and MDF furniture will start to dampen and deform. Mould loves damp and decaying natural materials.
Upholstered furniture and fabricsUpholstered furniture and fabrics absorb dampness in the home and can become a central source for the smell to emanate. Watch out for signs of moisture on your carpets, curtains, cushions and sheets because the damage can often be irreversible. If its an item with sentimental value, you may get away with having it professionally cleaned, but whatever you do, dont leave it in its current state.
How To Get Rid Of Mold Smell
When the countless air fresheners don’t work, and throwing open the windows to circulate air doesn’t do much good, you have no choice left except to get down and dirty, to destroy the mold. Let’s take a look at how you can do this.
When the countless air fresheners dont work, and throwing open the windows to circulate air doesnt do much good, you have no choice left except to get down and dirty, to destroy the mold. Lets take a look at how you can do this.
Mold is nothing but one of the many types of fungi that thrive in damp locations. This is an entity that covers the surface bathrooms, basements, kitchens, ceilings, and even clothes that havent been used for a while. Most types of fungi are airborne and have the ability to spread from one area to the another within a home. But they need moist, dark, and warm places, to breed and thrive.
A black mold infestation can affect the way a house looks to a great extent, giving the place an unsightly, or lets say unpleasant, appearance. Because the presence of this fungi poses as a threat to your health, including that of your family members and visitors, it is important to get rid of the mold infestation without a moments delay.
Once you notice the signsyellow spotting or a substance in a mysterious colordestroy the mold while you can, before it spreads. Always wear protective gear when tackling such a problemface mask, rubber gloves , and overalls.
How to Get Rid of Mold Odor
Recommended Reading: How To Kill Household Mold