Musty smells develop over time. The musty smell can result from leaks or dampness, becoming evident in basements, wood, furniture, walls and flooring; it is often associated with older homes. It is important to detect and treat the whole source of the musty smell. This can be done not only by smell, but by vision and touch. If you find an area that is musty and damp or wet, get the area dry first. Utilize oscillating fans and exhaust fans as well as open windows and doors. Weather permitting, take contents outside to air dry and to get the natural sanitizing effects of the sun. Check for conditions that might be causing the dampness and wetness, such as a leaky pipe or crack in window framing, and repair as necessary.
Once the area or contents have been dried there are several methods at hand that can help mitigate and eliminate the odor. The first step will be to thoroughly clean or wash all the areas and items affected. Then try one or more of the following.
Baking soda – baking soda is often used to help remove odor by putting a container in a fridge for example. The powdery consistency of baking soda helps absorb scent and odor.
Lemon juice and water – mix 1 part lemon juice to 2-3 parts water in a spritzer and sprayed or wiped on effected areas. This acidic solution should be able to eliminate and stop mold and fungi. Rinse areas later with soap and water.
Vinegar- the magic house hold product; it is another acidic solution as we can tell by its smell. The high acidity level of vinegar will kill mold and fungi and is effective in getting rid of a musty smell.
If dampness or wetness are a constant reality, investment in a good dehumidifier could be worthwhile. Dehumidifiers take moisture out of the air, helping to reduce or eliminate one of the causes of a musty smell. It also helps circulate home air, increasing air exchange and reducing the stagnation of air in the house.
Now that you have checked out and progressed through the proceeding list of things to do,hopefully your home smells nice and fresh!