Mildew smells are probably the most unpleasant odours of all. They can be especially stubborn in the home and seep into clothing, fabrics, and curtains. But that’s no reason to panic! There are some simple remedies and solutions to remove mildew smell and put an end to this problem once and for all. Let’s discover them together.
Your first instinct to fight the smells of dampness in your home should be to open your windows wide and create an air current that will make these odours disappear. Air out your home! However, if the mildew smell persists, it’s because you have a moisture problem. Be careful, because the humidity can eventually create health problems. The Government of Québec has published an online guide – accessible here – detailing the health problems caused by mold.
Begin by sprinkling powdered laundry detergent or a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda on your carpets. Let dry for at least six hours before vacuuming. If the carpet is very thick or worn-out, it might be a good idea to replace it with a hardwood or floating floor.
To sanitize your walls, put together the following mixture: an abundant amount of hot water, to which you’ll add a tablespoon of baking soda crystals (also known as sodium carbonate), the juice of one lemon, and a few drops of essential oil of lemon. Spray your walls using a sprayer and let act until they’re completely dry. This deodorizer also has the advantage of being totally natural.
Start by airing out the room. Add a few drops of ammonia to a bowl of hot water. Then, clean the interior parts of your cupboards and furniture with a cloth soaked in this mixture. Let dry completely.
And on your clothes?
Mildew smells on clothing can either come from the closets or the drawers in which they’re stored, or from the washer itself. If that’s the case, use the following method to sanitize your washing machine. Pour two tablespoons of white vinegar and one tablespoon of baking soda into the laundry compartment. Start a 60°C wash cycle. Once the cycle is over, wipe off the walls of the drum of your washer and let dry completely. You can also do a load of laundry with your clothes using this same mixture. Finally, an essential rule: never fold your laundry if it’s still wet. Always wait until it’s completely dry before putting it away!
If, despite all your attempts, the musty mildew smell persists, you’ll have to consider treating not the consequences of the moisture, but rather its causes. Moisture in a home can be the result of several factors. The most common are: water infiltration; the capillary rise of moisture in the walls and partitions; poor insulation of the walls, floors, and ceilings; defective heating; and, finally, poor general ventilation… and, simply, the lack of maintenance of the house. You can also equip yourself with a dehumidifier, which dries out the air in your home by sucking it up and cooling it. Thanks to the temperature drop, the water condenses and falls into a tank; the air, thus dried out, is then expelled. To prevent future mildew problems, regularly and meticulously vacuum your sofas, mattresses, and cushions using a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter). This will cost you between $250 and $300. You’ll also eliminate the buildup of dust mites.