Musty, stale, and rancid: these three words are frequently used to describe the smells created by mold and mildew in an enclosed area. Unfortunately, when these smells are present, so is the need for mold damage restoration. Often, mold grows to the point where only the tools and techniques used by professionals such as Maven Construction Group can effectively clean and repair the damage.
Musty smells that permeate through a home usually have a source traceable to a single room. The common thread these rooms have is high amounts of moisture which means if you smell an unusual odor, start by examining the bathroom and kitchen.
Moldy Odors In The Bathroom
Standing water from leaking plumbing can create quite a stench. Periodically check behind and under sinks and toilets for leaks along with cabinets and floors for soft spots. These are frequent signs of water damage. Fix any plumbing leak as soon as possible to avoid water damage and mold cleanup.
Dirty Shower Liner
It’s not surprising shower liners are a frequent cause of musty-smelling bathrooms. A spot or two of mildew begins to grow on the bottom hem and before you know it, the bottom of the liner is covered. Prevent this by putting the liner through the spin cycle on a washing machine with detergent and a half cup of white vinegar. Once complete, soaking the liner in a saltwater solution overnight should stop mildew growth.
The smell of damp towels is one most people know without seeing the towels themselves. Dry damp or wet towels as soon as possible, whether by hanging dry or in a clothes dryer. If your towels still have a musty smell after they’re dry, these tips may help banish the odors.
- Wash Towels With White Vinegar: Towels should have the washing machine to themselves for this trick. Put one cup of white vinegar in the wash without detergent or fabric softener and wash the towels with hot water. Once the cycle is complete, leave the towels in the washer and use the standard amount of detergent for a regular wash cycle.
- Heat Up Hand Towels: Kitchen and hand towels can develop an array of foul smells. Dampen a towel and microwave it for 30 seconds. The heat is enough to kill the bacteria and get rid of the smell.
- Launder In Baking Soda & Vinegar: Washing stinky towels twice — once in baking soda then in white vinegar — in the hottest water possible is generally effective for bacteria and mold removal. Use a quarter cup of baking soda for the first wash cycle then a full cup of white vinegar for the second.
Moldy Odors In The Kitchen
Not all food debris flushes out of the drain every time the faucet turns on. Get rid of ensuing smells by pouring a mixture of baking soda and salt — one cup of each — down the drain. Pouring a quart of near boiling water down the drain once a month should stop the smells from returning.
Spoiled Refrigerated Foods
Leftovers are slowly pushed toward the back of the fridge and a stink ensues. The best way to prevent this is with a food or fridge audit and by throwing away expired or old food. If the stink lingers, deodorize the fridge with one of these tactics.
- Lemon & Salt: Place half of a lemon in a bowl, facing upward, and sprinkle a small amount of salt on the lemon. The combination dissolves the smells over several days; more than one bowl can be used at the same time.
- Dampened Newspaper: Crumple one or two newspaper sections and lightly spray with water until the pages are damp then place in the refrigerator. Generally, smells are gone overnight.
- Coffee Grounds: Place two or three bowls of fresh coffee grounds in the refrigerator and leave them for several days. The grounds slowly absorb odors and smells and should be thrown away when the refrigerator has a slightly sweet smell.
- Baking Soda: Dump a full box of baking soda — a small box is enough — on a baking sheet and place the sheet on a refrigerator shelf. Leave it alone for a day or two then remove the sheet once the smell is gone.
Standing dishwater can occur in the dishwasher and sink at the same time. Dump water from containers and dishes left in the sink; the longer water is stagnant, the more likely it will develop smells. Dishwashers begin to smell when food particles from dishes clog the drain and cause water to back up into the machine. Remove and clean the dishwasher filter with hot water, soap, and a scrub brush. Then, pour one cup of distilled vinegar in the dishwasher bottom and run a full cycle on the hottest temperature setting. This should remove any lingering odors.
Schedule Professional Mold Remediation
A good way to prevent mold and mildew growth in your home is to keep the indoor humidity at an ideal level. Generally, this level is between 30 percent and 60 percent. Dehumidifiers are great appliances to help remove extra moisture from the indoor air, especially in humid climates such as Florida. Allowing mold to grow unabated can cause many health issues for occupants of the home. If there is a lingering musty smell in your home, call Maven Construction Group to schedule an appointment with a mold inspector in Gainesville.