Getting Rid of Mold and Mildew Smells
You know it, that musty smell of “old” — it can get into your clothes, in your closets and dresser drawers; it emanates from your basement and lurks in dark corners. It’s embarrassing and aggravating and even worse, potentially dangerous to you and your family.
Think of mold as a giant organic-material eating monster that grows bigger and bigger under the right conditions… dampness, humidity, closed up dark areas. Those musty smells are coming from the material in your house as it decays and that mold-eating monster will “eat” just about everything from the binding in your books to the caulk in your shower, to wood, leather, cotton, drywall…you name it.
The off-putting smell of mildew might be many folks first indication that they have a mold problem. This is not an odor to be masked with air-fresheners or scented candles and hope it will go away. Remember, mold will continue to grow and spread under the right conditions and even travel through air-borne spores that can get into your vents and ducts and the smell will only worsen. You must find the source and treat it hands on.
So how do you to tackle musty smells?
Mold & Mildew Smells on Clothes and Towels
Have you ever wrapped yourself in a towel or thrown on a shirt and had that horrible smell of mildew? There are a couple of culprits for this. Leaving wet clothes and towels in a heap for too long whether in a hamper or in the washing machine, sweaty clothes and towels in gym bags or gym lockers, or you’re teenagers wet towels on the floor will all be breeding grounds for mold and its smell. The other culprit might be your laundry machine. Front loading washers are especially prone because of the rubber gasket. This odorous smell will not just go away using extra laundry detergent; in fact, using extra detergent might make the matters worse because the excess detergent left in the fibers will actually attract more mold.
The best remedy to remove mold and mildew smell is to soak it in our enzyme-based Moldzyme concentrate or Laundry Additive for Mold and Mildew. The enzymes are great at breaking down the “organic” smells and stains and are suitable for most fabrics. Let soak at least 10-15 minutes for light smells and stains, 30 minutes or longer for more aggressive smells. Run through a rinse cycle and immediately dry in high heat in a dryer. For clothes that cannot be placed in a dryer, place in direct sunlight to dry.
Mold & Mildew Smells on Upholstery, Mattresses and Rugs:
Vacuum any of these areas first to release mold and mildew spores. Dispose of the vacuum bag as it will contain the spores that can spread. Now choose the Moldzyme product depending on the area. For larger areas, you might consider using our concentrates. If you have a carpet that is wall to wall you will first need to determine if the mold growth is growing on the underside as well. If this is the case, you should consider removing and disposing of the entire carpet. If it is just on the surface, you can rent a carpet cleaner and use our Moldyme concentrate in lieu of carpet cleaner. Again, in a case of mold, the carpet cleaner may actual attract more mold growth. Remember, the trick here is to let the Moldzyme sit long enough on the surface to tackle the odor but then make sure that the carpet dries completely after being treated. If the carpet is in an area like the basement, try to open as many doors and use fans to completely dry. Left damp, the mold will reappear in no time flat. For upholstery and mattresses, again, vacuum first. If you can drag the mattress or upholstery outside to clean that is great. You will have both the fresh air and the sun to help treat the odor problems. You can spray or sponge clean mattresses and upholstery with Moldzyme, allowing for it to sit on the material for at least 10-15 minutes before blotting dry. If you cannot do this outside, use a hair dryer and good cross-ventilation and/or a ceiling fan until the mattress or upholstery is completely dry.
Remember, the musty smells from mold and mildew often times are the first indication of a more serious mold problem. Tackling mold is the best remedy but remember, mold will not grow in areas that have good cross-ventilation, sun-light and low-humidity and all of these factors will guarantee you a home free of musty smells.