Your home is your safe haven. Even after a long day of work, just stepping inside your house and relaxing on the bed can feel almost therapeutic.
And that is why we spend so much time working on the house’s cleanliness and keeping it smelling fresh. From aromatic candles, room fresheners, and mists to air purifiers, we take every measure possible to ensure our house smells refreshing and incredible.
But even after so much hard work, there are times when you will notice your house smells musty and strange, which ultimately ends up ruining the wholesome and cozy vibe of the space.
If you are unaware of what a “musty odor” smells like, it resembles a damp and moldy environment where the air feels stuffy and uncomfortable. It smells like you have dumped a lot of wet clothes and forgotten about them.
But before looking for solutions to get rid of that smell, it is necessary to figure out why your house smells like that. So let’s dive into it!
Reasons why your house is smelling musty.
Excess moisture in the air
This is actually the most common reason, and it happens due to the presence of water where it is not supposed to be there. The excess moisture can be due to skills, leaks, wet laundry in some corners of the house, humidity in the basement or bathroom, mold spores and mildew, etc. This can also indicate danger for you and the family members as mold can lead to multiple health risks and allergies.
Your house needs healthy air circulation to eliminate various smells and odors. If you keep the doors and windows closed all the time or there is poor ventilation in the house, it can cause poor air flow, further developing stagnant smells.
You might think that the condition reduces if you keep the windows closed and turn on the air conditioner, but that won’t work, and the air will feel stuffy after a while.
Dirty and soiled carpets
If you have a pet in your house, there is a high chance of them urinating on the corporate. It may also be possible that you spilled a drink and forgot about it.
The material used in making carpets can easily absorb these liquids and release a stale odor. Plus, it also leads to the growth of bacteria and fungus. We have penned down a complete guide on removing molds from carpet here.
Dirty HVAC system.
Your HVAC system is constantly functioning and is likely to attract dirt and bacteria into it. The build-up increases over time, and various particles can get trapped inside the filters and ducts if you do not clean them regularly.
This can lead to a musty odor due to the moisture trapped inside, which spreads throughout the house when you turn on your heating or cooling system. The only solution for this is to clean the air filters of the HVAC system and the dust trapped inside the HVAC system.
Spillage and clutters.
When you have kids and children around the house, there is a high frequency of small accidents and spills on the floors and carpets. Later on, these liquids are absorbed deep into the carpet padding and can leave lingering odors if not cleaned deeply.
How often do you forget to dry out damp laundry and keep them stuffed in a corner? Do you clean the washing machine often? All these factors also contribute to the musty, stale odor.
Damp clothes smell terrible if we do not get to dry out in the sun and in the presence of fresh air. Plus, the laundry room is one space where water can get accumulated a lot. This also results in mold growth, which is dangerous for everyone in the house.
Mold spores and mildew.
How can we forget the most intense contributor to this problem? Moisture build-up can occur due to multiple reasons like leaky pipes, excess humidity, accumulation of dirt in small spaces, etc.
When moisture comes in contact with stagnant air in spaces where there is not enough sunlight, these environments are highly preferable for mold growth. You may not even be able to see them easily, and even after the mold spores die, you can smell a lingering musty odor that takes up the whole house.
How to get rid of musty odors?
Now that you know the various reasons for generating musty smells, here are some solutions to eliminate that smell.
Use a dehumidifier.
A dehumidifier can work wonders in removing excess humidity in the space around you. This device is beneficial in houses where mold and mildew grow, as it can balance the humidity levels in the place to stop the growth of bacteria.
There are plenty of options in the market to help you choose the right one based on your requirements. Dehumidifiers will help create a better home environment and promote good health by improving overall indoor air quality.
Use an air purifier.
When it comes to getting rid of unpleasant odors, it is impossible not to mention the hero in this department- an air purifier. An air purifier is a worthy investment to add to your house if you haven’t already. It uses different filters to get rid of airborne particles and pollutants that can degrade the quality of air around you.
The HEPA filter is the most popular one as it can eliminate up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. However, if you want to purchase an air purifier specially designed to eliminate odors, choosing one that includes activated carbon filters is recommended.
Carbon filters absorb unwanted smells, smoke, and toxic fumes. It will help to remove musty smells to a considerable extent.
Change the air filters.
When you use an HVAC system in the house quite frequently, it is natural for the air filters to get dirty. They also trap airborne contaminants that can give rise to musty smells. Try changing the air filters once in a while. It is better to have a proper schedule to maintain a fixed routine and avoid any unwanted odors.
Open the doors and windows to ensure adequate ventilation.
As already mentioned above, a healthy airflow is essential to keep the house smelling fresh and clean. Open the doors and windows for fresh air to circulate inside the house and eliminate the musty stink.
Breathing in fresh air is also good for your health and will help you feel rejuvenated. It also reduces the growth of mold to a significant extent. Switch on the fan at the highest speed, and turn on any portable fans if you have them.
Deep cleaning of the carpets.
The carpet is one part of your house that accumulates the most dirt particles and bad smells. So it needs thorough cleaning regularly. You can use your vacuum cleaner to do the trick.
However, if you have not cleaned your carpet for a while now, you can also choose professional carpet cleaning services for a steam cleaning session. This will eliminate the dirt and grime and leave your carpet squeaky clean, and fresh.
Get rid of dust.
Severe dust can also cause musty smells, so the first step you should take is to clean your house from one end to another. The nooks and corners are the places where dust accumulates the most. You can clean using a damp cloth followed by a regular duster. If your floor is carpeted or hardwood floors, you can opt for vacuum cleaning or mopping.
Use white vinegar and baking soda.
A solution of distilled white vinegar and baking soda is the trick for spot cleaning as they are odor-neutralizers. You can simply sprinkle some m baking soda on the affected areas and vacuum it after an hour. Or you can make the two ingredients and store the solution in a spray bottle for use on carpets, furniture, etc. They work amazingly well in eliminating musty odors.
Use boiled lemon peels.
The citrusy fragrance of lemon is often used in many room fresheners and perfumes. It’s because the aroma is pleasing and quickly eliminates terrible odors. You can boil some lemon peels in water and let them simmer for approximately 20 minutes. The scent will instantly fill up the entire house, and you can say goodbye to musty smells.
Examine for mold and mildew and clean the area.
Look for areas around the house, especially basements and bathrooms, for mold and mildew growth. You must scrub those areas thoroughly using bleach or a vinegar solution to get rid of them.
However, if the mold growth badly damages the surface, use sandpaper and scrub the surface nicely to get rid of the mold growth from the surface. Now repaint the area
Fix any water leaks.
You may not always be able to spot leaks immediately. Hence thorough inspection is required in this department. The areas in your house which are highly prone to leaks are your bathroom, pipes under the sink, the toilet, and dark and damp spaces.
These water leaks and buildup promotes the growth of mold and mildew. The basement is another area with a high chance of exposed pipes. Get all the leaks fixed immediately, and you can also seek professional help.
Tips to prevent the reoccurrence of musty smell in house.
Here are some tips you can take beforehand to avoid the occurrence of a musty smell and prevent it from coming back.
- Ventilation is the key to solving this issue. Ensure your house gets plenty of fresh air, and keep the doors and windows open when possible.
- Pulling the blinds feels great to avoid sunlight at times. But natural light is not only a great source of vitamin D but can also play a significant role in eliminating musty odors.
- Build a proper schedule to implement regular cleaning of the house. This can prevent the build-up of mold, dust, mildew, and bacteria, ensuring the air inside your house smells fresh and clean.
- One of the best ways to deal with any kind of unpleasant odors indoors is to invest in a dehumidifier or an air purifier. You can even go for both to enjoy double power and high efficiency in improving the house’s air quality.
Hopefully, this article has been of help in helping you understand how to get rid of the musty smell in house. It is essential to take proactive measures to ensure your entire house smells clean.
It might take time to find the cause behind it, but once you do, the tips and steps mentioned above will help you throughout the process. If you notice a highly severe stagnant smell, you can contact professional services for help.