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How to Remove Mildew Odor
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Mold is a common problem related to water damage or excess moisture within the home. If the problem is severe enough that you can smell it, then the time for an extensive cleanup operation has come. Once the mildew is out, however, you may be left with a lingering smell. Here’s how to eliminate that problem and make your home a bit more pleasant to live in.
Closed in areas such as closets are common locations for mold or mildew. To get rid of the smell, open the door and allow some fresh air to circulate. Remove everything in the closet, wash what can be washed, and allow it all to air out. You may also want to use some charcoal briquettes or a box of baking soda placed in the closet as these will absorb odor most efficiently. Air fresheners such as Febreze are also good for eliminating mildew odor.
Mildew smells on clothing may require more work, such as multiple washings and allowing them to dry out in the sun. If all else fails, have the items professionally cleaned by a dry cleaner who knows how to deal with mildew infested clothes. Once they are clean, pack them away with dryer sheets between the folds. This keeps the items fresh and prevents mildew from popping up again.
Mildew may also become trapped in air ducts, which of course spreads the problem and the smell throughout your home. Air duct cleaning is definitely a professional job and should be done every year or so to keep your air circulation system free and clear of mold, dust, and other problems, any one of which may cause serious respiratory issues.
Removing Mildew Scents on Furniture
Carpets and floors may have serious mold and mildew problems, due to the fact that mold easily becomes trapped within carpet fibers and can be difficult to get rid of. Mildew may also grow between wallpaper and the wall, another extraordinarily difficult area to reach.
A vinegar and water solution is the best bet for cleaning mildew from carpets and flooring, applied generously and allowed to sit for a half hour before scrubbing. Carpets may need to be removed and dried out in the sun in order to get to the flooring beneath. In most cases involving carpets, professional cleaning is the only way to be sure that the problem has been properly remediated.
Mildew may also be a problem on couches and mattresses, and in most cases, the optimum solution is to simply purchase a new one. If you are determined to clean it, try sun drying the piece for a week or so, and use a carpet beater and vacuum to get out as much dirt and debris as possible.
Commercially available cleaning solutions such as Febreze Anti-Mildew or OxyClean may be used effectively to deal with this type of mold problem. Unfortunately, if the mold has gotten into the inner workings of your mattress or couch, there is little option left but to replace.
Learn More about How to Remove Mildew Odor in this Video:
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