Mildew is a kind of mold or fungus that grows on moist and damp places. It grows on any type of surface like fabric, furniture, leather, walls, or paper. It is generally white or grayish-white in color and it resembles a thin powdery film that grows on damp surface. It has a very distinct musty odor that is very hard to miss. Apart from its off-putting odor, its growth can also trigger allergic reactions in people as well as give rise to respiratory problems and skin infections. If mildew grows on fabrics and clothes, it might eventually eat into the fabric and cause it to rot and fall apart.
Getting Rid of Mildew Smell from Clothes
One of the main reasons of this foul smell in clothes is not airing them regularly. Another reason is soaking clothes for too long in water. To get rid of the musty odor, a tried and tested formula is to use a mixture of vinegar or baking soda. First, add half a cup of synthetic vinegar to the water in the washing machine and then place the smelly clothes in them. Now, start the machine and wash the clothes in the normal cycle. Once this is done, allow the clothes to soak in the water and vinegar solution for at least an hour. Next, drain the water from the machine and wash clothes with your regular washing detergent. Rinse and hang the clothes out in the sun to dry.
If this solution is not effective, then place the clothes back in the washing machine and add a cup of baking soda along with water. Wash the clothes in a normal cycle and then drain the water. Wash with detergent again and hang clothes out in the sun.
Getting Rid of Mildew Smell from Carpet
Carpets are more prone to mildew occurrence, particularly those that are placed in basements. To get rid of its odor from carpets, it is very important that you clean and air out your carpets regularly. This helps in keeping the carpet dry which prevents the growth of mold and mildew. Also clean up any water and fluid spills off the carpet immediately so that it does not remain wet and damp for too long.
For removing mildew smell from carpets, add a cup of synthetic white vinegar to two cups of water. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and then squirt some amount of it over the carpet. Allow the mixture to sit on the carpet for 5 - 7 minutes, and then scrub it out gently with a clean sponge. Once the area is dry, sprinkle the carpet with baking soda. Allow the baking soda to sit on the carpet for 1 - 2 hours, before vacuuming the carpet. The baking soda will soak any excess moisture from the carpet and also get rid of the musty odor.
Getting Rid of Mildew Smell from Furniture
Sometimes furniture, particularly wood and leather furniture, might develop mildew which leads to a musty odor. Clean and sand down wooden furniture, followed by a coating of varnish or wood stain is quite effective. This will get rid of any mildew formation and also get rid of the musty odor. You should take particular care to use an oil-resin paint in outdoor wicker or wood furniture to prevent formation of mold and mildew.
For leather furniture, an effective remedy is to use a solution of alcohol and water and rub the furniture with a damp sponge. Just make sure that the surface is completely dried after using this solution.
Getting Rid of Mildew Smell from Shower Stalls
Mildew and mold thrive in damp and moist surroundings and therefore a shower stall is most likely to develop these menaces. This will give rise to a musty odor in the bathroom which can be difficult to get rid of. To remove this odor from the bathroom, you need to clean the shower stall thoroughly. Make a mixture of 1 part bleach to 5 parts hot water and apply this with a damp cloth on the shower stall. Let the solution sit for half an hour and then wash the shower stall with plain water.
The best solution to get rid of any mildew odor is to prevent mildew from growing on your household items. For this you should air out your clothes regularly and store seasonal clothes like sweaters and jackets in moisture proof boxes. This will ensure that clothes do not smell musty when they are not used for a few months. Regular vacuuming of carpets and prompt cleaning of spilled fluids will ensure that your carpets remain dry and fresh-smelling. Clean furniture regularly and make sure that damp places like bathrooms and basements are properly ventilated so that they remain dry.