Does your house smell musty for seemingly no reason? A musty home is a common cause for embarrassment, especially when people stop by unannounced and you don’t have time to freshen the air. The first thing you want to do is rule out mold. Fortunately, you can usually see this fungus growing. It typically likes damp places, such as around leaky pipes or in overwatered plant pots. If you’ve been wondering how to get rid of musty smell in your house, there are 10 ideas you may want to try. But first, here’s a brief overview of what may be causing those mysterious aromas.
What Causes a Musty Smell in Your House?
The source of fusty smells can be difficult to identify and leave you wondering how to get rid of a musty smell in your house. Though there are dozens of potential culprits, here are some of the top causes of stubborn odors.
Your Clothes Have Been Left in the Washing Machine Too Long
Life gets busy, and it’s easy to forget about the load of clothes in the washing machine. Unfortunately, leaving wet clothes in a damp washing machine tub is a recipe for all sorts of unpleasant smells, including a general musty scent.
Solution #1: Clean Your Washing Machine
To prevent this from happening in the future, turn on the buzzer or alarm that indicates the completion of a wash cycle. That way, you’ll be less likely to forget to put your laundry into the dryer right away. If your clothes smell musty after washing, even when you transfer them to the dryer immediately, you may need to run a wash cycle without any clothes. Add ½ cup of bleach to your washing machine to disinfect it.
You Have a Dirty Dishwasher
Dishwashers collect food and debris in a filter (also known as a food trap). Over time, this food can rot and make your entire dishwasher smell bad (and the rest of your house, too!). If you think your dishwasher may be the reason for your stinky kitchen, it’s probably time to clean the filter.
Solution #2: Clean Your Dishwasher’s Filter
Some people aren’t comfortable with do-it-yourself projects. If you are wary about cleaning your dishwasher’s filter, there are plenty of how-to videos online that show how easy the task can be. Once it’s finished, you should notice that horrible smell start to dissipate.
Your Carpet Needs a Deep Cleaning
Carpets have little fibers that tend to collect everything, including dirt, pollen and other pollutants. Over time, carpets inevitably start to smell dank. You may find that a regular vacuum cleaner can no longer take the unpleasant odor away.
There are a few factors that can contribute to a musty carpet:
- Humid weather
- Frequently spilled food and drinks
- Wearing shoes indoors
Solution #3: Shampoo Your Carpets
To get rid of stubborn carpet smells, hire carpet cleaning professionals for a deep scrub. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also rent a carpet cleaner and do the job yourself. Just be prepared to devote an entire weekend to shampooing the carpet throughout your home. You’ll also want to put out a few fans to dry the floor as quickly as possible. Remember, excessive moisture contributes to musty smells, so it should be avoided.
Your Plants Get Too Much Water
Some people are surprised to find that watering indoor plants too often can lead to mold growth and mustiness. If you aren’t certain how to get rid of musty smell in home, do an investigation. Sniff around your plant pots, and note if there is an increased mold odor around them. You can also sift your fingers gently through the soil to check for signs of mold.
Plants that are overwatered tend to have yellowed leaves. They may even develop a gray mold directly on the leaves. If you notice any of these signs of overwatering, change your watering schedule.
Solution #4: Water Less Frequently
Not all plants require the same frequency or amount of water. Some need more while others need less. If any of your plants show signs of overwatering, try cutting your watering frequency in half for a while. You can also go online and look up the ideal watering schedule for your plant.
Your Dish Sponge Is Old
You might be surprised to discover how much odor a small dish sponge can produce. These handy little tools are for deep-cleaning various areas in your home. They’re commonly used to wipe spills in kitchens and bathrooms. Since these two rooms are highly prone to bacteria growth, it’s little wonder that your sponge has become a petri dish of sorts.
Dish sponges aren’t meant for perpetual use. They have a relatively short life span, and they’re priced accordingly. The primary reason you don’t want to keep a dish sponge too long is because it provides the perfect moist environment for rapid bacterial growth.
Solution #5: Replace Your Dish Sponge
You can extend your dish sponge’s life span by cleaning it regularly. To do so, soak it in water, then put it on a plate and microwave it for two minutes. If you don’t have a microwave, wash your dish sponge in the top rack of your dishwasher. Even with these precautions, dish sponges still tend to harbor an unsafe level of bacteria and should be replaced every week. As you change your dish sponge frequently, you’ll undoubtedly notice a decrease in kitchen odors.
Your Upholstery Has Absorbed Moisture
Just like your carpets, the upholstery in your home tends to absorb moisture and rank odors. Over time, upholstery will emit those bad smells on a scale that has you plugging your nose. This stink may become more pronounced any time you (or a guest) sit down on one of the couches or padded chairs in your home. How embarrassing! If you want to get rid of musty smell in house, you need to address your upholstery odors.
Solution #6: Clean Your Upholstery Regularly
It’s easy to remember to vacuum your carpets, but when was the last time you vacuumed your upholstery? To prevent your couches and padded chairs from becoming smelly, vacuum them at least once per week.
Sometimes, you’ll notice the smell doesn’t come out with vacuuming. If this is the case, try sprinkling sodium bicarbonate (otherwise known as baking soda) on your upholstery. Let it sit for about 40 minutes before vacuuming it up. Voila! You have fresher couch cushions that you can confidently sit on without holding your breath.
Your Mattress Smells
If you knew how many dead skin cells and other yucky things are lurking in your mattress, you’d probably never want to sleep on it again. But take comfort in knowing all mattresses collect these things over time, so yours isn’t unique. However, if your bed is starting to smell a little funky, you need to address the issue.
Solution #7: Clean Your Mattress
Most people don’t know how to clean their mattresses. Fortunately, it’s easier than you may think. First, strip off the blankets and sheets, then vacuum the entire mattress thoroughly. After you’ve gotten into all the grooves and removed all visible crumbs and debris, sprinkle baking soda all over the mattress.
Let the baking soda sit on the mattress for 40 minutes. This will help absorb odors. Then, vacuum it all up, put clean sheets and covers back on your bed and enjoy a cleaner, fresher scent while you sleep.
Your Book Collection Is Old and Musty
Some people love the musty smell of old books, while others detest it. If you’re in the second category, your book collection may be negatively impacting the aroma of your home. Paper tends to absorb moisture, which is why older books usually smell especially funky.
Solution #8: Update Your Book Collection
Unfortunately, there isn’t a good way to get rid of that old book smell. So if you can’t stand to have it in your home, consider donating your antique books to charity and updating your collection with newer copies.
Your Fridge Has Old Food in It
One of the most common causes of phantom smells is old, moldy food in your fridge. Refrigerators have a way of concealing certain foods so we completely forget about them until they begin to rot. Since the source of the odor is hidden away in the fridge, it can be hard to identify it until the entire kitchen smells off.
Solution #9: Clean Your Fridge
To prevent the smell of decay coming from your fridge, make it a habit to clean the entire thing out once every week or two. Don’t forget to take out all the drawers and crisper containers and wash them with soapy water. Don’t put any drawers or containers back into your fridge until you’ve thoroughly dried them with a clean towel. This will help cut back on any potential mold growth.
The Air in Your Home Is Stale
Over time, it’s normal for the air inside your home to become a bit stale. This is especially true in the coldest and hottest months when you’re less likely to crack the windows open and let fresh air circulate. Stale air is unpleasant to breathe, and it can cause a general musty odor that lingers in every room of your house. You could spend hours looking up solutions for how to get rid of a musty smell in your house.
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Solution #10: Install a Whole Home Fragrance System
A Whole Home Scenting fragrance system is the most effective way to infuse your house with a pleasant, refreshing aroma. Though the other solutions above address some of the most common underlying causes of musty odors, a whole home fragrance system can help you get rid of lingering smells you don’t want in your house.
The nice thing about the Whole Home Scenting Diffuser is that it only needs to be installed once and can be used over and over again to obtain an amazing smell that works its way everywhere in your house with little effort on your part. No more worrying about lighting candles in every room of your home or constantly purchasing expensive plug-ins that never last as long as you expect.
A Whole Home Scenting Diffuser works by sending fragrance oils through your air duct system. There is no more effective or efficient way to distribute your desired scent throughout your entire house than this. The diffuser is easy to install (it only takes most people around 15 minutes) and can be reused over and over again. You’ll just need to replace the fragrance bottle every so often when it runs out of fragrance.
Here at Whole Home Scenting, we have multiple fragrance choices from which you can choose. Each fragrance bottle lasts as long as 60 days before needing replacement. To use your newly installed diffuser, download our convenient Whole Home Scenting app and use it to adjust the scent level in your home within seconds. You can also customize what days and times you want your diffuser to run. So if your aunt decides to visit on short notice, you can jump onto your app and turn your diffuser on so your place smells incredible by the time she arrives.
Let Us Show You How To Get Rid of Musty Smell in Your House
No one wants to be embarrassed by the way their home smells. If you’ve been wondering how to get rid of musty smell in your house, you’ve discovered the best solution. Now, you can have confidence that your home will always be fresh and appealing, thanks to the ingenious Whole Home Scenting fragrance system. You’ll love how affordable and reliable this system is. It’s also extremely user-friendly and can be controlled from any smartphone or other smart device.
If you want to adopt a new “smell good” lifestyle, we’re ready to help you initiate the process. Get started by purchasing our Starter Set or Whole Home Scenting Diffuser today. If you aren’t sure what fragrance options you want to buy, try our sample pack. It’s our most affordable option and allows you to sample our most popular fragrances so you can decide which options you like best.