Grumpy’s Tips To Remove Mold & Mildew Odors
I really hate mold that produces that unpleasant musty smell. Not only does mold stink and cause damage, it’s freaking unhealthy for your health. At my age I have enough things trying to kill me, I don’t need tiny spores to try to take me out as well. So let’s go over ways to get rid of that dang fungi.
Old Grumpy’s Quick Solution
- Identify the source of the odor
- Use protective breathing equipment
- Clear the area of liquid – Baking Soda can help absorb
- Clean the area with a bleach solution or mold specific cleaner
- Absorb excess moisture with a moisture absorber
Find The Source
The first thing you gotta do is identify the source! Mold smells like the not so great part of the outdoors. Think damp decaying wood in a forest that’s a lot like dirty wet socks. Often mold is hiding in places like under sink cabinets, under the carpet, or inside ventilation ducts.
I’m going to assume that you have determined that the smell is mold and not just a damp towel behind a counter. If the cause is not mold then you can try less extreme measures on the Musty Smells page. Be careful if you find mold that smells like bad cat urine because this could be from black toxic mold. There are Mold Testing Kits that will determine the type of mold you are dealing with. Its a step before hiring a professional if you are not sure about the extent of the mold issue. Regardless, don’t be a dummy and clean mold spores without protective breathing equipment.
Grumpy Says: “Don’t clean mold without protective breathing equipment.”
General Prevention Tips
You want to take care of mold before it has a chance to cause any structural damage. The best way to do that is to prevent the growth of that freaking fungi in the first place.
Clean up immediately after any spills, leaks, or flooding. Mold can grow in damp areas so try to get the liquid area as dry as possible. Sprinkling baking soda over the area will help absorb the liquid.
It’s not just large amount of liquids, you want to control and avoid moisture where possible.
Excess humidity can be the first cause of musty smells so use a moisture absorber that also leaves a pleasant scent in the air. This will also help prevent condensation around areas such as windows.
Mildew is like mold but grows on organic matter. Make sure to empty beverages containers and frequently throw out the trash bags. Also, make sure not to overwater indoor plants and keep an eye on any water spillover.
As a general rule to prevent musty smells, open up the room. Bring in sunlight and ventilate by opening up windows. Use fans to circulate air.
Grumpy Says: “Moisture prevention is the best way to prevent mold growth.”
Small Area Do It Your Self Mold Removal
The first thing you have to consider is your dang health. If your mold issue looks like it takes over large areas of your home you should hire a professional. Use breathing equipment if you are going to try to clean mold in a small area by yourself.
The first solution I recommend is to use good ol’ bleach. Every home has bleach and it’s really effective at killing mold. Let the bleach soak for a few minutes and then wipe until the mold is completely removed. Keep in mind that bleach is not as effective on porous surfaces like wood. It will kill the mold on top but mold in the pores will feed on the water contained in bleach. You can apply bleach directly from the bottle but if you want more control use a sprayer.
If you want a more natural solution then use Vinegar, my number one tool for cleaning and odor prevention. There are no fumes to worry about and the Vinegar smell will disappear in a few moments. Mix an equal part of water with the vinegar and soak a sponge with the solution. After a few minutes wipe dry with a cloth making sure no liquid remains. DO NOT be stupid and mix vinegar and bleach unless you want to die from Chlorine Gas.
One of the best ways to remove mold is to use a solution that is designed for killing it. Who would have thought? The Endurance BioBarrier cleaner is non-toxic and kills a variety of mold types. It is made up of only natural ingredients such as plant extracts and oils. You can even use it on tile locations like the bathroom to help prevent future mold growth.
Grumpy Says: “Do Not mix vinegar and bleach together!”
Attic, Crawlspace, and Basement Removal Tips
Attics, basements, and crawlspaces have a few things in common. They have moisture, typically have unseen leaks, have minimal airflow, and usually contain cardboard boxes. In all my years it never ceases to amaze me that so many people wonder why these areas have musty smells. So let’s talk about how to remove and prevent mold in these areas.
Clean the Area – Start with a sponge and mold cleaning solution like the Endurance BioBarrier Cleaner. Soak the solution and let it sit for a few minutes. Then wipe the areas clean with your sponge making sure the spot dry when you’re done.
Fix Leaks – Leaks are the main cause of mold due to the constant supply of water. Patch all leaks that you find and don’t forget to check pipes. Depending on the extent of the leak you may need to hire a professional.
Maintain Temperature and Air Flow – The goal is to remove access moisture in the air. Adjust the temperature to a cool setting. If that is not an option than run a fan to provide airflow. If the area has windows then open them to get air moving. If the area does not allow then place a moisture absorber in the area or multiple ones if you have a large space.
Replace Storage Containers – Most homeowners store all their junk in cardboard boxes. I would know, I did the same for many years. The problem with cardboard is that its susceptible to moisture and draws bugs that eat it. I suggest purchasing durable plastic storage containers that will last you longer and keep things dryer.
Carpet Mold Removal Solution
Carpets have a tendency to soak up moisture and just about any type of liquid. This can lead to extremely stubborn mold removal. Once you find signs of mold on carpeting there are a few steps to remove it.
Vacuum The Area – The first thing you need to do is to vacuum the area. Try removing all dust and dirt since this will make your life easier.
Use Cleaning Solution – Either mix equal part water with bleach or use a mold cleaning solution like the Endurance BioBarrier Cleaner. Soak a sponge or cloth in the solution and vigorously wipe the area of the carpet. Usually, the concentration of mold will be found on the underside of the carpet. Allow the solution to sit for 20 minutes before rinsing.
Rinse Cleaning Solution – Use a sponge or cloth to apply water and wipe away the mold. Continue to wipe until it is completely dry to prevent future mold growth. Baking Soda sprinkled generously over the carpeting will help to absorb any remaining liquid.
Vacuum The Area Again – Vacuum the area again to capture any remaining particles or leftover baking soda. A wet/dry vac will help dry the carpet completely.