Mildew On Dirty White Wall

How To Get Rid Of Mildew Odor

Do you notice that your home has a musty, damp smell?

You could be looking at a potential mold or mildew problem! Fortunately, if you have mold, it is relatively easy to remove, and once the source is terminated, you should see the issues with the odor disappear as well.

This article will explain the dangers of mildew, what you can do about it and the odor, and how you can keep the issue at bay, and your home smelling fresh.

Read on and become a mildew expert!

Is Mildew Dangerous?

In small doses, mildew is not considered dangerous.

However, if you spend most of your time in a home with this fungal growth, you will likely experience health problems similar to allergies. Expect the following symptoms: headaches, stuffiness, sinus discomfort, itchy eyes, and more.

Most people who become sick from exposure to mildew find it challenging to find the source of their problems, as it often goes undetected in homes. Mildew hides behind walls, linger in the basement, or fills an attic — it will never grow right in front of you.

Because of the symptoms, it causes, those with underlying illnesses or health problems are more at risk for severe reactions to mildew than those who are baseline healthy.

This buildup can be irritating but is not deadly or cause permanent health problems. There are other forms of mold, like black mold, which will be very dangerous for anyone with it, as it is a toxic substance.

Mildew, luckily, poses less of a threat to your home itself and causes minor damage and side effects. However, it should still be treated right away and removed as quickly as possible to prevent health problems.

How To Get Rid Of Mildew Smell

1. Preparation

Because mildew can be irritating if you’re exposed to it in high doses or for an extended period, you should take measures to avoid any extra exposure to the bacteria and microbes you will be cleaning.

Remember that mildew is not a toxic substance, so safety gear is recommended, but still make the time to clean even if you do not have access to high-grade safety gear.

Recommended supplies are a basic mask that covers your mouth and nose, eye protection like glasses or goggles, and older clothing that you would not mind having to wash or throw away after.

(Note: if you are dealing with a more severe or toxic type of mold, then you will need much more extensive protective gear to avoid illness and infection.)

2. Make The Mildew Removing Mixture

There are many types of mixtures you can use, and they vary in their effectiveness. The two most common home remedies are a bleach-based solution and vinegar-based solution.

For more severe amounts of mildew, a bleach and water mixture with a ratio of 1:1 is very effective; however, it is caustic and will be harmful to human skin if not washed off immediately.

Otherwise, a vinegar and water solution with a ratio of 1:1 will also be very effective in removing the buildup. This solution will be acidic and dissolve the mildew as you use it, but less irritating and caustic to the surrounding surfaces and skin if touched than the bleach mixture.

3. Apply Solution to Affected Areas

We recommend using a spray bottle initially to apply the mixture on the mildew-affected surfaces. This will evenly distribute the solution that will dissolve and remove the buildup.

Pink And Blue Spray Bottle

Giving the chemicals time to react with the mildew and loosen it is imperative to make scrubbing and cleaning faster and easier.

4. Let It Sit For 30 Minutes to An Hour

Over time, the cleaning solution will soak into the mildew and begin dissolving it. Breaking up and dissolving it up will take some time, so it is best to leave it alone for a period of up to an hour.

After some time, the buildup will be more dissolved and significantly easier to remove than if you attempted to start scrubbing right away when you return to this endeavor.

5. Apply More Solution and Scrub

Once the right amount of time has gone by, and you are ready to begin fully removing the buildup, begin by reapplying the dissolving solution with a spray bottle to the affected area.

Use a rigid sponge, cleaning brush, or paper towels, and scrub away the built-up mildew. Be sure to rinse your cleaning tools regularly or replace your paper towel.

6. Seal Cleaning Supplies And Dispose

Once you finish removing all the mildew, you will need to clean all the tools you used in the cleaning process.

If you use anything disposable, make sure you seal it up and toss it. And if not, we recommend running it through the dishwasher to ensure that it is sanitized for the next project you use it for.

7. Thoroughly Rinse And Dry Cleaned Areas

You do not want to leave the solutions on your surface any longer than it takes to remove the mildew. Once the mold is completely gone, use warm water to rinse the area.

Make sure you do not skip this step.  Suppose the caustic chemicals are left too long on your affected surface. In that case, they could start to erode and dissolve the surface and remove any sealant or finish it may already have, making it more susceptible to mildew in the future.

How To Prevent Mildew Odor

Mildew primarily grows in wet, humid environments, so it is common in bathrooms. Keeping mold out of your home requires reducing the humidity and cleaning wet spots. Sometimes lowering the indoor air temperature helps as well.

Dehumidifiers are small machines that help reduce the amount of humidity in the air by collecting it into a reservoir. This helps to prevent the mildew from continuing to grow.

Additionally, you can help prevent this problem by making sure that you dry off any wet spots that you may have left, so they cannot sit and grow bacteria or mold.


What Does Mildew Smell Like?

Mildew produces an earthy, damp and musty smell. Because it stems from dampness and bacteria/microbe growth, it will likely smell in humid environments, giving it a wet smell.

It will be easy to recognize because it is unique.

Does Mildew Odor Go Away On Its Own?

No, not without your intervention.

If you do not remove the source of the smell, then it will continue to linger and stay in your home.


Fighting off foul odors that come from mildew is a tough challenge!

But identifying mildew as the source of a bad smell or health concerns is the hardest part. Once you know where the buildup is forming, you can easily remove it in a couple of steps.

However, if you find that another form of mold is causing your problems, like black mold, then you should seek professional help right away.

If your house needs extra help dealing with a mold problem, give us a call today to schedule services and have your home set up to be mold and mildew-free and keep you and your family comfortable!

Contact All Dry USA today!

Ben Suiskind
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