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How to get rid of the musty smell in your home

How to get rid of the musty smell in your home

We’re all familiar with harsh, overtly unpleasant smells like smoke, rotten eggs and dog pee, but musty smells in the house can be more subtle. In fact, they may initially go unnoticed, gradually building up over time until they’re overwhelming. A sudden musty smell in the house can disrupt your home’s atmosphere, making it feel unwelcome, unpleasant and clammy. What’s more, some of the most common causes of musty smells such as mould and damp can also contribute to a myriad of health problems - from skin rashes to breathing difficulties. [1] 

We’ve put together a checklist to help you identify the cause of that musty smell, with help from Air Wick Aerosols. This way, you can make sure your house smells clean and fresh day after day.


Find the source of the smell

Our first suggestion is to have a thorough look around your house to pinpoint where the unpleasant smell might be coming from. Damp, mould and mildew are the most common causes of a musty or stale smell in houses, creating this smell by emitting gases known as microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) as they grow. [2] These fungi thrive where moisture is present - so take a particularly close look at your bathroom, as well as the areas directly underneath and next to it. Be on the lookout for potential leaks at all times.

As well as mould, a musty smell in the bedroom can also be caused by unclean bedding and the build-up of sweat, dust and skin particles. As we sleep, we release carbon dioxide which can become trapped in the room, producing a strong musty smell in the morning. [3] Make sure you air your bedroom daily to allow this smell to escape, and wash duvets and throws on a regular basis - your skin will thank you for this, too!

Keep your home ventilated

Mould, mildew and other microbes thrive in moisture-rich environments, so one of the best ways to starve them off is by keeping your home ventilated. If your room smells musty, allow fresh, dry air to circulate by opening windows and doors wherever possible. While it may seem like this will invite the cold in, regular fresh air will also prevent condensation build up, keeping your home at a more even temperature throughout, and making it more welcoming overall.

Proper ventilation is important in all rooms in your house, so make sure you turn extractor fans on after showering or when using the kitchen stove.


Consider structural problems

Sometimes mould and damp refuse to go away even after you’ve followed all the advice in the book. Unfortunately, this might mean that fungal colonies are buried deep into the walls, windows and floorboards of your house. Overflowing gutters, broken roof tiles and poorly sealed doors are just some of the potential causes of structural mould damage. [4] At this point, it may be worth contacting a professional mould removal company to visit your house and advise you on what to do next.


Invest in sprays

If your house smells stale or musty even after targeting the root causes, using sprays and fragrances can keep it smelling fresh and pleasant. If you fancy adding a mild scent to your home to get it feeling warm and cosy again, an Air Wick Aerosol is a great choice and comes in a variety of fragrances including Lavender, Linen and Pink Sweet Pea.