How to Get Musty Smell Out of Washing Machine

When musty odors develop within a washing machine, it won’t be long before the build up is causing your clothing and linens to smell. Since no one want’s to wear musty smelling clothing, this problem is often one that needs to be remedied as soon as possible.


Although this musty problem can be mechanical, there are several household remedies that can be performed to remove the washing machine stench. By following the below solutions, you can be sure that your washing machine is smelling fresh and clear of any musty build-up.


Musty Smell Removal Solutions for Washing Machine

1 Leave Washing Machine Door Open Between Wash Cycles

As a preliminary step, be sure to always leave the door to the washing machine open between uses. Since almost all musty odors are linked to stagnant water, this will help to ensure that all fluids evaporate out of the washing machine’s interior. Although an open washing machine door may not be esthetically pleasing, it will go a long ways towards keeping your washer smelling fresh.


2 Use HE Powder Detergent

Mush of the musty odors within a washing machine can be linked to the detergent that is selected. Using a detergent that produces excessive suds and bubbles can cause the water level to rise and for liquid to get into areas inside the washer where it does not belong. In order to avoid this problem, be sure to use a high efficiency powder detergent that will not lead to this problem.


3 Check Tray for Water

If your washer already has a washing machine tray in place, this may be the cause of the musty aroma. Be sure to check the tray after every use to make sure that the tray is dried if any puddles remain within it. When puddles sit in one place for too long, they can develop an unpleasant musty stench.


4 Self Clean or Hot Wash

Many new models of washing machines come with a self clean function that uses the hottest water available to kill off any musty build-up within the washer. However, if the washer does not have this setting, you can simply opt to run a wash cycle on the washing machine’s water hottest setting. Although this method is usually sufficient any eliminating odor, the following solutions can be used when a


5 Baking Soda Scoop

Although baking soda is not very effective at kill musty mildew odors, it can work wonders in absorbing them. Measure a cup of baking soda and add it within an empty hot washing machine cycle. Upon completion, much of the musty order will be absorbed to leave the leave the washer smelling fresh.


6 Bleach Cup

Using bleach can have a powerful effect in killing musty odors. Measure a full cup of bleach and add it within an empty hot washing machine cycle. After the wash has completed, the washing machine will be free of any musty odors and smelling clean. As a precautionary step, run a n all whites laundry load after using this method to ensure that no remaining bleach will do harm to your colored fabrics.


7 White Vinegar Cup

As a natural alternative to bleach, the use of white vinegar can have a similar eliminating effect within a washing machine. Measure a cup of white vinegar, and add it within the a hot wash cycle. After running the machine on empty, all of the mustiness will be killed off to leave your washer smelling like new.


8 Oxiclean

As a product option, using Oxiclean can be effective in killing the mustiness at it’s source and freshening the washing machine’s interior. Scoop a cup full of Oxiclean and similarly add it into a hot rinse cycle. Once the wash has competed, you will be left with a washer that is free of any musty odors.


How to Get Musty Smell Out of Books

While reading old books, there is almost always an unsettling musty odor associated with them.  One always questions, where have these books been and what did the last owner do to it to make it smell this way.

Fortunately, there are several things that can be done to neutralize the odor and return some form of freshness within your aged book.  By following the below solutions, you can be sure that the mustiness will be eliminated to return your book to it’s former state.

Solutions for Deodorizing Musty Books

1 Microwave Your Book

It may sound strange to microwave your musty smelling book, but this can have the effect of killing the mildew spores that are causing the foul odor.  The high heat within the microwave create an environment which is unlivable for the odorous mold spore.  To put this solution into effect, start by microwaving your book for 15 seconds, and move on to 20, or 30 seconds if no positive effects are experience.  As a note of precaution, make sure that your books do not contain any metal before placing it within the microwave as this may led to disastrous results.

2 Freeze Your Book

Similar to microwaving, the musty smelling book can be placed within the freezer for similar results.  The cold environment of the freezer will create a cold environment that the mold spore within the book will not have a chance of surviving.  To use this method, place a book within a ziplock bag and place within the freezer for a minimum of 48 hours.  Once two days have passed, the bag can be removed from the freezer revealing a fresh smelling book.

3 Ziplocked Baking Soda

This household powder is fantastic at absorbing odors from items within the home.  Place the book within a ziplock bag and add in a half cup of baking soda.  Shake bag vigorously to make sure that the deodorizing powder makes it’s way within the pages of that mildew ridden book.  Provide 24-48 hours for the baking soda to absorb the odor, before opening the ziplock bag and clearing the powder from the pages.

4 White Vinegar Mixture

As a household acid, white vinegar can work miracles at cutting through mildew spore within aged books to return freshness to the pages.  Mix a solution of of one part with vinegar with three parts warm water within a spray bottle.  While flipping the book’s pages spray within to ensure that all pages have made contact with the deodorizing acid.  It is important to turn the spray on the lightest mist and only spray a coup, of time to prevent water damage within the pages.  Finalize by hanging the book to have the solution air dry from the pages.

5 Tea Tree Oil

This natural oil also contains anti-fungal properties that will be sure to combat the smells within a musty book.  Mix a solution of one part tea tree oil with ten parts water within a spray bottle.  Proceed to spray within the pages with a light mist while flipping the pages.  During this process, make sure that you spray a maximum of 2-3 skirts to avoid water damage.  Once the tea tree oil dry the scent of the oil and the existing musty odor will cease to exist.

6 Vodka Mist

This party drink has a secondary function of eliminating difficult smells and drying away odorlessly.  Pour a small about of vodka within a spray bottle and proceed to lightly mist the book while flipping the pages.  Hang the book up and the alcohol should quickly evaporate away and lift off the residual musty odor.

7 Activated Charcoal Absorption

If you have the time, this solution can be effective at lifting away musty book odors without the need to come into contact.  Place several activated charcoal briquettes within an old pair of nylon leggings and place within a small cardboard box.  Proceed to add musty books within, and sealing the box closed so no air can come in our out.  Finally, allow for the box to sit for 5-7 days before returning to remove the freshened books.

Preventive Measures

1 Cool, Dry & Light Location

Musty books are best avoided by keeping books within a space where mildew is not likely to develop.  Ideally, store your books within and cool, dry location with a moderate light source to avoid developing an unpleasant smell.  The worst place that books can be stored are within a warm, wet and dark location similar to a basement.


How to Get Musty Smell Out of Basement

When items sit in storage for many years, a musty odor is likely to develop.  Similarly, basements soon develop a smell of cobwebs and mothballs when used to store things.   As the items continue to age and deteriorate within the confines of this underground space, the aroma often heightens and becomes increasingly off-putting.


As people seek to restore their basement, they are faced with the dilemma of how they are to move this aged odor out .  By utilizing many of the provided tips within this guide, you will be able to identify specific problems and take needed action in eliminating this uninvited odor.


Basement Odor Suggestions

These following tips will help remove the musty smells from your basement.


1 Check for Puddles and Leaks

Musty odors within basements are often caused by stagnant puddles or pipe leaks.  Be sure to survey the basement to ensure that water does not exist within this space.  When a moist environment is joined with stale air and no sunlight musty odors are sure to follow.


2 Open Windows

Providing a fresh stream of air within a basement freshens the air and removes stagnant mold spore from the air.  Leave the window for 2-3 days in a row for the items within the space to properly aerate from the space.


3 Run a Dehumidifier

A sure fire way to eliminate the presence of musty odors is to evaporate all of the moisture from the basement.  By regularly running a dehumidifier within the basement, the mold spore that create the musty smell will not have a chance to take hold of the space.


4 White Vinegar

Undoubted, white vinegar is the best household solution for removing musty odors from a basement.  The chemical compound work to first kill the mold spore and then neutralize the odor.  If there is a minor odor, mix a solution of one part white vinegar and three part water and pour within a spray bottle.  Spray down the entire space including items in storage, flooring, walls and ceiling.  Finally open window to allow for evaporation.  If you are dealing with a stronger odor, use this solution to scrub down the flooring, walls and ceiling to ensure that it does not return.


5 Sprinkle Baking Soda

This is another household ingredient that can be very helpful in absorbing unwanted musty odors.  Sprinkle baking soda across flooring and contents of basement and allow to site for 24-48 hours.  After this time has passed, return to vacuum this powder up.


6 Spray Febreze

As a quick solution Febreze can be effective at freshening items within the basement which have grown a musty odor.  Heavily spray item down from all angles and provide 15-30 minutes for the the item to air dry.


How to Get Musty Smell Out of Wood Furniture

People often blame old age when they smell musty odors within wood furniture.  In actuality, the science behind how it gets the odor is found within the slow infiltration of mold spores within the wood’s fiber. Mold thrives in locations that are dark and damp, and usually appears within wooden furniture after it has been stored within an attic or basement.  When the wood sits for weeks, months, or even years at a time, this smell intensifies.

Fortunately, there exist several solutions for neutralizing these invisible pungent particles, and making sure they never return.  By following the below tips, you can find ways to kill the mold and neutralize the residual musty odors.


Eliminate Mold

You must kill the existing mold spores before you can begin eliminating the odor.  Failure to eliminate all of the mold spore will result in the odor returning shortly after you have treated it.

1 Bleach

Create a mixture of one part bleach to six parts water within a bowl or bucket.  Take a cloth and dunk it within this mixture and begin scrubbing down the the piece of furniture.  Bleach will work wonders in eating away at any mold and leave a sterilized surface behind.

Be sure to scrub down every square each of the wood to ensure that the mold is completely wiped out.  Additionally, take care not to apply the bleach solution to any cloth material built within the furniture to avoid unwanted bleaching.  As a final step, rinse the bleach off of the wood with fresh water to avoid any unwanted chemical damage on the wood’s surface.

Smell Removal Solutions

These solutions can be used singularly or in combination with one-another.  By using more than just one tip, you can increase your chances of removing any unwanted musty odors.

1 White Vinegar

This household substance is the most commonly used for neutralizing musty odors within wood fiber.  Create a solution of white vinegar and water in equal parts and scrub down the entire wooden furniture.  After wiping down, allow the vinegar to air dry off of the piece of furniture.

2 Baking Soda

Baking soda is known for it’s ability to eliminate a wide range of household odors.  A solution of one part baking soda and ten parts water will absorb nearly all of the musty odors.  Mix thoroughly, and scrub down entire surface of wood furniture.  Let this solution air dry off of the surface, and enjoy freshened furniture.

3 Lemon Oil

This substance works miracles at wiping out smoke and mold related odors within wood.  Simply apply this oil to a cloth, and give the entire wooden surface of furniture a wipe down.  Doing this after cleaning with bleach is usually enough to remove any lingering odors.

4 Hydrogen Peroxide

Similar to baking soda, this household compound can help you in removing musty aromas.  Create mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water in equal parts, and give the entire furniture a wipe down. Let odors air dry off the furniture and receive the added benefit of the darkened stains within the wood being lifted out.

5 Murphy’s Oil Soap

This product does a fantastic job at cleaning and eliminating unwanted aromas within wood.  Applying this product to a cloth, and begin wiping down the entire piece of furniture.  Let it air dry, and enjoy the freshened aroma that the product has left behind.

6 Nature’s Miracle

Unique enzymes within this product eat away at mold and leave freshness behind.  Pour some of this product into a cloth and work the solution into the entire piece of wooden furniture.  Allow product set into the grain of the wood and air dry away.