How to Get Rid of Mold Smell – ( Top Natural Ways in 2023 ) and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Mold smell doesn’t go away that easily even when you’re using an air freshener to get rid of the foul smell. Although it might disappear for a short while it won’t go away permanently as the molds are still there inside your house. These molds can release spores in the air which are quite dangerous for your health and can cause diseases. For instance, when you’re exposed to molds it can result in respiratory problems such as asthma. Therefore it becomes necessary to get rid of these molds before they start to impact your health.

How to Get Rid of Mold Smell?

You could get rid of the smell the hard way as well but it’s easier if you use natural ways first and then use other measures if the musty smell still exists.

Causes of Mold Smell

Spores are the main causes of molds and are responsible for the expansion of these fungi by enhancing their reproduction. Most people think that spores are the one that creates the smell in the house but that’s not true. In fact, it’s the molds that produce a foul smell upon their growth creating a lot of trouble for you. They generate this musty smell by releasing volatile organic compounds into the air during their development, reproduction, and digestion.

Harmful Impacts of Mold Smell

The molds are tiny microbes between 3 to 40 microns and can move through the air and on exposure triggering asthma and other respiratory conditions. Moreover, the molds are also responsible for releasing more spores during their reproduction. The spores are active and present in the air all the time and can be the cause of diseases. Here are a few health issues that are triggered by molds impacting your health in a negative manner.

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nasal irritation
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

Identification of a Mold Smell

Most of us are mistaken that there is only a single type of mold fungus that is found inside the house but that’s not true. There are more than a thousand species that you can find in homes that are responsible for producing the foul smell in homes and are creating problems for the families. Usually, these colonies can be found indoors and outdoors as well but it takes time for you to recognize them.

By the time you can musty smell the foul odour of the molds they have already multiplied in huge numbers. The foul smell of mold resembles the odor of wet swimsuits that have been left inside for a long time. Moreover, the molds also have different colours, texture, and smell depending upon the species that they belong to. Plus the musty smell produced by the mold varies based on their life cycle which can be humid, sour, bitter, and fusty.

Finding the Source of Smell – Molds Colony

The first thing that you should do is identify the location of the mold colony as it is the main source of the smell. Mold usually grows in wet and humid areas of the house that includes bathrooms, kitchen, bedroom, living room, attic, basement, and garage.

  • Bathroom

Bathrooms have the most favorable conditions for mold growth and are said to be the heaven for these microbes so you should start by looking at the tiles and then move onto places around the toilet, bathtub, walls, and under the sink, as these are the hotspots of molds (see also the best bathroom cleaners). After a thorough search around your bathroom, you will be able to pinpoint water leakage and identify the colonies of spores (see also ‘How to Clean Mold in the Shower‘).

  • Kitchen

Another place where you can find the molds inside your house is the kitchen (see also ‘How to Get Rid of Bad Smell in Kitchen Cupboards‘). The molds can be found in refrigerators, microwaves, stoves and underneath the sink so make sure that you look into these places. In addition to this, the trash can is also the source of these tiny microbes as these provide the required conditions for their expansion.

  • Bedrooms

Although the molds are not commonly found in bedrooms they can grow on the mattress, windows, window sills, and potted plants so make sure you check the bedroom thoroughly.

  • Living Room

Mold can grow on windows, furniture, and the fireplace of your living room and create an unhealthy environment for your family. Therefore you must take a good look at your living room before moving on to other places.

  • Attic, Basement, and Garbage

Even though you don’t spend most of your time in the attic and basement you must not overlook these places as these rooms have a damp and warm environment. Check the following places when you are inspecting these rooms.

  • Insulation system
  • Water heater
  • Furnace
  • Nearby vents

  • Other Places

Besides looking at these places make sure you check the air conditioning, heating ducts, washer, dryer, walls, and ceiling of your house.

Precautionary Measures

  • Wearing a mask – Before getting rid of the mold spores you must wear a mask in order to prevent the breathing of mold spores for your safety.
  • Protective Glasses – Fungus in the air can cause eye irritation and inflammation on exposure. Plus you will be using different cleaning products that can trigger allergic reactions so wearing protective glasses is quite necessary. 
  • Proper Ventilation – When you are cleaning the house make sure that the doors and the windows of the room are opened. Poor ventilation can create a lot of problems for you as it allows the spores to be trapped inside the room. The trapped spores can aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions.
  • Safety Gloves – Wearing rubber gloves is a great way of keeping your hands safe from various chemicals. If these toxic chemicals come in contact with your hands it can result in a burning sensation and skin irritation.
  • Isolation of Colony – Instead of cleaning the entire house, start with a single room and isolate it from the rest of the living spaces by closing the door.
  • Seal HVAC System – Before getting rid of spores from your house, turn off your air conditioning system to prevent the escape of spores through the system.
  • Disposal of Equipment – After you are done cleaning the house put all tools inside a plastic bag and discard it immediately.

 Mold Removal Substances

You can use the following products for removing mold spores efficiently from your house. You might have to purchase some of these chemicals from the market.

  • Hot Water

Hot water at 140 degrees Fahrenheit can help you to kill fungus on clothes and carpets. Although hot water can get rid of molds, but adding a few drops of essential oil can enhance efficiency, leaving a refreshing order behind.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are easily available in your home. Although hydrogen peroxide is used for cleaning wounds and cuts, it also has excellent mold killing properties. The baking soda helps you to eliminate the bad musty smell of mold and reduce moisture. First of all, combine water with three percent of hydrogen peroxide and mix it in a spray bottle. Then take this mold cleaning spray and mist the selected area and leave it for ten to fifteen minutes. After that, take a wet cloth and remove the fungus from that area. At last use a dry towel for removing the moisture.

  • Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar is a natural way of killing the fungus. You can do this by making a mold-killing cleaning spray by mixing two tablespoons of vinegar, one teaspoon of baking soda, and half a teaspoon of dish soap. Once you are done with mixing the basic ingredients, shake the bottle for proper mixing. After a minute add warm water to the bottle and you are good to go.

  • Borax Powder

Borax can help you remove mold and its smell by killing the fungus. When Borax Powder is dissolved in water it changes to hydrogen peroxide making it a potent mold killer. In order to kill molds using borax mineral, you will have to make a mold-killing cleaning spray that consists of half a tablespoon of borax and 5 cups of warm water. After mixing these two ingredients together, stir slowly so that the borax mineral is dissolved completely.

  • Essential oils

Essential oils have excellent antifungal properties and you can use them for fighting the molds that have taken over your house. For instance, tree tea oil has an excellent capability of killing molds when using it as a spray or diffusing it in the air. Similarly, clove oil can also kill molds along with geranium, lemongrass, eucalyptus, and peppermint. Like the previous products, you will have to make a mold-killing cleaning spray by mixing one teaspoon of essential oil and a cup of warm water. After that, shake the bottle so that these two materials are properly mixed together. Then spray the area with molds and leave it for 20 minutes.

  • Bleach

You can also use bleach for clearing molds on surfaces like tiles, countertops, and bathtubs. However, you can’t use bleach on porous materials as it will remain ineffective on such types of fabrics.

  • Mold Killing Commercial Products

If you want to get rid of molds in an easier way then commercial products are the ultimate solution so you won’t have to make mold-killing cleaning sprays adding extra convenience for you. However, if you’re allergic to chemical odors, wearing a mask is advised as these chemicals can trigger various allergic reactions.

Sick of the smell in your vacuum cleaner too? Get rid of it ASAP.


1. What removes moldy smell?

Sodium hypochlorite, the active ingredient in bleach, is effective at killing mold and mildew and eliminating musty odors. A toothbrush can be dipped into the bleach mixture to get to the source of the mildew odor or mold problem.

2. Can mold spores be removed from carpet?

Yes. Use a hard brush to remove as much mold as possible. By removing mold and mold spores, this worry can be alleviated. Let the carpet completely dry. To remove any remaining spores, vacuum the carpet with a HEPA vacuum.

3. How long does it take for carpet smell to go away?

Most of the carpet's VOCs disappeared within 24 to 48 hours of installation. Utilizing ventilation during and after the carpet installation process can reduce this time by half.

4. How do I know if my carpet is moldy?

The process of determining if a carpet has mold is quite straightforward.

1. On the carpet, look for circular stains in brown, green, or black.
2. Make sure the carpet doesn't have a sour, musty, or strong smell.
3. Look for signs of dampness in the stained area.

5. What does moldy carpet smell like?

In the presence of mold, the odor is frequently characterized as musty. Several people have reported mold as smelling like wet socks or decaying wood. When it comes to many households, the stench is acrid and unpleasant.

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