1. Baking Soda
It is a great natural product to remove any smells due to mildew. It also has deodorizing components that attack and neutralize acidic molecules. There are several ways you can use baking soda as a deodorizer.
Baking soda can serve as a natural air freshener in places where the odor of mildew is more frequent, like basements, attics, closets, cabinets, or any damp and enclosed areas. All you need to do is open a box of baking soda and place it in these locations or you can put an adequate amount in a container, making sure that it is open to allow air to circulate through. This use for baking soda is so common that some boxes of the substance are designed to open on the sides to allow for the best air movement.
2. Plain White Vinegar
Vinegar is a safe, environmentally friendly alternative to cleaners that are marketed for musty odor removal. There are no harsh or dangerous chemicals in vinegar, so it is safe to use on your clothes and around your house. Plus, it actually works!
If your clothes smell old and musty, vinegar is a wonderful solution. It is non-toxic, color-safe and doubles as an all-natural fabric softener.
- Pour distilled white vinegar in the washer with your musty clothes.
- Pour in two cups of vinegar per load.
- You can use a little more or a little less, depending on how large your load of laundry is and how bad the clothes smell.
- Soak clothing in HOT WATER for at least thirty minutes with the vinegar.
- Hot water will kill mold and mildew and help to deodorize your clothing.
- While vinegar will neutralize most odors, hot water will help disinfect and remove any bacteria that is left over.
- Rinse clothes in cold water.
- Run clothing through a quick cycle with a mild laundry detergent.
- Throw clothing in the dryer.
- Do a “sniff test”…if your clothes smell fresh and clean, you’re good to go!
- If not, repeat steps one through five until the odor is completely removed.
- If you have odor in any other area of your home, vinegar is effective as well. Make sure to wear rubber gloves!
- Fill a bucket with hot, soapy water.
- Fill a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar.
- Dip a stiff bristled brush into the hot, soapy water bucket and then begin scrubbing at any areas infected with mold or suspicious looking bacteria.
- Take the spray bottle and then spray the area with vinegar.
- Allow to air dry.
- Repeat if necessary.
3. Activated Charcoal
Charcoal is another wonderful thing that helps remove the mildew smell not just from books but from the other items too as it will absorb the moisture and the foul smell. It will take around 5-6 days but will surely do the work.
- Place the pieces of charcoal in the bookshelves and in between the books.
- You can wrap it in cheesecloth and place it in between the pages of a book experiencing the mildew smell.
Note: You can place this anywhere in your home, basement, car, etc., to eliminate the pungent smell.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
To prevent the growth of mildew on books, firstly,
- Take a soft toothbrush and brush the pages of the book gently to remove any mildew.
- Next, damp a piece of cloth with hydrogen peroxide and apply it over the pages gently.
- Let the peroxide evaporate on its own to remove the smell.
5. Cat Litter
Another uncommon, yet effective, home remedy that you can use to remove the smell of mildew is cat litter. Cat litter has ingredients designed to mask the smells of cat waste, so it’s only natural that it would be a very effective deodorizer for other purposes.
- Place a box of cat litter in the areas when the mildew scent is most common, making sure that the box is open.
- In effect, the cat litter will act as a natural air freshener.
Keeping a working dehumidifier in the area is an excellent way to keep the mildew smell away. It will remove the moisture that can cause mildew from the air. Having this running, especially in damper weather, will keep mildew away. Similarly, an ionizer is a very effective tool for keeping mildew away. It takes the damp ions from the air and keeps it smelling fresh.