Updated at: 30-05-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

Even if it’s cliche, a happy home is one that’s well-kept. As part of your home remodeling, you should study up on how to get rid of mildew odor naturally.

Mold and mildew have an unpleasant odor, which can make your sense of smell more sensitive. A musty smell permeates your home, making it uninviting to both you and your guests.

A mildew smell can be eliminated from your home thanks to a wide variety of air fresheners and room deodorizers that can be purchased at various retailers. The fact that there are natural techniques to reduce mildew odors should not be overlooked.

What Makes Mildew Smell?

Fungi are the largest and most diverse group of organisms on the planet. Mold and mildew contain poisonous substances known as mycotoxins, which can be harmful to humans at high exposure levels.

Mildew smells because of the substances that it creates that are released directly into the air. Microbial volatile organic compounds is the technical term for these substances (mVOCs).

When mold and mildews grow, they produce microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs), which generate a musty odor. Chemicals such as ketone, aldehyde, carboxylic acid, alcohol and lactone, as well as sulfur, nitrogen and hydrocarbons, may be included in the term “mVOCs,” according to Environmental Testing Professionals (ETP).

Toxins and chemicals may offer health hazards, even if there is limited scientific research and examination into mVOCs. As a result, you must act quickly to prevent the spread of mold and mildew.

Furthermore, the smell of mildew is commonly associated with damp places like attics, basements, and bookcases. If you have any reason to believe that your home is infested with mold or mildew, take a deep breath and smell the musty odors for yourself.

What is mildew?

A mold called mildew grows in a thin, flat layer and is usually seen in bathrooms, kitchens, and crawlspaces, amongst other common places. Warm, damp, and gloomy spaces are the most typical places to locate it since they have the right amount of moisture and temperature to thrive.

how to get rid of mildew smell naturally

Does this sound familiar to you? In terms of the conditions in which you’ll discover mildew and other types of mold in your house, there is a lot of overlap. However, you can tell the two apart based on a few crucial characteristics.

Mold vs. mildew:

Mold and mildew thrive in moist, warm conditions. Find out what you’re dealing with using these methods:

  • Take a closer look. It is only found on the surface of the place it occupies, and it is flat and typically powdery in appearance. When it comes to mold, on the other hand, it’s usually sticky or fuzzy and can be found both on and beneath the surface.
  • Look closely at the hue. In most cases, mildew has a pale yellow, gray or white tint. Mold tends to be darker in color, and it is usually green or black in appearance.

Find out how to distinguish between mildew and mold by reading this article.

Is mildew dangerous?

It’s not only about how comfortable you are that matters when it comes to eliminating mildew smell. While mildew isn’t as dangerous as mold, it can still cause a number of respiratory problems, as well as headaches, dizziness, nausea, and exhaustion if left untreated.

In addition, mildew can be harmful to your home. It slowly eats away at the surface it inhabits, like most fungi. Depending on where it’s growing, if it grows bad enough, it could cause structural damage to things like walls, ceilings, stairways, and furniture.

What does mildew smell like?

It smells musty. A mildew’s fragrance can be described as wet and earthy, with a hint of rotting wood. Other than the fact that mildew scents aren’t as strong as mold ones, this has a comparable odor to other bathroom molds. Mold, not mildew, is more likely to be the source of an overbearing odor.

Natural Steps On Getting Rid Of Mildew Smell

There are natural solutions to get rid of the mildew smell, and they won’t cost you a fortune. As a result, let’s get right down to the business of this post.

Step #1. Locating the source of mildew smell

Identifying the root cause of the problem is essential before taking any corrective action. Mold and mildew are the most typical causes of a mildew smell in the home.

The risk of mildew recurrence increases if the musty odor is covered up without investigating its cause. You might want to keep an eye on the ceiling, cupboards, and walls of your bathroom and other vulnerable sections of your house.

If you discover any spots where mold or mildew is growing, act quickly to remove it before the problem worsens. The top mold removal businesses should be contacted if you are dealing with major mold or mildew problems.

Step #2. Lemon and white vinegar

If you’re anti-chemical, a solution based on lemon and white vinegar is your best bet, as it’s non-toxic, convenient, and doubles as a disinfectant. Steep lemon rinds in white vinegar for a week and you’re done.

To get rid of bad smells in your house, mix citrus extracts with white vinegar. To avoid damaging marble, granite, or other stone surfaces, keep in mind that the mixture is highly acidic.

Step #3. Essential oils

It’s important to know which essential oils are effective against mold and mildew before using them. Because of their potent perfume and ability to kill mold and mildew spores, essential oils are great for purifying the air around you.

Diffusion is the traditional method of using essential oils. This is quickly replacing chemical-based items in the household as a means of purification.

Step #4. Scented candles

If you’ve been battling mold and mildew for a while, a scented candle can help your house smell new again. Because of its favorable effects on mood, tension, and more, scented candles have been scientifically verified.

Lavender, peppermint, lemon, rosemary, chamomile, and jasmine are just a few examples of the many different aromas available in scented candles today.

How to differentiate mildew from mold

Mildew is one of several mold species that can grow everywhere moisture, humidity, and organic matter are present, making it a ubiquitous presence in the fungal world. When it comes to appearance and texture, mold and mildew aren’t quite the same.

Mildews, in contrast to mold, have a uniformly flat and powdery appearance. To add to the confusion, mildew is often white or gray in color, and has a fuzzy appearance.

If you want to understand more about mold, take a look at this article to find out how yeast and mold vary.

How to get rid of mildew smell

Good news! When compared to mold, mildew is much easier to remove. Due to mildew being a surface issue rather than a subsurface one, cleaning is usually all that is needed in order to get rid of mildew smell, as opposed to the more involved methods required to remove mold.

To get started, gather the following:

    • Squirt bottles
    • Distilled white vinegar is
    • rough sponge or a little scrub brush
    • Soda phosphate
    • Hot water in a small container
    • a soft cloth

When dealing with mildew, it’s a good idea to wear protective gear, such as a mask. Protect your hands from mildew and hot water by wearing thick flock-lined or rubber gloves.

How to Get Rid of Mildew Smell, Step by Step | MYMOVE

Preventing mildew from forming

After dealing with the mildew odor, it’s crucial to prevent the problem from occurring in the first place. Here are a few pointers:

    • Make sure you keep an eye on the humidity in your house. Mold and mildew grow in moist conditions. If you have a dehumidifier in your home, make sure to utilize it and calibrate it to the season’s humidity levels.
    • When taking a shower, turn on the fan. It’s not just for show that you have a bathroom fan in there. Make sure to use it every time you take a shower or bath to remove moisture from the air rather than letting it to build up on your walls.
    • Clean up any puddles. If you want to avoid mildew, don’t leave water sitting around. Whenever you use a bathtub, shower, faucet, or anything else that can collect water, be sure to give it a thorough drying off afterwards.
    • Let the fresh air in by opening the windows. One of the best methods to keep mildew at bay is to open the windows. If the weather permits, open your windows and let the fresh air in, especially in areas where mildew thrives.

Products you’ll need in order to remove the mildew smell

  • The only way to keep your hands and skin safe from chemicals is to wear rubber gloves.
  • Protect yourself from cleaning chemicals by using a face mask.
  • Sodium hypochlorite, the main ingredient in bleach, is helpful in removing mold and mildew and musty odors.
  • If the mildew or mold is only in a small area, you can use a toothbrush dipped in the bleach solution to get to the source of the problem.
  • Smaller sponges and brushes may be more effective than a toothbrush when dealing with mildew on a bigger scale.
  • Using rags at the end of the cleaning process, wipe all wetness or moisture from the afflicted area.

The 6 Best Mold Removers of 2022 for Every Room

Mold is pernicious and invasive—in other words, it’s harmful and tough to eradicate. It is possible to prevent the need for expert mold removal by using an effective mold remover as soon as you notice a problem.

Mold is pernicious and invasive—in other words, it’s harmful and tough to eradicate. It is possible to prevent the need for expert mold removal by using an effective mold remover as soon as you notice a problem.

As a result, mold can be dangerous and difficult to remove. It is possible to prevent the need for expert mold removal by using an effective mold remover as soon as a problem arises.

Best Overall: RMR Brands RMR-141 Disinfectant and Cleaner

RMR-141 RTU is a potent and effective compound that can stop mold and mildew growth. Because it’s EPA-registered, this mildew spray can be used to prevent mildew from growing. Mold, mildew, bacteria, and a slew of other microbes are all killed by this product, which has been tested against 141 distinct kinds of them. Non-porous surfaces can be cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized with this product.

One thing to bear in mind is that this mold remover is meant to eradicate mold and mildew fungus that grows on permeable surfaces. This product, however, is not meant to remove mold stains. Depending on how long the mold and mildew has been there, you may need to use a different product in order to eliminate the discoloration.

Best Preventative: Mold Armor Rapid Clean Remediation

In addition to eradicating existing mold and mildew, this EPA-registered mold remover also prevents new spores from forming in the first place. If you’ve got laminate, sealed fiberglass, acrylic, sealed grout, glazed ceramic, sealed granite, vinyl, and more in your home, MoldArmor Rapid Clean Remediation is a mold preventative that’s safe to apply. The bathroom, laundry room, or screened porch are all good places to use this as a defense against pests because of the moisture. This mold preventative is safe to use both indoors and outdoors, but make sure you have enough ventilation because the fumes can be potent.

There’s no need for a separate mold and mildew remover with this one-step sanitizer. In order to use it, simply spray the surface that needs to be treated and wait as instructed by the manufacturer. Then either rinse or wipe it away. This is a great way to deal with current mold and mildew issues, while also preventing future problems..

Best Natural: Benefect Botanical Decon 30 Disinfectant Cleaner

Botanical Decon Disinfectant from Benefect is a plant-based alternative to harsh chemicals for eradicating mold and mildew. Powerful chemical agents in some mold removers need the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) (such as goggles or gloves) and emit strong fumes that must be ventilated. As opposed to this harsher product, Botanical Decon contains no chemicals, colors, or any other health warnings. It’s safe to use on skin, food, and other surfaces without the need for rinsing.

Additionally, this solution works well against mold and mildew. EPA-registered mildewstat and fungicide, as well as bactericide and viruskiller Thymol, an ingredient derived from thyme essential oil, is the secret ingredient in the patented mix. Benefect also uses chemistry to generate a long-lasting surfactant system that aids in the prevention of mold and mildew growth.

Best for Wood: Wet and Forget Moss, Mold, Mildew, and Algae Stain Remover

Mold and mildew thrive in wood’s natural porousness, which is why it’s such a popular building material. 1 Homeowners, on the other hand, may have to deal with significant problems as a result of the coloring and rot that these insects generate. The EPA-registered Wet and Forget Mold Remover can be used on wood surfaces like decks, fences, and outdoor furniture to remove mold.

Mold and mildew are being treated by this slow-release chemical, which penetrates the wood’s porous surface. There are no washing or rinsing requirements and no bleach or caustic chemicals in this product. Keep in mind that it may take a few days or more to detect a noticeable difference in the appearance of your hardwood surfaces after applying this mold remover. Every time it rains, the product becomes reactivated, which means it keeps working to reduce mold and mildew growth.

You can apply Wet and Forget after mold or mildew is removed to protect the beauty of your wood. You may simply reapply the solution if you notice mold or mildew re-emerging.

Best for Fabrics: Concrobium Mold Control Aerosol

For this reason, mold can cause odors, discoloration and staining in textiles that are in contact with it. This is especially true for materials that are exposed to wet, humid conditions, such as patio or pool furniture. It’s simple and effective to spray Concrobium Mold Control Aerosol to fabric surfaces including pillows, curtains, and more.

An aerosol applicator and an efficient recipe are combined to produce a fine mist that evenly covers the surface area. When applied according to the instructions, there is no over-saturation. Do not rub or scrub it into your skin. Instead, as the lotion dries, it kills the mold from the inside out. EPA-registered, this product is a good choice for treating textiles and other soft materials.

Best for Bathrooms: Microban 24 Hour Bathroom and Sanitizing Cleaner, Citrus, 32 fl oz

It’s no secret that the bathroom’s moist, humid environment is perfect for mold and mildew growth. However, a specific formula like Microban 24 Bathroom Cleaner might help you win the battle against mold in the bathroom. Soap scum is no match for this powerful bathroom cleanser, which removes soap scum and kills hazardous bacteria at the same time.

Antifungal activity against Aspergillus niger has been demonstrated.2 Cleaning and disinfecting your bathroom in one step is now possible thanks to this mold remover, which does double duty as a cleaner and disinfectant. Apply the EPA-registered Microban 24 every seven days to prevent future mold growth after thoroughly cleaning any surfaces that have been damaged by mold or mildew.

What to Look For in a Mold Remover


Mold and mildew can be treated with two main types of formulations. You can use these terms to have a better idea of what the product can do to get rid of your mold.

  • Fungicide: a substance that eliminates mold and mildew from the source.
  • Mold and mildew spores can’t grow again thanks to Mildewstat.

If you’re looking to get rid of mold permanently, you’ll want to choose a product that combines the two forms of mold remover.

Your Complete Guide to Getting Rid of Bathroom Mold | Better Homes & Gardens


EPA-registered products are a good indicator of a product’s efficacy (you can search for the product on the site). The EPA registration number on the bottle or container is verification that the fungicide or mildewstat has been tested and registered with the EPA.

Many mold-killing chemicals are fast-acting and require only a minute or two of treatment time. The majority of people need at least 15 minutes. Following manufacturer’s directions for use, if the product comes with a treatment to prevent future mold growth in wet regions, and if you take precautions in damp areas, such as basements, will determine if mold returns.


You might think it’s difficult to remove mold or mildew, but the correct product can make the process easier. Many mold removers are available in spray bottles for indoor use, making it easy to cover even the most difficult-to-reach locations. Make a note whether the product you select needs to be scrubbed after use. In difficult to reach places, such as over a shower, you may want to opt for a product that doesn’t require any elbow grease.

If mold or mildew is growing on your siding, deck, or other outside surfaces, you may need a stronger solution that can be diluted to cover a larger area. It’s possible to apply mold removers to your garden hose for speedier and more even application.


Along with how to eliminate mildew smell, do you have any other questions? Here are answers to some of the most often asked questions concerning mildew in the house.

Can you fully get rid of mildew smell?

The answer is yes! Mildew’s stench and its core cause can be treated using vinegar and baking soda, both of which are natural disinfectants and odor neutralizers.

Is it better to use bleach for getting rid of mildew?

Bleach is certainly stronger than the natural method of how to get rid of mildew smell, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessary. Vinegar and baking soda are usually more than sufficient, and are also a good choice if you have kids or pets.

Does a musty smell always mean mildew?

Bleach is certainly stronger than the natural method of how to get rid of mildew smell, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessary. Vinegar and baking soda are usually more than sufficient, and are also a good choice if you have kids or pets.

Will mildew ever go away on its own?

Although bleach is more powerful than the natural technique of removing mildew smell, it is not required. As long as you don’t have children or pets, vinegar or baking soda should suffice.

What do mold and mildew smell like?

There is a musty, unpleasant smell to mold and mildew that is sometimes likened to that of wet socks or rotting wood. As a result, it’s not very enjoyable.

Does a musty smell always mean mold?

Yes, this is often the case. If your home has a musty odor, mold or mildew is developing on or within your home’s walls, ceilings, or foundation. You’ll do better for your house and your health if you can eliminate the odor as soon as possible.

When should I hire a professional for a mildew problem?

If you suffer from respiratory issues, you should get the mildew removed by a professional cleaning service. Also, it’s worth hiring an expert if you suspect the mildew odor is coming from your heating and air-conditioning systems. Avoid turning on the air conditioning if the problem is with your HVAC system. Doing so may allow mold spores to spread throughout your home.

What is a nontoxic way to treat mildew?

Baking soda is a mildew remover that is safe to use around children and animals. Baking soda not only kills mold, but it also absorbs moisture, preventing mildew from growing in the first place..

How do mold removers work?

Mold removal products operate by destroying the mold’s spores (or roots). Most formulations call for a 15-minute pause after application. During this time, the product cleans and disinfects the treated surface while killing mold spores at their roots. The antimicrobial layer left behind by most mold removers helps to prevent new mold development in the future. 3

Are mold removers safe?

Mold removers are safe for home use if used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. When using mold remover, it’s crucial to follow any instructions for ventilation or personal protection equipment, such as wearing a mask while doing so. You should also follow any instructions to use gloves when applying the product to avoid irritating your skin.

When should I call a professional?

If you have a problem with mold, don’t hesitate to call in a professional. However, other varieties of mold, such “black mold,” may necessitate a more extensive clean-up. On porous materials like drywall, gypsum board, or wood, this slimy green-black mold thrives. Toxic spores can cause respiratory issues and disease if inhaled. 4

Cleaning and removing the mold may not be enough, so you should look into mold remediation options if it keeps coming back. A specialist can assist you in determining the sort of mold you’re dealing with and in developing a treatment strategy to keep the mold from returning.


To keep you and your property safe and in good condition, removing the mildew odor naturally is crucial. You’ll feel less stressed and frustrated if you know how to get rid of mildew smell naturally.

Now that we have gone over the basics, you can get that mildew smell out of your home. Preventative actions should be performed to eradicate mold and prevent mildew odor, even if it seems like a lot of work.

Now that we have gone over the basics, you can get that mildew smell out of your home. Preventative actions should be performed to eradicate mold and prevent mildew odor, even if it seems like a lot of work.

Now that we’ve covered the essentials, it’s time to get rid of that musty odor caused by mold. It may seem like a lot of work, but mold and mildew odors can be prevented by taking preventative actions.