How To Get Rid Of A Musty Smell In A House

Friday 18th November 2022

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Every winter, homeowners complain of musty odours in their property, whether it is on their clothes or furniture, or in specific rooms.

The damp, earthy smell is not just unpleasant to be around, however. It can be a symptom of a much bigger problem which could impact your health. However, there are steps you can take to eliminate it from your home.

At ICE Cleaning, we are a specialist cleaning company with plenty of experience in damp odour removal. Our technicians can detect the cause of and neutralise the lingering smell. We operate nationwide and can be on-site in 60 minutes in emergencies.

Keep reading our blog to learn how to remove the odour from your home.

What causes a musty smell?

When mould and mildew build up, they release foul-smelling gases called microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs). They permeate soft surfaces in your home, like carpets, furniture, and curtains.

Mould and mildew are caused by excessive humidity which is very common in winter. This is because of the increase in leaks and water damage caused by the wet weather, and the lack of ventilation as we shut windows and doors to keep heat in. You can find out more about how damp causes mould here.

If you want to remove musty smells, you first need to get rid of what is causing it.

How do you get rid of mould and mildew?

To find the source, simply go around your home to see where the odour is the strongest. Check places where there is likely to be humidity, moisture, and warmth like:

  • On the shower curtain
  • Around sinks, bathtubs, and toilets
  • Under the fridge
  • In the bin (underneath the bin liner)
  • Around window seals
  • Under potted plants
  • Closets or cupboards that home damp shoes and coats
  • Around washing machines

You can find out more about spotting the signs of mould in this blog.

Once you have found the cause, bring in professional cleaners. You should never attempt to remove it yourself because it is difficult and dangerous to clean.

Wiping it with bleach, for example, only removes the surface spores so it can continue to grow. Plus, if you inhale or are exposed to MVOCs, they can cause a range of health problems like headaches, nausea, fatigue, and itchy skin. It can also exacerbate asthma.

Only professional cleaners with specialist equipment and the right protective gear should tackle it. At ICE Cleaning, we offer high-quality mould remediation services and are accredited by Dewpoint Professional, the leading accreditation provider in mould removal and prevention.

How do you neutralise the musty odour?

There are lots of different ways to remove the damp smell from your property. One of the easiest things to do is ensure it is properly ventilated. Start by opening windows and doors to encourage air flow and remove humidity. Don’t forget to open up cupboards and cabinets to ensure every crevice is aired out.

Make fans and dehumidifiers to help circulate air in rooms which don’t have windows, like your basement.

You also need to deep clean your entire property to get the odour out of your soft surfaces. This includes hoovering and steam cleaning carpets, washing upholstered furniture, and re-washing your clothes until the musty smell is gone. Professionals, like the technicians at ICE Cleaning, will work hard to clean your affected surfaces and tackle the smell.

Our technicians have the tools and training required to deliver the deep cleaning and odour neutralisation you could not achieve yourself. We can restore your property to a safe and fresh home.

How to prevent mould and mildew in the future

If you want to stop the musty odour from returning, you need to watch out for humidity in your home.

To make sure there is plenty of fresh air circulating in your home, try and keep windows open in the bathroom and kitchen when cooking or having a shower. Alternatively, have air vents fitted into your windows. Don’t forget to make sure your windows are well-sealed, too.

Plus, try and keep the doors to these rooms shut to keep the excess moisture in. This will stop it travelling to different parts of the house and causing mould elsewhere.

You should also regularly check your appliances and pipes for leaks. It is recommended you consider pipe wrap for exposed pipes which can get condensation on them. This is one of the biggest causes of mould and mildew in basements.

At ICE Cleaning, our technicians have extensive experience eliminating a number of different stubborn odours, from damp to cigarette and fire smoke. We can even treat the mould first to correct the problem, and then remove the remaining musty smell.

Get in touch

Contact our team on 0208 066 0360 or at to book our specialist odour removal technicians. Our team are available 24/7, 365 days a year, and can provide a free survey and no-obligation quote.

Zoe Dunning

Zoe Dunning

Sales Representative

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