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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

8 Ways To Prevent Musty Smells In Your Cupboards And Rooms

Written by Posted On Thursday, 07 December 2017 10:15

If there’s one thing that everyone hates, it’s got to be unpleasant odours in the house. Whether it’s musty cupboards or rooms that just don’t smell good, it’s frustrating and embarrassing. And often the problem is much more noticeable when the house has been closed up a while, e.g when you return from a holiday.

If you’ve got this trouble in your house, take heart because you certainly aren’t alone in your dilemma! And it’s not necessarily a reflection on you as a housekeeper either. It's one of those things that occurs to most of us at some time or other…

But there are things you can do to help remove odours, without going mad with room deodorant sprays or burning fragrant candles 24/7!

1. Physical inspection

Quite obviously, the first thing to do is try and identify the cause of the problem. Is it a food smell lingering in the house? Smelly shoes in the wardrobe? Animals or pests? Mould?

Look for signs of damp carpet, damp cabinetry or mildew - these things may be a clue to a water leakage problem.

Cupboards And Rooms

2. Clean the window tracks

Window tracks tend to collect dead flies, dust and moisture from condensation that drips off the windows, especially in the winter. They can easily grow mildew and make the room smell foul. Take a bucket of hot water and mild soap and an old toothbrush and rag and scrub them out.

3. Get the carpets and curtains cleaned

A professional clean of your carpets and curtains may make a huge difference to the smell in your house. Especially if you have pets living inside. If the smell persists, you may need to consider replacing these soft furnishings…

4. Air the house

Unpleasant smells in the house often result from poor ventilation. Whenever possible, open up the doors and windows and let the fresh air flow through the place and carry those musty smells away.

5. Install an exhaust fan

Poor ventilation in wet areas can cause them to become damp and smelly. Installing an exhaust fan will help remove that stale air and replace it with fresh, dry air.

light bedroom

6 Use a more natural deodorizer

You may find that using these deodorisers helps to freshen up your home… a bowl of coffee grounds, white vinegar, bleach or baking soda somewhere where it’s open can really help - these substances are renown for taking away unpleasant smells.

7. Give the sink area a once-over

There’s no denying it - the kitchen sink gets a workout! The age-old remedy of boiling water mixed with baking soda and white vinegar and poured down the sink is a very powerful one for killing off the bacteria that cause foul smells. Scrub the sink and draining board with a cream cleanser such as Jif - not only will it be sparkly clean, but it’ll smell great too.

8. Lingering cooking smells

Some cooking smells can be very powerful and linger in the house for days afterwards. To help remove cooking smells, try boiling a pot of water with a few teaspoons of cinnamon and a few star anise in it for a while. This not only helps to neutralise the unpleasant odour, but it fills the kitchen with a pleasant one!

Louise Procter is a writer for Natural Home Solutions. Living by the beach, on the sunny South Coast of NSW she enjoys creating articles that provide information and inspiration to readers to help them in their everyday lives. You will often find Louise with a coffee in one hand and her laptop in the other.

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