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Living in a home with a musty smell can be quite unpleasant. Not only does it affect the overall ambiance, but it can also be a sign of underlying issues like mould and mildew. 

In this blog, we’ll explore the causes of musty smells, discuss the potential dangers of mould and mildew, and provide effective tips to remove musty smells in the house and maintain a fresh-smelling home.

The objective is not just to mask the odours temporarily but to address the root causes, ensuring a consistently fresh-smelling home environment. By understanding the intricacies of musty smells and their underlying issues, we set out to design a smell-free living environment that is not only pleasing to the senses but also conducive to long-term well-being.

What Causes Musty Smells?

Musty smells, those unwelcome odours that can permeate a home, are frequently linked to the presence of mould and mildew. These fungal entities flourish in environments characterised by dampness and darkness, thriving particularly well in areas lacking proper ventilation. Poorly ventilated spaces provide an ideal breeding ground for mould and mildew, as stagnant air and trapped moisture create conditions conducive to their growth. 

Beyond ventilation issues, other culprits include water leaks, which introduce and sustain the moisture necessary for fungal development. High humidity levels further exacerbate the problem, creating an environment where mould and mildew can thrive. 

Additionally, insufficient cleaning practices contribute to the accumulation of organic matter, providing nourishment for these fungi. To effectively achieve musty odour elimination, it is essential to address these contributing factors and create an environment that is inhospitable to the growth of mould and mildew.

Are Mold and Mildew Dangerous?

Mould and mildew not only cause unpleasant odours but can also pose health risks. Prolonged exposure to the microscopic spores released by these fungi has been linked to a range of health concerns. The respiratory system is particularly vulnerable, with potential repercussions including allergies, irritations, and the exacerbation of existing respiratory conditions. Inhaling mould spores can trigger allergic reactions, leading to symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and nasal congestion. For individuals with respiratory conditions like asthma, exposure to mould can worsen symptoms and potentially contribute to the development of new respiratory issues. Furthermore, some mould species produce mycotoxins, which, when present in the air, can pose additional health risks. To safeguard health and well-being, addressing musty smells promptly is crucial, as it signifies the proactive mitigation of potential health hazards associated with mould and mildew exposure.

Locating the Source of Musty Smell

Locating the source of musty smells is crucial for effective elimination, and various methods can help identify the root cause. Visual inspection is the first step, focusing on common mould-prone areas like bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and spaces with poor ventilation. Trusting your sense of smell can guide you to the specific location of the strongest odour. Invest in a moisture metre to quantitatively measure humidity levels in different areas, pinpointing spots with elevated moisture content. Inspect HVAC systems, as they can harbour mould and spread odours.

 Pro Tip:

Consider using a UV flashlight or blacklight during your inspection.

UV light can reveal hidden mould and mildew that may not be visible to the naked eye. When exposed to UV light, certain types of mould and fungi fluoresce, making them easier to detect. This technique is particularly useful in identifying mould in dark or concealed areas. Simply scan areas with the UV flashlight, and any fluorescence could indicate the presence of mould, helping you target your cleaning efforts more effectively.

By combining visual inspection, olfactory awareness, and the use of tools like moisture metres and UV flashlights, you can enhance your ability to locate the source of musty smells and take targeted actions to eliminate them from your home.

How to Remove Mold

Clean and Disinfect

Start by cleaning the affected surfaces using a mixture of water and a mild detergent. This initial cleaning removes surface mould and prepares the area for disinfection. After cleaning, use a solution of water and vinegar in equal parts to disinfect the area. Vinegar’s natural antibacterial and antifungal properties make it a powerful mould remover. Apply the solution thoroughly, ensuring all affected surfaces are treated.

Baking Soda Absorption

To further combat musty smells, strategically place bowls filled with baking soda in the areas prone to mould. Baking soda acts as a natural deodorizer and absorbs odours, helping to neutralise the musty smell. Leave the bowls in place overnight or for an extended period, allowing the baking soda to absorb and successfully achieve musty odour elimination.

Activated Charcoal

Consider using activated charcoal bags in areas where musty smells persist. Activated charcoal is renowned for its excellent moisture-absorbing capabilities and odour-eliminating properties. These bags work by absorbing excess moisture, preventing mould growth, and simultaneously neutralising unpleasant odours. Place the bags strategically in closets, basements, or any other areas susceptible to musty smells.


Improving ventilation is crucial for house odour removal and preventing the recurrence of musty odours. Use fans and open windows to increase airflow throughout your home. Proper ventilation helps reduce humidity levels, making the environment less conducive to mould growth. By consistently maintaining good airflow, you create an inhospitable environment for mould, promoting a fresher indoor atmosphere.

Professional Solutions

While DIY methods are effective for addressing mould and musty odours, there are instances where professional assistance is absolutely necessary. Opting for a renowned service like Jim’s Cleaning brings unparalleled benefits to the mould removal process. Jim’s Cleaning experts possess the expertise and experience needed for extensive inspections, identifying both visible and hidden mould. Utilising specialised equipment not commonly available to homeowners, they ensure efficient and thorough cleaning, targeting mould spores and potential sources of odours. Beyond house odour removal, professionals like Jim’s Cleaning offer valuable prevention strategies, home fragrance ideas, and fresh home tips for maintaining a mould-free environment. Choosing a professional service saves time and ensures a high-quality outcome. Jim’s Cleaning, with its commitment to customer satisfaction and a skilled team, stands out as a trusted choice for a mould-free and fresh-smelling home, providing peace of mind to homeowners.

Prevent Mould and Mildew

Moisture Control

Effectively controlling moisture is a fundamental step in preventing the growth of mould and mildew in your home. Address leaks promptly to eliminate potential water sources that foster mould development. Whether it’s a dripping faucet, a leaking roof, or a plumbing issue, quick resolution is key. 

Additionally, strategically use dehumidifiers, especially in damp areas like basements or laundry rooms. Dehumidifiers extract excess moisture from the air, creating an environment less conducive to mould growth. By actively managing and reducing moisture levels, you create an inhospitable setting for mould, mitigating the risk of its formation.

Proper Ventilation

Ensuring proper ventilation is crucial for maintaining a healthy indoor environment. Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to expel humid air and prevent moisture buildup, common triggers for mould growth. Consider installing vents in areas with limited airflow, such as closets or storage spaces. 

Adequate ventilation not only reduces humidity but also helps disperse indoor pollutants and odours. By promoting consistent airflow throughout your home, you create conditions that discourage mould and contribute to a fresher, smell-free living space.

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning plays a pivotal role in preventing the accumulation of mould-friendly environments. Dust and clean surfaces regularly to remove potential food sources for mould, such as organic particles. Pay special attention to hidden corners, behind furniture, and in spaces that may trap moisture. 

Consistent cleaning not only removes existing mould spores but also eliminates conditions that could support future growth. By adopting a proactive cleaning routine, you actively contribute to a healthier and mould-resistant home.


In conclusion, achieving and maintaining a fresh-smelling home involves a multi-faceted approach. Starting with the identification of musty odour sources through thorough inspection and targeted tools, clean home hacks and DIY methods such as vinegar solutions, baking soda absorption, and enhanced ventilation prove effective against mould. 

While these strategies are valuable, professional services like Jim’s Cleaning offer expertise and advanced tools for comprehensive and lasting mouldy smell solutions. Encouragement lies in adopting preventative measures: promptly addressing leaks, utilising dehumidifiers, ensuring proper ventilation, and maintaining a regular cleaning routine. 

These practices collectively create an environment hostile to mould growth, contributing to a home that not only smells fresh but also promotes long-term health and cleanliness. Consistency in these efforts ensures a smell-free living space that radiates freshness and well-being. Embrace the combined power of DIY methods and professional disinfect services from experts like Jim’s Cleaning for a truly odour-free and healthy home.