There are many ways to get rid of the musty smell in an apartment, but the easiest of them all (besides spraying air fresheners), is improving ventilation.
Typically, poorly ventilated places in a home lead to the stale odor that most people find repulsive.
Therefore, making arrangements for the air to circulate freely around your apartment for a good while is advisable to eliminate the smell.
What Is The Origin Of The Musty Smell In An Apartment?
While different apartments can have various sources of the nose-wrinkling musty smell, most have it due to a buildup of mold in damp or compact spaces.
The green, unsightly mold is not revolting only for its appearance and the fact that it destroys things, but also because of its awful odor that takes over a house.
The said fungal species infest places that do not have proper ventilation points or are moist, resulting in the porous patches people see around their abode.
At the first level, mold damages items it latches on to and creates an unsightly view.
On the other level, it releases a stuffy stench that naturally doesn’t stay in just the place of its origin but gets mingled into the atmosphere.
As a result, you can whiff the musty stink pretty much everywhere around your apartment.
Why Mold Releases Such A Fetid Smell?
Mold has reactive organic chemicals over its outer layer that are let out into the air. These volatile compounds carry an unbelievably intense reek, which is what you smell in your apartment.
But of course, regardless of the reason behind the musty odor that comes from mold, the issue remains the smell itself and how it can be removed. There are plenty of methods to eliminate mold’s stench, like the one mentioned above; airing out the house.
Ways to Get Rid of Musty Smell from an Apartment
There are primarily two approaches to removing repulsive odor from an apartment; natural and unnatural.
As the name suggests, natural ways to get rid of smell include methods that do not involve any synthetic products such as air fresheners.
Whereas unnatural or artificial means to eradicate stuffy stench from an apartment include lab-formulated solutions such as perfumes incense sticks, among others.
Generally, people like to try natural methods to remove musty smells from their home as those are unlikely to irritate someone’s olfactory senses.
Open the Windows and Doors to Your Apartment
It may seem sound strange, but opening the doors and windows to and around your apartment will certainly reduce the intensity of, if not completely eliminate the stink.
Letting the airflow in and out of your home improves ventilation, dispersing the smell.
If keeping the openings to your house for long hours is not possible as that can show other unwelcome critters the way to your quarters, keep them open for short periods of time every other day.
Leaving a window or door open for long durations is not feasible for many reasons. For starters, it can lead to the entry of bugs and mosquitoes into your living space.
Secondly, it can bring extra heat or coldness (depending on the weather) into the house, making your environment uncomfortable.
So, the first thing you should do is install screens wherever needed to block out all nasty little things from entering your home.
Consider opening up the windows when you are not present so that you aren’t impacted much by either the summery breeze or the frosty air.
And when it’s time for you to come back, crank up your air-conditioning or heating system to make the environment comfortable for yourself.
Look For Leaky Faucets
As we have already established, mold thrives in moisture, which means any leaking faucet will provide the unsightly microorganism a breeding ground.
Therefore, make sure there are none in your apartment.
Moreover, hire a plumber and get your sanitation system checked to catch any fissures or cracks in the pipes and fix them accordingly.
Methods Involving Artificial Tools/Products
Although it may seem that all synthetic/manufactured solutions are harmful to human health, some are not, such as a humidifier.
In fact, if anything, it’s actually beneficial for you in many ways.
Some spaces in a house do not have many outlets for the air to come and go, which is why you cannot air those out by opening a window or door.
This is where an air humidifier can come in handy.
An air humidifier is an excellent factory-constructed product that can improve the air concentration in a room within minutes.
If your apartment doesn’t have many windows, or even if you don’t want bugs to invade your living space, you should definitely consider buying an air humidifier.
It will not only boost the air volume in a room but also allow you to spread warming fragrances around.
Many modern air humidifiers come with an additional feature that gives off scented aromas with the help of essential oils.
Basically, what you do is that you pour a few drops of any essential oil of your liking, let’s say lavender, in your humidifier and turn it on. You will be able to smell the lovely lavender within seconds.
That said, we would suggest that you wait for the air to do its job first, disperse the musty odor as much as possible, and then throw the scented potion into the mix.
Doing so will make sure that the fragrance doesn’t blend with the stench, becoming a strange combination of smell and scent.
Therefore, first, let the smell fizzle out, then bring in the big (read: fragrant) guns.
And while you are at it, turn on the overhead fans, if you have any, to speed up the ventilation process when airing out the apartment.
Annihilate the Mold
Since the source of the musty smell is the mold festering in hard-to-reach places around your apartment, you need to clean it off.
Have a deep cleaning house cleaning session, where you get to every nook and cranny of your place and destroy all the traces of mold.
Vacuum the carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture and wipe the floor with a cleaning solution.
For surfaces where you spot mold, such as the wall under the sink, use a bleach solution to kill the pesky fungi.
Combine 1 part bleach and four parts water and shake the mixture well before spraying all over your target.
When cleaning the apartment, check for any damp fabric pieces such as towels or blankets and toss them into your laundry bucket.
If you want to stop mold from growing back, you want to eliminate moisture from the endangered spots, ones that are likely to become the breeding ground of the porous microbe.
To do that, sprinkle baking soda over the tricky areas as it absorbs vapors, leaving the place dry.
Vacuum the areas containing baking soda to remove the remnants.
Use Air Fresheners and Scented Candles/Sticks
Last but not least, use odor absorbers to mask any of the traces left of the musty odor.
But remember first to let the air do the heavy lifting, then carry out deep cleaning, and after that, use scents to freshen your apartment.
Air fresheners, incense sticks, scented candles, and odor blocks all can be used to freshen up a home after the mold and musty smell are taken care of.
Dealing with the stuffy stench in an apartment can be frustrating and often seem like an endless battle, but you can get rid of the musty smell for good if you take the proper countermeasures.
Air out your apartment as much as possible. Get rid of the existing mold.
Sprinkle baking soda in tricky places, and lastly, spray fresh fragrances to leave your home smelling like a spring garden.
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