From the creaking pipes, to the chipped paint on the moldings, to an overgrown flower bed, there’s an itch that we can’t scratch when it comes to housekeeping right now.
And was that smell always there?
If you’ve been noticing a musty smell around your house left over from winter, it’s probably because of a build-up of moisture in the air from things like roof damage, old plumbing or exposed dirt in the walls.
Short of extending your spring clean into manual labor and tearing up the floorboards, there are a few things you can do to keep your house smelling fresh through spring.
- Clean, rather than a cover-up. Though it’s tempting to cover up the smell of mold or mildew with an air freshener, it will be more effective to locate the source of the smell first and clean it as best you can first.
- Optimize ventilation by cracking open and window and keeping your extractor fan on for as long as possible in bathrooms and kitchens. Avoid drying wet clothes over radiators, which will increase moisture in the air.
- Dust can also contribute to a musty smell by trapping odors. Closet and cupboard spaces are hotbeds for dust. Give an empty wardrobe a thorough dusting and wipe down, and make sure your clothes are all clean and dry before putting them back in.
- Kitchen appliances can become clogged and create a smell. To flush them through, rinse cycle your washing machine and dishwasher.
- For a natural air freshener, boil lemon and orange peels and leave them around your home or use essential oils.
- Similarly, pour a small amount of baking soda onto a dish and leave in a smelly area for up to 24 hours. The baking soda will absorb excess moisture from the air and reduce pong.
- When cleaning mildew, spray a solution of pure white vinegar and water onto the affected area and leave for several hours before wiping with a textured sponge — it will make removing it much easier.
- Bleach is also effective at cleaning mildew. Just make sure to wear protective equipment like rubber gloves and open a window for ventilation.
- Chuck away and dead or dying house plants — we know, it’s sad, and you were really rooting for them. But dead plants quickly rot and can smell horrid if left in the house.
- It may be necessary to get out the toolbox to fix any water leakage causing increased moisture and, as a result, mold and mildew. If this isn’t possible for you, you may need to call in a plumber to identify and fix the issue.
- If the smell is coming from items and accessories that are replaceable — like old floor mats or shower curtains — consider replacing them to eliminate the smell completely.
This article originally appeared on our sister site Yours.