How to Get Rid of Mildew Smell
Often times, long after the fungus has been removed the mold or mildew smell lingers. This is mainly due to the mold spores which become airborne and can often persist in air ducts, thick carpet, or dank drains. Such spores aren't just smelly, they can have dangerous health effects to the lungs and cause recurring respiratory infections. Removing the spores quickly will not only help the health of those living there, it will also stop the mold from reoccurring. The smell dissipates when the spores are no longer airborne. Depending on the surface which smells, the odor can be removed in a couple of ways.
Step 1 -For Carpet and Upholstery
For carpeting or upholstery, douse the area liberally in baking soda. Allow the soda to sit overnight up to 24 hours. The baking soda will collect any remaining spores and also neutralize any existing odors. Use a new vacuum bag to vacuum all baking soda away. Be sure to throw the vacuum bag away as soon finished. Repeat if necessary.
Step 2 - For Sinks
Make sure the drain has been cleaned of mold and mildew completely and just the smell remains. To protect the lungs and skin, wear both rubber gloves and a dust mask when working with either oil. Saturate a cotton ball with either cinnamon or tea tree oil. Press the cotton ball into the metal crease around the sink drain and run the ball around the circumference. Turn the ball over, and repeat. Do once a day for five days. Often the small creases and cracks have remaining bits of mildew lurking out of reach. These areas will smell, especially when repeatedly and unavoidably exposed to moisture. If smell persists try Step 3.
Step 3 - For Drains
Wear a mask and rubber gloves so the potent oil doesn't harm the skin or lungs. Soak a paper towel in cinnamon or tea tree oil, wad the towel up and place it in the drain. Place a heat safe bowl (Pyrex, metal, etc) tightly over the paper towel. Using a hair dryer on the high setting, heat up the bowl to dissipate the oil through the drain. Continue heating for five minutes. Repeat for five days. Cinnamon and tea tree are strong antiseptic oils and when vaporized will reach areas of the drain which otherwise remain moist and dark for mildew spores. For refrigerators, try Step 4.
Step 4 - For Refrigerators
Often if the smell persists in a refrigerator the air ducts have mold spores persisting within them and cannot be reached. To remove these spores place 1/4 inch of cinnamon or tea tree oil in the bottom of a heat safe bowl. Using a hair dryer on high, heat the bowl to vaporize the oil. Heat continuously for five minutes. Repeat once a day for five days. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and a face mask so that the vapors and oil do not harm the skin or lungs.