How to Get Rid of Mildew Smell in the Bathroom

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Mold thrives in damp spaces, so it's no surprise that it's common to find a mildew smell in bathrooms. To get rid of the damp smell in your bathroom, you must clean it thoroughly. After that, you should take steps to prevent musty smells from reappearing.

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Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda

  • Laundry detergent

  • Measuring cup

  • Chlorine bleach

  • Bucket

  • Towels or cleaning cloths

How to Remove the Mildew Smell in a Bathroom

Step 1: Launder the Washable Items

Remove the soft items in the bathroom, such as towels, bathmats, and shower curtains. Put all the washable items in the washing machine. Add a cup of baking soda to the water along with your regular laundry detergent. Run the items through a regular wash and rinse cycle and then dry the items in the sun or in a clothes dryer.

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Step 2: Put Other Items in a Sunny Area

Take any nonwashable fabric items from the bathroom and put them in the sun to kill any mildew that might be on them. Exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun will kill mold and mildew.

Step 3: Clean the Bathroom With a Bleach Solution

Mix 1/2 to 1 cup of liquid chlorine bleach with a gallon of water in a bucket. Use the solution to scrub all scrubbable surfaces in the bathroom, such as tiled floors and shower stalls, walls, bathtubs, sinks, and toilets.

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Step 4: Rinse Off the Bleach

Rinse all the surfaces you scrubbed with clean, clear water to remove the bleach.

Step 5: Dry Surfaces Completely

Use towels or cleaning cloths to wipe the surfaces dry. Keep the windows open and run the exhaust fan until all the surfaces are completely dry. Then you can bring the towels and other soft items back into the bathroom.

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Preventing Mildew Smells in the Bathroom

The key to preventing a damp smell in the bathroom is to keep the room clean and to eliminate as much dampness from the room as possible. Mildew feeds on things you'd never think of as nutrients, such as soap scum in the bathtub or sticky fingerprints on the woodwork. Take steps to eliminate nutrients to keep mildew from growing. Use a squeegee to clean the shower or bathtub after every use and clean the rest of the room regularly to get rid of unseen nutrients that could encourage mildew growth.

To reduce the amount of moisture in the bathroom, run the ventilation fan every time you shower or bathe. On hot, humid days, use the air conditioner to reduce humidity in the home or consider using a dehumidifier. You can also buy products that absorb extra moisture and unpleasant odors and place them in the bathroom.

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