Have you ever smelled an unpleasant, musty odor coming from your kitchen or bathroom cabinets? If so, chances are it’s mildew. The smell of mildew is commonly described as a “wet socks” stench and can take over your entire home, contributing to the ever-growing list of common bad smells in your house.
Although the two terms are often associated with each other, mildew and mold are two different types of fungi. Mildew is a surface form of fungus that is visibly white or gray, while mold is usually black, blue, or green and considerably more dangerous to your health.
How exactly does mildew form? It is caused by humidity, excess moisture, and poor ventilation. This means mildew can easily permeate in closets, storage bins, under the sink, and in the winter months particularly, cabinets. The good news is that mildew growth can be prevented and that musty smell in cabinets can be eliminated.
5 Tips to Get Rid of Mildew Smells in Cabinets
- Dry Plates, Glassware, and Utensils Completely Before Storing
- Check Regularly For Leaky Pipes Under The Sink
- Ventilate Rooms With Moisture
- Add a Dehumidifier To Your Home
- Use Fresh Wave Odor Eliminator in Cabinets
1. Dry Plates, Glassware, and Utensils Completely Before Storing
Let’s face it, the prospect of adding another step to the already-daunting task of doing the dishes sounds less than ideal. Unfortunately, one of the easiest places to start with kitchen cabinet odor removal is to make sure your dishes are completely dry before putting them back.
The truth is, plates, glasses, and utensils actually hold quite a bit of moisture thanks to the humidity and steam the dishwasher uses to clean them and may require some hand drying. As you put away utensils in kitchen drawers and stack plates in cabinets, double check that all moisture is wiped dry with a dish towel. That way, mildew won’t have a place to grow while they’re being stored in your kitchen cabinets.
Note: This rule of thumb also applies when pulling clothes out of storage. Make sure your clothes are completely dry before folding and storing in dressers and closets.
2. Check Regularly for Leaky Pipes Under the Sink
It’s easy to forget about kitchen and bathroom pipes when they’re tucked away behind and underneath our sinks. That is, until a musty odor is detected. Leaky pipes are the main culprits when it comes to forming mildew and causing musty smells in cabinets.
Be sure to check your pipes often (twice per month) and clean the cabinets underneath your sinks thoroughly. If you do notice a leak, call a plumber. For a temporary fix, you can seal small pipe leaks with a special putty.
3. Ventilate Rooms with Moisture
Before showering, turn on a bathroom fan. This will help circulate the air. After you’ve showered, leave the door to your bathroom open so that any excess moisture can escape.
You may not think it’s much, but if you don’t follow through with either of those steps, items in your bathroom cabinets will lock in that moisture and begin to condensate. The last thing you want is for mildew to grow on or around the products you use to clean yourself.
4. Add a Dehumifier to Your Home
Since mildew thrives in humidity, do your best to get ahead of high levels of humidity forming in your home. Especially during the summer months, you’ll want to make sure to purchase a highly-efficient dehumidifier for your home so that moisture doesn’t become trapped in tight places like your cabinets.
Dehumidifiers can be stored in the basement or laundry areas of your home and with one press of a button, can remove moisture from the air which will greatly reduce the build of mildew and make any odor eliminating products you use all the more effective. Just remember to empty out the water tank of your dehumidifier regularly to ensure it’s operating fully.
5. Use an Odor Eliminator for Cabinets
Finally, it always helps to use an odor eliminator in cabinets that is effective against malodor and safe to use. Fresh Wave’s line of odor removing products can help you find a safe and effective solution to get rid of mildew smell in cabinets.
Fresh Wave Odor Eliminating Gels, for instance, provide homeowners with a set-it-and-forget-it solution for kitchen cabinet odor removal. All you have to do is open the lid, remove the seal, and place the Gel container inside kitchen and bathroom cabinets harboring musty smells. For maximum freshness, just make sure to purchase odor removing Gel Refill and top off every 30-60 days.
You can also freshen cabinets with Fresh Wave Odor Removing Spray. Simply remove your dishes and cookware from the cabinet and spray the powerful, proprietary odor eliminating formula into the cabinet. Plant oils will go to work absorbing mildew odor ensuring that cabinets remain fresh through the winter months.
Did you know that there are other natural ways to fight common odors and improve air quality in your home? Discover more useful tips here and keep your home smelling fresh no matter the source of unpleasant odor.