What Does Mildew Smell Like In A House (Plus 4 Removal Tips)

If someone asks you, “what does mildew smell like in a house”, that could be a sign of a suspect existence of mildew or mold around their corner.

A stingy, musty, rotting wood-like scent, and to some extent, a suffocating odor in some areas of your house, is an indication of present mildew or any other microbial compounds.

what does mildew smell like in a house

The foul smell it makes could be irritating, and with that, you need to trace where it is hiding to freshen up your home again. Here, we have three steps to trace it.


What Is Mildew? 

You can simply identify mildew as a fungus known through its powdery texture and grayish patch color, mainly in a moist surface area. It is often associated with molds, and somehow both are considered potentially harmful. To know more about the two, here’s a guide you can check: “What’s the Difference? Mold vs. Mildew”.


How Do I Find Out Where The Smell Of Mildew Is?

The foul odor caused by mildew will surely make you want to seek its hideout immediately. Learn how to find out their hiding spots and get some fantastic tips from this article on how to find mildew smell in house.


Step #1. Look where is the exact source of the smell

You can usually find the head where it stinks the most. Typically, mildew hides in a specific area in the house, such as bathrooms, basement, and kitchen, wherein ventilation is poor.

Maybe you are scratching your head, thinking “why does my house smell like mildew”. Just go through this guide and you’ll find out soon enough.


Step #2. Check leaks

Leaks that cause the damp areas can also trigger mildew or mold to come out. There must be some water leaks around your house like roof leaks, plumbing leaks, or garbage spills such as biodegradables that will invite stingy mildew problems.


Step #3. Inspect windows, walls, and other entry points in your home

Mildew and molds also occur in parts of the windows, walls, and doors. If you suspect that some of them are growing in these parts of your house, you can do some inspection by tracing the same smell from other affected areas. 


What home remedies can I use to get rid of the mildew smell?

Mildew and mold become issues homeowners face, especially in the moist and damp environment of some areas in their house. Here are some easy home remedies ready to use that will help you get rid of the mildew smell in your home.


1. Vinegar

An acidic nature makes vinegar one of the best disinfectants and is suitable for removing stains. It is proven to help eliminate foul odors and is strong enough to kill fungi.


2. Bleach

Mixing 1 liter of water with 10 ml of chlorine bleach effectively cleans and sanitizes your household. You can put it on a spray bottle to quickly spread on the affected area and scrub it with a brush for best results.


3. Water and baking soda

Water and baking or bicarbonate soda are also a good match for cleaning. You can spread the mixture on the areas with stingy mildew, freshen up the room and make it odor-free. 


4. Lemon extract

Aside from its good smell, the lemon extract helps kill and remove molds from surfaces. Experts from Earth Easy state that it is good to break down the mold using lemons from the surface because of the high concentration of acid it contains. 


How can I prevent it from coming back?

The putrid smell of mildew might not want you to keep them in your house for a long time. You can stop mildew growth in areas of your home and prevent it from coming back by simply doing some necessary steps.

Listed are the ways you can use:

  1. Let the windows open to bring fresh air to the rooms, enabling the stale smell out
  2. Use a dehumidifier to eliminate excess moisture in the area
  3. Run circulating electric fans
  4. Put houseplants inside and outside your home
  5. Regularly dust the area thoroughly 
  6. To free the floors from any prolonged odors, use vacuum and mop in cleaning
  7. Always deep-clean and drain the bathtub and shower room
  8. Disinfect and clean the washing machine and dishwasher
  9. Use an environment-friendly air freshener
  10. Use white vinegar to spray on hard surfaces

For more tips, you can visit “How to Kill Mold and Mildew (and Prevent It From Coming Back).”



Now that you have the idea of “what does mildew smell like in a house,” these microbes will no longer make a big question mark inside your head. Getting familiar with what it smells like, you can now easily trace them and do excellent and effective ways to deal with them.

Extinguish the mildew, be free from unnecessary odors, and always breathe the fresh air in your home.

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