A Must-Win Solution: Dry It Out
Do anything you can to dry out that musty basement or closet: Open the doors and windows wide, take bureaus and drawers outside into the sun, turn on a closet tight and keep it on for a couple of days or place an electric fan on the floor for added air circulation. Anything you can do to dry out the offending space is probably time well spent. A few precautions now will ward off everything from mildew to insect infestations. And if you don’t stop the problem at its source, you’ll end up dealing with must and mildew over and over again.
Get Rid of the Mustiness
Use unwrapped bars of soap in place of expensive scented sachets. They’re just as effective in scenting drawers.
Get rid of musty odors in drawers, closets or rooms by placing a small container of scented cat litter in the affected area. Refresh the litter every few days until the odor is gone.
Relatively small items with musty odors should be placed in plastic bags with cat litter. Seal the bags tightly with tape or clothespins and let them sit for a few days. Then dump out the litter and repeat if necessary.
To get rid of a musty odor in upholstered furniture, spray a deodorant or sprinkle cat litter over the piece. Let it sit for a while, then vacuum. Repeat if necessary.
Restore a Musty Suitcase
To get rid of a musty smell in suitcases that have been stored, vacuum the luggage, then rub the lining with a so -lution of equal parts rubbing alcohol and water (or use a solution of lemon juice and salt in water). Try these solutions first on an area that won’t show, in case they change the color of the material.
Another way to save a musty suitcase is to fill it with crumpled newspaper, then close it up. Change the paper every 2 or 3 days until the odor is gone.
A musty suitcase can also be treated by placing containers of cat litter inside and closing the suitcase for a few days. Repeat with fresh litter if necessary.
Smelling Old Books…
To get rid of a musty odor in books, fill a large brown bag with crumpled newspaper, put the books in the bag and seal it tight. Leave the books in the bag for a day or so. Change the paper and repeat the treatment each day until the odor is gone.
Other Must Removers
Parched rice will eliminate must and mildew in an enclosed space such as a metal cabinet or safe. Parch the dry rice by cooking it over high heat, stirring constantly, until it starts to show scorch marks. Then place a shallow pan of the rice in the musty space.
To prevent musty odors from developing in a closed cottage, place pans of charcoal briquettes in several rooms. The charcoal will absorb moisture. You can burn these briquettes in your barbecue later.
Musty odors can also be treated with household (5 percent) bleach. Place shallow pans of bleach in a closet and leave them until the musty odor is gone.
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