Sounds like the root cause for the mildew and mold is still hidden, look under carpets if possible or in closets, until the root cause is found. The smell will return. Look in the basement under the room for any signs of mold or mildew. Baking soda may help with the smell, I know it works in the fridge. (10/30/2008)
Papajan is right. You have to keep digging until you find the source. One other thing that you can do eventually is to paint. Sometimes that helps with the smell, but if you don't find it, it will probably come back, so find it first, then paint. (10/30/2008)
Vinegar will help with the smell, but I agree that you need to try to find the source of the mildew. Good luck! (10/31/2008)
Depending on type of floors. You can use floor stripper. It works. It will eliminate any smells. (10/31/2008)
If the room doesn't get much sun and gets damp, the carpet may be holding the moisture. Use a dehumidifier or hang a cloth bag filled with old fashioned kitty litter (not the clumping kind) in the closet. When it gets damp, place on a cookie sheet and dry out in the oven on low. Wipe down the baseboards and walls with vinegar to kill the smell and any mildew. My daughter's bedroom was the same and we eventually had to pull up the carpet and put down wood floor, but these measures helped until we could afford to do it. Good Luck! (11/01/2008)
Besides the great suggestions on finding the source you can do two other things. Home Depot and such stores sell a mold spray that is peroxide based that you can use to spray down the rooms, also you can paint over mold spot with "Kilz" after cleaning or treating if there is no damage.
Also, if you are looking for an ultra healthy alternative you can try essential oil cleaners that are anti fungal based like one put out by Melaluca or make your own with these oils; Clove (Syzygium aromaticum), lemon (Citrus limon), cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), Eucalyptus radiata, and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) about 4 drops each of these oils to 32 ounce spray bottle with your natural cleaner. You can also add these to alcohol/water base and spray and leave on. Hope it helps!
Invest in a good steam or vapor cleaner. These machines only use water, no chemicals and will clean and disinfect practically anything in your home. It will kill mildew and mold on contact. Your home will smell nice and fresh after cleaning, with NO chemical smells. These are very commonly used in Europe, many of the machines are made in Italy.
Price does matter when buying one of these. Spend at least $300 and you will have a good one that cleans with very high heat!
You can shop for them on ebay.
I purchased a Reliable Stainless Steel Steam Cleaner. And would highly recommend it, as it has an attachment for carpets. It retails for $499, so this is an excellent price for a new one at $340 plus $20 shipping:
Jim in Jax (11/02/2008)
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