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Removing Musty Smell from a Bed

Category Odors
Removing a musty smell from a bed will probably require some deep cleaning. This is a page about removing musty smell from a bed.
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May 29, 2007

When I walk into our bedroom I am hit almost immediately with a foul musty smell. It is coming from the bed. I change the bedding on a monthly basis. How can I get rid of the smell and where is it coming from? Should I buy new pillows, etc.? Any help will be much appreciated as I am quite ashamed of people coming to our home in case they go in our room and smell it. Its definitely the bed, nowhere else.

DONNA from UNITED KINGDOM

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May 30, 20070 found this helpful
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Strip down the bed completely and wash everything. Vacuum the matteress and under the bed. Then either spray with Febreze and let air for awhile, or sprinkle with baking soda, let sit for at least an hour, and then vacuum again. Our bodies shed about a gram of skin a day. Dustmites feed on that and they poo about 20 times a day. It is also very important to replace your pillows every few years.

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By Sue (Guest Post)
June 1, 20071 found this helpful
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I change our bed at least once a week. Maybe this would help.

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June 2, 20071 found this helpful
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It sounds as if you have mildew in your mattress, which is a serious health hazard. You probably should replace the mattress with a new one; then purchase a damp-proof mattress cover which completely covers the new mattress. Change your bedding weekly and make sure your bedroom is amply ventilated.

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If the area you live in is damp consider a dehumidifier. If you see black mould on your walls, however, you need to get a professional in to take care of it promptly. My granddaughter was infected with mould that was growing within her bedroom wall and not visible and has permanent lung damage as a result.

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June 4, 20071 found this helpful
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Take everything you can out to the yard on a sunny day and leave it in the sun for as long as you can. The ultraviolet light in the sunlight will kill the bacteria that is causing the smell.

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October 6, 2017

I use the space under my ottoman bed to store bedding and clothes. They go in fresh and smelling nice, but come out smelling musty! How can I stop that?

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October 6, 20170 found this helpful
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Nok-Out is an excellent product that removes objectionable smells. You can get it on Amazon.

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October 6, 20170 found this helpful
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Fill jars with vinegar and water poke holes in the jar.Set them where you put your have ottoman storage.

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October 6, 20170 found this helpful
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Have you tried the vacuum sealed bags? That is what I use, you can fit a lot of things in one bag and since their is no air in them they do not smell musty when you are ready to use the stuff again.

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I have gotten some cheaper bags that left my clothes smelling like the plastic before but usually the stuff comes out smelling like it did when it was put in.

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October 6, 20170 found this helpful
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Hey, there. A musty odor indicates some moisture has gotten into your things, so the best course of action you can take is to prevent your stored items from getting musty in the first place. There are a number of ways you can do this. A cheap way is to save those little silica packs you get in packaged items that suck up moisture. Those are called "dessicants," and they're often found in boxes when you buy shoes. But not everyone saves them. So, what to do?

First, and foremost, is to make sure your items are bone dry before you store them. Any bit of moisture can cause mold to grow, which causes that musty smell. You can actually make your own little packets by purchasing dessicants in the form of silica beads and sewing pouches that measure about 3"x3" and put them in with the items you're storing.

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You can also store baking soda with your things to absorb moisture and prevent odors. If you don't want to (or don't have room to) store a full box of baking soda, again, you can sew little cotton pouches and put a few tablespoons of baking soda in them.

Odor absorbing charcoal is another good way to absorb odors. When I had multiple cats, I used a charcoal filter on the litter box and it really helped keep the odors at bay.


Your goal is to prevent your clothes from becoming musty, dusty, and moldy, so make sure to seal the bag you're storing them well. I've never had much luck with vacuum sealed bags, but it's always worth a shot.

Hope this helps.

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October 7, 20170 found this helpful
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Somehow, moisture is getting into your storage unit and that is what is causing the musty smell.

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  • Storage bags may be a good immediate solution but the cause of the smell will have to be found and eliminated if you want a permanent solution.
  • You may want to start by cleaning the inside with white vinegar - just wipe everything and let it dry.
  • Murphy Oil's Soap is also a very good cleaner - just follow directions on the container.
  • You could place a tall container filled with something that will absorb moisture.
  • Charcoal: Just place briquettes or bags of small pieces (from aquarium stores) inside and leave for 1-2 days. Do not throw away; just store the charcoal to be re-used at a later time.
  • Coffee: Ground dry fresh coffee grounds (not used grounds) usually works. Place it in bowls for 24 hours to allow it to absorb the odor.
  • Baking Soda: Place an opened box or two for a few days.
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  • Kitty Litter: I have used natural clay kitty litter for absorbing odor - fill a few bowls with the litter and let it sit for at least 24 hours.
  • I would recommend you buy a container of DampRid and place in your room (not in storage unit) and see how quickly the container fills with liquid.
  • If the container fills in a few hours or overnight then you know you have a moisture problem in your home/apartment and that is what is causing your storage to smell.
  • DampRid can be purchased at stores like Walmart, Target, etc and on-line.
  • Here is an example site:
  • www.amazon.com/.../?ie=UTF8&keywords=moisture+absorbers...
  • This excess moisture may be all over but you would not easily smell the decay in a larger open area.
  • If the moisture is prevalent, you may need to purchase a dehumidifier and these work great. They are a little expensive but well worth the cost over the long run as there are probably other things in your home that are being affected by the moisture.
  • Dehumidifiers can be purchased at the same stores mentioned above but here is an example of an on-line sale:
  • www.walmart.com/.../1072864_133032_1231459_112918
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July 12, 2011

Can anyone provide a remedy to get rid of a musty, mildew smell on an old bed?

By Maddy

Answers

July 13, 20111 found this helpful

Are you able to air it out in the sunshine? Or open the windows to a room and leave it open? That should help. I have a Little Green Machine and I have steam cleaned my spare bed when grandkids had an accident before I got the the mattress cover with a vinegar and water solution.

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