Mildew on Christmas Decorations Stored in Bomb Shelter

We have a bomb shelter under our house in California. Really unusual I know. Any way, last year my husband wanted to clean out the garage, so we packed up all holiday stuff in tubs (not air proof.) And put them in shelter. We just got Christmas stuff out and to my disapointment, As I told my husband everything smells like mildew really bad. The items do not actually have mold on them they just smell really bad. I have done many searches on how to get mildew smells out of non washable items.


I am so sad I do not want to have to throw away all my accumulated stuff, memories, kids crafts, wrapping paper, cards, stockings etc. I also have a 23 month little boy that has asthma and I dont want to risk his health. If I must throw all of it away I will but I dont want to. Any advice or ideas would be appreciated. And as it figures I bought a ton of stuff last year.

Kitten from Cali

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By Susan Long Oliver (Guest Post)
December 12, 20040 found this helpful

I would put charcoal, either the kind that you use for grilling or the kind that is in fish tanks in the containers and seal them for a few days to see what happens. I had a problem in my refrigerator with an odor I couldn't locate and the charcoal worked.

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December 12, 20040 found this helpful

have you tried using regular charcoal brickettes? not the quick lite ones with liter fluid. just plain old double check everything to make sure there is no mildew present, (you could have one thing in there smelling everything else up) for your sons sake.


charcoal bricks should take out the nasty smell... place 3-4 charcoal bricks in a paper bag ..leave in plastic bin cover for a few days. sunlight also works pretty good with fresh air..but I'm affraid the stuff would fade with sunlight. Good Luck!
P.S. use left over charcoal for freezer odors

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By (Guest Post)
December 13, 20040 found this helpful

You can try sprinkling your items with carpet freshener - the one the destroys mildew. It's smells good and does kill mildew. It wouldn't hurt after sprinkling some of the items to put them out in the sun, as the sun and fresh air will also help to get rid of the smell. Good luck!

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By Anna Sellars (Guest Post)
December 13, 20040 found this helpful

I have filled envelopes (for stationary) with fresh coffee grounds (right from the can or package) and put musty/moldy smelling articles into a plastic (garbage) bag with the coffee envelopes and let set, may take a while depending on how strong the odor is, but it does work. I also have severe allergies and this seems to work better than washing or spraying with anything.

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By kitten68 (Guest Post)
December 27, 20040 found this helpful

Thank you I will try them all! Im not going to throw them away this year, Im going to see if they air themselves out over the next year.


But I will not be putting them in the bomb shelter this time. Thanks again.

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