Musty odours in your garage can permeate not only your vehicle but also any items you store in the space. Musty smells typically signal the presence of mould or mildew, which thrive in damp, dark or humid locations. Poor ventilation and low air circulation intensify the odour and exacerbate any mould problem. Fortunately, some inexpensive cleaners and simple techniques will banish the musty smell from your garage.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Chlorine bleach
- Scrub brush
- Chlorinated lime
- White vinegar
- Spray bottle
- Essential oil
- Baking soda
Move stored items away from the walls and out of the corners of the garage. Check for signs of mould or mildew on garage surfaces and on the stored items.
Mix 1 gallon of cool water with 1 cup of chlorine bleach in a bucket. Dampen a scrub brush in the mixture and scrub off any mould or mildew you find on hard surfaces. Leave the solution on the surface for 10 minutes before rinsing with cool water.
Open the garage doors and windows and run fans in the space for at least three to four hours. The fans help circulate and push the musty air out of the garage.
Sprinkle a liberal amount of chlorinated lime directly on the garage floor and let it sit overnight. The chlorinated lime will remove the musty odours from concrete. Sweep the lime off the floor with a broom and dustpan.
Pour 1 to 2 cups of undiluted white vinegar in a spray bottle. Mist the garage with the vinegar to remove unpleasant odours in the air. Repeat the process as often as needed. For a less pungent spray that features a pleasant scent, dilute the white vinegar with 1 pint of water per every tablespoon of vinegar. Add 29.6ml. of essential oil, such as sage or rosemary. Mix the solution by swirling the bottle gently in a circular motion.
Place open boxes of baking soda in the garage. Baking soda will continuously absorb the unpleasant odours from the garage. Replace opened boxes of baking soda every 30 days.
Tips and warnings
- To prevent skin irritation, wear rubber gloves when working with chlorine bleach.
- Keep people, pets and children out of the garage when using chlorinated lime.
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- University of Missouri Extension; How to Prevent and Remove Mildew --- Home Methods; Wanda Eubank, et al.; April 1998
- University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service; Mildew Prevention and Removal; Dale Dorman; July 1997
- "CBS -- 48 Hours"; Heloise Hears a Hint; December 2000
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