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How to Get Rid of Mildew Smell in Cabinets: Effective Methods to Try

After using cabinets for a while, we might see they have mold and mildew on the surface. As you might know, it is not easy to remove the mildew smell even after the mildew is cleaned off, especially when you only use water or some regular cleaning products.

This blog will show you how to get rid of mildew smell in cabinets with easy-to-find ingredients and products. 


How to Get Rid of Mildew Smell in Cabinets: Most Effective Methods

Air Out Your Cabinets and Space

Letting the air come out of your cabinets is the first thing you should do before doing anything else. As you know, a closed environment with humanity can easily form mold and mildew inside. 

Air out the cabinets a must. But to protect health from breathing the mildew, you should cover your face with a mask and open the cabinets in those areas with natural sunlight and air (if possible). 

Besides letting the air come out of the cabinets, we highly recommend you open your rooms and house openly to get rid of the mildew smell from the inside. One of the good things to do is run a fan and let it blow the air out. 

Find and Get Rid of the Source

In many cases, the mildew visits you because there is an ideal environment in your place that it can form and develop. So, instead of just trying to get rid of the smell, you should try your best to find out where the source is. 

Is the source an apple you put on the cabinets a few days ago? Is it some drops of moisture you forgot to clean off? When you find them, get rid of them immediately. 

If the mildew smell comes out from your closets, then a common reason for it is the wet clothes. We know none of us actually put wet clothes on our closets, but sometimes, when the clothes are still a little wet, we might not recognize that and put the clothes in our cabinets anyway. 

In this case, we suggest you take all the clothes out and check all of them to find the source. When you already find the mildew on your clothes, it will be better to wash all your clothes or at least the ones that were placed near that piece of outfit. Besides, consider cleaning the closet and letting it dry before putting the clothes back.

Deep Clean Your Cabinet

The previous method was about cleaning off the source, such as clothes, moistures, or organic stuff. But doing it is not enough, especially when the mildew already forms on your cabinets. To ensure the mildew and smell will be gone, you will have to deep clean your cabinets. Here are the steps!

Step 1: Choose Your Cleaner

There are many things you can choose to deep clean your cabinets, namely mild detergent, mild soap, vinegar (we will take more detail about this method), and other natural ingredients. 

Step 2: Take All the Things Out

To clean the whole cabinet and remove all mildew sources, you need to take everything out of your cabinets. You can follow the previous section to clean the stuff inside of your cabinets carefully. 

Step 3: Deep Clean the Inside and the Outside of Your Cabinets

Use the cleaner you choose, and clean off your cabinets’ inside, especially the areas with mildew. It is also essential to clean the cabinet until you do not smell that mildew odor anymore. 

Besides the main part – the inside of your cabinets, you should also check the outside to find and eliminate all the sources and potential sources. 

Step 4: Clean with Water

After applying cleaner, clean the inside and the outside of your cabinets again with water until all the cleaner solution is removed. 

Step 5: Let the Cabinets Completely Dry

Here is the crucial part. You will need to let the cabinets dry completely after putting your stuff back in. If you put things in your cabinet when it is still wet, the mildew will revisit you.

Use White Vinegar

Vinegar will work so well, but only when your wooden cabinets are dried. You can follow these steps to get the best results.

Step 1: Test Your Wooden Cabinets with Vinegar

Most wooden objects are fine with vinegar, but some might be badly affected by the acids existing on vinegar. So, spray a little bit of vinegar on a small area of the wood, and check if there is any change or damage on the surfaces. 

Step 2: Apply the Vinegar on the Mildew

Spray the vinegar on your cabinets, especially the mildew areas. After that, let the vinegar sit on the surfaces for a few hours, then clean it with a soft cloth. 

Use Odor Absorber and Humidity Absorber

Odor absorber and humidity absorber are two great products you can put in your cabinets if you are facing mildew problems. The humidity absorber can eliminate the small water particles existing in your cabinets and prevent the mustiness from forming. In contrast, the odor absorber will clean off unpleasant smells from mildew or other odor. This is an amazing combination, isn’t it?

Tips for Preventing Mildew from Coming Back

Keep Your House and Cabinet Dry

The best way to prevent mildew from forming inside of your cabinet is to keep it dry. To ensure the environment inside of your cabinet is dry, you should remove anything that might make it wet, namely wet cloth, wet shoes, or even food. 

If you put wet objects in the cabinets, the mildew might form in both objects and the cabinets. 

Get Rid of Organic Waste As Soon As Possible

Mold and mildew can grow in organic waste so fast, especially when you put it in closed spaces like cabinets and trash bins. So, it is crucial to throw away the organic waste as soon as possible to prevent mildew from forming and growing. 

You can also get benefits from organic waste in many different cases. If you have a garden, you can feed the waste (come from paper, vegetables, fruits) to enrich the nutritions your trees need by burying the waste in the garden. Moreover, you can use it to make mulch or compost it. 

Allow Sunlight to Get Inside

Another good habit of having is to allow natural airflow and sunlight to come into your house frequently. As you know, mold and mildew usually form in an environment of no direct sunlight. They cannot grow in dry and clean places. Besides the house, it will help a lot more if you put the cabinets in those places with direct sunlight and natural air. 

Use Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is a great machine we should use to get a drier atmosphere. Sometimes, your space has a high level of humanity because of many factors, such as weather, your region’s characteristics, or because there are not many windows or doors in your place. 

In these situations, a dehumidifier will effortlessly help you reduce the humidity level. Therefore, the mildew and mold will be less likely to develop in your space.

Get Rid of the Moisture Immediately 

Moisture can help mildew grow so fast in your cabinets. So, make sure you do not leave any moisture on your house, room, or closed spaces like cabinets. When you see the moisture, grab a cloth or a cloth-head mop, and clean it off right away.

Often Check Your Cabinets

If you use wooden cabinets, you should check them more frequently than those made from other materials. Why? Mildew can grow so much faster on organic surfaces like wood, and when you already have it, it will be more challenging to get rid of the mildew and prevent it from coming back in the future. 

Our Last Opinion

Getting rid of mildew can be easy, but eradicating its smell is another story. However, with the solution, tips, and tricks in this blog, we hope you now know how to get rid of mildew smell in cabinets and prevent it from coming back again. 

Remember that, no matter how carefully you clean off your cabinets, the mildew can come back anytime if you do not do something to prevent the mildew from coming back. Therefore, we highly recommend you combine our mildew cleaning methods and mildew prevention tips to keep your space clean and fresh.

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