Many of us have experienced that old, musty smell that comes from cabinets when they haven’t been opened for a long time.
The smell of mildew is incredibly bad and it is going to pervade quite quickly throughout the kitchen, and it won’t be long before the smell ends up in other cabinets as well. It is important for you to make sure that you get rid of this smell as quickly as possible.
Musty odors and the smells in the kitchens don’t really go well together, so it’s important for you to make sure that you get rid of this bad aroma as soon as you can.
The bigger problem is that your cabinets are going to become unusable until you are able to get rid of the smell. You need to make sure that you get rid of the smell otherwise it’s going to quickly move to the dinnerware that’s kept in the cabinet as well.
If you are going to keep dishes and dry goods in your cabinets, you need to ensure that you get rid of the smells first. If musty odors continue to come back to your cabinets from time to time, you need to take a few steps to get rid of theproblem.
Here is a brief guide on how to get rid of the smell of mildew from the cabinets.
1 – An Empty Inspection
The first step that you need to take is to figure out exactly where the smell is coming from. To do this, you need to begin by carrying out a thorough inspection.
Take everything out of your cabinets and then keep it all outside. Once you are done, you need to visually inspect the cabinets, starting from the back.
It is imperative that you figure out exactly where the smell is coming from so that you are able to determine the right spot. If the cabinets were bought from a salvage yard or a used store, there is a strong chance that because they were kept in a dark area for a long while, the smell popped up from there.
You need to use a flashlight and shine it brightly in each of the cabinets. It’s important for you to figure out exactly where the smell is coming from so that you are able to come up with an accurate solution.
If the cabinets were bought from somewhere else and were waterlogged at one point in time, you might want to consider discarding them altogether. There is absolutely no point in keeping the cabinets once they have gotten excessively waterlogged.
The best thing to do is just get rid of them altogether.
2 – Air Out the Cabinets
You need to understand that fresh, dry air is actually quite capable of getting rid of the smells from your cabinets. It helps in removing the moisture partially from the cabinets, and this is going to help neutralize the smell too.
However, don’t expect full success because of this. If the cabinets came from outside and have been reeking of this smell for a long while, you might want to keep them out in a sunny area, such as your backyard.
However, before you do that, it is important that you check the conditions outdoors. They need to be non-humid, otherwise it’s only going to make the problem worse.
Remember, to completely dry out the cabinets, you might have to leave them outdoors for several days at the very least.
If the smell is coming from inside your house, you might want to check the level of humidity. The best thing to do is put up a dehumidifier and turn it on at your place.
Similarly, you should also consider turning on the air conditioner on a dry setting to get rid of the smell.
Open the windows and turn on the fans to allow the musty smell to move away from your house quickly.
You need to make sure that the air inside your house is allowed to escape on a consistent basis. You need to dehumidify the air regularly to ensure that it remains fresh and clean.
Remember, mustiness doesn’t happen overnight, so you need to make sure that you keep the place as open as possible. This is going to help get rid of the dampness from the cabinets.
Once the wood gets dry, you can then just keep it back in the kitchen. Because the moisture level in the kitchen is generally higher than other rooms, it’s important for you to know that proper aeration is necessary to get rid of the smell.
Also, you need to understand that there is a strong chance that the smell might return to the cabinets again. Therefore, it’s recommended that you follow up regularly and air out the cabinets from time to time to prevent the smell from returning.
As mentioned, the kitchen is generally a musty place with higher moisture levels. The least you can do to prevent the cabinets from getting all musty again and again is to add a dehumidifier to the area.
It’s also going to bring down the overall levels of moisture, and increase the useful life of your equipment too.
3 – Use Vinegar
Vinegar is one of the most effective substances that you can use to get rid of the mustiness. In some cases, you won’t have to make use of harsh chemicals to get rid of the smells, especially the musty ones.
In fact, you can easily get rid of these smells using something as simple as vinegar.
Vinegar is a natural and incredibly inexpensive alternative that is going to help you get rid of all kinds of smells.
The ideal way to make use of vinegar is to first mix it in the right way, and then let it work its magic. You will have to give it a bit of time to work properly before you decide to clean the cabinets again.
First, you need to test a small area of the cabinet before you spray the vinegar throughout the cabinets. It’s important that the acid-based cleaner doesn’t cause any further damage to the cabinets in general.
If the wooden cabinets do not show any adverse signs of damage once you apply the vinegar on a small patch, just give it a little while and let it work its magic.
You need to spray the vinegar on the entire interior of the cabinets. It’s always recommended that you use distilled white vinegar on the surfaces.
Once you are done, let the vinegar sit in the cabinets for at least two hours. Once done, you can then wipe it off using a damp cloth.
Remember, this method is only effective once the wood has dried. If the wood is still wet, it’s only going to cause mildew to appear on the surface again.
You need to make sure that you first dry the wood out before you start applying the vinegar in the interior of the cabinets.
Vinegar is a natural absorbent and is used for getting rid of some of the toughest smells that it might come across. Using it in such situations is a fantastic idea.
4 – Use Odor Absorbers
The smell of musty cabinets is quite old, and people have been dealing it with for centuries.
One of the best things that you can do is make use of odor absorbers to get rid of the scent. Odor absorbers are basically different kinds of items that are able to absorb smells quite effectively.
For instance, you can make use of cedar wood chips or scented sachets, and place them in the cabinets. They are able to absorb the scents quite effectively with minimal hassle and ensure that it stays away.
These are ideal choices for getting rid of unwanted scents from wooden cabinets, and they are also quite effective in keeping these musty smells at bay.
One of the best things that you can do is keep a bowl of baking soda in the back of the cabinet. Baking soda is incredibly effective at getting rid of different kinds of smells, and it is able to keep these smells at bay with minimal hassle.
This is an excellent way to get rid of any musty smells or lingering odors from your cabinets. However, you need to replace the baking soda after every few weeks as well.
Investigate and Get Rid of the Problem
If the musty odor remains no matter what steps you take, it might be a wise idea to carry out a thorough inspection to determine where the smell is coming from, and then get rid of the problem once and for all.
If there is some kind of a water leak that is causing a problem, you need to figure out and fix the problem properly.
These are just some of the best ways to get rid of the smell of mildew from your cabinets.
I have two Associate’s degrees, one in Medical Assisting and the other in Computer Technician, and I am roughly five classes from a bachelor’s degree. Though I never ended up working in the medical field, I have five and a half years of experience in IT. I recently became a stay-at-home mom to my two young boys, and I’m so excited to start this adventure with them! In my spare time, I love to bake and read pretty much anything I can get my hands on.