How to Get Rid of Mildew Odors From Walls

A musty, dank smell coming from your walls is typical of mildew odor. Where there's mildew smell, there's usually mildew spores as well. Left unattended, walls that simply smell of mildew can develop mildew spores on the exterior of the wall as well as the interior. Rampant mildew growth can be dangerous to you and your family but is easily avoidable with cleaning and regular maintenance.

Similar to other household surfaces, your walls need to be cleaned, too.
Carrying your wall-cleaning solution around in a bucket makes cleaning more convenient.

Pour 1 cup household bleach into a bucket with 1 gallon warm water. Stir the solution to mix.

Bleach can irritate dry and sensitive skin.

Wear rubber gloves to protect the skin on your hands and arms from getting dried out from the bleach.

Soak a clean cloth in the bleach solution, then squeeze out the excess liquid. Wash down your walls where mildew odor exists. The diluted bleach will kill any existing mildew spores while removing the accompanying odor.

Allow your walls to air-dry. Open windows, when possible, to circulate fresh air in order to aid the drying process and remove strong bleach smell.

Remove lingering mildew odor on your walls with white vinegar poured onto a clean cloth. Wipe the smelly surface with the vinegar-soaked cloth, then let it air-dry.

Things You Will Need

  • Bucket
  • 1 cup bleach
  • Rubber gloves
  • Clean cloths
  • White vinegar


  • Fresh air from open windows helps deodorize your walls and the rest of the room.
  • Run a dehumidifier in damp, musty rooms to remove excess humidity. This helps get rid of mildew odors.
  • Place a bowl of activated charcoal in the room with mildew-smelling walls. Leave it there overnight to absorb the odors.


  • If mildew odor persists after all of your cleaning and odor-removing efforts, call a specialist to make sure mildew hasn't gotten into the insides of the walls.

About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.

Photo Credits

  • closeup of livingroom image by Melking from Fotolia.com
  • bucket image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com
  • medical gloves image by sasha from Fotolia.com