Damp Smell in the Kitchen Cupboard

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Help your kitchen cupboards smell fresh again.
Help your kitchen cupboards smell fresh again. (Image: modern kitchen with cabinets image by redking from Fotolia.com)

Mold and mildew give off a particular odor that smells damp. These fungi live in dark places where condensation or water leaks happen. Keeping cupboards that are susceptible to mold and mildew clean is the first step to removing their damp odor from your kitchen.

Causes of Damp Smells

An unpleasant damp scent often comes from mold or mildew growing. In dark places that have access to water or condensation, such as kitchen cupboards, the walls or wood may become saturated, and, when they can't dry, they begin to grow fungi. Mold and mildew may also grow on towels left wet inside a cupboard. Mold is constantly present in the air, but when it attaches to a surface, it can grow out of control. Mold produces mildew, which is a thin, white or bluish-green substance.

Mold and Mildew Prevention

The best way to prevent mold and mildew is to keep your cupboards clean and dry. Fix any leaky pipes or other causes of condensation immediately. If the cupboards do become wet, keep the doors open to allow them to dry completely. Throw away any items in your cupboards that have mold or mildew on them. Kitchen grime feeds mold and mildew, so clean your cupboards frequently that are susceptible to it. If you have had a leak, remove moisture from the air inside your cupboards with a dehumidifier.

Cleaning Mold and Mildew

Some items aren't worth trying to clean mold and mildew from. Throw away any affected towels, sponges or other inexpensive, disposable items. All surfaces, including wood, may be cleaned with a mixture of 10 tbsp. washing soda dissolved in a gallon of hot water. Once the area is clean, disinfect it with a mixture of 1 cup of household bleach mixed with 1 gallon of water. Dry all surfaces well once they are clean. If any wood, drywall or particleboard are saturated with mold and mildew, you may have to have that portion removed and replaced.

Where Mold and Mildew Might Live

Mold and mildew grow in places that are dark and damp. The cupboard under your kitchen sink is a prime location for these fungi. Around windows, where condensation may form on wood frames, and hidden behind curtains are another place to look for mold and mildew. Any cupboards that might be dampened by steam from your kitchen sink or stove may also start to become damp smelling.

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