Here's Why Your Home Has Been Smelling So Musty Lately

There are 4 distinct culprits.

Stale, stifled, moldy and damp -- it's definitely not what you want your home to smell like, but sometimes that musty scent can seem too elusive to track down and eliminate. If you've been frustrated trying to locate the source of the unpleasant odor taking over your home, here are four places that home organization expert Jill Pollack says are your likely culprits.

Hardwood Floors

 When in doubt, look down. "Hardwood floors, believe it or not, they get musty as they age, so if you don't take proper care of your hardwood floors, they will start to smell," Pollack says.

Wool Rugs

 The material used in these particular rugs is attractive to some, but it also puts them at risk for smelling musty. "Because they're wool, they attract moisture and dust," Pollack explains. "If you don't vacuum them on a regular basis, they're going to start to get moldy."

Washers and Dryers

 You might assume that something that cleans all day is immune to mustiness, but that isn't always the case, Pollack says. "You have to really maintain that area, especially if it's a front-loading washing machine. Those trap moisture really easily," she says. "Dry it out after each use. A good idea is to open the door to the washing machine and air it out -- but if you have small children, this is not a good idea."


Bathrooms are among the most potent offenders. "They are just a petri dish of moisture. If they're not properly ventilated by opening a window or opening the door or turning on the bathroom fan, you're going to have a lot of moisture that's trapped," Pollack says. "Around the tub, around the shower, around the toilet. You have to clean your bathroom very regularly to avoid a stinky bathroom!"

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