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How to Remove Musty Smell from Board Games – Best Way

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Do your board games smell musty? Let’s resolve the issue with a few simple fixes, and store board games correctly to prevent the musty smell in the first place. 

Pulling out your favorite classic board game to be ready for a family and friends game night is an exciting ways to kick off a fun evening. But dealing with unpleasant odor when opening board game boxes is hard to endure.  

How do you remove musty smell from board games? The easiest way to remove musty smell from board games is to place a bowl of baking soda inside a closed lid container. Sprinkle the baking soda over the games, it may take a while to remove the odor completely but it is the most cost effective way. 

As board games become aged and have been stored or not been played in a long time, there is a slight musty smell along with dust. Without proper storage, the smell sticks to the cardboard and may be impossible to get rid of. 

Toremove musty smell from board games, carefully inspect for mold, the vacuum the dust and clean it with a vinegar and soap solution. Before storing, completely dry the pieces so that no moisture is left inside to cause mold growth.

This will help to rescue the board game from mildew and help control the odor lingering in the game. 

In this article, we will review the causes and dangers of musty smell. Answered below are frequently asked questions about must inside board games and tips to remove and prevent musty smells from happening on board games.

Why does the board game smell musty?

A board game can smell musty due to mold growth. The issue with board games is that moisture starts to buildup inside the box, which results in musty smell. 

The shelves at home may have drastic changes in temperature and moisture and humidity levels can vary from summer to winter causing mold issues to arise. To prevent from odor, keep board games extra dry in a well-ventilated, dimly lit area.

Musty smell is a stale, moldy and pungent odor. If you have not used board games for some time and have put in the closet for a decade, then chances are that they have developed a musty smell over time.

Must is an indication of decay, and left unchecked could cause the board games to rot and become unplayable.

The reasons for musty smell include:

  • Inadequate air flow
  • Trapped odors
  • Mildew
  • Dampness
  • Mold spores
  • Release of foul gases from mold or mildew.
  • Moisture retention
  • Darkness and stagnation

Whether you have previously played board game indoor or outdoor, you may have mistakenly spilled drinks or came in contact with morning midst. Without cleaning before storing the games, these issues can manifest later on. 

Is musty smell on board games dangerous?

Yes, a musty smell can be dangerous as it is a sign of decay and the growth of mold or release of mold spores. They tend to land on surfaces where there is extra moisture and warmth, ultimately leading to the release of toxic and hazardous gases resulting in funky and unpleasant odors.

Mold spores that produce a musty smell are toxic to pets and humans. They are specifically harmful to people with respiratory disorders, weak immune systems, or asthma. 

When exposed to mold and musty smells, people can experiences symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, headaches, coughing, irritation, and respiratory issues that are potentially hazardous to your health.

Safeguard yourself with mask and gloves when cleaning the mold from the surface of your board games.

What takes the musty smell away from board games?

Febreze helps to get rid of musty smell and can mask the odor rather than completely removing the cause, thus making it a quick solution but not the best solution. After a couple hours, smell can linger back and prevent the games from smelling fresh.

Generally, board games are made from coated paper, wood, or plastic. Plastic is easier to clean while paper products should be wiped down with a damp cloth and then dried out immediately. 

Wood is something you need to clean with baking soda and vinegar solution in water or use denatured alcohol. Similar to paper or cardboard, wood must be completely dried before storing.

Vacuum to remove the any loose debris, and spray the recommended mixture solution. Clean using a toothbrush and then dry it out in a well ventilated area. 

Place a fabric softener or use baking soda inside the box for deodorizing. Simply, take the musty smell away from your board game by throwing in a fabric softener sheet or bowl of baking soda in the game box. 

Lock the box corners with clear tape and seal the seams as well to avoid any tearing. Ensure not to sprinkle the baking soda on the game and don’t place the fabric sheet on top of boards because it will stain. 

Tips to prevent a musty smell in board games

Preventing a musty smell from happening to your board games in the first place is important. The musty odor equals mold and mildew that spreads quite quickly between other board games. 

To prevent a musty smell in board games, avoid exposure of moisture, dampness, and stagnant air.

Here are additional useful tips to prevent a musty smell in board games:

  • Take clean paper like newspaper and tear them into smaller pieces. Place them inside your board game, and let them sit for 2 weeks for the paper to absorb any odors and moisture. 
  • Expose the box to well-ventilated air by opening them. This will dry out any moisture within thereby creating the opposite environment for mold-forming.
  • Place a fabric softener sheet inside a board game to eliminate and prevent the musty smell.
  • Take a box of baking soda and place it inside to get rid of the smell.
  • Add silica gel packets inside the box when storing. 
  • Include activated charcoal packets in the board game box. 
  • In a closed container, store game pieces with cat litter for a day or two to get rid of smell quickly.

Removing musty smell after mold build-up on board games has occurred is pretty challenging. It is best practice to store and add shredded newspaper, fabric softener sheet, baking soda, or silica gel packets to prevent mildew in the first place. 

Most importantly, maintain your classic collection by cleaning up frequently to avoid this issue. Once the musty odor has taken a stronghold, it is even harder to remove.

How to remove must smell from board games

Musty Smell on Board Games: Conclusion

Board games may look easy to clean and maintain, but it does take a bit of skill and technique to protect them for a long time. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to remove musty smells from board games with ease. 

The musty smell occurs due to the formation of mold spores. Some other reasons for musty smells is due to inadequate airflow, dampness, release of toxic gases from mold or mildew and moisture retention when stored improperly.

Removing musty odors may take time and specific methods to completely take away the problem. 

The most affordable and easiest way to get rid of smell is placing a box of baking soda inside the board game box or closed container with game pieces. Do no sprinkle the baking soda on the surface of games as it can cause more issues when it comes to protecting the material and design of the game. 

Most games pieces are made with coated cardboard, paper, wood, or plastic. Plastic and coated paper pieces are easy to clean up where as wood can be challenging to clean without special tools. 

Always dry the pieces out completely when cleaned with solutions to avoid from musty smell from reoccurring. Regular cleaning is always good for maintaining the board game in top condition to further extend its shelf life.

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