Recently I noticed a mildewy smell in my son's room. It smelt like someone left a pile of clothes too long in the washing machine, then threw them in his room.

I searched everywhere and cleaned everything in his room looking for the source of the smell. I even made my husband cut a whole in the wall, pull down the bathroom mirror, and pull up the carpet all for the sake of finding the cause.

The smell got so bad that my son also began smelling like mildew. Regardless of how well I washed him, his clothes, bedding, or cleaned his room the smell persisted. I decided to move him and all his clothes into his sister's room until I found a solution.

Oddly enough, my son still smells like mildew. He has no contact with his room right now, and yet he continues to emit this odor. It doesn't matter if he's hot and sweaty or right out of the shower. It doesn't matter what time of day it is or what he's doing- the smell is still there.

Please help! I don't want my sweet little boy to be the "smelly kid" at school!!!

Is there some sort of illness or condition that can cause an otherwise clean, healthy 7 year old child to smell like mildew? It's getting to the point where I hate for him to even go to school because of how bad the smell is.
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First Helper Jenmariekdade77
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replied May 6th, 2008
Community Volunteer
Are you sure that it is him that smells? Maybe your towels and his clothes are smelling like it and it rubs off on him when he wears it. Make sure everything that comes out of the dryer is dry. You might want to change detergents to something a little more aggressive, like Tide with color safe bleach. See if that helps!

I'm sorry you have to live with a nasty smell...that must be hard to deal with.
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replied May 6th, 2008
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Have you checked to see if your washing machine has mildew in it?
That could be a reason... Like mominashoe said, it's probably rubbing off on him from his clothes or something.

There are ailments that cause strange smells though. I would perhaps take him to a dermatologist or something if you still can't find the cause of the smell.
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replied March 2nd, 2009
strange body odor
when i was a child my mom took me to the doctor because she could not get rid of a mildew odor on me, even though she bathed me several times. The doctor found a piece of styrofoam in my nose. Some how i had dug it out of my mattress and stuck it in my nose, though i was only about 2 years old. You might want to take him to the doctor to check his ears and nose. ALSO, something very serious that can cause a nasty mildew odor on the body which gets spread to the bed and on towls after showering is having large amounts of sugar in the urine which is called Ketoacidosis, which is a result of diabetes. I just suggest you take him to the doctor for a good looking over, including blood tests. Hope this was helpful....
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replied October 19th, 2011
My son, 14 years old, recently developed this same odor. Like visionthing I thought it might be smelly socks or somesuch though it doesn't completely smell like that. Not really like rotting food or dirty clothes but "mildew-ish" comes close, I guess.
He is pre-diabetic so I am now concerned. But he happened to just have a blood test yesterday so....
boots
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replied April 10th, 2012
Musty Body Odor with Fruity Smell
This is a medical problem. I have Type 1 Diabetes (Juvenile Diabetes). I am not saying your son has diabetes .But, we have a problem with Keytons. These Keytons cause a weird odor many say a fruity smell, I call it a strange flowery musty sharp smell. Something in which I can't say that smells like something else. But, spoiled wased clothes with a softner mell. Thats it! Its a very unusual smell.

If you read about Ketoacidosis in which we have eposodes. It will say fruity breath. I assure you the oder gets in the clothes and bed spreads and sheets.

Go get a Keytone Test kit from Walmart/ Walgreens / CVS. Pay about $12.00 it comes with 50 test strips. Follow the very easy urine test. You can go to YOUTUBE and even get instructions on how to use the KEYTONE test kit. DO NOT PANIC if its positive. ITs not an EMERGENCY if he doesn't have diabetes.

But, go to the doctor !
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replied April 10th, 2012
This is a medical problem. I have Type 1 Diabetes (Juvenile Diabetes). I am not saying your son has diabetes .But, we have a problem with Keytons. These Keytons cause a weird odor many say a fruity smell, I call it a strange flowery musty sharp smell. Something in which I can't say that smells like something else. But, spoiled wased clothes with a softner mell. Thats it! Its a very unusual smell.

If you read about Ketoacidosis in which we have eposodes. It will say fruity breath. I assure you the oder gets in the clothes and bed spreads and sheets.

Go get a Keytone Test kit from Walmart/ Walgreens / CVS. Pay about $12.00 it comes with 50 test strips. Follow the very easy urine test. You can go to YOUTUBE and even get instructions on how to use the KEYTONE test kit. DO NOT PANIC if its positive. ITs not an EMERGENCY if he doesn't have diabetes.

But, go to the doctor !
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replied February 23rd, 2016
Easy solution - its your son's pH
I think I found the answer to mildew/sour/vinegar sweat smell! After a year or two, and much experimentation, I realized my sweat didn't smell so much like mildew as vinegar. When I searched this our, I found one site that said its your pH balance being off - not so uncommon - and the solution was 1/8th teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water for 2-3 weeks - mine went away after 3 days! Try it, it's such an easily solution for such an embarrassing and seemingly difficult problem!
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replied May 8th, 2016
Musty, moldy, mildewy body odor
When I was growing up I noticed that my grandfather had a mildew or moldy body odor. Later when his health deteriorated he was admitted into a nursing home, and when visiting I noticed the entire complex had a musty, mildewy smell, just like my grandfather. He passed at age 96 and I inherited his house, which had a moldy basement. The mold had filled the entire house, the carpet, the furniture, the drapes, everything. I had to completely gut the house and fix the leaky basement which was causing the mold. But by living in that environment I started getting sick very frequently where I had been in perfect health before moving into the house. I experienced chronic sinusitis, ear infections, colds and flu, and each time my doctor gave me antibiotics. I later started to detect a moldy smell coming from my own body. It turns out that I had a Candida yeast infection, and the fungus had spread throughout my body and was being secreted through my sweat glands and the pores of my skin. These days antibiotics are prescribed too often, and they are put in processed foods that we eat to control the growth of bacteria. We naturally have what is called "GOOD" bacteria in our gut that comprises about 80% of our immune system. Antibiotics and Steroids kill off this Good bacteria and allow the Candida cells to grow out of control This is what leads to the musty body odor. Taking Probiotics daily will help control this condition, as well as limiting sugar and sweets intake. If you have Candida overgrowth it is likely you crave sweets. That is one of the symptoms. And if you have a musty or moldy smell on your body, this is likely one reason why.
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