You should start with the basics first; chances are, if you've reached the point of looking for help in terms of getting rid of sour house smells on the internet, then you need to do some serious cleaning. Set aside a day, or a weekend, specifically for cleaning.
If you don't want to or you can't do it alone, enlist the help of those you live with. Perhaps you can also ask for your friends' help. Bribe them with pizza and beer or brochettes and wine if you have to. Afterwards, use the following suggestions to get rid of your house smell, and maintain a fresh, aromatic or at least breathable living space.
Sour House Smell Removal
* Dry out the living quarters first, and then clean out your basement so it is empty of anything that can hold moisture and run it down there as well. Remove cardboard boxes.
* If you have a forced air heating and cooling system with ducts on your home, get the ducts checked. Decades-old houses can have mold, lots of built-up of dirt and other nasty stuff that can cause a foul odor. Your ducts can also be rusting now, so you may need to have them changed.
The newer ducts available on the market today are much more energy efficient. You'll save air conditioning costs this summer by getting new ducts. You can also hire a company that cleans ducts to inspect the ducts you have right now. Some have a camera that can show you what is in your ducts. Be careful who you get! Use a reputable company and check with the Better Business Bureau. Ask them for references. Some only clean a short way and spray a deodorizer. The estimate to get your ducts cleaned can be hundreds of dollars less than getting new ones.
* Check your carpets. Sometimes carpets are steam cleaned unprofessionally and a lot of water remains. This causes mildewing and a related musty odor.
Remove your carpets and put in hardwood or similar type flooring, with area rugs that can be cleaned outside of the home and dried before returning to the area. If your carpets are ten years old, it doesn't hurt to remove them.
* You may have a mold of some sort growing in your carpet or behind your wallpaper. Create a bleach solution (1:10 to start, then up to 1: 4 if it does not work) and gently wash down all of your walls and mop boards. Rent a hot water carpet cleaner and put a bleach solution into the reservoir rather than the soap they try to sell you. Add a drop or two of dish soap, but add no more. It is the water that cleans, not the soap. Adding too much soap will actually make your carpet dirty because it does not rinse out of the carpet and soap bonds with dirt.
* Though chlorinated bleach is very notorious in discoloring a lot of things, you may …