How to Get Rid of Musty Smell in House

It’s always great and invigorating to wake up in a fresh-smelling bedroom and perform your daily activities in a clean environment. But what happens if you have to deal with a musty odor that won’t go away no matter how much you try? The bad damp smell is usually caused by mold and mildew and is intensified by unhealthy habits like poor ventilation, unnecessary storage of useless things, or scarce cleaning. Nonetheless, when your house starts to smell bad, it’s time to take some action and find the most effective ways of riding the air of musty smell in the air.

Thoroughly clean the house

You can’t obtain a fresh house if you don’t clean it very well and this should be the first step in removing bad odors. The basement, in particular, can develop mold and mildew that are encouraged by clutter and dirt. If moisture gets into your house and you keep suffocating it with all sorts of items that you never throw away and you allow moisture to get deeper into your belongings, you will never be able to achieve a fresh air. Therefore, make sure you clean your house very well and that you throw away all the unnecessary things. Wash all the fabrics that could be damp and smelly and allow everything to dry to perfection. Clean the upholstery and the carpets and remove every sign of mold you might encounter.

Buy an odor absorber

If the smell persists even after you have cleaned the house very well, perhaps the problem is in the air as odor particles can be harder to remove. The best solution is this situation is the odor absorber that retains and neutralizes bad odors in the air. Usually, odor absorbers are electrically-charged natural volcanic rocks that capture odor particles like a magnet, thus freshening the air. You can also use charcoal briquettes that are equally efficient in removing bad odors and giving the air a fresh touch. Odor absorbers can be used in any room of the house and are highly efficient in areas that are constantly fighting musty smells like the basement, the attic, or the bathroom.

Install a dehumidifier

One of the wisest things you can do is to fight the cause, which is the increased air humidity. When the air gets too wet, mold spores start to develop and to spread at high speeds. Once mold and mildew take over your house, it won’t be long until the air will start to smell bad due to the mold spores. The dehumidifier is your best ally in this situation because it can not only remove air humidity but it also filters the air and retains odor particles. After you detect the areas of the house that require dehumidifying, you can opt for a certain type of unit such as a basement or a bathroom one. Each unit is designed to handle a certain area and has various features and operating levels that make it suitable for a particular room.

Open the windows

Ventilation is crucial in removing the unpleasant damp smell because it also contributes to drying the air and replacing dull and smelly air with clean and fresh air from outdoors. You should ensure proper ventilation in your house regardless the season and you should leave the windows opened in the morning when the air is the cleanest. In the basement, in the garage, or in the bathroom, where the air humidity could increase above the normal level, you should let a window opened at all times in order to allow the air to circulate. Also, avoid cooking with all the windows closed to avoid increasing the air humidity and always ventilate after you shower or when you dry clothes indoors. Not circulating the air and allowing moisture to turn into dampness will eventually lead to musty smell that you wouldn’t want.

Use natural odor repellents

If you want to be smart and rid your house of bad smells without using scented sprays, you can always resort to natural air absorbers like lemon or baking soda. In small rooms, you can place plates with baking soda or lemon peels that will absorb bad air smells. For bigger rooms, boil lemon peels then set the pan aside in the musty room. The lemons will soon attract and retain odor particles in the air, leaving the room fresher and cleaner.


  • Nicole

    I want to use an odor absorber in the bedroom but I fear it will release toxins into the air when it gets filled with odor particles. Could you tell me if there is any reason I should be concerned? Thanks.

    • Shannon Ward

      There is nothing to worry about because whether you use volcanic rocks or charcoal briquettes, there is no risk of releasing any harmful particles back into the air. As the absorber traps in bad smells, none of the particles go back into the room. Glad we could help.

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