Basements are ideal for mold and mildew growth, which produces damp, musty smells. The best way to get rid of the musty smell from your basement is to remove the excess moisture growing in the crevices of your dirt or concrete walls (in unfinished basements) or your drywall (in finished basements). The following are some tried-and-true natural ways to get rid of that musty basement smell, plus some tips on preventing musty odors caused by moisture.
The reasons for the musty smell in basements
In your mind, there is no doubt. There’s nothing like the smell of a basement. It’s unmistakable and unmistakable. You cannot mistake the scent of a garage or even a bathroom for that of a basement.
There are a variety of descriptions for basement musty smells, including earthy, meaty, or similar to rotten wood, wet socks, mushrooms, or wet dogs. If you add some tangy or sweet notes, the odor will be closer to that of a genuinely musty basement.
Basement musty odors can be caused by various factors, which is why understanding these causes is crucial to finding the right solution.
How to get rid of musty smell in basement?
Here are some of the effective methods on how to get rid of musty smell in basements:
1. Clean all surfaces with a clean cloth and soap solution
Once you enter the basement, you will see flooring and walls with dusty components like brick, cement, or wood, making it very difficult for homeowners to eliminate this type of scent. Meanwhile, when we talk about the musty smell in basements, we mean that tons of tiny molds exist in our place that can cause such a foul odor.
You surely do not want your family members who live inside your house to experience different kinds of health problems brought by mold exposure, right? It is molds multiply rapidly, so if you do not take any action and work on removing this scent right away, you will experience health problems in the future which can be more serious.
2. Open all windows and doors to increase air circulation
Aside from removing molds that cause a musty smell in your house, it is also essential that you ensure enough ventilation inside the space since it helps get rid of foul odors and get rid of moisture content, which can improve or remove this foul scent for good. Meanwhile, if there are electric fans available, using them will help circulate air effectively. It would be best if you set them to face outwards so that the bad smell will go outside and fresh air will come in instead.
3. Find the source of the smell
To find out what is causing this musty scent, you have to use a nose as your guide. You need to identify if it comes from some appliances or trash that may already be present in your area. Once you can pinpoint the source, start cleaning them right away and remove any items which can contribute to foul odor. Also, make sure you clean every place, including under the sink, where moisture content has probably accumulated for years now.
4. Spray air freshener
If the cause of the musty smell cannot be identified, you should not hesitate anymore and spray air fresher like baking soda after diluting it with water since it will help eliminate bad scents at its source. It is also essential that you check your basement now and then to remove the smell quickly once it appears again.
5. Vinegar solution
Aside from using baking soda, which you can easily find at home, white vinegar is also one of the best solutions for this problem. You can easily purchase at supermarkets or grocery stores. Once you have acquired these ingredients, you should mix white vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio. Then, spray this solution directly on walls and flooring where mold might already exist. You will notice that after doing this process, there are more musty smells produced by your mixture.
However, you do not have to worry since it will go away after leaving the basement for some time. Meanwhile, if there are still traces of mold, make sure you wear protective clothing and a mask before spraying this solution because it can irritate your skin and nose.
6. Baking soda
Using baking soda has been one of the most effective ways to get rid of the musty smell in basements which is also easy to purchase at any store or supermarket. It would be best if you sprinkled baking soda directly on the flooring where foul odor frequently appears plus other areas prone to humidity like cracks and crevices so that it will help eliminate bad smells over time, mainly once moisture content accumulates inside these small spaces.
However, it is essential that you also check the area after two days to have no more moisture content remaining. Henceforth, you can remove these baking soda particles and replace them with new ones since they lose effectiveness once they become wet.
7. Coffee grounds
Coffee has long been known as one of the most effective home remedies for getting rid of the musty smell in basements accessible almost everywhere. You have to prepare some coffee grounds, then leave them inside small strainer bowls filled with water overnight.
Make sure you place these bowls at different areas where this foul odor frequently appears like corners or beside appliances like refrigerator or washing machine, among others. You should change the water every morning before letting it sit for another night. You should notice a reduction in lousy odor instead of wondering what you can do about the musty smell in the basement.
8. Bleach and water solution
Aside from using coffee as your first line of defense, bleach and water solution is also one of the most effective ways to get rid of the musty smell in basements accessible at any store or supermarket. Many homeowners have used this combination since it gives powerful results after application; however, make sure you wear protective clothing like gloves and a mask before handling this mixture because it may irritate your skin and nose if inhaled. Once these are worn accordingly, you have to combine equal parts of bleach with water then put them inside a large bucket.
Afterward, it would be best to dip a cloth or mop into this solution and then use it to wipe every corner and crevice where mold might already exist, including those underneath sinks or behind appliances like the refrigerator, among others.
Meanwhile, if there is still a musty smell even after removing all moisture content, make sure you repeat the process and look for other possible areas where mold might be hiding to get rid of this problem completely.
9. Boric acid
Boric acid has been known as one of the most effective home remedies on how to get rid of musty smell in basements which can easily be purchased at any store or supermarket. It works by killing off germs and bacteria that affect human health, such as dust mites plus mold around the house.
You should be aware that this type of powder is not only effective inside your basement but also in other parts of the home like the kitchen and bathroom, among others, because it can keep these areas moist-free by preventing any moisture content from accumulating these spaces. To eradicate the musty smell in the basement, you have to sprinkle boric acid directly on the flooring. This problem seems to appear frequently in areas prone to high humidity content, such as cracks and crevices.
However, make sure you wear protective clothing before handling this type of powder because if inhaled, it may cause irritating allergy symptoms, especially for people with a sensitive nose. Thus, ensure safety first by wearing a mask and gloves before applying this home remedy.
10. Bleach and vinegar solution
Vinegar is known as one of the most effective home remedies on how to get rid of musty smell in basements accessible everywhere; it also works by killing off bacteria and germs like mold around the house.
Additionally, you should be aware that this type of solution does not provide immediate results; however, it may take several days before a significant development will be after application. Meanwhile, don’t forget to add some bleach into this mixture because it can kill any harmful microorganisms that might exist inside your basement, like mold or mildew, among others.