How to Get Rid of a Musty Smell in Wood Flooring

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Things You'll Need

  • Bucket

  • Water

  • White vinegar

  • Cleaning mop

  • Baking soda

  • Broom

Deodorize musty wood floors with white vinegar.

Musty smells, common in many homes, are often found in the flooring of the home. Smell can occur from little ventilation, excess moisture, lack of sunlight or an odor that has developed over the years in older flooring. To keep your home smelling fresh, safely clean and deodorize the wood flooring without damaging the floor. The right cleaning element also disinfects, killing any odor-causing bacteria.


Step 1

Fill a bucket with 1 gallon of water and 1 cup of white vinegar. The vinegar is a natural cleaning and deodorizing agent that also safely disinfects.

Step 2

Dip a mop into the cleaning solution and wring it out. Wipe the damp mop over the musty smelling floor in the direction of the wood grain. Continue until you clean the entire floor.

Step 3

Let the floor air dry and repeat if any musty smell remains on the wood.

Step 4

Sprinkle a light layer of baking soda over the wood floor and let it sit overnight. The baking soda is an additional deodorizing element that's safe for use on wood surfaces.

Step 5

Sweep up the baking soda with a broom, then mop with the water and vinegar cleaning solution.


The vinegar smell will dissipate on its own.


Excess moisture can damage wood floors, so don't let any liquids sit.



Mel Frank

Mel Frank is a professional freelance writer with over 15 years of writing experience. She has completed a wide variety of writing assignments for a number of publications that include CNN and various websites. Frank received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from a prestigious university in Pennsylvania.