How to Get Rid of Musty Smells in Homes

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Things You'll Need

  • Fans

  • Laundry detergent

  • White vinegar

  • Baking soda

  • Vacuum

  • Sponge or cloth

  • Air purifier with HEPA filter

  • Bowls

  • Activated charcoal

Musty odors turn your home into a stinky mess.

When wood, clothing, carpets and furniture become damp, mold or mildew will begin to grow. Not only will the fungus damage and stain the object, it will also fill your home with a nose-wrinkling musty smell. This musty aroma will last for weeks after you have removed the fungus and commercial odor remover sprays merely cover up the smell. Fortunately, several inexpensive and non-toxic products will get rid of the musty smells instead of merely masking the odor.

Step 1

Open windows on a warm day. Leave the windows open for several hours. Turn fans on while the windows are open to get the air circulating.

Step 2

Put washable items in the washing machine with the appropriate amount of laundry detergent and 1 cup of white vinegar and launder as you normally would.

Step 3

Leave a layer of baking soda on carpets for 24 hours, then remove the baking soda with a vacuum. Baking soda will absorb odors trapped in the carpet.

Step 4

Wash hard surfaces such as walls, floors, wood and counter tops with a sponge or cloth dampened in undiluted white vinegar. Let the white vinegar air dry on the surface and repeat the process until the odors are no longer present.

Step 5

Run an air purifier that features a HEPA filter. The HEPA filter air purifier will remove particles and odors from the air. Alternatively, place bowls filled with activated charcoal or white vinegar around the home to absorb odors from the air.


Amanda Flanigan

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.