How to Remove the Smell of Water Damage From a Home

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Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar

  • Wet/dry vacuum

  • Fans

  • Baking soda

  • Broom

  • Vacuum

  • Spray bottle


Running a dehumidifier in the room will remove moisture from the air and reduce the chance of mold and mildew growth.

Water damage can happen because of a leaky roof, broken pipe or the aftermath of a fire. No matter what the cause, water damage can fill your home with an unpleasant odor. The unpleasant odor caused by the water damage can last for weeks and even months after the initial incident. Fortunately, several inexpensive all-natural remedies can remove the water damage smell without using harsh chemicals.


Step 1

Open all the doors and windows in your home. Not only will this help air out the house, but it will provide the area with better air circulation and ventilation.

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Step 2

Remove mold and mildew from surfaces. Mold and mildew is a common side effect of water damage that will cause a musty odor to fill your home. Use undiluted white vinegar to kill the mold and remove the odor.

Step 3

Remove excess moisture from carpeting with a wet/dry vacuum. The carpet's fibers trap moisture, which will cause mold and mildew to grow and create an unpleasant musty odor. Point fans in the direction of the carpet to help dry it out.


Step 4

Sprinkle baking soda on dried carpeting. Use a broom to work the baking soda into the carpet. Allow the baking soda to sit on the carpet overnight. Baking soda is an all-natural deodorizer that will remove carpet odors and is safe to use around children and pets. Remove the baking soda by vacuuming it up.

Step 5

Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar. Liberally spray smelly upholstery with the vinegar. Allow the vinegar to air-dry on the upholstery. Vinegar has a pungent odor, but it will dissipate quickly and take the musty odors trapped in the upholstery with it.


Step 6

Launder washable items — such as clothing and curtains — as you normally would, except add 2 cups of white vinegar into the washer's drum. The vinegar will remove the water damage smell while killing mold and mildew.