How to Remove Damp Smell from Basement?

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Mould and mildew thrive in damp, musty environments, and basements are no exception.

Standing water has a distinct stench, a combination of mould and stagnation and is very unpleasant! If your basement has moisture or standing water, you’re likely to get mould if you haven’t already, so ensure the problem is addressed as early as possible.

Getting rid of the excess moisture from mould and mildew growing in the crevices of your soil or your drywall or concrete walls in incomplete basements is the first step in removing the musty odour from your basement in finished basements. Here are some tried-and-tested ways to get rid of that musty basement odour and some moisture-related musty odour prevention techniques.

Before treating the damp smell, it is essential to find the source of the moisture. After finding the source of dampness, you must use various damp treatment options to prevent it from occurring again.

Tanking Walls

Tanking walls of a basement is a form of waterproofing for the structure. A tanking system for the internal walls will help protect from excess moisture and stop any damage to the internal walls. Tanking can come in a a physical membrane or a cement slurry. The walls must be surveyed beforehand to allow for the correct approach. Homeowners looking to get their basement tanked should seek a company offering an insurance backed guarantee for maximum protection.

Dispose of the Mould

But before that, you must throw out the items damaged by moulds such as carpets, books, clipboards, boxes, or fibreglass. Put them in the trash bags and dispose of them to prevent further damage. There is no point in cleaning such stuff. However, you can clean the damaged drywalls, floorboards or floor joists. Besides, things like shoes and clothes affected by mould must be washed and dry or thoroughly, or you can dispose of them if severely damaged. 

Pull Moisture from the Air

You can use a desiccant pack or dehumidifier to pull moisture from the air and trap the particles that cause the damp smell. These are readily available in home depot shops. Dehumidifiers can do much more than just absorb musty smells. Use it year-round to control moisture levels in your basement. Also, be careful of where you place desiccant packs. It must be placed in corners or out of reach places where moisture might condense. And don’t forget to replace them regularly. 

Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

If you decide to keep some items, such as hardwood floors or wooden furniture, take them outside and clean them thoroughly with vinegar and baking soda. Cleaning surfaces with surface mould can be done in the basement, but make sure all windows are open, giving room for ventilation while working.

Begin by squirting white vinegar on affected areas. According to studies, vinegar kills more than eighty percent of mould species while removing the musty odour. Allow around 20 minutes for the vinegar to absorb the mould. Wipe the mould away using a clean towel. Scrub the area with a sharp brush and a vinegar solution in the stubborn mould. You can also use a borax solution to eliminate black mould from their floor joists.

After removing the mould, spray the furniture with a tea tree oil or white vinegar solution to eliminate any lingering unseen mould spores. To get rid of the musty odour, sprinkle baking soda on the flooring and furnishings. You may also prepare a baking soda spray with just enough water to make a liquid for hard-to-reach areas.

Moreover, sunlight kills mould spores. So, keep the furniture out in the sun, but not too long as overexposure to the sun can cause discolouration. 

Other Cleaning Agents

For the majority of mould infestations, any mix of baking soda, vinegar, and soap water will suffice. More potent substances for destroying black moulds, such as chlorinated lime, tea tree oil, borax, hydrogen peroxide, or even bleach, may be required for stubborn infestations. If you’re using bleach, do not mix it with vinegar or anything else. When bleach is mixed with something else than water, deadly chlorine fumes are produced. Bleach will also ruin your paint and wood, so use it exclusively on the tile. If your paint has been ruined, then you will need to redecorate to help transform your property. Advanced Painters are professional decorators who can provide you with exactly what you need to fix up your home, and increase its value.

Place Coffee Beans around the Basement

Coffee grounds absorb foul odours. Already used coffee grounds can be utilised, but they must first be dried. To absorb any unpleasant odours, use tiny bowls in every corner of the basement. After that, the basement may smell like coffee, but that fragrance will fade. You always have the option of using baking soda instead of coffee if you don’t want your basement to smell like one.

Use Activated Charcoal 

It absorbs both moisture and strange smells in the air. If you use this method alone, it usually takes approximately a week for the charcoal to absorb everything. Because charcoal briquettes do not work as well as activated charcoal, I propose using activated charcoal instead. If you decide to utilise charcoal briquettes, be sure they aren’t pre-soaked with lighter fluid.


While musty odours might sometimes be unavoidable, taking proactive actions to keep your house and clothes fresh is your best bet. Using a dehumidifier, regular maintenance, cleaning agents, and wiping off moist surfaces may seem like many procedures. Still, they require significantly less time than attempting to remove damp odours. 

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