How To Get Rid Of The Musty Smell In Your Basement

Whether you've fully utilized your basement as another room or just use it for storage, it's not the greatest feeling in the world when you walk down those stairs and are greeted with a musty smell. Not only is the odor not pleasant, but it's a sure sign that there's some mold or mildew growing down there.

As Den Garden summarizes, basements are the perfect storm for musty smells, thanks to the lack of sunlight, a constant ambient temperature, and the fact that a basement is underground. Those who use their basements as a laundry room or have some kind of drainage system down there are extra susceptible to mold growing, as water is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. And once those fungi have taken hold, they release unpleasant-smelling gasses, which can be extremely difficult to get rid of, according to Engineered Solutions. These smells can even permeate furniture and carpeting, making it extra pungent.

Tough as it may seem, however, there are ways to gradually get rid of that moldy basement smell for good — and there are preventive measures you can put in place for it to never happen again.

Getting rid of a moldy smell can be as simple as using cat litter or coffee grounds to absorb the unpleasant odors

First, you need to figure out where exactly the mold and mildew is coming from. Looking for cracks in pipes, walls, and ceilings is a great first step, which could be a sign that water is seeping through from the soil outside or from a leak. AdvantaClean also suggests checking that your walls aren't bowing or bulging, as these unsteady walls are likely to let more water in when it rains, according to the site.

Once the mold or mildew is found, it's time to eradicate it. You can do this by mixing undiluted white vinegar and water by putting it in a spray bottle and spraying the affected areas. You'll also need to dehumidify the room to remove the moisture.

As for the smell, getting rid of it can be done in a multitude of ways, but the most common is, interestingly enough, to leave open containers of cat litter or baking soda around the basement, according to ServiceMaster Restore. Both substances can absorb the odor, and baking soda can even continue to suck up the smell for a solid three months. Placing bowls of coffee grounds or activated charcoal can also do the same thing, according to Den Garden.