How to Get Musty Smell Out of Unfinished Basement

Mel Frank

Many homes have unfinished basement areas that are used very little. This means the basements are enclosed, receive little light as well as little to no ventilation. Unfinished basement areas with a musty smell are created by a combination of all these factors as well as moisture and humidity that sits in the area.

Get musty smells out of a basement with vinegar.

To keep the basement odor free, use something that absorbs the odor and leaves the basement smelling clean and fresh.

  1. Sprinkle a coating of baking soda over the flooring and let sit overnight. The baking soda is a natural deodorizing agent and absorbs moisture. This means the baking soda will not only get rid of the musty odor, but also absorb moisture from the flooring that may cause the musty smell. Vacuum or sweep the floor the next day to collect the baking soda.

  2. Open the windows and let air move through the room. Often, ventilating the basement will go a long way in getting rid of unpleasant odors.

  3. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and mist this around your basement as an odor neutralizing spray. This is a chemical-free alternative to the commercial neutralizing sprays on the market and can be made for a very low cost.

  4. Use a dehumidifier if the problem continues. This unit pulls excess moisture out of the basement, which will often eliminate the musty smells.