How to Remove a Musty Smell from Hardwood Floors

Mel Frank

Musty smells typically develop on hardwood floors when too much moisture is present in a room, the room does not receive enough sunlight or when the room receives no ventilation. This makes the entire room smell unfresh, causing many people to choose not to spend time in that room.

Remove musty smells from hardwood floors with vinegar.

To prevent this situation from arising, clean the hardwood floors in a way that incorporates a disinfecting and deodorizing element. This mixture will remove mildew and kill bacteria, and can be used as your all-purpose wood floor cleaner.

  1. Mix a solution of 1 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 gallon of warm water in a bucket.

  2. Place the mop into the bucket, pull it out slowly and squeeze as much excess moisture out of the mop as possible back into the bucket. You want to use little water when cleaning wood floors as too much can cause the wood to swell.

  3. Wipe the mop over your hardwood floor and dip it back into the bucket to collect new cleaning solution every minute or so, or as needed when the mop accumulates soil. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that both kills bacteria and deodorizes.

  4. Let the floors air dry. No rinsing is required as the vinegar solution dries clear of film and haze.

  5. Repeat when needed to keep your hardwood floors smelling fresh.