How to Get Rid of Damp Odor

Damp odors can pervade a home when there is a lot of weather-related humidity, or even a leak that has allowed moisture to seep in. These odors can be embarrassing and annoying, but removal of that dank, damp smell is simply a matter of neutralizing it. You can do that by using natural products that are safe for use on most fabrics and materials in your house, and are safe for your family and pets as well.

Leaky pipes can lead to a smell of dampness within a home.

Step 1

It is important to control and ultimately eliminate the source of the dampness that is causing the odor. Repair any leaks, or improve air circulation if general humidity is an issue. Put any damp towels hanging in the bathroom or elsewhere in the washing machine before attacking the odor.

Step 2

Fill a spray bottle with full-strength white vinegar. Spray the area from where the odor is emanating. If it happens to be carpeting or a type of fabric that you can't put in the washing machine, test the vinegar on an inconspicuous area first. Vinegar is an all-natural antibacterial that will neutralize the odors. It has a strong smell initially but it dissipates after about 20 minutes, dries quickly and leaves behind a clean, fresh scent. You can also use a microfiber towel to wipe down fixtures and appliances in a room that may have a lingering odor.

Step 3

Place a bowl of baking soda in the room and sprinkle some baking soda on dry carpets and allow it to sit overnight before vacuuming. This works much the same way as scented carpet powders, but the baking soda absorbs the damp odor from the carpet and the air, leaving no trace of the damp, sour smell.

Step 4

Run your washing machine on a hot-water cycle with a few cups of vinegar to wash away damp odors in curtains, towels, linens and even pillows. Dry everything well in either a dryer or by hanging the items in an area with plenty of fresh air circulation.

Step 5

Continue to keep a bowl of baking soda in an inconspicuous place in rooms such as a bathroom that are usually damp and humid. Keep a spray bottle of vinegar in there as well to spray down the shower curtain and fixtures after the room steams up because of a shower or bath. Preventing the odor from occurring is much easier than working to remove it.