How to Get Rid of Musty Smell in Basement

Basements or cellars are known to get a little smelly after a while. The most common smell is a musty or moldy smell. The reason why you get the musty odors in your basement or cellar has to do with the dampness of the area.

We have gathered some tips to help you get rid of the musty smell in your basement.


The first thing you want to do is open some windows if you can. Allow the room to air out for a bit.


Sometimes buying a bucket of Damprid is perfect for getting rid of the excess moisture. The Damprid will dry out the basement room, along with taking out the musty or moldy smell.

Also, get your hands on a dehumidifier.

The water in the air and on other objects is the reason why your basement smells musty. The water is your enemy, and you need the correct tools to fight them.

You can also use some kitty litter, but this gets costly quickly.

Cleaning the Walls and Ceiling

A lot of the smell can be stuck to the walls or ceiling of the basement. Everyone’s basement is different, so what you need to do will be different.

If you have solid concrete walls, then you got the easy part. I like to take some Simple Green and some water and scrub the walls of its mold and mildew smell.

Odo-Ban also works well-attacking odors. Odo-Ban will be the most effective cleaner out of them all to killing the musty smell. Works great on many other odors like cigarette smoke too!

Don’t forget to clean the doors in the basement or cellar. Just wipe the doors clean with simple green and water. It’s easy to miss the door since you don’t expect it to hold odors. Make sure you clean the top of the door and bottom as they are often not painted, so the wood absorbs the smell right up.


If you want a more natural solution to wall cleaning, then give vinegar a shot. Vinegar is an excellent home remedy for killing the bacteria that cause bad smells.

Just use some white distilled vinegar and some water and clean the area. I’m not a fan of the scent of the vinegar, but it does dry quickly with no odor.


If you have regular dry walls, then you have different ways to clean. You can do the same thing and clean the walls with simple green and water, but I don’t recommend it. The best solution is to re-paint. I know it’s not the answer you want to hear, but this little step can save you in the future.

You can buy paint that blocks the old odors and keeps new ones from coming back. What a great time to be alive!

Check the Floor

If your basement has linoleum or even vinyl flooring, then you might want to check it. This stuff doesn’t breathe. So water will get trapped along with mold and cause some bad odors to come.

If you have concrete, then use some Simple Green and water. You’ll need a brush to get into the holes of the concrete. Concrete is porous, so the Brush will get it clean.

Also, make sure your drains in your basement are not clogged either. You might have to remove the drain gate and check to see if there is any goo that is trapped and needs to be cleaned.