How to Get Rid of The Smell of Damp from Your Home

How to Get Rid of The Smell of Damp from Your Home

April 26, 2018 0 By tabbas

Damp conditions, mould and mildew. These are two things to look out for when you detect a damp, stale or musty smell in your home. Mould, your unwanted guest, moves through the air as tiny microscopic spores, making itself comfortable in damp and moist places in the home. As these visitors extend their stay at your home, mould spores thrive and permeate into walls, carpets, furniture and other soft furnishings.

How to get rid of the smell of Damp

In a final act of occupation, Mould fungal colonies can produce gases, also known as ‘volites’, which may be causing the musty smells you want to get rid of. Very often, the source of the smell hidden from view, perhaps behind a wardrobe or in a cupboard.

Once you detect this musty smell in your house, here is what you should do;

Sniff around your house to determine how many rooms are affected

If it’s in several rooms, the cause may be something structural like a leak or an on-set of black damp in the walls, in which case seek professional advice. If it’s only in one room, the source of the smell will be much more localised and easier to treat.

Locate the source of the musty smell

Sometimes it’s as simple as a damp cloth which has fallen under a bed and developed mould, or it could be something under the floorboards. Remove the source of the smell if you can, and if it’s something more complex like black damp or a leak, ask a specialist for house cleaning services.

Open up all windows and doors to let the fresh air in

Sometimes a musty smell can just be caused by dust and lack of ventilation. So just open the windows, if the weather allows it. Don’t forget to open up shut-in spaces like cupboards, cabinets, and closets.

Turn on all ventilation fans or bring in electric fans, if necessary

Modern bathrooms and kitchens often have ventilation fans which you can turn on to air out smells. If a room has no windows or gets little circulation (like an attic or basement), you can always bring in a portable electric fan and run it for a while to get the air moving.

Use lemons as a natural air freshener

For an easy and natural air freshener, boil lemon peels in a pan of water and set it down in the area of your home which you want to air out. Alternatively, use a commercial air freshener of your choice.

Sweep up all dust and clean the room thoroughly

If you want to give the room a thorough cleaning, use a feather-duster, damp cloth, dustpan and brush, and/or vacuum to go over all surfaces and rid them of dust. Hard floors should be mopped as well


For small items that have a damp smell probably due to mildew, you should wash them. Hot water, vinegar, and baking soda should do the trick and should rid it of the smell. Not forgetting to place the items outside on the clothesline and let them dry naturally.

So if you have a larger problem (like a room) be sure that you go through and wash all of the larger items in the room. Curtains, shower curtains, towels, rugs, and any other larger items that could be harbouring the culprit, not forgetting the walls themselves if possible.

A plate of baking soda helps to absorb smells

For smaller enclosed areas (closets, cupboards, etc.), setting out a small plate of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) for up to 24 hours can help absorb moisture and damp smells.


If you are battling a damp smell in a room, and you’ve washed your walls, but there is still a lingering smell, then it may be time to paint.


You may need to replace old damp furniture that may never lose the damp odour.

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