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How to Get Rid of Basement Smell


Learn How to Get Rid of Basement Smell from our smell removal guide and keep your basement smelling clean and fresh without spending a fortune. A smell free basement is also a sign of a healthy basement. So get the basement smell out because it’s a matter of your health and we do wish you well.

Got Smell of Mildew?

Basements are a great place for storage and recreational activity. Unfortunately, your basement is likely to develop a moldy odor with time that can be difficult to eliminate. To make matters worse, the musty smell can permeate items that you have in storage to permanently damage them. So getting the musty smell out should be a priority, because if you don’t take action, it will start migrating up to your living space and your whole home will eventually become smelly.

What Causes Basement Smell?

The basement moldy odor can result from several sources. Firstly, there are numerous microorganisms living in the soil beneath your basement. They emit smelly volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) that can easily enter the basement via cracks and porous floors. Secondly, dark damp basements with poor ventilation also provide a great environment for mold to grow and release moldy odors. If you have a water leak, it will enable the mold to thrive further and result in even greater basement smells.

Steps to Get Rid of Basement Smell

The good news is that musty basement smell can be eliminated so you don’t have to let it ruin your possessions and stop you enjoying your lovely home. By utilizing our simple and informative smell removal guide, you will learn how to get rid of smell in basements from smell experts, take immediate action to rid smell, and Smell the Difference!

STEP 1: Search & Destroy the Basement Smell Source

The first step to get basement smell out is to eliminate and control the source of the musty basement smell so it doesn’t get worse.

Inspect your basement walls and floors thoroughly for any cracks or holes that may be allowing volatile organic emissions from microorganisms to enter your basement or causing water leakage. If you find cracks, simply fill in the small ones with expanding foam or putty. If there are larger cracks or missing wall, repair them if you are handy or call in an expert. The floors can also be waterproofed for further protection against basement smell. Failure to control smell can transform a musty basement into an uninhabitable and unsafe basement.

If you have concrete walls or floors in your basement, use a fairly h4 bleach/water solution to spray down all the concrete surfaces. Concrete is a porous surface and the mold that causes a musty basement smell can live under the surface. The antibacterial properties of the bleach will kill mold, one of the potential sources of musty smell in basement.

If you have any articles that have absorbed the moldy smell, remove them and let them air out in the sun as long as possible. Upholstery and clothing are very good at absorbing and retaining musty basement smell. Any fabrics that can be washed should be in hot water. You can also use ODOREZE® Natural Laundry Deodorizing Additive to get rid of really stubborn smells from clothing by soaking them in it prior to washing or adding to your laundry.

STEP 2: Get Rid of the Basement Smell

The second step in basement smell removal is to follow the recommendations below to get the smell out using professional strength SMELLEZE® Smell Removers that rid smell without masking it with harmful fragrances. This is a proven green deodorizer that has been used successfully for over 20 years and recommended by thousands of people all over the world.

Rid Smell from the Basement Floor before it’s Released

Do this by sprinkling SMELLEZE® Eco General Purpose Deodorizer Granules (only $12.99) on concrete basement floors. If you have carpeting, use SMELLEZE® Eco Carpet Deodorizer Powder (only $12.99). Leave on the floor for a few hours or overnight (longer the better) to draw the smell out of the basement floor and to eliminate it before it gets released into the air. Then simply vacuum or sweep up and discard. You can also follow the same procedure to get smell out of upholstery, furniture and clothing.

Rid Smell from the Basement Air

Do this by simply placing the SMELLEZE® Reusable Basement Deodorizer Pouches (only $12.99) in areas with the moldy odor and smell the difference. This smell remover attracts basement musty smell like a h4 magnet, absorbs it like a super absorbent sponge, and eliminates it without masking with harmful fragrances. Using a fan and opening doors and windows will accelerate the basement smell removal process.

In addition, you can hang SMELLEZE® smell remover pouches on the cold air return side of your furnace duct where the paper filter resides to prevent basement smells from going up to your living areas. If the basement smell is already in the living spaces, you can place SMELLEZE® pouches on your return vents in your home to continuously filter out the basement odor and harmful pollutants as your air recirculates.

SMELLEZE® pouches are the only reusable smell removers available that last over a year so they are more cost effective than any other deodorizer including most home remedies. As an added benefit, they are eco-friendly, non-toxic, odorless, natural and safe for people, pets and the planet!

Kill Airborne Mold & Spores

As mentioned earlier, mold is frequently the cause of musty basement smell. After you kill any visible mold on surfaces such as walls and floor, it’s also important to kill and prevent airborne mold and spores. This is simply done by replacing any light bulbs you have in the basement with SANIBULB® Air Sanitizer & Purifier CFL Bulbs. SANIBULB® will sanitize your air by killing various microorganisms such as mold spores in addition to bacteria, viruses, fungi, and dust mites without the use of any harmful chemical sanitizers. As an added benefit, it will also reduce your energy consumption by 75% and save you money!

Step 3: Prevent the Basement Smell

Once you have completed the hard work of eliminating the musty basement smell, it’s important to take the following proactive steps to prevent the basement smell problem from reappearing.

Improve the ventilation in your basement by installing an exhaust fan. If your basement has windows, use window fans on exhaust to efficiently vent the basement. Open the windows and doors when the weather is pleasant to let fresh air and sunlight in.

Air ducts can harbor odor, mold, allergens and dust. Have them cleaned out regularly by a professional duct cleaning company to help keep the odor from reappearing because moisture and contaminants can seep into air vents to generate a musty basement smell.

Invest in an efficient dehumidifier if your basement is particularly damp to eliminate excess humidity in the air. Since majority of musty basement smells are caused directly or indirectly by excess moisture and improper ventilation, this will go a long way to help prevent basement smell. We recommend using MOISTURESORB® Reusable Moisture Removal Pouches for just $12.99 to do the job inexpensively.

Smell Removal Tips & Warnings

  1. Sometimes, a smell is just a smell. It can be unpleasant but nothing to worry about. However, other times, the smell is also an early warning sign of a potential health hazard. In the case of a musty basement smell, it’s probably a sign of mold that can be hazardous to your health. And just because you don’t see the mold doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. For instance, it could be hidden inside the walls.
  2. Avoid masking musty basement smell with vanilla or harmful commercial fragrances. Covering-up basement smells never really eliminates the odor, it just overwhelms your nose into detecting the fragrance instead. The smell will likely return when the fragrance wears out. There are also times when fragrances will react with the basement smell to create even more obnoxious new smells that are worse than the original smell.
  3. Nature intended our sense of smell to provide an early warning sign for toxic chemicals we are exposed to so we can take action to avoid them. In the case of a musty basement smell, it’s probably a sign of mold that can be hazardous to your health. And just because you don’t see the mold doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. For instance, it could be hidden inside the walls. So it’s better to really eliminate the problem and odor instead of using fragrances.
  4. If you decide to use vinegar, consider that it is basically acetic acid. It can react with and damage certain products and will leave an odor of it’s own. Do you really want to replace one smell problem with another?
  5. There is some misunderstanding about the use of charcoal briquettes for smell removal. It’s absorbency is very low and effectiveness marginal. What actually works better is activated carbon which is used commercially but that can get expensive and is hard to get in small quantities to get rid of basement smells. Best to save the charcoal briquettes for your next BBQ!
  6. While some commonly recommended home remedies for smell removal may help marginally in some mild smell problems, they are ineffective for the most part. It’s good to remember that household items such as vinegar, vanilla, charcoal briquettes are not designed to be smell eliminators so the results will often be disappointing and you could lose precious time. Since you will become immune to smell with time, you may think it’s getting better and risk long term exposure to some chemical smells that can be harmful without knowing.
  7. Since baking soda is alkaline (base) and vinegar is an acid, mixing the two just neutralizes each other so the resulting solution is not effective at smell removal. Basically, mixing an acid and a base pretty much results in salt and water.
  8. Avoid mixing ammonia based cleaners with bleach since this will generate poisonous gases

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  • Bryan Kort