That musty basement smell

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Topic: That musty basement smell

Home and Garden November 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm

That musty basement smell

I recently moved into a newly-renovated building in Columbia Heights and I can’t seem to get rid of that basement smell.  While the building isn’t new, my basement studio is (nine units were added in renovation) but it seems that doesn’t preclude it from smelling musty and gross whenever I walk in the door.
I’m from the west coast and haven’t ever lived in a house with a basement.  I’ve tried opening windows, burning candles, etc. and keep the place really clean but that hasn’t helped.  Any advice?

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mold remediation.

I will tell you what has worked for me on carpet – I took a spray bottle, filled it will rubbing alcohol, put on the mist setting and sprayed. The alcohol helps kill the smelly germs and by nature, evaps pretty quickly.  Simple, but effective. Then I vac – hope this helps – good luck.


Do you have a dehumidifier running?

i live in a mt. p basement and it totally had the funky basement smell when i moved in.  we checked for mold, used a dehimidifier/air purifier, sprayed fabreeze, and lots of other stuff too – but nothing worked until a friend gave me this.  it’s awesome.  and only smells like green apple for a day or so.  it neutralized whatever smell was there.  i swear by it now!

Put a pile of charcoal on the floor on some newspaper.  Our basement smelled like mothballs when we moved in and after a week with a couple piles of charcoal it was gone – and has never come back!

Try kitty litter to soak up some of the dampness.  Just put a big pan of it out for a couple days.  Sounds weird but my great aunt swears by it for her snowbird condo in Florida. 

We live in a basement on Cap Hill and got rid of our musty smell by having our carpets cleaned and running a dehumidifier almost non-stop for a couple of weeks. Now, we really don’t have a problem with that musty smell at all (and if we do, we run the dehumidifier for a while). Good luck!


my Mt P basement apartment flooded a few months ago, and I tried a few things for the smell. a dehumidifier definitely helped, but i also put down borax on the carpet and then scrubbed the floor with ammonia. worked for us! however, make sure the room is well ventilated…i did get a little loopy from the smell.

Hi everyone. I just picked up a dehumidifier today and am hoping for the best. Went with Frigidaire. Thanks for all of your answers!


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