Removing basement mildew smells

Basements are the most mildew-prone areas in every home, because of the moisture, warm temperatures and lack of light. Mildew can damage cloths, furniture, carpets, etc. and can also cause health problems.

Sometimes, after cleaning the mildew, the smell still remains. Here how you can get rid of it.

Tools and materials:

  • Detergent
  • Mop
  • Bucket
  • Sponges
  • Dehumidifier
  • Air freshener

Finding the smell source

Walk through your basements and find the place where the mildew formations are. Look for black-green stains and also for a dampness smell. Mildew can grow on any surface so look through all your cloths, furniture, carpets etc.


You may need to throw out some items from your basement. If mildew infiltrates in certain fabrics, it may be impossible for it to be removed. This applies to the smell also.

For the items that can be cleaned, you can use a vinegar and water solution or a hydrogen peroxide and water mixture. Bleach and detergent can also be used mixed with water, but for tougher materials and fabrics. Let the items dry in the sun after the cleaning.

Fixing the problem

You will now have to deal with the source of the problem. Usually moisture is a big factor in mildew formations. Look for water leaks in pipes, cracks in walls. Air circulation is vital so let the doors and windows opened at least one day a week.

You can also install a window air conditioner or a portable one to reduce the humidity level. A dehumidifier will also do the job.

Freshening the air

After you have removed the mildew problem, use an air freshener and properly ventilate the room.

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