To get rid of a musty smell, increase ventilation in the home, turn on the air conditioner, add charcoal to rooms or outdoor areas and crumple newspapers in closed drawers or cabinets. Musty odors can be caused by mold, mildew or excess moisture in an enclosed space.
If a homeowner suspects a home is infested with mold, it is best to contact a mold remediation specialist to diagnose and treat the problem. However, home remedies work for general mustiness.
Step 1: Increase home ventilation
Opening windows, foundation vents and doors can eliminate a musty smell. The increased air circulation dries out the space and disperses odors that might have accumulated in a closed home.
Step 2: Turn on the AC
Air conditioners reduce humidity in the home, which often eliminates musty odors. Running the air conditioner for just a short period of time might work; alternatively, plug in a dehumidifier to reduce humidity more quickly.
Step 3: Place charcoal pieces or briquettes
Charcoal naturally absorbs odors and reduces humidity. Fill a pan with charcoal briquettes and place it in a musty room overnight. This also works for musty outdoor spaces. Avoid placing charcoal in areas accessible by children or family pets.
Step 4: Crumple newspaper for use in small spaces
Crumpled newspaper will also absorb moisture and odors. Place it in drawers, cabinets and closets to eliminate a musty smell.