Damp smells at Home - How to remove them

We’ve all been there – you walk into a room and immediately get punched in the nose with the olfactory equivalent of a right hook. “What is this”, you think to yourself while you’re looking for the source of thе taint that’s currently insulting your senses.

Damp smells aren’t uncommon. While having a miasma of stale air lingering in one’s home isn’t ideal, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

Unfortunately, damp odours are usually a symptom you have a much more serious problem – mould. The good news is both are relatively easy to treat. Though you’ll most likely have to make some lifestyle changes. Don’t worry – it won’t be anything too drastic.  

In this article:

  • How to get rid of a damp smell
    • Get rid of the mould
    • Identify the moisture source
    • DIY ways to remove mouldy smell
  • Conclusion

How to get rid of a damp smell

A damp smell is like smoke – it’s a symptom, not a cause. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And where there’s damp odours, there’s mould. So before you can address the problem with the smell, first you need to deal with the mould.

Get rid of the mould

Mould can be a serious health hazard for you and your family. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to remove. There are plenty of DIY methods you can use.

Identify the moisture source

Mould needs excess moisture like plants need dirt and water. If you encounter damp smells and mould, then you need to identify the source of this moisture.

Round up the usual suspects:

  • condensation
  • leaks
  • lack of ventilation

Identify the source of the moisture and fix it. You may want to think about purchasing a dehumidifier, as well. Though be warned – it will not solve your damp odour or mould problems on its own.

DIY ways to remove mouldy smell

Once you cut the mould at the source, now it’s time to remove the damp odours. Dealing with smells isn’t as straightforward as cleaning a surface, so it will require a bit of finesse on our part. However, we’ve already tackled the difficult part so the rest should be a walk in the park.

There are several approaches you can take and, honestly, most of them work as well as the others so which one you choose will be a matter of preference of availability.

Air out the room

The first and foremost thing you need to do is air out the room. It won’t completely solve the problem, but it will make it less severe and, consequently, our other solutions more effective.

A jar of activated charcoal

Activated charcoal is a natural absorbent. Many people use it in their terrariums for its absorption of smells and toxins.

If you want to deal with your problem using this method, simply put an open jar of activated charcoal in the room. Change it every few days and the smell will go away.

Note: Keep away from children and pets.

This is a great solution because it’s easy, cheap, and requires almost zero involvement on your part.

Lemon freshness

This is the method with the highest “hands-on” approach.

First, you need to cut a couple of lemons in pieces, then boil them in water. Once that’s done, place the container in the room with the unpleasant odours.

Note: Don’t leave it unattended. Keep away from children and pets.

When the solution cools off, you can transfer it into a spray bottle and sprinkle it around. The whole process should reintroduce the smell of freshness into your home. 

Baking soda

Baking soda is a natural deodoriser. So place a jar of baking soda in the room with the bad odour and the soda will absorb it. Make sure you place it as close to the source of the smell as possible. Change the soda in the jar once a week.

Cat litter

If you have a cat, then you know how good cat litter is at absorbing smells. So use some of your furry roommate’s litter in the room with the damp smell. But make sure your cat doesn’t mistake your efforts for a new litterbox location. Otherwise, you will have an entirely different set of problems on your hands. Try this approach at your own risk.

Coffee grounds

Coffee drinking in the UK is on the rise. If you’re one of the people who enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning, then you’ll love this solution.

Put a bowl of coffee grounds into the room with the damp odour. Now your room will smell of coffee instead of staleness. 


Dampness is a common problem in London and across the UK. And where there’s dampness, mould and damp odours aren’t far behind.

Luckily, while those issues require a bit of elbow grease, they’re not that difficult to deal with. All you need is the right knowledge.

Samyx Cleaning - Branding Consultant, Author - Atanas
Author: Atanas Dzhingarov

Hi, I’m Atanas - brand consultant and writer. I’m helping Samyx Cleaning create the best cleaning company blog on the Internet. Join us on our journey and learn how to live a cleaner, healthier, happier life in the process.