How To Get Rid of Old House Smell Efficiently and Effectively

Houses with a long history are great places to live with your family, especially if you appreciate classics buildings. However, old shelters tend to have less than ideal ventilation which may lead to musty odor lurking in the air. Knowing how to get rid of old house smell will come in extremely handy in such situations.

In order to live a comfortable life, it’s essential for you to deal with the odor as soon as possible.  It’s pretty easy actually, all you need is several cleaning products then you can cleanse the air on your own. Down below is additional information about possible causes of the smell along with detailed instructions on what you should do.

Source of the smell

As time went by, there are many things that can generate an uncomfortable odor in old houses. From the decorating to the structure, it’s useful to determine the cause of the smell and figure out a solution. In the average case, the old house smell shall come from at least one of these sources, check them out.

  • Chemical

Old and new, all houses utilize a certain level of chemical and this might produce an awful smell. Even paintings and household products use chemical too, the old house smell could come from one of these guys. A scented candle is a possible culprit as well since it employs lots of chemical agents in its construction.

  • Carpet

Never underestimate the dangers which come from the house carpet when it has been used by a lot of people.  You can say that the carpet is a collection of dust, dirt, mites and everything a shoe can touch.  As a result, it would absorb many types of foreign materials and releases the associated odors into the proximity space.


Exam the carpet carefully and decide whether the old house smell is coming from its body or not. Should it smells bad, have the carpet cleansed then see if it is enough to remove the foul odor. Consider replacing the carpet altogether with solid surface floorings, they won’t take in unknown materials and definitely not odor absorbent.

  • Mold and mildew

Usually appear in environments with a high level of moisture, mold and mildew can emit an extremely annoying odor. Besides the odor, the mold is potentially a health hazard such as black mold harmful effects on human. Take a look at places which have little air circulation such as the closet, attic and other enclosed areas.


The best course of action when you are dealing with mold and mildew is to keep the space dry. Wear protective gears and carry mold covered items to a suitable place then disinfect them. Hiring a mold extermination specialist is a good idea if you want to be on the safe side.

  • Human

From rotting clothes to leftover foods, they all have a chance to create an uncomfortable old house smell. Before you move into the building, ensure that the previous occupant doesn’t leave anything behind which can cause unacceptable smells. Sometimes, this is more than sufficient for you to avoid the odor problem entirely.

  • Cigarette

Portions of cigarette smokes will embed themselves in the house wall, fabric, furniture and anything with a porous surface. Accumulation of cigarette smoke might leave the leave particular objects in a yellowish shade as well given extended exposure. Should the previous owner is a heavy smoker, cigarette odor could be the cause of the house discomfort atmosphere

What you can do with the lingering smell

With the source of odor gone, it’s time to deal with the remaining smell. There is a wide range of methods you could try, you can either use one or combine them together. Here are a couple of recommendations:

  • Open up all windows and doors

Fresh air and sunlight have a rather positive effect on an old house stagnant air. As long as it’s not too cold outside, this is the easiest solution to get rid of the odor. Sometimes, increased ventilation is all it takes to remove the old house smell.


If you have ventilation fans installed across the house, turn them on as well. For rooms without windows and little air circulation like attic and basement, a portable electric fan should be adequate. Also remember to open enclosed spaces such as closets, cabinets, cupboards, etc.

Regular cleaning is advised to remove potential accumulations of dust and harmful particles. Vacuum every nook and cranny of the house to ensure that the house is thoroughly cleansed.

  • Antibacterial products and active charcoal

Cleansing the house with antibacterial products is excellent to erase every trait of the odor source. Charcoal is another good material that is able to absorb moisture and foul smell. Leave a bow of charcoal in each of the house room for a day or two for maximum effect.

How To Get Rid of Old House Smell


In case you can’t readily find charcoal, vinegar and baking soda are nice alternatives. Spray them around the house’s rooms and they should eliminate all lingering odor.

  • Air freshener

You can use lots of things as air fresheners such as lemon peels fragrance and things like it. Commercial products are great as well but if possible, stick to natural stuff. Only use a moderate amount of air freshener, otherwise, it may be just as discomfort as the old house smell.

  • Keep the house damp free and well ventilated

Level of moisture is what you should always keep in check to prevent the return of the musty odor. Damped items like towels must be dried off properly before you put them into storage. Repair leaky pipes the moment you detect them so the moisture level in the surrounding areas isn’t ideal for mold.


And that is how to get rid of old house smell on your own, pretty easy to understand, right? Annoying house odor has devastating effects on the qualities of your life and loved ones. Yet with the help of the information above, now you know where to find and how to deal with a foul smell in your house.

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