caucasian couple with dog holding our first home blackboard at new house smelling something stinky and disgusting
Most homeowners know too well what it feels like to be greeted by the stale, musty odor as soon as they set foot inside their houses. Even more annoying is that deep-cleaning your home doesn’t remove the repulsive smell.

But old house smell isn’t just about offensive odor, which, by the way, is embarrassing when you have guests! It indicates the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your home and poor indoor air quality (or IAQ for short).

To avoid respiratory concerns and other health effects of poor IAQ, it is important to know how to get rid of old house smell from your home.

Fortunately, eliminating old house smells isn’t rocket science; any homeowner can do it with these easy-to-follow tips.

How To Get Rid Of Old House Smell: 7 Effective Ways

1. Identify The Source Of The Smell

First, try to track where the stale stench is coming from. Chances are, the smell is stronger in some areas than others.

Old house smells can be caused by dirty HVAC systems, a lack of ventilation, and the presence of mold and mildew.

You’ll have to rely on your nose while visually inspecting different parts of your home.

While you’re at it, look for signs of leaks and mildew, particularly portions of the home with old pipes, including the kitchen, bathroom, and basement. Be sure to get a plumber to correct any issues.

Once you identify where the smell is stronger, go ahead and thoroughly clean the area or call in a professional to help you with that.

2. Get Rid Of Mold

Often, older homes lack adequate ventilation and are much darker than modern ones. Unfortunately, darkness and poor ventilation are the perfect breeding spots for mold and mildew.

Mold is one of the major reasons for that old house smell in your home. Besides causing foul and musty smell, continuous exposure to the fungus can lead to respiratory issues and increase allergies.

If you or someone in your household has an existing health condition that can be worsened by mold growth, we strongly recommend leaving the mold cleaning job to a professional.

And if you have excess amounts of mold in your home, you definitely need to call in a remediation specialist.

Want to learn ways to prevent mold in your home? Read our article on how mold grows indoors.

3. Let Air And Sunshine In

old hotel room with ventilation

Sometimes, ridding your home of old house smell doesn’t have to cost a dime. You can significantly reduce stale air and lingering odor by simply opening up your windows and letting fresh air and sunshine in.

Turns out that UV light from the sun disinfects against bacteria in indoor environments, so open your windows and throw back your curtains to allow the sun’s warmth to disinfect and dry out your house.

Consider turning on ventilation fans to increase air circulation for better results, especially if the house has dark and hard-to-reach corners.

4. Dehumidify Your Home

In addition to keeping windows open to promote air circulation, investing in a couple of dehumidifiers will excess reduce moisture in different parts of your home.

Remember that humid and damp areas are mold’s best friend, so you want to keep the humidity level in your home at the correct level.

If you have respiratory problems, such as asthma, using a dehumidifier can help maintain a comfortable humidity level and make breathing much easier.

Want to take things a notch higher? Consider getting a good-quality air purifier along with a dehumidifier for the ultimate indoor air quality. The former removes harmful particles that may cause allergies, while the latter sucks excess moisture from indoor air.

5. Clean Out The HVAC System

Old and dirty air filters in HVAC systems can cause old house smell. If this is the case, you might be making things worse by circulating the foul smell throughout your home via vents and pipes.

Switch out any old air filters in your HVAC system and clean out other components of your heating and cooling system. You might need a professional to help you with this.

6. Deep Clean Your Home

women preparing to clean home

Deep cleaning involves back-breaking work, so if you’re wondering how to get rid of old house smell, be aware that it can be quite tasking.

Carpets and upholstery fabric are notorious for retaining moisture and smell for significantly long periods. For this reason, it is usually a good idea to call in a cleaning expert for this job.

But if you think a lighter clean is all you need, make sure to clean your home fabrics with safe cleaning solutions.

Don’t forget to clean your ceiling and walls, too! Dust, mildew, grease, and smoke can accumulate on ceilings and walls; over time, the smell from these particles can give your house a not-so-pleasant odor.

Even if you are considering repainting, clean your ceilings and walls first to eliminate the stench before painting.


7. Neutralize Indoor Air

Not knowing exactly how to get rid of old house smell, some homeowners ignorantly light scented candles or use electric deodorizers. These solutions merely mask odors, which is like slapping on a band-aid ― it’s hardly effective.

Cheap odor control solutions like vinegar and baking soda may remove offensive indoor smells. But they can damage your carpets and vacuum cleaners and may pose health risks for humans and household pets if ingested.

Besides, using home remedies can be a messy affair!

A more effective and long-lasting solution is to use non-toxic air purifier systems with zero masking agents, fragrances, or chemicals.

If you’re looking to invest in high-quality air purifiers, the EnviroKlenz Air System checks all the boxes and more! It is designed to capture and quickly neutralize airborne contaminants in indoor environments and improve home ventilation.

Eliminate Musty Smells for a Breath of Fresh Air

Getting rid of old house smell comes down to tracking and removing the odor source and promoting air flow using tested odor-neutralizing products to keep your indoor air clean.

EnviroKlenz offers top-of-the-line air systems and odor-control products to ensure clean IAQ. Investing in these systems will eliminate VOCs in your home and improve respiratory health.

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EnviroKlenz® Medical Disclaimer:

“Any information that is provided on this website is not for the use by any commercial or personal entity without expressed written consent of the blog author. The material and statements illustrated within this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Nor does the author in any way guarantee or validate the validity, totality, or efficacy of any claims and will therefore not be held responsible for the content of any claims. Always consult your medical physician for any specific medical advice or recommendations.”