Asked on Jan 01, 2015

How to get rid of the musty odor in the shed?

by Roberta

I have an old wooden shed that gives everything I store in it a musty smell that is impossible to get out. I don't know if it's mold smell or just because it's lack or air circulation. I don't see any mold. Any advice on how to get rid of musty smell in shed?

  13 answers
  • Leslie Leslie on Jan 01, 2015
    You might try several bees wax candles. It might take a while. They get rid of a lot of different smells for me
  • Carolyn Jagielski Carolyn Jagielski on Jan 01, 2015
    We rented a house that had a damp, musty, somewhat moldy smell and briquettes and baking soda in shallow containers placed throughout the corners of the house helped. Air vents in your shed (if you don't already have them) will help circulate air to help keep it dry inside. Hope some or all of this helps your shed situation :)
  • Jean Thompson Jean Thompson on Jan 01, 2015
    Might have to hook up a small electric Fan and run it.. to circulate the Air... along with wiping or Spraying the Walls etc with white vinegar... and what they said above about the Charcoal...Might want to take items out of there. or use Rubbermaid/or similar Tubs with Fabric Softener Sheet inside...Don't stack stuff against the Walls leave air spaces under boxes etc by using pallets...
  • Duane Duane on Jan 01, 2015
    These are all good suggestions ventilation is a must, no pun intended!
  • Loribeth Loribeth on Jan 01, 2015
    Ventilation is important, but you need to find where the moisture is coming in and take care of that. Moisture is causing the smell, and if you don't take care of the moisture problem, you'll never get rid of the smell.
  • Barbara R Barbara R on Jan 01, 2015
    It doesn't say what part of the country you live, but where I am, in Michigan, we have black mold problems. It can be under the floor where moisture has crept in. Look around and see if the wood has darkened, can be treated with white vinegar (Not bleach), check on the internet for solutions to black mold. It it's not removed, it will stay and grow and get very toxic to breathe.
    • Roberta Roberta on Jan 01, 2015
      @Barbara R I live in Southern California, but I will check floor to see how it looks.
  • Mes726852 Mes726852 on Jan 01, 2015
    Try putting an open bag of charcoal in the shed and make sure you fix any places where moisture may be getting into it as well.
  • Teresa Teresa on Jan 02, 2015
    My mother-in-law suggested placing an open bowl of ammonia in our backyard cottage after my husband's annual poker party to eliminate the disgusting cigar and stale beer odors. It worked in just a few days!
  • Roberta Roberta on Jan 07, 2015
    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas.
  • Nancy Wagers Nancy Wagers on Jan 10, 2015
    My husband is in pest control and sometimes he needs to use a product for his clients that will help reduce odors infestations leave behind. When we bought our new home, the shed in the backyard had an odor. So he used this product to remove the odor. Three months later the shed is still odor free. The product is "Ecosorb" (it's enviromental friendly). Here's their website: . Although the product is marketed as an oil absorbent, it does a great job in controlling various odors. Who knew that a product like that could help with insect infestation odors, musty odors, and such?
    • See 2 previous
    • Roberta Roberta on Jan 12, 2015
      @Nanabee Thanks so much for your information. I truly appreciate your time and I will be looking for this product on line tonight. I let you know how it works.
  • Amir Hyman Amir Hyman on Jan 03, 2023

    There are a few different ways you can get rid of a musty odor in a shed:

    1. Clean the shed thoroughly: Begin by removing any clutter and dusting all surfaces. Next, use a broom or a vacuum to remove cobwebs and any loose dirt or debris. Finally, use a cleaning solution and a sponge or a mop to clean the floor and walls of the shed.
    2. Use a dehumidifier: A dehumidifier can help to remove excess moisture from the air in the shed, which can help to eliminate musty odors. Place the dehumidifier in the shed and turn it on to begin removing moisture from the air.
    3. Use an air purifier: An air purifier can help to remove odors and other contaminants from the air in the shed. Place the air purifier in the shed and turn it on to help freshen the air.
    4. Use odor-absorbing materials: Activated charcoal, baking soda, and white vinegar are all effective at absorbing odors. Place bowls of these materials around the shed to help absorb any musty odors.
    5. Leave the shed doors and windows open: Allowing fresh air to circulate through the shed can help to eliminate musty odors. Open the doors and windows of the shed to let in fresh air whenever possible.

    I hope these tips help! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jan 04, 2023

    Eliminate Odor Sources

    Decomposition can be the originating source of musty odors. Look for evidence of decomposing grease, pests such as rodents or insects and other organic materials such as grasses or seeds. To fight odors, clean the shed's walls and floors with a solution of water and bleach, about one part bleach to four parts water. Ventilate well during cleaning. Rinse the bleached surfaces with clear water and wipe them dry. Remove and rinse the shoes you wore during cleaning before stepping on interior carpets and other vulnerable surfaces.

    Improve Ventilation

    If your shed lacks proper ventilation, it may develop odors quickly after cleaning. One solution is to install an air vent or a small window. Another addition that will help keep odors from forming is an exhaust fan, provided power is available. Wind turbines can provide ventilation for areas without electric power. Fan capacities are measured by the cubic feet of air they move in one minute, so multiply the number of cubic feet in your storage shed by the number of desired air changes per hour to determine which fan you need. For conditions that are equivalent to a basement or a crawl space, you would likely want to achieve 10 complete changes of air in one hour. If the moisture in your shed is comparable to an attic, you may only need to change air six times in an hour to avoid developing odors.


    When a musty odor from accumulated moisture is confined in a small area such as an unventilated storage shed, you may be able curtail odors by using a dehumidifier. This is especially true if humidity in the shed attains or surpasses the 60 percent mark. Such devices are commonly available at home improvement centers. If no power is available in the shed, you may be able to run an extension cord from a nearby structure to power the device.

    Capacities of dehumidifiers are expressed in the number of pints of water they condense in a 24-hour period at 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with relative humidity at 60 percent. Features that are especially useful are adjustable, automatic measuring devices called humidistats. A device or light that signals you when the drip pan is filled is also useful, as is an automatic shutoff switch.

  • Mariah Nasir Mariah Nasir on Apr 22, 2023

    Does anyone remember the strong smelling fluid that you mopped out houses with in the last twenty years in Australia as I think it would help my shed?