How to Remove Odors From Flooded Basements

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Basement Light
Basement Light (Image: Mike T. Alger)

Cleaning up a flooded basement is not easy. You may end up having to throw away any items that were stored there. You may think that once you clean up the basement your job is done--until you begin to smell the nasty odor in the basement. Flooded basements need to be deodorized once they are cleaned.

Things You'll Need

  • Empty spray bottle
  • Water
  • Bleach
  • Coarse brush
  • Broom
  • Charcoal
  • Tin cans

Remove any left over floodwater and any mud that it may have left in your basement. You cannot begin to deodorize your basement if you don't first make sure you have gotten rid of whatever is causing the odor.

Fill an empty spray bottle one quarter of the way full with bleach. Then fill it the rest of the way with hot water. Screw the top back on and shake to combine the two liquids.

Spray the bleach solution on the basement floors first and scrub with a coarse brush. Then move on to the walls.

Finish scrubbing the basement by spraying the solution on the ceiling and scrubbing it. You may need to use a broom to reach certain areas.

Set up a few fans to dry out the room. You want to get rid of all of the moisture because it can cause mold and strong odors.

Find some old tin coffee cans and place a few pieces of charcoal in each. If you have five tin cans then place one tin can in each corner of the basement and one in the center. The charcoal will absorb any leftover odors. Remember to keep the lids off of the cans.

Tips & Warnings

  • Onions can also absorb bad odors. Just slice one in half and place the cut side up on a small dish. Set the dish on the basement floor.
  • Keep humidity out of the basement. Use a dehumidifier if the weatherman says it is humid outside.

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