How to Remove a Musty Smell From a Rental Apartment

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Remove the musty smell from your apartment with baking soda.
Remove the musty smell from your apartment with baking soda. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

When moving into a new rental apartment, you may find that your new living quarters have an unpleasant musty smell. When renting, you are limited in your options. A fresh coat of paint may help reduce the odor, but of course you would need permission from your landlord in many cases to do so. There are a few other things you can do that will safely get rid of the musty smell without the risk of breaking any terms of your lease.

Things You'll Need

  • Steam cleaning unit
  • Steam cleaning solution
  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum
  • Bowls

Sprinkle all fabric surfaces and carpeting with a coating of baking soda. The baking soda is a natural deodorizing agent that gets rid of the musty smell plus removes any excess moisture that may be the cause of the smell. Let the baking soda sit overnight, then vacuum the fabrics to collect the soda.

Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and use this as an odor neutralizing spray. Unlike air fresheners that simply mask the smell, the vinegar actually captures and dissipates the musty smell. Use as needed by spraying through the air and over fabrics.

Steam clean your carpeting. Rent or purchase a steam cleaner and use steam cleaning solution as instructed on your particular cleaning unit. Run the steam cleaner over your carpet carefully just as you would a vacuum, and remember to pull the steam trigger constantly to keep steam flowing out of the unit.

Place bowls of baking soda or vinegar around the home. This will naturally absorb odor in the apartment and will greatly reduce the musty smell.

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