The Best Air Freshener for Musty Basement

The basement of any home tends to accumulate a musty smell for many reasons. But moisture gathers quickly because of its position at the bottom of the house. This situation can be remedied by getting the best basement odor eliminator. As antique as it may sound, the quality and effect of air fresheners never get old, and it is a sure way to deodorize the basement.

Even the finished basement smells musty sometimes, making the area irritable and overtime, causing the woods in the cellar to also carry the same musty smell. The basement smells musty in summer, especially when there is no shortage of the humidity supplied by the atmosphere.

From experience, we can say that homemade basement odor eliminators would work wonders, but only to a certain level. Most people complain of musty smell in the basement after rain. This is not uncommon due to the inconsiderate construction of the basement as well as its position. You shouldn’t be surprised by this aftermath effect of rain since the walls are good conductors of water which could even make it flooded.

On the other hand, a good quality deodorizer is sure to rid the atmosphere of that musty smell. By good quality, we mean the breath green plug and pure odor eliminator. With the absence of filters, this product uses negative ions to attract positively charged particle contaminants. It is also noiseless while having a stunning design that is pleasing to the eyes, but sadly, it would go to waste in a basement.

Why Finished Basements Smell Musty

Basements often have a musty smell, mainly due to excess moisture. This moisture seeps into wood and other materials, causing a persistent, unpleasant odor, similar to pet smells. Moisture can enter basements in several ways, including leaks.

Since basements are below ground level, they’re prone to absorbing water from outside and from leaks within the house. Using an odor remover can help tackle these musty smells effectively.

A situation whereby the basement has poor ventilation also contributes to the accumulation of moisture and, musty odors. Other musty smell causing factors include having items like fiberglass insulation and organic compounds(like fertilizers).

It is however advisable that you should consider using the best dehumidifier for basement alongside your odor eliminator. Therefore, We have reviewed odor eliminator above ordinary air fresheners.

Top 5 best basement odor eliminator

1) Breathe Green Plug N’ Pure Basement Odor Eliminator

Best air freshener for musty basement

The Breathe Green Plug N’ Pure Basement Odor Eliminator stands out as our top product for removing basement odors for several compelling reasons. Unlike conventional odor eliminators that rely on filters and forced air, this innovative device harnesses the power of negative ions to purify the air. Negative ions bond with positively charged contaminants, effectively removing them from the air and leaving behind a clean, refreshed atmosphere. This method not only ensures efficient odor elimination but also tackles a wide range of pollutants, including dust and smoke.

Negative ions

Conventional odor eliminators usually use a filter that forces air, but not this one. It simply harnesses the power of negative ions instead. Negative ions are generated and released into the atmosphere, bonding with contaminants (which are positively charged) and dragging off the air as a result. This gives leaves the air completely clean and smelling refreshed.

Low energy consumption and noise level

Since it is electrically powered, the Breath green product is designed not to consume much power. It is out rightly energy efficient and wouldn’t cause a significant raise from your usual energy bill range. The fact that it doesn’t move air literally to clean it means that it produces next to no noise while in operation. In fact, without the visible lights, one might not think it works.

Sleek design and Filter-less

The looks of this product are perfect and decorative in every way, but as said earlier, it’s sadly going to waste in a basement. This, however, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give the manufacturers credit. It is also filterless, eliminating regular cleaning or expenses on filter replacements.


  • uses negative ions which makes it effective against a wide array of pollutants including dust and smoke
  • operates at a low noise level while consuming very little energy
  • seek and modern looking beautiful design
  • absence of filters means it doesn’t need to be cleaned or require regular filter replacement
  • the product also doubles as a source of night light
  • operates very quietly


  • lack of instructional manual could make it difficult to operate
  • it is more effective in medium enclosed basements

Note: Sliding the switch at the bottom of the unit to the first position turns on the lights only, while the second position powers both the lights and ionizing function. The third position keeps the ionizer running without the lights.

2) SMELLS BEGONE Odor Absorber Gel – 1 Gallon – Air Freshener & Odor Eliminator

The SMELLS BEGONE Odor Absorber Gel in its generous 1-gallon size emerges as our second top pick for effectively tackling stubborn odors, particularly in the basement. This product stands out for its remarkable convenience and user-friendliness. Simply by removing the top label, you can unleash its potent formula to work wonders in freshening up your space.


Convenience is essential with the jar packaging of this gel. Remove the top label and let the powerful formula work its magic. Customers appreciate the ease of use and its enduring impact on their basement’s scent.

Effective Odor Elimination

This gel’s capacity to properly eradicate smells is one of its notable advantages. You may use it in various rooms in my house, including the kitchen, bathroom, and even the basement, where aromas can be complicated to eliminate. The Absorber regularly performs admirably in odor neutralization and absorption, leaving the air significantly fresher.


Its ability to operate for up to 120 days in an area of up to 750 square feet is astounding. It’s a comfort not to replace air fresheners or sprays regularly.

Safe for Pets and Children

If you have a pet, you understand how important safety is. This gel is suitable for both dogs and children. Knowing that you can successfully eradicate scents without bringing potentially toxic chemicals into your home provides peace of mind.

Pleasant Fresh Cotton Scent

The aroma of Fresh Cotton is lovely. It isn’t as strong as other air fresheners but leaves a beautiful scent that makes the room more appealing.

Large Size, Great Value

The 1-gallon capacity is ideal for bigger areas and offers exceptional value for money. Given its longevity and efficacy, it’s a wise purchase for anybody wishing to keep their house continuously smelling fresh.


  • Absorbs odors
  • Sweet fragrance
  • Safe for children and contains non-toxic materials
  • Easy to use
  • Long-lasting


  • It is messy if it leaks
  • Not be suitable for all areas (e.g., high-traffic areas)

3) Hamilton Beach TrueAir Room Odor Eliminator

Hamilton Beach TrueAir Room Odor Eliminator filters the air and adds good odor.

Our third top pick for effectively eliminating room odors is the Hamilton Beach TrueAir Room Odor Eliminator. This device stands out with its unique blend of traditional and innovative features. Unlike ionizer-based models, it utilizes a triple carbon filter system, combined with a silent fan, to draw in and purify air from three different directions. This approach not only ensures thorough air cleaning but also allows for the addition of a pleasant meadow scent, enhancing the overall freshness of your space. The TrueAir is notably energy-efficient, consuming less power than a 15-watt bulb, making it ideal for continuous use, especially in basements.

Carbon filter and scent pad

This air freshener takes a different design turn than the Breathe Green products. In their design, ionizer technology was ditched for a more traditional air-forced-through-the-filter cleaning.

The device is run by a silent fan, which draws in air from the atmosphere, forcing it through carbon filters to remove contaminants, after which it is released into the air. This process is repeated until there is little or nothing left to be smelt in the air.

There is also an option of using meadow scent pad cartridges to add a bit of good odor to the air, as the musty one is removed.

3-way air intake

The boxed-shaped design of this unit allows it to extract air from the atmosphere from three different sides. Each of these sides has a carbon filter of its own, which is why, although the unit has three filters, the air is not precisely filtered three times in a cycle. This multidirectional intake, however, allows the unit to move more air per minute, making a faster impact on the atmosphere.

Energy efficient

From user experience, energy bills before and after running this product for a month are more or less the same. In quantifiable measures, it consumes less energy than a 15-watt light bulb, which makes it a good fit for use in basements, where it might have to run around the clock, especially during summer.

Noise level

Due to the presence of a fan, this device generates audible noise, which, although not overly loud, can still be heard without much focus from a distance. This leaves the noise level down to each individual, as the more sensitive ears would call it noisy, and the less would tag it audible but quiet.


  • The presence of 3 carbon filters makes it very effective in removing odors from the air
  • optional meadow cartridge adds a bit of fresh scent to the air
  • possessing filters means it actually removes pollutant molecules from the air
  • product filters last about three months and comes with replacement indicators
  • very energy efficient and pulls air from 3-way air intake for faster impact


  • occasional filter replacement means a higher running cost
  • the scent pads do not last very long

4) Renuzit Snuggle Solid Gel Air Freshener

Renuzit Snuggle Solid Gel Air Freshener produces fresh laundry scent.

This Renuzit Snuggle Air Freshener is a genuine air freshener, unlike all other reviewed products. Freshener in the sense that it releases a pleasant scent into the atmosphere to enhance the already existing musty odor. The aroma produced by this product can be characterized as smell like laundry, which is very clean and as fresh as it gets.

Purely Air Freshener

Although it makes a telling impact on the atmosphere within a considerable amount of time, it doesn’t exactly remove the musty odor but simply masks it. This means, just like every air freshener, you must keep the scent coming or risk returning to what the room formally smelt like.

Cheap and biodegradable

The bottle contains tiny beads made of 98% biodegradable materials, which follow a natural cycle of dispersal as soon as it is exposed to the atmosphere. To use this product, all you have to do is tear and twist the cover to open. At just slightly over $10 and 12 pieces in the purchase package, this product is very cheap and an investment worth every penny.

Long life and lasting

The life span of each product is impressively 1 to 2 months. This time varies depending on the degree of usage and how much exposure it has to the atmosphere. The container has 3 degrees to which it can be opened, with 3 being the highest exposure, and would, therefore, release more scent but also make the pack last less than a month. Leaving it on one makes it last the most, up to 2 months, while two would be somewhere around a month.

Do note that this product does not do well in high temperatures, where it would dry up much faster than it should. The scent is not too strong, making it suitable only for tiny and enclosed areas.


  • produces a peculiar snuggle fresh laundry scent
  • very suitable for continuous air freshening
  • consisting of 98% biodegradable gel for natural dispersal
  • the cone is adjustable to fit desired fragrance level
  • 12 packs in the package put the price in cheap range
  • each pack has a good life span of up to 2 months (maximum) or much less depending on usage


  • being a pure air freshener means it does not eliminate smell
  • They dry out much faster when used in place with high temperature
  • the scent being pretty weak makes the product suited to very small enclosed basements for maximum effectiveness

5) Gonzo Basement Odor Eliminator

Gonzo Odor Eliminator is perfect for absorbing odors and foul smells.

The Gonzo Basement Odor Eliminator earns its place as our top pick for its unique and eco-friendly approach to odor elimination. This product stands out with its simple yet effective design, featuring non-toxic mineral rocks that absorb unpleasant odors without the use of chemicals, fragrances, or harmful substances.

Odor absorbing Nontoxic material

The design of this product is simply a bunch of rocks sealed together in a packet. These rocks, however, have unique properties which enable them to absorb odors and foul smell from the atmosphere.

They are also completely not toxic in any way; neither do they contain scent, fragrance, or chemicals that could be harmful to the environment and people too. This means it can be used around children and pets without concerns for safety.

Long life and rechargeable

Another fantastic feature of this product is that it is rechargeable and has a long life span. After strategically placing around the home, the odor eliminators should be allowed to do their job, which can last up to 6 months before a recharge is required.

Simply recharge by placing in the sun for 6 hours. After recharging, a position once again to continue the job. This cycle lasts for about two years, after which purchasing another becomes necessary.

Due to their nature, and small size, the odor eliminator is the best place in confined spaces, and as close as possible to the smell’s source. It becomes virtually infective larger basements, and over time too, there is a high chance of leaving white chalky film stains on the surface it is used. Do well to not place it on any fancy stuff as a result.


  • chemical-free material makes it completely safe to use around kids and pets
  • long life keeps it running up to 6 months before a recharge is needed
  • contains nontoxic mineral rocks for raping and destroying odors
  • it can be used for up to 2 years before replacement is necessary


  • more effective in small closed basements
  • the rocks leave a chalky white film on surfaces over time

Is a musty smell actually dangerous?

The smell in itself is not dangerous, but the causative agents are. This means that although no direct harm can come from moisty scents because they are caused by humidity problems that breed molds, living in musty odor areas could be dangerous.

Musty smells and the development of molds always characterize humidity problems in an area. These molds release spores into the atmosphere, which, when inhaled, could cause bodily damage.

Some dangers of inhaling mold-infested air include sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, skin rash, and chronic stage shortness of breath or respiratory infections. In a lump sum, living in musty areas is dangerous and should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Does musty smell mean mold?

Yes, the musty smell means mold is not too far away. The word stale is even a variant of moisty, moist, or damp when etymology is considered, and since all these are directly or indirectly related to mold, so is the word musty, and consequentially musty smell. This smell is found in areas where high humidity is predominant, and in these areas, so is mold growth.

5 Qualities to consider in choosing the best basement odor eliminator

Deodorizing technology:

The technology applied by the product for basement cleaning, goes far in telling how effective they would be. There are also several advantages and disadvantages to the different cleaning technologies employed. Ionizer, for example, is effective over a wide area and also requires zero cleanings or maintenance, with low running costs.

Products that make use of filters have a higher running cost are noisier, but also more effective and impacts the atmosphere in a short period of time. Ordinary air fresheners simply mask odors in the air, and absorbent materials draw and retain smells.

They both cover very small areas compared to the others. We recommend using ionizers or filter using products, and if you would settle for ordinary air fresheners and absorbent products, use more than one strategically located in different areas to be effective.

Air cleaners over just fresheners:

ordinary fresheners only produce a scent that fills the air, causing it to smell much better, and in the long run subduing the previous musty odor. Air cleaners, on the other hand, tackles the odor, eliminating it rather than simply masking it. We strongly recommend you purchase air cleaners only, for maximum odor removal.

Ease of use:

From the plug and leave nature of breath green, to simply laying on the floor of gonzo odor eliminator, air fresheners in basements should be very easy to use, and able to work without constant user supervision.

Life span and maintenance:

Regardless of what type you decide to settle for, it should have a considerable life span, since it would most certainly be running round the clock. Maintenance activities also include cleaning and frequent checkups to ensure effective working conditions.

We can assure you that you would most certainly have a better overall user experience when the product has a long lifespan and also requires little maintenance.

How do you get rid of a musty smell in the basement?

There are several ways that come together hand in hand in order to get rid of the musty smell. The trick is to target moisture too, not just the musty smell because if the smell is dealt with only, it would simply be a matter of time before moisture problems cause the environment to smell musty again. For the sake of this article, however, we would be focusing on getting rid of the musty smell only.

The best way to get this done is to firstly create proper ventilation in the basement. This would aid airflow, ensuring exchange between the external atmosphere and that of the basement.

Also, trace and seal every area from leakages, because stopping water from getting into the basement would greatly reduce its humidity content. Finally, purchase and run a good capacity air freshener for the purpose of removing already existing smell from the air.

My basement is dry but still smells musty – What should you do to eliminate the musty odor?

Having a dry basement doesn’t mean the humidity is also low, as they are completely two separate entities. Although there is a relationship with high humidity and a predominantly wet area, dry environs could also have Hugh humidity content in the air, and the only way to know is to measure using a hygrometer.

In a situation where the basement is dry, but still smells musty, try reducing its relative humidity. Also, there is a chance that the wooden materials have absorbed enough moisture to smell musty always. Therefore you should dry them too.

Finish the process by getting rid of organic materials that surely carries musty smells, and install a very good air freshener to tackle the odor. If it still persists after all these, then you should consider inviting a professional to come to take a look.

Final thoughts on the best basement odor eliminator

Breathe Green Plug N’ Pure Odor Eliminator B07V25DLDG is the best odor eliminator for your musty basement. Employing the services of an ionizer, this product is able to run without the use of filters, require frequent maintenance or consuming much energy. All you need to do is plug and forget it was ever there. It is also able to serve a considerable size of the basement (more than other products), although still best in medium-sized ones.

Breathe Green Plug N’ Pure Odor Eliminator B086Q4FNP4 is a close competitor to the B07V25DLDG. It employs ionizing technology too, giving it the earlier described benefits, but is only able to cover smaller areas.