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The 6 Best Basement Odor Eliminators

Don't just accept those weird smells lurking underground! Find the best basement odor eliminator to make everything smell as fresh as a daisy.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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Sniff sniff… sniff sniff…. Where is that smell coming from? Is it your spouse’s pickleball equipment? Your kids’ sweaty slippers? The pile of laundry you’re always behind on? An accident one of your pets deposited? Is something rotting?

If these are the questions you’re constantly asking as you meander around your finished basement wondering why things aren’t as fresh as you’d like, start seeking answers by learning how to get rid of that musty smell in your basement and how to eliminate basement sewer smells. These solutions may very well include investing in the best basement dehumidifiers and the best basement air purifiers. But don’t stop there, as a multi-pronged approach may be your best bet to stop the stink. That’s why we’ve also rounded up the best basement odor eliminator options on the market to help ensure your basement smells fresh.

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Best Overall

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Room Freshener

Whether you need a musty basement odor eliminator or simply something to cover-up a strange stench you can’t even identify, reach for Mrs. Meyer’s Room and Air Freshener Spray. It’s our top pick for the best basement odor eliminator for a few reasons—first, the Lemon Verbena’s mild citrus scent smells clean instead of like you’re wandering through a meadow or the woods, which can be too strong for some people.

Second, it’s a cruelty-free formula that is Leaping Bunny-certified and free of propellants, phthalates, parabens and artificial colors. Finally, it has nearly 10,000 five-star Amazon reviews, which means it’s a true winner!

Pros

  • Made with essential oils and clean ingredients
  • Fresh citrus scent isn’t likely to offend those with sensitivities
  • Quickly freshens any room

Cons

  • Only available in a three-pack, so you can’t try just one bottle

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Natural Aromatic Room Spray Ecomm Via Formulary55.comvia merchant

Best Budget

Formulary 55 Natural Aromatic Room Spray

When deciding how to eliminate basement odor, it’s a good idea to start with an affordable option—like this natural aromatic room spray—to see if that does the trick. Choose from scents including refreshing Ginger Blossom, relaxing French Lavender or woodsy Cedar & Bergamot, and rest assured knowing the brand uses a 100% natural formula with pure essential oils, so it’s safe to use around children and fur babies.

Online reviewers rave that the fragrance of this best basement odor eliminator spray lasts a long time, yet isn’t overpowering, which means you’ll also save money by not going through a bottle too quickly.

Pros

  • Wallet-friendly
  • Cruelty-free and free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates and dyes
  • Three scents to match your preferences

Cons

  • Cannot spray directly on wood or fine fabrics

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Vzee Charcoal Bags Odor Absorber Ecomm Via Amazon.comvia merchant

Best for Large Rooms

Bamboo Charcoal Bags

Easily cover every square inch of your basement with this eight-pack of air-purifying bags. These linen fiber bags are filled with bamboo charcoal that lasts for two years (simply place them in direct sunlight once a month for a couple of hours to re-activate them).

Hang them in a closet, hide them in corners and stick this best basement odor eliminator anywhere else your nose detects an unpleasant aroma. Each basement odor eliminator bag covers an area of 100 square feet, which means this entire pack will work in an 800-square-foot basement.

Pros

  • One pack covers up to 800 square feet of space
  • You aren’t just masking the odor with another scent or chemicals
  • Lasts up to two years

Cons

  • You must remember to “recharge” them in the sun

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Homedics Totalclean Tower Air Purifier Ecomm Via Amazon.comvia merchant

Best for Small Spaces

HoMedics TotalClean Tower Air Purifier

The best basement odor eliminator for small spaces is the HoMedics TotalClean Tower Air Purifier, which is designed for rooms up to 170 square feet (though the brand does make larger versions for bigger rooms).

Thanks to its powerful UV-C light and five-in-one filtration technology, this air purifier has been third-party tested to reduce bacteria, viruses, mold and fungus. The touch controls are easy to use, and it tells you when it’s time to replace the filter.

Pros

  • Ideal for small spaces
  • Customized programming and a built-in timer
  • Can be paired with essential oils

Cons

  • Some users find it a bit noisy

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Smells Begone Pet Odor Absorber Gel Ecomm Via Amazon.comvia merchant

Best for Pets

Smells Begone Pet Odor Absorber

While sprays and candles can pose a health or fire hazard for your precious pooches and curious kitties, this odor-absorbing gel is a pet-safe choice. Made in the U.S.A. with plant-derived ingredients and essential oils, these canisters can remove smells caused by smoke, garbage, pet odors, food and more. Place them in a well-ventilated area in a space up to 450 square feet, and let them work their odor-defying magic for up to 90 days.

Pros

  • Safe for pets and children
  • Three scents to choose from
  • Lasts for three months
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Some reviewers complain the scent isn’t strong enough

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Best for Carpets

Air + Fabric Odor Eliminator

Stinky surfaces, watch out: There’s a basement odor eliminator that will have you begging for mercy within 60 seconds of use. Home Pourri, from the makers of Poo Pourri, uses proprietary technology to neutralize 99% of home odors, and is made from plant-based ingredients and essential oils.

Spritz a bit of this best basement odor eliminator onto your carpet, rugs, curtains, bedding, pillows, furniture or into the air, and then breathe in the fresh odor a mere one-minute later. Ahhhh.

Pros

  • Works on carpets and other soft surfaces
  • Comes in three scents
  • Clean ingredients are safe for pets and children

Cons

  • Some reviewers say the scent is too strong

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What to Consider When Buying a Basement Odor Eliminator

When shopping for the best basement odor eliminator, start by thinking about the size of your space—you’ll want a product that’s powerful enough for the size of the room, but not so powerful that the solution becomes overwhelming to your senses.

Next, consider who lives in your home; if you have children or pets, make sure you choose something that’s safe for kids in case they get a little curious. Finally, decide if you want a product that you control when you need it (like a room spray) or if you want something that works 24/7 on its own (like charcoal bags or an air purifier).

How We Chose the Best Basement Odor Eliminators

As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.

FAQs

What causes a musty odor in a basement?

A musty basement odor is most often caused by mold or mildew, and these fungi are stinky. If this is the case, you’ll want to follow this guide to preventing mold in basements and know what to do when your basement floods. These suggestions on how to get moisture out of the basement should also help.

Of course, be sure to review these tips for fixing a leaky basement so you don’t run into this problem again. If you’re thinking about finishing your basement (these basement remodel ideas can inspire any homeowner!), be sure to remedy any outstanding water and mold problems first.

Do odor eliminators kill bacteria?

It depends on the odor eliminator. For instance, products like Febreze Fabric Antimicrobial Spray and the HoMedics TotalClean Tower Air Purifier claim they kill 99% of bacteria, which helps get to the root of the problem. However, other odor eliminators (like scented room sprays, candles, charcoal bags and gels) simply trap odors or mask smells with another fragrance, rather than addressing the underlying bacteria.

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Jill Schildhouse
As an editor at large for Family Handyman, Jill Schildhouse is an expert in health and wellness, beauty, consumer products and product reviews, travel, and personal finance. She has spent the last 20 years as an award-winning lifestyle writer and editor for a variety of national print and digital publications.