Why Does My Room Smell

Although humans can differentiate more than a trillion smells, we often don’t notice funny odors in our homes until we leave for a few days and then come back. This happens because we spend at least one-third of our lives there, so our noses get used to those scents.

There’s a bunch of things that could be causing the unpleasant smell, including excessive moisture, pets, tobacco smoke, sweating, kids, dirty laundry, food or drink left on our plates and cups, poor ventilation, and so on. In this post, we’ll focus on the sources of smell and provide you with tips on how to remove them and keep your indoor air smelling fresh and clean.

Why Does My Room Smell?

People who prefer sleeping with their windows closed might wake up and experience the stagnant, musty smell in the morning. As said in the previous paragraph there are numerous reasons that might be behind the annoying odors. It’s important to note that even if the unpleasant scent is present, the source might not be so easy to notice. In this section, we’ll take time to discuss these sources of bad smell.

Mold And Mildew

Mold and mildew form in moist, warm areas of your home that don’t have proper ventilation. They then release gases that we perceive as musty smells. Humidity in your home can be caused by several reasons including water leaks, poor ventilation, holes in your building’s foundation, wet towels, blankets, or clothes, or untreated water damage. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mold can lead to various health issues, especially for the people who struggle with allergies or respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. The signs that may imply the presence of mold or mildew include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose

If you spend long periods of time in moldy spaces, you might experience shortness of breath or even fever. Now that we covered the most common source of annoying smell, we can move on to the next factors that might be causing your room to smell bad.

Stagnant Air

Unventilated spaces are great hosts for airborne particles such as mold spores, dust, or tobacco smoke. This only gets worse during the summertime, when the air is naturally more humid. To avoid those pollutants from remaining in your room, make sure you frequently let the fresh air in.

Night Sweats

Some less, some more, but we all sweat during sleep. That can be another cause of annoying smells in your room. Sweat and drool tend to remain in your mattress, pillow, blankets, and bedding so that’s another factor to keep in mind.

Pet Accidents

Sometimes it happens that your pet has an accident, and the smell sticks around for a while regardless of whether or not you cleaned it right away. Still, you’ll want to clean it as soon as it happens, since pet urine can penetrate into the carpentry and floors and cause mildew or mold growth.

Dirty Clothes

Bacteria can also be found in your laundry basket, so that can be another source of bad smell. Sweaty clothes, especially if they are still wet, could make the unpleasant odor spread.


Dust consists of all sorts of nasty things coming both from outside and inside, including pet hair and dander, insects and their droppings, dirt, pollen, and dead skin. Naturally, this leads to poor air quality and an annoying smell.

Dirty Floor Or Carpet

Carpets collect dust, bacteria and dirt, even if you’re trying to keep them nice and clean. Besides regular vacuuming, we’d recommend replacing your carpet every 6-8 years.

Trash Can

In case there’s a trash can in your room, bad smells might be coming from it. Remember to only use it for non-perishable waste such as paper, and not for waste that can rot and lead to bad smell. And remember to empty it regularly too.

How to Make Your Room Smell Fresh?

Now that we’ve covered all of the common sources of bad smells, we can finally focus on getting rid of that annoying, musty odor from your room. Fortunately, it can be done rather easily if you follow the simple steps listed below.

Ventilate Often

The first, and the most obvious step you should take is to open the windows and let the fresh air and sunshine inside. Depending on where you live, it might even be a good idea to sleep with your windows open. If you live in a big city, you should check the air quality report before opening the windows. In case the air pollution is high at all times of the day, you might want to consider buying an air purifier.

Dust Your Room Thoroughly

Next, you should make sure to dust the entire room from top to bottom. Smell isn’t the only problem related to dust, since the particles of which it consists can lead to allergy symptoms.

Besides “regular” places that usually come to mind when thinking of dust, such as shelves and tables, you should also ensure that lamps, ceiling fans, blinds, electronic devices, blinds, and carpeting are also dust-free.

Before you start, put on a protective face mask, to keep the dust out of your respiratory system. Remember to use a damp cloth when dusting so you can avoid dust being pushed right back into the air. Always dust from top to bottom, since the other way around would make the dust land on the places that you’ve just cleaned.

Clean the Floors

Your floor is the place where you’ll find pretty much everything from any part of the room, including spills, dust, crumbs, pett accidents and so on. Luckily, the cleaning can be done rather easily.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Now this is the simpler option, since you’ll only need to sweep your floor using a damp mop. Avoid cleaning floors with a dry mop, since this will help lift dust and other particles back into the air in your home.

Cleaning Carpeted Floors

In case your room is carpeted, you’ll need to put some more work into cleaning it, but if you follow these guidelines your room will smell much fresher:

  • Identify possible spots that smell bad. It might be because you’ve spilled some liquid, or your pet had an accident, which carpet then soaked in.Place baking soda all over the smelly spot, and leave it for a night or even two if possible, so it can absorb the smell.
  • Use the vacuum cleaner to pick up baking soda from your carpet, and the smell should be gone. If not, mix some white vinegar with water and use it to wipe the area, since the acid in vinegar is strong enough to destroy bacteria.
  • Do another round of the above-mentioned baking soda treatment, just to make sure that the smell’s gone.
  • Vacuum the baking soda from your carpet, and the job should be done.

When cleaning, always make sure that you reach the hidden areas, such as places under beds, tables and inside your closet.

Replace And Wash Your Bedding Weekly

As we said earlier, much of you sweat and drool ends up on your bedsheets and pillowcases, so it’s important to wash them weekly. In case they still have an unpleasant odor after washing, add some white vinegar to the wash and that should take care of bad smells.

Clean Your Mattress And All Upholstery

Once again, white vinegar can help. Mix it with water to tackle any stains and smells from your mattress or couch, Next, use the vacuum cleaner to collect any dust and dirt. Repeat this process every month.

Give Your Pet a Bath

Even if you have a cat that spends all of its time at home, bathing it regularly is still a good idea. That will help you avoid some of the funky smells.

Use an Air Purifier

Air purifiers are devices designed to collect most airborne pollutants in your home and remove them from the air. Naturally, combating the pollutant, will have also help you handle the unpleasant odors in your home.

Use a Dehumidifier

Since humidity is the key factor that leads to mildew and mold growth, you might consider buying a dehumidifier. These devices are built to help you prevent the air in your home from becoming too moist, as well as to trap pollutants and nasty smells. Using a dehumidifier, and reducing the humidity in your space will have a great impact on removing the annoying scents.

Use an Odor Absorber

Using a natural odor absorber such as baking soda or activated carbon is another move that could be helpful when struggling with bad smells. keep in mind that odor absorbers are soaking up the air particles, you’ll need to replace them regularly.

Instead of using an air freshener which will only mask the smell, we suggest you mix 8-10 drops organic essential oil with a cup of water and spray it around the room. Having a nice smelling plant, such as jasmine, rose or lavender can also be very helpful.

Final Words

This concludes our comprehensive post in which we explained the potential reasons behind the bad smell in your room, and provided the solutions to each of the sources of nasty odors. We hope you like the article, and find it useful. As always, feel free to write us a comment in case you have any questions, or you want more information on a particular point.