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Why Does My Bathroom Smell Musty? See What An Expert Says

Bathrooms are a necessity that we can’t live without. We use them for our most intimate and essential duties. So, when something terrible smells out of our bathrooms, there is a problem.

Have you ever gone to your bathroom and asked yourself why your bathroom smells musty?

If yes, you’re in the right place as we’re here with our guide on this topic. After reading this article, you’ll learn everything from why it happens and how you can remove it. 

So, why wait? Let’s start!

Why Does My Bathroom Smell Musty?

People use a lot of water in their bathrooms, which can lead to a significantly humid environment. Moreover, the usage of hot water plays a significant role here. 

For this reason, keeping the air and surfaces of your bathroom dry is pretty challenging. Although, the main culprit behind this musty smell is mold and mildew.

Before discussing the reasons, you should know what a musty smell feels like. You see, when people say they smell something musty, they refer to mildew smell. 

Mildew often smells like wet socks, rotten wood, or paper. You see, mildew can go away after you’ve ventilated the area. However, if it stays, it means you have a mold case.

Now, let’s discuss the reasons. 

Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are sneaky little things that grow behind the walls and cabinets of your toilet. Basically, these things can grow anywhere from your shower curtains to your tile grout. 

These things not only smell bad, but they can also be harmful to your health. Mold can cause you headaches, sinus problems, fatigue, and other respiratory issues. 

The worst part is when mold is somewhat disturbed, the spores can get airborne. If it somehow gets airborne, it can cause even more severe problems. But most importantly, it’ll spread to other rooms of your house. 

Other Reasons

Sometimes there’s a musty smell in your bathroom, and you won’t find any mold or mildew. This means that there are other culprits behind the problem. 

So, the first thing you’d want to do is, check the areas in your bathroom that are often unnoticed, such as the toilet tank.

Toilet tanks can be the perfect growing space for mold and mildew. Although, the lime deposits can also be the reason as they can dirty the tank.

Also, you should check the toilet bowl. Sometimes we ignore the brown stain on the bottom of the toilet bowl. We should clean it in order to get rid of the musty smell.

How to Get Rid of Musty Smell?

Your bathroom needs proper care. You use them for personal and essential work, so you get why it needs to be cleaned regularly. 

However, if you somehow get a musty smell in your bathroom, here’s how you can get rid of it.


Vinegar can be a wonderful thing to eliminate the musty smell in your bathroom. The best thing about vinegar is that you can find it almost anywhere.

  1. First, get a sponge or a clean rag soaked in vinegar. Then, apply the sponge or rag on the affected you see mold or mildew.
  2. Although, you can fill up a spray bottle and then spray on the areas. Both methods work, so do whatever you feel comfortable with.
  3. After you’ve let it sit for a few hours, you’ll need to scrub the areas with a sponge. You can also use a toothbrush if you want.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a great essential oil to get rid of any kind of fungus. You can use it instead of vinegar. 

Many people don’t like the smell of vinegar, so tea tree oil is a good alternative. Well, it’s not that tea tree oil doesn’t have any strong smell, but it’s a lot better than vinegar.

  1. First, put some tea tree oil in a spray bottle and mix it with water. 
  2. Now, spray some mixture on the affected areas. When spraying, make sure to reach every corner of the affected areas. 
  3. You need to let the solution sit for an hour or two. After that, scrub the areas with a sponge. 

Essential Oil

You can use essential oils to remove any kind of foul smell. They will get rid of the bad odor and spread a wonderful scent. 

So, you need to spray on some essential oils after the vinegar or tea tree oil’s been scrubbed away.

  1. Mix some grapefruit seed extract with water. Now, put the mixture in a spray bottle.
  2. Finally, spray the solution on the affected areas to minimize the vinegar smell. 

You see, this solution will not only minimize the smell, but it’ll also enhance the vinegar’s capability to remove any mold or mildew.

How to Prevent Musty Smell?

Now that you’ve removed the musty smell, it’s time to take measures, so they don’t come back. Here are a few effective measures.

Clean Regularly

Dirt and moisture are like food for mold and mildew. So, always keep your tub, sink, and shower completely clean. If any electric devices are in the bathroom, take proper covering on that. 

Use Proper Ventilation

You see, your exhaust fans do more than remove any unwanted smell. They keep the moisture out of your bathroom. So, use the exhaust fan every time you use the bathroom.

However, keep the windows open if you don’t have an exhaust fan.

Install Dehumidifiers

Installing dehumidifiers can work great for preventing any kind of mold or mildew. These things can’t grow when the humidity level is low.

Keep the Bathroom Dry

It may sound like some extra work, but trust me, it’s the most effective way to remove any excess water or soap scum. 

Simply use an old dry towel to do the job, and you’ll be well off.


Well, that’s all we had to say about mould or mildew. So, the next time someone asks, why does my bathroom smell musty? You’ll know everything about it. 

Before wrapping things up, we have a quick piece of advice for you. If the mold situation in your bathroom is too severe, it’s better to call a trained professional.

You shouldn’t handle any extreme conditions as mold harms your health. 

Good luck!