5 Easy Steps on How to Deodorize Subfloor

how to deodorize subfloor

what are subfloors? Subfloors are either made from plywood, oriented strand board, or concrete. As the name suggests, it is stationed beneath your floor.

Does your house still have a musty smell after hours of cleaning? Well, if such is the case, then you need to know how to deodorize subfloor.

To deodorize your subfloor, you will have to clean your floor with bleach and then seal it with a good sealant. Alternatively, you can mix vinegar and bleach to clean it for more effectiveness.

Read on as this post-run you through the step on how to deodorize subfloors. Let’s get started, shall we?

Read: How to deodorize wood floor

Why Subfloor Smells Musty

Before we get into the gist of deodorizing subfloors, we should tackle why your subfloor smells musty.

It just spells out more work for you if you spend hours cleaning a musty subfloor without taking out time to prevent the musty smell. Below are some reasons why your subfloor smells musty:

1. Pest Infestation

It’s somewhat possible to be suffering from pest infestation without your knowledge. Most of these pests eat through your subfloor, leaving their dropping all over the place.

If the infestation is still going on unnoticed, the droppings start to decompose, leaving a musty smell.

It follows that pest infestation should be dealt with head-on by seeking the services of good pest extermination to end the menace.

2. Molds

It makes more sense, right? A musty smell is associated with molds, and there may be large mold-like activity going on beneath your floors.

Molds, as we all know, thrive in moist environments. It follows that if your house is in a riparian area or your floors are always exposed to moisture with little-to-no ventilation, the higher the chance of mold growth.

To prevent the spread of molds, always ensure your floor is dry and the room is well aerated.

3. Floods

Has your house ever been flooded? What you do after such an incident will go a long way in determining the smell your subfloor will emit. If the flood permeated to the subfloor, you need to take adequate steps to dry it out.

Using a good sealant on your floor is a good way to prevent moisture from seeping through to your floor.

4. Pet urine

This is probably the first cause of musty subfloors. Pets like cats and dogs have an inclination to urinate in a fixed spot.

Over time, the urine permeates to your floor, causing a terrible smell. If such is the case, it might be time to potty train your furry friend.

Read: Can dog urine cause mold in carpets?

How to Deodorize Subfloor

Now, it’s time we run you through a step-to-step procedure on how to deodorize subfloors.

Step 1: Move Your Furniture and Rug

You can’t get to work if pieces of furniture are obstructing you. You know the whole subfloor needs to be deodorized and not a particular area, right? This means moving your furniture to another room before getting to the main task.

Step 2: Vacuum and Mop the Floor

You will definitely have dirt and debris hiding under your furniture. You need to use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the dirt first before using warm soapy water to mop all corners of the room to another. Make sure to rinse off the floor with cold water.

Step 3: Make a Bleach Mixture and Clean Your Floor with It

You can either clean your floor with diluted bleach or vinegar in a ratio of 1:3. For a more potent mixture, we recommend that you mix bleach and vinegar in warm water and mop the floor with the solution. Always make sure the room is properly ventilated when using bleach.

Step 4: Seal the floor

The chances are that your subfloors have a musty smell because of moisture seeping into the floor. Thus, it means that your sealant is wearing off and needs to be re-sealed.

An oil-based sealant is recommended because it protects the subfloor from stains and odors in the future. Sealants are applied with a brush or roller (preferably brush). Allow the sealant to dry before applying the second layer.

Step 5: Move in Your Furniture/Carpet After Two Days

As earlier mentioned, you need to move our furniture and carpets to deodorize your subfloors. After sealing floors, you shouldn’t be in haste to move in your furniture. Give the sealant at least 48 hours to dry before replacing the carpet and furniture.


In this post on how to deodorize subfloor, you know that a deep cleaning with vinegar or/and bleach and good sealing is all you need to get rid of the musty smell that plagues your subfloor.

Remember, you need to take adequate steps to prevent musty floorboards. You don’t want to spend the whole year deodorizing your subfloor. Have a good time cleaning.

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