Removing Musty Smell from Ottoman Bed Storage

I use the space under my ottoman bed to store bedding and clothes. They go in fresh and smelling nice, but come out smelling musty! How can I stop that?


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October 6, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hey, there. A musty odor indicates some moisture has gotten into your things, so the best course of action you can take is to prevent your stored items from getting musty in the first place. There are a number of ways you can do this. A cheap way is to save those little silica packs you get in packaged items that suck up moisture. Those are called "dessicants," and they're often found in boxes when you buy shoes. But not everyone saves them. So, what to do?

First, and foremost, is to make sure your items are bone dry before you store them. Any bit of moisture can cause mold to grow, which causes that musty smell. You can actually make your own little packets by purchasing dessicants in the form of silica beads and sewing pouches that measure about 3"x3" and put them in with the items you're storing.


You can also store baking soda with your things to absorb moisture and prevent odors. If you don't want to (or don't have room to) store a full box of baking soda, again, you can sew little cotton pouches and put a few tablespoons of baking soda in them.

Odor absorbing charcoal is another good way to absorb odors. When I had multiple cats, I used a charcoal filter on the litter box and it really helped keep the odors at bay.

Your goal is to prevent your clothes from becoming musty, dusty, and moldy, so make sure to seal the bag you're storing them well. I've never had much luck with vacuum sealed bags, but it's always worth a shot.

Hope this helps.

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October 6, 20170 found this helpful

Nok-Out is an excellent product that removes objectionable smells. You can get it on Amazon.

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October 6, 20170 found this helpful

Fill jars with vinegar and water poke holes in the jar.Set them where you put your have ottoman storage.

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October 6, 20170 found this helpful

Have you tried the vacuum sealed bags? That is what I use, you can fit a lot of things in one bag and since their is no air in them they do not smell musty when you are ready to use the stuff again.


I have gotten some cheaper bags that left my clothes smelling like the plastic before but usually the stuff comes out smelling like it did when it was put in.

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October 7, 20170 found this helpful

I put them in sealed bags with little baking soda pouches inside for storage.

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October 7, 20170 found this helpful

Somehow, moisture is getting into your storage unit and that is what is causing the musty smell.

  • Storage bags may be a good immediate solution but the cause of the smell will have to be found and eliminated if you want a permanent solution.
  • You may want to start by cleaning the inside with white vinegar - just wipe everything and let it dry.
  • Murphy Oil's Soap is also a very good cleaner - just follow directions on the container.
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  • You could place a tall container filled with something that will absorb moisture.
  • Charcoal: Just place briquettes or bags of small pieces (from aquarium stores) inside and leave for 1-2 days. Do not throw away; just store the charcoal to be re-used at a later time.
  • Coffee: Ground dry fresh coffee grounds (not used grounds) usually works. Place it in bowls for 24 hours to allow it to absorb the odor.
  • Baking Soda: Place an opened box or two for a few days.
  • Kitty Litter: I have used natural clay kitty litter for absorbing odor - fill a few bowls with the litter and let it sit for at least 24 hours.
  • I would recommend you buy a container of DampRid and place in your room (not in storage unit) and see how quickly the container fills with liquid.
  • If the container fills in a few hours or overnight then you know you have a moisture problem in your home/apartment and that is what is causing your storage to smell.
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  • DampRid can be purchased at stores like Walmart, Target, etc and on-line.
  • Here is an example site:
  • https://www.ama  e&tag=thrif06-20
  • This excess moisture may be all over but you would not easily smell the decay in a larger open area.
  • If the moisture is prevalent, you may need to purchase a dehumidifier and these work great. They are a little expensive but well worth the cost over the long run as there are probably other things in your home that are being affected by the moisture.
  • Dehumidifiers can be purchased at the same stores mentioned above but here is an example of an on-line sale:
  • https://www.wal  2_1231459_112918
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