How to Get Rid of Smell from Sump Pump

A sump pump is a crucial component of many homes, helping to prevent basement flooding by pumping out excess water. However, over time, sump pumps can develop unpleasant odors that permeate throughout the basement area. In this guide, we’ll explore effective methods to eliminate odor from your sump pump and keep your basement smelling fresh.

Identifying the Source of the Odor

Before addressing the odor issue, it’s essential to identify the source. Common causes of sump pump odors include:

  • Stagnant Water: If water sits in the sump pump basin for extended periods, it can become stagnant and emit foul odors.
  • Mold and Mildew: Moist conditions in the sump pump area can promote the growth of mold and mildew, leading to musty odors.
  • Bacteria Buildup: Bacteria thriving in the damp environment of the sump pump can produce unpleasant odors.

Methods to Remove Sump Pump Odors

1. Clean and Disinfect the Sump Pump Basin

Materials Needed: Cleaning brush, mild detergent, bleach, water.


  1. Turn off the sump pump and disconnect it from the power source.
  2. Remove any debris or sediment from the sump pump basin using a cleaning brush.
  3. Mix a solution of mild detergent and water and use it to scrub the interior surfaces of the basin.
  4. Rinse the basin thoroughly with clean water.
  5. Prepare a diluted bleach solution (one part bleach to ten parts water) and pour it into the basin.
  6. Allow the bleach solution to sit for 15-20 minutes to disinfect the basin.
  7. Rinse the basin again with clean water and let it dry completely before reactivating the sump pump.

2. Install a Sump Pump Deodorizer

Materials Needed: Sump pump deodorizer tablets or pouches.


  1. Purchase sump pump deodorizer tablets or pouches from your local hardware or home improvement store.
  2. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the deodorizer in the sump pump basin.
  3. Replace the deodorizer regularly as recommended to maintain freshness and effectiveness.

3. Improve Ventilation in the Basement

Materials Needed: Fans, dehumidifiers.


  1. Increase airflow in the basement by using fans to circulate air and reduce humidity.
  2. Consider installing a dehumidifier to help control moisture levels and discourage mold and mildew growth.
  3. Keep basement windows and doors open when weather permits to allow fresh air to enter the space.

Preventing Future Sump Pump Odors

1. Regular Maintenance

Schedule regular maintenance checks for your sump pump to ensure it remains in good working condition. Clean the basin, check for any clogs or debris, and test the pump’s operation periodically.

2. Address Water Drainage Issues

Ensure proper drainage around your home’s foundation to prevent excess water from seeping into the basement. Consider installing gutter extensions and downspout diverters to direct water away from the foundation.

3. Monitor Moisture Levels

Keep an eye on the humidity levels in your basement and take steps to reduce moisture if necessary. Use a hygrometer to measure humidity and adjust ventilation or use a dehumidifier as needed.


Dealing with unpleasant odors from your sump pump can be a nuisance, but with the right approach, you can effectively eliminate the smell and prevent it from recurring. By following the methods outlined in this guide and implementing preventative measures, you can keep your basement smelling fresh and clean year-round.

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