smelly office

How to Clean a Smelly Office

Published Date January 25, 2022

No one likes a smelly office — and yet it still happens, despite our efforts to the contrary. Foul odors are fairly common when we share our workplace with at least a dozen people. After all, it’s hard to police our colleagues’ office habits.
However, even people working solo in the privacy of their corner office can fall victim to a stinky office. When this occurs, we have no one else to blame but ourselves and our negligence.
Thankfully, though, a foul-smelling office is quite easy to overcome. Whether we work at communal office space or have our own room, there’s nothing a good cleaning wouldn’t fix.

If you can’t get an expert office cleaning service in Tampa, FL, here are some things you can do to get rid of any foul office odors.

Find the Source of the Smell

The first step should always be to find the source of the problem. It’s only after we know what’s causing the foul odor can we get rid of it and start improving how the office smells.

Here are some places to check:

  • Office break room, especially the communal refrigerator, microwave, and coffee pot
  • Sinks and drains, whether in the pantry or bathroom
  • Carpet or upholstery, including the office chairs
  • Toilets
  • Trash cans
  • Office air conditioning unit or air vents

Other reasons behind a smelly office may be our coworkers’ habits or personal belongings. For instance, coworkers who smoke or like to paint their nails in the office area likely contribute to the stench.

Clean the Office Thoroughly and Regularly

Make sure to inform the custodial staff about the source of the foul odor once you find it. If the office does not have a janitorial staff available during office hours, leave a memo for the after-hours clean-up crew or raise the issue to your superior.

Here are our best cleaning tips and tricks for common causes of foul office odors.


  • Pour a powerful liquid drain cleaner to clean out sewage smells in bathrooms and kitchen sinks.
  • Alternatively, boiling water, vinegar, and baking soda is also effective in declogging and cleaning out drains.
  • Use antibacterial toilet cleaner and floor cleaners to mop the floors.


  • Ask employees to take home or throw out any food they may have in the fridge and schedule a refrigerator deep clean.
  • Clean the inside of the fridge and freezer with antibacterial cleaner and water. Make sure to let it dry completely before using it again.
  • Keep an open container of baking soda inside the fridge to absorb bad smells.

Workspaces, Carpets, and Office Chairs

  • For quality results, hire a professional carpet cleaning service to deep clean the carpets.
  • Use baking soda to remove stinky stains on a relatively clean carpet. Sprinkle the baking soda on the stinking area, let it sit for at least 15-20 minutes, then vacuum everything.
  • Deodorize smelly office chairs by spraying commercial fabric deodorizer, vinegar, or rubbing alcohol on the fabric of the chair seat. Make sure to do this in an area which is well-ventilated.
  • Wipe down tables and other hard surfaces with antibacterial cleaning solution.

AC Unit and Vents

  • Mold and mildew growths on AC units or HVAC vents are often the cause of old, musty smells inside the office. Kill mold growth with off-the-shelf antibacterial cleaners or vinegar for a DIY option.
  • Call in a professional HVAC service crew to check and clean the entire vent system, if needed.

Be Generous with Air Fresheners

After ensuring the office is cleaned up, we highly recommend using air fresheners and other odor-eliminating products. Use these generously throughout the office, not just in the bathrooms.

However, take note that these will only keep bad smells at bay. They won’t improve indoor air quality or completely mask exceptionally strong odors. Air purifiers may help improve indoor air quality while dehumidifiers may reduce mold and mildew growth.

Deep Clean the Office with Professional Help

It’s important to conduct a thorough cleaning of the office — not just the area that was causing the smell. This will help ensure nothing else would cause a stinky office.

Commercial office cleaning services make regular office deep cleaning easy and stress-free. Our highly trained and meticulous cleaning staff will surely uncover and clean any causes of office stench. Call us today to request a free quote or schedule an office cleaning service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *