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I am forced to use an old storage room for work as there is some really loud construction work going on in an adjacent building, located near my current working room.

The problem is that the storage room's air quality is terrible. I have dusted, mopped and vacuum cleaned the room however the air quality still appears to be really bad. I have left the window of that room open as well for a few days however that still hasn't improved the air quality.

There are some carpets,blankets etc inside the wardrobes. I suspect that the smell might be due to this, but not sure again, as the wardrobes are all closed.

How can I get rid of the horrible smell? Sitting there for an entire day just feels so miserable.

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My first attempt would indeed be to inspect the wardrobes. If there's a continuous source of bad smell somewhere, you can throw all the fresh air in you want, but it will continue to come back.

On the other hand, it can really take much time to expel bad smells which have been in a room for a long time. Especially if it is only a small window letting the air in. Things you can consider:

  • Leave the door open, and more windows/doors on the other side, as to create some kind of draft. If the wind blows from the right direction (preferably out of the storage room window), a powerful draft can really help. The downside might be that the rest of the building might catch a bit of the bad smell.
  • Use a fan near the window to get more fresh air in.
  • Put some small bowls or plates with some cleaning vinegar in the room. It's cheap and rather effective in removing unwanted odours.
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Textiles like carpets, blankets and old clothing are like sponges for bad smells. So first of all clean out the closets. If you're not allowed to throw away the stuff in there, put it into big plastic sacks and close them as airtight as possible. If that's too much trouble, tape all the gaps between the doors of the closet shut with painters tape to trap the bad air inside the closet. This won't work perfectly, but maybe well enough.

If the room has a carpet or similar flooring (like many office spaces have), that's another possible source of bad smells. Unfortunately throwing it out or covering it airtight is not a practical solution. I suggest spraying it with an odor neutralizing detergent. First test the detergent in a small corner to make sure it doesn't change the color of the flooring.

And lastly there are odor neutralizing candles, room sprays and oils. Since you must work in that room, trying to cover the bad smell will only result in more of a headache. But some of these air refresheners come with very little own scent and instead release chemicals that break down the bad smell in the air. I have made good experiences with products that promise to neutralize the smell of cigarette smoke. Be aware that open fire and therefore lighting a candle is probably forbidden or dangerous there!

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Which is worse, the loud construction work or the smelly room?

My hack would be to try working in the original room with either a sound neutralizer / noise cancelling device, or loud music, perhaps with headphones.

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