I have a root cellar under my porch. How should I clean loose stones on the floor and get rid of a musty smell so I can use the space as a safe food storage area. Small field mice entered and some of their skeletons remain. It has wood shelves and would work well as a food storage area.
Moisture is the ally of musty, moldy.
I would remove the stones, wash them in a household cleaner, such as Lysol. Wash down the walls and woodwork as well. Setup a fan to dry out the area. Run a dehumidifier in the rest of the basement during the summer. Repeat using the fan if musty odors return.
Put down a vapor barrier on the ground, 6 mil poly minimum, pond liner is a very sturdy option. Make the piece big enough to fold in the corners and contain the stones