Manure is one of the most important sources of essential nutrients in the world of home gardening and small-scale agriculture.

Unfortunately, it has a very noticeable downside in the smell it tends to leave behind. But worry not, because in today’s post, I’m going to tell you exactly what you need to know to get rid of the manure smell in your soil.

The characteristic bad smell of manure is caused by the presence of a variety of organic compounds such as ammonia, methane, nitrogen, and hydrogen sulfide. These compounds and others are produced as the organic matter in the manure decompose and the smell is strongest when fresh. So,

How Do You Get Rid Of Manure Smell In The Soil?

To get rid of the smell of manure in the soil, try the following:

  • Mix the manure well into the soil
  • Add carbon-rich materials to your manure such as sawdust
  • Water the soil thoroughly
  • Use a soil conditioner
  • Use a commercial deodorizer

The Smell Of Manure Is Quite Pungent

Manure has a distinct and pungent smell that can be best described as a sour, earthy musk.

The smell of manure can be quite unpleasant, especially when fresh and when used in large quantities. As such, complaints about the smell of manure are extremely common.

Manure from different animals will have differing smells, with horse manure being the least offensive, and cow manure having the most pungent smell. Manure from chicken and pigs is also very pungent and the smell can last a long time.

This is why learning to get rid of the manure smell in your soil can be a game changer.

If you are concerned about the smell your choice of manure is leaving behind in the soil, try the following.

Tips To Get Rid Of The Smell Of Manure In The Soil


Mixing manure well into the soil is an essential step when using manure as a fertilizing agent and as a soil amendment because it evenly distributes important nutrients and improves the structure and moisture retention qualities of your soil.

You should be doing it regardless. However, doing so will also significantly reduce the offensive aroma it tends to leave behind.

  1. Begin by preparing the area where you will be mixing the soil and the manure. Make sure that you remove any vegetation and debris, and level the ground as much as possible.
  2. Using a rake or manure spreader, evenly distribute your manure of choice over the soil.
  3. Next, use a tiller or garden fork to turn the soil and mix it in the manure.
  4. Finally, use your rake to level the soil and leave behind an even, smooth surface.

Mix your manure and soil properly or you will end up with a potentially overwhelming and unpleasant smell.

Tips to remove manure smell in soil

Carbon-Rich Materials

A nifty little trick to get rid of the smell of manure in your soil is to add some carbon-rich materials into your mix.

Carbon-rich materials will help you get rid of the pungent manure smell by speeding up the decomposition of the manure.

You see, the smell of manure is produced mostly by the release of ammonia, methane, and hydrogen sulfide molecules during a decomposition process. If you speed up this process, these gaseous molecules will hang around less and the smell will dissipate much faster.

There are several carbon-rich materials that can be added to manure without affecting its ability to enrich your soil.

  • Leaves: an excellent source of carbon, leaves can be added whole or shredded.
  • Sawdust: this byproduct of woodworking is another excellent source of carbon for your manure, and sawmills or woodworking shops often just give it away for free.
  • Cardboard: shredded cardboard is another excellent source of carbon for your manure. It is biodegradable and very cheap.
  • Coffee Grounds: coffee grounds, the type you have left over after brewing some coffee, are rich in carbon and also contain beneficial microorganisms that further boost decomposition in your manure.

Water The Soil Thoroughly

Another very simple trick to help you reduce the smell of manure from your soil is to ensure the soil is properly and thoroughly watered.

Watering the soil thoroughly will help to get rid of the smell of manure by diluting the concentrations of odor-causing ammonia, methane, and hydrogen sulfide in the manure. Any other odor-causing compound will also be diluted.

Soil Conditioner

Using a soil conditioner to get rid of the smell of manure in the soil is a very simple process.

The very first thing you need to do is to spread your chosen soil conditioner over the area where the soil most stinks of manure. The amount of soil conditioner you will need will depend on the size of the area you wish to treat as well as the intensity of the smell.

Next, use a rake or similar tool to mix the conditioner into the soil, this will allow the condition to do its intended job as well as reach deep into the soil, making it a more effective deodorizer.

After the conditioner has been properly mixed into the soil you must water the surface, as this will work to further “activate” the conditioner product.

Don’t be disappointed if you need to apply soil conditioner to your manure more than once. As always, when using a commercial product it is important that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions well to get the most out of the product.

Soil Deodorizer

If soil conditioner is not readily available, consider getting yourself some yard odor remover such as this wonderful Natural Yard Odor Remover Deodorizer from Smelleze (on Amazon).

Final Thoughts On Removing Manure Odor

Final Thoughts On Removing Manure Odor

Removing the smell of manure can be done easily enough by following the tips above. Properly mixing and watering the fertilizer, and using commercial products such as a soil conditioner or soil deodorizer can significantly reduce the strong odor like manure and improve your quality of life as you undertake gardening and agricultural work.

Last update on 2024-05-29 at 16:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API