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Removing Musty Odors from Wood Furniture

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musty smelling wood trunk

Old wood furniture or pieces that may have been in storage can develop a musty smell. This is a guide about removing musty odors from wood furniture.



Here are questions related to Removing Musty Odors from Wood Furniture.

Question: Removing Rancid and Musty Odor from Wood

My wooden cupboard with dividers for trays and cookie sheets smells bad. It is a combination of rancid odor and mustiness. The odor has permeated the wooden serving trays.

So far I have used soapy water and Lysol inside of the cabinet. We washed the wooden trays and set them out in the sunshine. We are considering rubbing them with fresh lemon juice to remove odor.
What would you suggest?

By John from Phoenix, AZ


Best Answers

By Mrs. C. B.07/14/2010

You might want to try this. Go to your nearest pet store and buy a package of activated charcoal (used in aquariums). Place an opened package in your cupboard overnight or longer, with the doors closed. The charcoal should absorb the odors.

Best Answers

By Dorina [2]04/03/2010

I would try white vinegar and water solution, perhaps mix in a few drops of dish soap. Give it a good cleaning. Then I would place white vinegar in a bowl or if the drawers are small a votive holder and leave it in overnight. (Close up the drawers when you do this.)

Best Answers

By Lilac [18]04/03/2010

The lemon juice won't hurt but I suggest spraying a test spot with Easy Off oven cleaner. Wait a few minutes and if you see a cleaner spot when you wipe it off you will know that your wood has absorbed grease from your years of cooking.

Best Answers

By kathleen williams [23]04/01/2010

Spray them with pine oil and water. Mix 1/4 cup in a spray bottle with water (Windex) or get one from Dollar store for a dollar. I use it all the time in kitchen, good luck.

Question: Removing Musty Odor from Old Cabinet

I bought a cabinet, that is old, for my bathroom and there is a musty odor inside. I have tried baking soda and vinegar and it didn't work. Please help.

Robinson in NC


Best Answers

By Carol (Guest Post)04/17/2006

I found that if you put a container of Damp-Rid in your cabinet and empty often, then refill as needed with the granules, it will take out the musty smell. Try putting a clean cloth with vanilla (real extract) and it should also help. Also there is a carpet/freshener that is a powder vanilla scent that works great on carpet, could sprinkle that inside, it is made by Glade Carpet & Room deodorizer.

Best Answers

By Anya - guest (Guest Post)10/01/2004

I have a great old wooden hutch/cabinet that was musty. I tried baking soda in a pan, then a baking soda/water paste scrub, then ground coffee and nothing worked. THEN, AHA! I sprayed the entire inside surface with cedar oil and no more musty smell! The cedar smell faded but the musty odor did NOT come back.

Best Answers

By Terry R (Guest Post)06/23/2004

I have had luck with charcoal briquets in the back corners of a musty shelf, DO NOT use the self lighting charcoal

Question: Cleaning Musty Smelling Dresser Drawers

I am going to a little place in the country (nothing fancy, so no point in talking to the management) for a much-needed, once-a-year holiday at the end of this week. The only bedroom furniture is a very old, wooden (maybe pine, not sure) dresser. The drawers are always terribly musty-smelling; it's suffocating!

I always end up having to leave them ajar, trying to air them out (it doesn't work!), and I hate putting my clothes in there. Please help! Does anyone know how to definitely get those drawers un-mustified so I can actually use them, this year? Thanks very much in advance.

By Anna

Most Recent Answer

By JULS [5]08/07/2011

I like to buy decorative lavendar soap at stores like Marshalls or Ross and put these in my drawers to make them smell nice. You could also try febreeze in the drawers and let them dry for a few hours before putting your clothes in them. Febreeze in good for carpets, upholstery and bedding you could probably use it just fine in a dresser drawer too.

Question: Removing Odor from China Cabinet

I have a china cabinet that smells like something died in it. What can I use to get the odor out of the wood, without damaging the wood?

By Trish

Most Recent Answer

By Susan Perry F.08/07/2013

Sam's Club sells a product called "OdoBan" ... this will work great to remove the odor. I had an chest that wreaked of cigarette smoke and I used it straight out of the bottle to the wood and had no damage what so ever. I've recommended the to several friends and they've all sent "thank you"s.

Question: Musty Antique Dresser

How do I get the musty odor out of an antique dresser?

By Jodi from Bay City, MI

Most Recent Answer

By Cindy [3]11/30/2010

Just a starting point, but try wadding up and loosely packing black and white newspaper pages in all of the drawers and cubby holes for several days. (Don't use glossy paper pages or colored print pages.) Don't know what it is, but often this basic black on white newsprint can help absorb odors.

Question: Removing Mold and Musty Odor from Furniture

I have an antique mahogany table and an antique chest; I am not sure what type of wood it is. These items were stored for several years in an area that became damp and moldy. The table has what looks like mold spots trying to bleed through. The chest has a bad odor, but I don't notice any mold spots. These are over 100 years old and I can't just dispose of them. Can you give me some ideas? Thanking you in advance.

By Patsy B

Question: Removing Musty Odor from Wood Table

I have a table leaf that got wet on one end. I didn't notice until it was bad. Any help?

By Dawn J

Question: Removing Musty Odor on Wood

How do I get rid of a musty ordor in wood hatch?

By ro

Question: Removing a Musty Odor from Furniture

How do I remove a very strong musty odor from a wooden hutch?


Question: Removing Mildew Odor from Wooden African Masks

My daughter kept some African masks in her basement and they now smell of mildew badly. How can we get rid of the mildew odor and ever use them in our home once again?

By goflos

Solutions: Removing Musty Odors from Wood Furniture

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