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Removing Musty Odors from Wood Furniture

Category Odors
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.
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December 12, 20161 found this helpful

This is a guide about cleaning a musty antique dresser. Although antique furniture can be beautiful, it can also be tricky to clean and deodorize.

An antique dresser with many drawers.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 31, 2010

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

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April 1, 20100 found this helpful
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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.

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April 3, 20100 found this helpful
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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.

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April 3, 20100 found this helpful
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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.)

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July 14, 20102 found this helpful
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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.

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June 22, 20040 found this helpful

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

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By guest client (Guest Post)
June 23, 20040 found this helpful
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I have had luck with charcoal briquets in the back corners of a musty shelf, DO NOT use the self lighting charcoal

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 1, 20040 found this helpful
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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.

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 17, 20060 found this helpful
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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.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 3, 2011

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!

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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

Answers

Anonymous
August 3, 20110 found this helpful

Why bother with the odor that you will not be able to eliminate in a short visit? Put some dryer sheets in the drawers and forget about using them, and at the very least, you won't have to smell the musty odor. Bring along some cord, rope, or even better, bungee cords and "S"-hooks to create a make-shift closet where you can hang your clothing. Not great for entertaining guests but hopefully you'll not have to do that while on retreat.
Have a nice trip!

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Anonymous
August 4, 20110 found this helpful

I am with Pinksa and any clothing you don't need to hang up just keep them in your luggage. Why not just make life simple and enjoy your holiday instead of worrying about things that, in the whole scheme of things, really don't matter. Am not trying to be mean but perhaps next year you should find a different place to stay where the drawer odors will not bother you.

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August 4, 20110 found this helpful

Charcoal helps with this but I think it takes a while to work.

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August 4, 20111 found this helpful

Bring along some of those products used for cancer patients to remove odors and spray drawers so room smells OK, but keep your clothes in your suitcase, just ask for a suitcase stand or set up on top of dresser. If I'm on retreat the look of the room is not the most important thing on my list. just "vegging" out. Oh yes, be sure to open the windows wide to air out the room, too. Fresh air does wonders for the soul, too.

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August 4, 20110 found this helpful

What if, weather permiting, you set the drawers outside to air out for the night when you first get there, then sprinkle them with your favorite powder, or use a dryer sheet like Pinska suggested.

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August 4, 20110 found this helpful

Charcoal, dryer sheets, baking soda, and good old free sunlight work. But like the other poster, just don't put your clothes in there. Best of luck to you on your trip!

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August 7, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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August 6, 20130 found this helpful

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

Answers

August 7, 20131 found this helpful

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.

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March 15, 20170 found this helpful

I have a wooden kitchen table that smells like cigar smoke and old wood smoke. It was also covered in pet hair. The oder is terrible. It is a finished table. How do I get the smell out? What do I clean it with?

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January 27, 20150 found this helpful

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

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By 0 found this helpful
January 11, 2015

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

By Dawn J

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By 0 found this helpful
October 19, 2014

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

By ro

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September 16, 20140 found this helpful

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

By CA

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April 22, 20140 found this helpful

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

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