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Removing Odors From Dresser Drawers

Category Odors
Older furniture can have a musty odor which in the case of a dresser can transfer to your clothing. This is a page about removing odors from dresser drawers.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 20, 2009

I've inherited a chest of drawers and matching bureau from my mother. The interior and drawers stink. I'm at a loss as to what the odor is much less how to get rid of it.

The odor reminds me of Estee Lauder's Youth Dew perfume with a sharp vinegary overtone. I've tried cedar eggs, mothballs, potpourri, bleach, and fabric softener (liquid and dryer sheets).

Does anyone have any idea what might work to kill the odor? I'm handicapped and on a limited budget, so I could really use a great home remedy that is very easy to use. Thank you in advance for any suggestions!

By Susan from Brentwood, NY

Answers

October 22, 20091 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try cleaning the inside of the drawers with Murphy's Oil Soap which leaves a nice scent behind. In a large bowl use about 1/4 to 1/2 capful of the liquid with warm water. Dip your cleaning rag in the water, wring it out and wipe away inside and out.

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October 23, 20090 found this helpful
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I would try to polycoat the inside of the drawers if they are natural, if they are painted I would repaint them. This should "seal the odor in" as opposed trying to remove it.

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October 23, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I've used the sun to get rid of odors from a trunk. Just place in strong sunlight. Don't let the furniture get wet at all and check often so the finish will stay OK.

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I have also read that charcoal, crumbled newspapers, and cat litter help. I think it will take a long time for the odor to go. I would also try washing like a previous poster mentioned.

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October 23, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I know this sounds silly but it works! Pour fresh (unused) kitty litter in the drawers. Wait a few days and the odor will be gone. I used this technique to remove odors from wooden cheese boxes.

PS keep the cats away while waiting or you will have a bigger issue! Sherielu

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October 23, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Put an open small bag of charcoal that you grill with in the drawers and forget about it for about a week or longer. Amazingly the charcoal will absorb the orders then throw them away. I too am disabled and know that putting them around in a smelly room will keep the air clean smelling! Good luck and keep us posted on what you end up doing.

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April 27, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Place a slice of lemon on a saucer or bicarbonate of soda in the drawer and it will absorb the odor.

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March 30, 20131 found this helpful
Best Answer

This works every time! Line the drawers with a couple sheets of newspaper and put 1/2 cup unused coffee grounds over the paper. Shut the drawers for a week.

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Voila! No more odor. I also did this with an upright freezer that had lost power and everything spoiled and therefore left an odor. I tried everything and nothing worked until the coffee trick!

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Answer this Question...

Last month I bought a dresser for my guest bedroom. It was cheapish, particle board. My guests were here for 4 days. They had to wash their clothes everyday because of the horrible smell in the drawers. I tried vinegar, baking soda, borax, charcoal, and putting them outside. Nothing works.

Please help!

Answers

January 21, 20191 found this helpful

There is a product called Nok-Out. You have to saturate the particle board. Compare the price to what you paid for the dresser to see if it is worth it to you.

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January 22, 20190 found this helpful

Hi,
I would mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar into teo cups of water. Then I would wipe the drawers and surfaces with this solution. Leave until dry. The rag should be wet with the vinegar water solution but not dripping wet. This should take care of the smell.

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----Robyn

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January 22, 20190 found this helpful

Did you buy it new? If so, it may be formaldehyde, which is almost impossible to remove. You can try letting them sit out in the sun on a warm, dry day (for a few days), but I have never had luck with this. You may want to return it to the store and ask for a refund. Perhaps if enough people fuss, they will stop using this on furniture. Good luck!! Post back what you decide/learn!

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January 22, 20190 found this helpful

my first impression is that it is in fact either formaldehyde, or that the glue inherent in the particle board at some point rotted out and gives off an offensive smell.

I have heard this happening with indoor paint where either the pigment or the fluid rots and stinks everything up

a third option is that it did develop rot or mould inside the particle board part itself

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either way your only option is to throw the piece of furniture in the garbage or try to get your money back

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January 22, 20190 found this helpful

If this is worth it to you to spend $35.00 or so, you can rent an ozinator machine at one of the local equipment rental places. Put the piece of furniture in a closet or small room, like a bathroom (that you won't need to use for 12 or more hrs), with the ozinator overnight. NOTE: this will kill any animals or plants, so do NOT leave any in the same room. It's simple. Put the machine (it's small) in the room, turn it on, shut the door and put a towel along the bottom of the bathroom, or closet door. The next day, open the door BUT DO NOT GO IN immediately. Wait a few minutes to turn off the machine, then wait a few more minutes to enter and do anything else. The room will have no oxygen in it when first opened. It takes a few minutes to re-oxygenate.

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When contaminants such as odors, bacteria or viruses make contact with ozone, they are destroyed completely by oxidation. In so doing, that extra atom of oxygen is consumed and there is nothing left...no odor...no bacteria...no extra atom, only oxygen. Ozone reverts back to oxygen after it is used.

This is an excellent tool to rid a house of dog or cat urine, or any other obnoxious smell.

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October 20, 2009

I have an old dresser in great condition. Except for the odor of the drawers which gets in the clothes. I've tried fabric softener sheet, potpourri pouches, etc. Any suggestions on how to eliminate odors from wooden drawers?

R. Sharp in MO

Answers:

Removing Odor From Dresser Drawers

Have you tried baking soda? It works for getting odors out of lots of other things! (08/29/2005)

By byhisgraceandpower

Removing Odor From Dresser Drawers

I have a dresser that must have been a home to a cat, because I could smell cat odor every time I opened the drawers. I tried everything I could think of. One day I took the dresser outside, washed it down with baking soda, and after it dried I took a spray bottle with white vinegar and water 50/50 and sprayed it down good. I wouldn't use this on anything but REAL wood, not processed woods. Let it dry in the sun thoroughly. No more odor. (08/30/2005)

By Dee

Removing Odor From Dresser Drawers

I wonder if painting or sealing the wood would work? (08/30/2005)

By wendee

Removing Odor From Dresser Drawers

I would try washing the inside of the drawers with baking soda and vinegar. You could also spray the vinegar on and then wipe out. Then put the drawers out in the sun to dry. You could also use ammonia. (09/02/2005)

By acraftycat

Removing Odor From Dresser Drawers

Try putting coffee grounds (right from the can) in an open container or envelope and let sit in closed drawer for a while. Worked for me. (09/04/2005)

By Anna from ME

Removing Odor From Dresser Drawers

I put dryer sheets in my drawer and between the clothes. After all, you want them to smell good when you take them from the dryer, why not when you take them out of your drawer as well? (08/20/2008)

By collegegirl

Removing Odor From Dresser Drawers

Try vanilla. I use a vanilla scented carpet spray on dog urine odors that even diluted vinegar or Zero odor couldn't eliminate. My mother used vanilla on cotton balls and placed them in a refrigerator that a chicken spoiled in (power went out). Nothing she had done until then had helped. (01/15/2009)

By LESLIE

Removing Odor From Dresser Drawers

I have this problem as well. I think it could be described as a musty type odor. The dresser I have is about 45 years old.

I'm looking forward to trying some of these suggestions as the fabric softener sheet really didn't help my dresser. But since I'm in the middle of winter, I will have to wait to let anything dry in the sun. But I will try the vinegar/water spray; dry in the sun as soon as spring arrives!

The one thing that has helped me with another older dresser and I remember my Mom doing this in her dresser: Put an unwrapped Ivory soap bar in your dresser drawers, one in each. All you smell is the clean soap. =) Of course, make sure the drawers are clean first. (01/16/2009)

By Dorina

Removing Odor From Dresser Drawers

To deodorize a musty dresser I took it outside on a sunny day. I then took out the drawers and sprayed a 10% bleach solution inside the drawers and on the inside of the dresser. I sprayed it twice that day and the next day it seemed fine. I have also used a cotton ball with vanilla extract on it. (01/20/2009)

By Omama

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