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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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Place a slice of lemon on a saucer or bicarbonate of soda in the drawer and it will absorb the odor.
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. 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
either way your only option is to throw the piece of furniture in the garbage or try to get your money back
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.
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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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
Have you tried baking soda? It works for getting odors out of lots of other things! (08/29/2005)
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)
I wonder if painting or sealing the wood would work? (08/30/2005)
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)
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
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)
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)
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)
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)