Old furniture is not just stuff that has outlived its use. Much of it is old precisely because it has served its purpose for a long time. In many cases, it can still do so for a whole lot longer — you just have to breath a bit more life into it.
Yesterday, I have posted my regular BURDA magazine pages - and along that road came the idea of what happens with our furniture over time - how we can remodel and re-decorate them.. unless there's that moldy & musty odor coming from it's depth.
Oh, that smell!
AS I've said, We have tried many methods hoping that it will vanish.I never did. All those awful musty odors were permeated right into the wood.
Now don’t let my story deter you. Depending on the wood and age of your furniture, removing musty smells (and this includes the old stench of mothballs) can be a challenge… but it can be done!
The key to getting rid of musty odors: It usually requires more than one solution and a lot of time and patience.
Here’s TOP 5 Ways
to remove musty smells from wood furniture
1. Wipe and Clean
Bacteria and germs can permeate porous wood causing awful “old-smell” odors. To eliminate the smell, kill the bacteria and germs by cleaning the inside of the drawers and all surfaces with a sponge dampened with vinegar, Murphy’s Oil Wood Soap or any Anti-Fungal Detergents. Then let dry in a well ventilated area.
2. Vinegar & Other Odor Absorbing Substances
Fill a plastic or glass container/ bowl with vinegar and place in each drawer. Close the drawers and wait a few days to see if the vinegar absorbs the odor. Other odor absorbing substances like charcoal, coffee grounds, kitty liter or baking soda may also help.
3. Natural Sun Light / Dehumidify
Porous wood absorbs moisture and smells from it’s surrounding environment. If your piece smells like a thrift store or old attic, try leaving the piece to dry out in the natural sun light. If you live in a humid environment, try placing your piece with a dehumidifier in a small enclosed room. Leave it running for a few days to suck the moisture and odors out of the wood.
4. Strip and Sand
Strip and sand the piece. If the odors are caught in the original finish, this will help by removing the finish and letting the natural wood breath. If there is still a slight odor after stripping and sanding, using method #2. The odor absorbing substance should get rid of any remaining unpleasantness.
5. Bleach or Vodka
Put bleach or cheap vodka into a spray bottle and mist the entire piece inside and out. Then leave it in the sunshine or another moisture free area to completely dry. This will help disinfect and eliminate odors.
All of these methods are tried and tested over time. I have had a lot of furniture in my hands over the years, since I've always been a bit crafty (and frugal!). I've sanded and painted over with "nitro" (that'll kill anything, including your sense of smell); I've washed cabinets with strong white vinegar; I've given some chairs a lot of sunshine (and new sitting pads).. many, many ways, and lots of furniture.
Each piece of furniture is an "individual" and therefore I advise you to chose your battle carefully.
Reuse & recycle.
...and have a nice crafty day!