Friday, November 4, 2011

Free Advice Friday- Getting that old, musty smell out of furniture

It's Free Advice Friday time... woo-hoo! Today's question is from Heather who wanted to know how to get rid of that old, icky smell that so often accompanies salvaged furniture.
Well Heather, I did a little research and here is what I discovered: first of all, don't bother with the furniture polish. Using that to get rid of odor is like spraying perfume on yourself after running a marathon [ewww.]. Instead, use Murphy's Oil Soap according to directions to clean the wood thoroughly. Then put it in a dry location and let it really, really dry-out [setting it out in the hot sun is best]. Now, in "the land of perfect" that will do the trick and your salvaged piece will have a fresh, lovely scent. However, I don't live in that land... [in fact, I hardly ever even get to visit it] so if you're like me that musty smell will hang-on and you'll have to continue working. Here are a few more extreme approaches to try:
Pine Sol: 2 gallons water with 1/2 cup Pine Sol.
Bleach and water: Wash it down again using 1 part bleach to 2 parts water, or you can dilute it more if you aren't comfortable with that strong of a solution... just be safe & smart.

Vinegar and water solution:  Washing it with this solution is less harsh than the bleach but it is still effective.
Charcoal: Place unused charcoal briquettes [yup, like you use to grill] in a bowl and place inside your piece. Keep all drawers & cabinets shut for at least 24 hours for best results. You don't even have to throw them away after you're done- they can still be used [Not sure I would though. My mind would trick my mouth into thinking that the chicken tastes musty...]
Kitty Litter: Natural clay kitty litter to be exact. Same drill as the charcoal: just don't throw it on the grill when you're done.

Baking Soda: I don't know about you, but I love baking soda because it works for just about everything. Once again... put it in a container inside your furniture just like the others, but disguard when finished.
Coffee: Weird, right?! Ground, dry coffee will work as well. [Please just don't use the good Starbucks stuff... cuz' that's just wrong.]

Surely you will only need to use one or two of these methods; however, if you try every idea and it's still too funky to bring into your home... I don't know what to tell you, maybe you should take it to Goodwill and let someother poor sap figure it out ;)

6 comments:

  1. I find that it helps for stubborn mustiness to give an extended airing - a week or more in a protected area like a porch where the air can really get to it. Some things just take time.

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  2. Hello. Saw your link over on tt&j and thought I would come have a look. I have never heard of the coffee idea, sounds like it's worth a try!

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  3. I have used Febreeze spray on old things. It does help, but putting it in the direct sun has been my best solution

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  4. Great ideas. Thanks. I grow lavender and ususally use that and that helps, but some of the items still have a funky smell so I think I will try one of your ideas.

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  5. Great advice! Vinegar is wonderful for so many uses and the baking soda will work just like when you place it in the fridge (at least, I do).

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  6. TSP, TSP, TSP!! Used it today on a REALLy smelly dresser and after two wipe downs it was golden!

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