How to Remove Musty Smell from Old Furniture

Stink, stank, stunk. You know the story....you just scored the vintage hutch/dresser/cabinet of your dreams only to open it up and be smacked in the face with an overwhelming smell of funk and mildew. Today I wanted to share some tips on how to remove gross musty smells from old furniture. I honestly can't think of a topic that's more glamourous than this one, folks!

vintage hutch

How to Remove Musty Smell from Old Furniture


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Over the years, I've been rather lucky in the old-furniture-stank department until a few months ago. I scored this beautiful, vintage hutch on Craig's List but once my hubby brought it home I realized there was one problemo; it stank to high heaven!  

antique hutch

Let me tell you the past few months I have made it my mission to find a way to get rid of this yucky, musty smell. I read a lot of articles and blog posts and tried numerous things to kick the stank to the curb with no avail. Airing it out, vinegar (yuck), wood cleaners, baking soda (well, more on that later!), and Lysol. Let's face it spraying musty furniture with Lysol is like putting on deodorant after running a mile in the Sahara Desert. It only masks the smell temporarily. You ain't foolin' nobody!

Then one day I found the answers to my odor problems (well, not MINE!) while strolling the aisles of my local T.J. Maxx and it came in the form of "Cedar Rings". Have you guys ever used these things?
cedar rings for old smell in furniture

They're made to slip on your hangers and to be used in closets to combat moths but they also provide a great form of protection against odors such as must and mildew. Cedar rings, balls, blocks, chips...they all do the same thing and I always spotted them in stores quite often but never thought of using them inside furniture.

They were on clearance for $2, so I figured I wasn't losing much to give them a try so I brought them home. First off, they smell pretty dang good and it was actually the smell of them that made me come up with the winning combination of how I FINALLY tackled the old, smelly hutch!

tips for getting rid of old furniture smell



So what's my old smelly furniture recipe?

Baking soda + Lavender Oil + Cedar Rings

I placed 4 cedar rings inside the corners of the hutch and then I sprinkled a bowl of baking soda with a few drops of lavender oil (seriously, love me some lavender!) and let all of them sit inside on the shelves for awhile.

24 hours later you could find me with my head inside the hutch sniffing like a happy maniac! It actually for once smelled incredibly delightful. It pretty much knocked out all of the musty, mildew smell and I don't dread opening the hutch door anymore.

Amen. I can finally close the chapter on this stinky story!

musty old furniture tips


Do you have any foul odor furniture tips? Any other solutions are welcomed!




1 comment

Cort said...

Cedar rings worked in my daughter's dresser that lived it's previous 20 years in a basement. an open bowl of fresh coffee grounds will also absorb some stank, too :) I love your furniture score. Congrats!

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