try to use what they use for paint odors.. put a pail of water inside
the cabinet and a piece of bread in the water and some vanilla extract
in the water..it works for paint odors for us.... and if you are located
in a warm climate.. put it in the yard with the doors and draws open and
in the sun for a few days.. it will help getting rid of odors from most
Agree on the sunlight. But be aware that even a few days outside can do
things to the finish on an old piece, and of course make sure to watch the
humidity and temp swings so you don't get dew forming on it. Also try the
old standby of baking soda and the new standby of febreeze or similar.
<< Anyone have ideas on how to get rid of the smell >>
Do you think maybe the Sharper Image Ionic Breeze or whatever that ozone
generator is called, might work on the odor? They apparently have a small
bathroom sized unit that could be used in a cabinet. And while sunlight might
be OK, putting a UV lamp inside might be better for the furniture than outdoor
exposure. Just $0.02 worth.
Depends on what the odor is. If it is mildew, wipe it down with a bleach
solution. Let it air well and expost to sunlight if possible. Any odor
eliminators will be overcome until you kill off the mold.
If it is not mildew, the bleach may do the trick anyway. Wonderful stuff
What kind of odor? Have you used the sideboard to store something
stinky, like scented candles? If so, air it out. The recommendations
to put it in the sunlight or place a dish of water in it could end up
harming the wood. If the odor is mildew, wipe it with a DAMP cloth
(water and a bit of bleach) and dry it well by leaving it open. If that
doesn't do it, put on a coat of matte varnish under controlled
conditions (when heat/humidity are not at extremes). Could try placing a
dish of charcoal inside and leaving it a while, to see if that absorbs
the odor. Mahogany shouldn't have any particular odor, but if it has
been closed up a long time, it may just need airing (unless you have a
fruitcake from three Christmases ago, and have forgotten about it :o)
I hope someone does post a really good solution. A friend of mine has a
really nice old wood cabinet he inherited from some dead relative. He
keeps some of his everyday dishware in there and the inside reeks of ...
best I can describe it would be "grandpa sweat."
Is the smell. . . . old mahogany? Does it get worse when you scrub
it? I've cut some types of 'mahogany' wood that smell worse than cat
Maybe a coat of sealant would kill it. If it is a valuable old
piece it might be a good time to have a dealer - one who specializes
in antique furniture- come look at it. You could get it appraised for
your insurance company & get some feedback as to whether it is a good
idea to put any finish in it. [or maybe he would have some
suggestions on what the smell is or where it is coming from]
If it isn't that old, then just go with a good poly or varnish.
There are a few thing to try. Empty out the sideboard. Place
charcoal briquettes inside the piece and close it up for a month. Or,
take the piece outside where the sun can hit the inside for several
This is not an unusual problem with any older piece of furniture with
drawers. In order of ease:
1. Fresh air and sunlight. If you are paranoid about the finish on the
outside, cover it with a blanket. A day or two will NOT harm the finish,
especially given that it has already had a chance to age and is mahogany.
2. Wipe down the inside with some mouth wash. Do not make the inside
dripping wet, just give it a decent wipe. Let it evaporate. The thymol and
other related compounds will kill off the bacteria that might be producing
the odor. Wiping it down with anything will, of course, help to remove
whatever may be causing the odor. Do NOT place any wet piece of furniture
in the sun to help it dry. This is a recipe for real problems.
3. If you think that the odor is caused by human or animal waste, there are
some specialized products for it. One of the best, in my experience, is
made by Just Rite and is called the 1.2.3 Odor Free kit. They have a web
4. Coat the inside of the piece and drawers with shellac. You don't have
to be an expert refinisher. You may need two coats. It will seal in
whatever the odor is.
I would not place wood furniture outside in the sunlight - risk warping
or splitting the wood, softening glue joints or melting the finish.
3. If you think that the odor is caused by human or animal waste,
Old table linens, if they had greasy stains, could cause a bad odor as
the oily substance went ransid. Same with food items or scented
decorations. If the odor is mildewy, it should not be that hard to
identify, and would likely subside with a bleach/water wipe down and
airing out. If it was used as a cat box, then there should be stains
that suggest so. A better description of the odor would help. Someone
may have kept their work shoes in the thing when it went out of style
:o) Storing candy, gum, scented candles, scent packets intended for
dresser drawers, soiled table linens are the most likely.
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