I've got an old, old jelly cabinet that sat in the garage for 2 years - just brought it in, washed it 2x inside and out, and have it sitting, drawers pulled and doors open, a fan blowing for the last 24 hours into the interior.
Still smells musty and a bit like mouse urine though greatly improved.
My only remaining idea for clearing out the bad smells are to put cotton balls with some orange essential oil into the corners and maybe some charcoal odor absorbers (like litter box ones) on the undersides of the shelves.
I plan on fully stripping/repairing/refinishing it this winter (it needs it - someone partially refinished it before) but need the storage space right now.
Any ideas on to better control/remove the bad smell before using it?
They tell you to use bleach when cleaning up after mice to kill Hanta (sp?) virus. It will do a pretty good job of getting rid of mouse smell. If you are in an area that this virus is around be careful-it can kill you.
Washing with soap and bleach would be great to get rid of anything. For the odor of smell in old furniture, that is money. Worth more than new. I use a really nice smelling soap in each drawer and a fabric softner and it will get better, and as time goes by, it will go away. Just find a soap bar with a smell you like and put in in.
I scrubbed mine down with Murphey's Oil Soap, then wiped it down with lemon oil multiple times while it aired out in the sun. Helped a lot, but I think it may be impossible to remove the antique furniture smell completely, unless maybe you seal it with a clear coat.
__________________ "For if you start dancing on tables, fanning yourself, feeling sleepy when you pick up a book... making love whenever you feel like it, then you know. The south has got you.
I have a tiger maple victorian chest of drawers that had a bad mildewy/moldy smell. It took several treatments but I did get the smell out using a dilute bleach solution and using toothbrush and tooth picks to clean out all the cracks. I did also set the drawers out into the sun, flipping them over to expose all sides.
Fill the drawers with fresh pine shavings and let it sit closed up for a couple of weeks.
A friend of mine moved into a home that just stunk from the previous tenant. They covered every floor in the house with 6" of fresh pine shavings and let it sit for a week. When they shoveled it all back out the house smelled great and the bad smell never came back.
"Do you believe in the devil? You know, a supreme evil being dedicated to the temptation, corruption, and destruction of man?" Hobbs
"I'm not sure that man needs the help." Calvin
I agree with sunshine and fresh air. I had an old desk I'd got at a garage sale and washing it down, then airing it outside for several days (we had a hot and sunny stretch) Also put those charcoal odor absorbers in the drawers while it was outside. It had smelled like cigarette smoke, but I didn't notice any smoke smell anymore when I was through with all that.
not just old furniture but new furniture, esp oak, can stink !
what i did for a new table that smelled bad was to keep cleaning it with cleaners that had smells in them and with cleaners that removed smells ..as often as possible..it took about a year for the smell to finally go completely away..
Oh this is a timely thread. We just cleaned out my MIL place and she was a person who needed to added any smell to everything. Even the furniture stinks of the perfumey smell. I love these suggestions.