How to get musty smells out of wooden furniture

Musty smells in any surface indicate the presence of mould. If your wooden furniture has a musty smell, it may be harbouring mould. Left alone, these fungi continue to spread and can even transfer to other pieces of furniture. The musty smell is unpleasant and the presence of mould can become unhealthy. In order to remove the odour, you must also get rid of the mould spores.

Fill a bucket with white vinegar. Wet a clean cloth with the vinegar and wipe down your wooden furniture. Vinegar is a natural mould-killer and deodoriser.

Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge. Rub the sponge onto the furniture. Baking soda is a gentle cleanser that absorbs unpleasant odours.

Rinse your sponge with warm water and wipe off the furniture to remove the baking soda. Dry the furniture with a clean, dry cloth.

Bring your wood furniture outside, if possible, and place it in the sun. Allow the furniture to dry outdoors to kill any remaining mould and deodorise the wood.


Keep wood furniture dry and clean. A damp, dirty surface makes a great place for mould to form. Spread activated charcoal or clay cat litter over the top of a musty-smelling wood table. Leave it there overnight to absorb the odour.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • White vinegar
  • Clean cloths
  • Spray bottle
  • Baking soda
  • Sponge
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.