How to Get Rid of a Musty Smell in Wood

Written by mary ylisela Google
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How to Get Rid of a Musty Smell in Wood
Wood exposed to damp, humid conditions develops musty-smelling mould and mildew. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

When musty smells are present, you can be certain that mould and mildew are, too. When a wood surface becomes damp for prolonged periods of time, it becomes a prime location for fungus to grow. As mould and mildew spread, a musty odour permeates from the wood. To successfully get rid of the musty smell on wood, you must treat it to remove mould and mildew spores. Once these living organisms are removed and the wood is allowed to dry, the unpleasant odour dissipates.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Vacuum
  • Bucket
  • 28.4gr disinfectant cleaner
  • Rubber gloves
  • Scrub brush
  • Clean cloths

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  1. 1

    Vacuum the top, bottom and sides of the wood furniture to remove mould and mildew spores. Avoid transferring the spores to other surfaces by discarding the vacuum bag in a sealed trash bag.

  2. 2

    Stir 29.6ml disinfectant cleaner into 1 gallon hot water to create a deodorising solution that kills mould and mildew fungus.

  3. 3

    Wear rubber gloves to protect yourself from direct contact with mould and mildew as well as the skin-drying effects of the disinfectant cleaner. Soak a scrub brush in the cleaning solution and hold it over the bucket to allow excess liquid to drip back in. Scrub all surfaces of the wood furniture with the disinfectant, rinsing the brush frequently.

  4. 4

    Wet a clean cloth and wring it out. Wipe down the surface of the wood to remove the disinfectant cleaner. Dry the surface with a clean, dry cloth before setting the furniture in a sunny location to allow the wood to dry thoroughly.

Tips and warnings

  • Substitute 8 to 10 tablespoons trisodium phosphate or washing soda for the disinfectant as an alternative mould and mildew killer.
  • Dry air and sunshine keep wood fresh smelling and free of fungus. Allow damp outdoor furniture to dry in the sun. Open windows when weather is warm and dry to reduce pent-up humidity in the home.
  • Keep air moisture level in check by using a dehumidifier in the home.

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