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How to Get Smells Out of Old Wood Furniture

Old wooden furniture can become infused with musty odours that are difficult to eradicate. Conventional deodorising sprays are not always effective on wooden furniture and may be damaging to the surface of the wood. Fortunately, one of the easiest and most effective techniques for removing odours from wooden furniture only requires a few common household ingredients. The entire process should take about a week to complete, and once the odour is removed it will not return.

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  1. Fill a medium-sized bowl with 2 cups of hot water and 2 cups of white vinegar.

  2. Submerge a clean cloth in the mixture. Wring out the excess water, leaving the cloth very damp.

  3. Rub the entire surface of the furniture with the vinegar-soaked cloth. Move the cloth gently but firmly in small circles across the wood. Vinegar is an effective odour neutraliser and should be able to eradicate or at least significantly reduce the unwanted smell.

  4. Leave the furniture to air dry.

  5. Mix together 2 cups of baking soda and 2 cups of dry coffee grounds (fresh or used) in a large bowl.

  6. Sprinkle the grounds over the surface of the furniture and inside any drawers. Leave for at least three days. Coffee grounds and baking soda absorb odours, and they should extract any remaining scent from the furniture.

  7. Brush off the coffee ground mixture and move the furniture outside to air dry.

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Things You'll Need

  • Medium bowl
  • White vinegar
  • Cloth
  • Baking soda
  • Dry coffee grounds
  • Large bowl

About the Author

Kristy Barkan began her writing career in 1998 as a features reporter for the University at Buffalo's "Spectrum" newspaper. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and media production from the University at Buffalo, a Master of Fine Arts in visual effects from Academy of Art University and a Diploma in social media marketing from ALISON.

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