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As a Furniture Flipper, smelly furniture odors are something I have to deal with occasionally(more often than I’d like!). We’ve all been there. Personally, I hate added steps when it comes to painting furniture, I just wish it could be perfect starting out…is that too much to ask??!
Although there has been a time or two where the smell seemed to have become one with the wood and getting it out was just not happening, more often than not, there IS a solution!
So if you unknowingly hauled home a stinky piece, don’t throw it in the burn pile quite yet! Give these methods a try, 9/10 times the smell will be taken care of and you can move on with your project!
Before using any of these methods, make sure you cleaned your furniture piece ( I always start with warm water and dawn soap, but any furniture safe cleaner works!)
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Method 1 – Leave it out in the sun
This method is not always a possibility, especially if you live in an area with cold seasons. But If the temperature and weather are in your favor, definitely haul it out to let the sun and fresh air kill off the smells. You can leave it out for a day or two, or more! Just don’t forget it’s out there!! Pull out all the drawers, open cabinets and make sure it’s in a sunny spot for as long as it needs. This method has worked for me without any additional steps!
Method 2 – Baking Soda
Sprinkle some baking soda liberally inside all the stinky areas and leave it for a couple of days. You can do a nose check and see if it needs more time and if so, leave it longer, the more time you give the baking soda to work the more odor it will absorb! You can vacuum it out and, if necessary, repeat the steps again. Baking Soda is a very effective way to eliminate odors!
Method 3 – Coffee Grounds
I like this method if for no other reason than that I like coffee and the smell, so it’s a win win! Pour some coffee beans in a bowl and place in each drawer or cabinet area and let it sit for a day or two, the coffee beans absorb the odors.
Method 4 – Dryer Sheets
Place dryer sheets ( as many as you want) inside each drawer or inner area of your furniture, leave them in there as long as you deem necessary. I like this one a lot and I’ve used it a few different times, who doesn’t like the smell of clean laundry??
Method 5 – Vinegar & Water
You can use 1 part water, 1 part vinegar and clean your whole piece down. Vinegar is known to be a very effective cleaner for every area of your home, furniture is no exception. No worries, the smell of vinegar is not my favorite either, but it does evaporate and you won’t be left with a piece that now smells of vinegar!
Method 6 – Polyurethane or Zinsser Shellac
Using a foam brush apply two or three coats of either of these finishes to all the inside and outside surfaces of your furniture. I’ve done this before painting and it worked very effectively! You can Get Zinsser Shellac Here and Polyurethane Here.
Method 7 – TSP Cleaner (Trisodium Phosphate)
Although I haven’t tried this yet, I’ve heard so many people say it works awesome for removing all manner of furniture odors! You can find TSP Here.
Method 8 – Vodka
I’ve never tried this one, but I’ve been hearing a lot about this lately! You just saturate a rag with the cheapest Vodka you can find and wipe down the entire piece of furniture inside and out, let it dry and the smell should be gone! ( Let me know if you try or have tried this method!)
Method 9 – Cat Litter
This is pretty genius, although I’d have never thought of it. Cat litter is obviously supposed to eliminate odors so it’s an obvious choice! Just put some in a bowl and leave inside each drawer or cabinet, this one may take a week or more to get the smell completely out, but it’s worth a shot! It absorbs the smell and then just vacuum it out when you’re done.
Method 10 – Charcoal Briquettes
Just wrap a piece or two of charcoal in newspaper or put it in a disposable container and place in each drawer and cabinet, leave it for a week or two ( nose check to judge when the smell is gone)
I’d love to hear what you’ve done to get smells out of furniture, let me know in the comments!