How To Remove Musty Smell From Furniture

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Have you ever wondered how to remove musty smell from furniture? Like that beautiful curbside find that you were so proud of until you got it home. Yep! That happens a lot to me too but I have several methods and surely one of them will be your solution.

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How To Remove Musty Smell From Furniture

How to remove those musty smells from your furniture.

Clean The Surface

I always start by cleaning the wood thoroughly. Bacteria and mold can cause wood to smell old and musty. It will take a good cleaning to remedy it. I like to use a damp cloth with a bit of vinegar and wipe over the whole piece inside and out. You can also use a 10:1 water and bleach mixture. This is a great way to kill bacteria. Nurses LOVE bleach! I admit I’m a bit of a germaphobe.

Direct Heat | Sun

Try setting the furniture in the sun. The direct heat is a great way to air out that musty smell from furniture, especially if it’s been sitting in a dark damp area where mold loves to grow. Be sure to open all the drawers and doors. You will have to leave it out for a week or so, so be sure to check the weather forecast and make sure you’re in a dry climate. Texas can be really humid and that’s not good for wood. This is just one way, but not the best in my opinion.

Liquid In A Bowl Method

While I haven’t tried these methods because the bleach method usually works for me, I have heard that you can fill a bowl with vinegar, coffee grounds, kitty litter, baking soda or even vodka and set the bowl on the inside of the furniture and allow it to remain there for several days. This will help absorb the odors. If you try this, please let me know how it works.

Wood Deodorizer And Conditioner

And after cleaning the wood, I grab Big Mama’s Butta! Hee hee! I love saying that. This one smells like oranges but it also comes in unscented. Not only is it a deodorizer, but it also rejuvenates, enhances the wood grain, and protects in one use.

I applied a small amount on a clean cotton cloth and rubbed it into the wood, inside and out to remove the musty smell of the wood.

Apply Big Mamma’s Butta with a dry cotton cloth to the inside of the drawers as well as the wood surface outside. You can use a chip brush to get into all the grooves and buff the excess.

I Don’t Paint Everything!

I love how the wood deodorizer made this old must smelling wood piece look.

And for this beauty. I used the bleach and water method, direct heat with the sun, and finished it off with the wood deodorizer and conditioner inside and out. Sometimes it takes more than one method to remove those musty smells from wood furniture. There’s no shame in my game and I will do whatever it takes to rescue these noble beauties.

And how about that shiplap wall??? It’s really not shiplap. Wanna see how I did it? CLICK HERE Have a comment about this makeover, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a comment below! 🙂

Until the next project… xo Do

WAIT! Don’t forget to PIN THIS to your furniture makeover board.


How To Remove Musty Smell From Furniture


  • I’m glad you didn’t paint it! It’s a gorgeous piece that stands on its own. I’m in love with it! Thanks for the musty tips. I have washed with vinegar and then sprinkled essential oil in the drawers to get rid of cigarette odor. It worked.

  • It was an informative content…. I would definitely follow this approach in my furniture making.Thanks a lot!

  • This wood armoire is stunning Do! And thanks for the tips. Haven’t tried the butta yet but it’s on my to-try list. ?

  • Thanks, Denise! It made a huge difference. 🙂 xo

  • Thanks, Jackie! I’ll keep that in mind. I love essential oils. 🙂 xo

  • Hello Do, So GLAD that you did not paint the furniture in this video–it is so beautiful!! You did a wonderful job on this!! Mary Ellen

  • Hi Mary! Oh, I could never paint anything this beautiful. Thank you so much. 🙂

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