How to remove rancid smell from furniture?

I stored a dresser in my daddy's shop -- it's a huge metal Morton building, and I thought it'd be okay because it was out of the weather.  However, evidently it drew moisture because now it smells strongly of mold/mildew and so does everything that was in it.  Now I want to move it back in the house but not w/ those nasty smelling drawers.  Anyone know how to make them smell sweet and fresh again?

Many thanks!!

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A mixture of bicarbonate of soda with a cup of plain white vinegar has proven to be really effective in getting rid of odours and smells. Try wiping off the mould or mildew with this mixture then ensure the furniture is placed in an area without much moisture or with a high humidity level. You also need to guarantee that its removal is permanent and not moved back to the original location where the mould can grow back again.

Joe Martin6 years ago
Bicarbonate of soda, or Sodium bicarbonate. It's cheap, readily available and natural. I would just sprinkle it in all the drawers and replace every week or so by just vacuuming it out. The Bicarb absorbs and removes odours, although it may take longer than a commercial product you don't have the worry of chemicals damaging the furniture, fumes etc.
Burf6 years ago
First thing to do is to move the piece into a dry location and let it sit for a week or two. Dissolve as much baking soda as you can into two cups of hot water. Dampen an old cloth with the solution, wring out the excess water and wipe down the entire piece and then let it dry completely. Place a layer of chunk charcoal, not briquettes, in each drawer, put the drawers back in and loosely drape a sheet of plastic over the piece for another week .
Remove the plastic cover, empty out the charcoal and vacuum out any remaining dust and then wipe with a dry dusting brush or feather duster,
That should take care of your odor problem, but if not repeat the process.
seandogue Burf6 years ago
One thing I think could be added to your recipe is a damp wipe with dilute white vinegar as a prep process, to kill as much of the mold/mildew as possible, followed by a damp wipe with fresh water (to remove as much of any lingering Acetic acid as possible) and allowing to dry before doing the baking soda and charcoal part.

(btw, I really like the charcoal trick. An old timer I worked for years ago told me about using charcoal years ago as a deodorizer for closed items - boxes, chests, etc.- but I've never had reason to use it)
orksecurity6 years ago
See past comments about removing pet smells. The same enzyme formulations that I have suggested for that application should work here; cheap, effective, available from larger pet stores.
Vyger6 years ago
Just a guess but you might try cedar wood chips. Buy a bag of them and stuff the drawers and leave it for a while.

Another thing would be baking soda.

And if those fail there are chemical order killers but I would try wood chips first. I'm thinking that the oils in the cedar will soak into the wood. It might not work but a lot of the better furniture is made with cedar liners just for combating musty smells.
Vyger Vyger6 years ago
I forgot to mention that there is also ozone treatment. It has to be done by a pro with an ozone machine but it does work. Its often used for smoke smell removal. The free oxygen binds to odor molecules and actually changes them so they no longer smell.
artworker6 years ago
1. Pull out the drawers and put them in strong sunlight for frew days. Dont forget to put them inside at night.
2. Sand them and varnish the wood.
3. Use napthalene balls for some days.