Author Options:

Anti-Smell Solution? Answered

What is a good mix from household products that ca make a solution that can get rid of any type of smell? I have this old metal box I need to use but it has an un-godly smell to it I would to get rid of.


I've found both white vinegar and sunlight work well to neutralize odors. Since vinegar is an acid you would not want to leave your box soaking for too long. Try washing it down with vinegar then rinse it well and let it sit in direct sunlight for several hours.


7 years ago

If it is metal, clean it to the metal. That's sandpaper, scraper, and elbow grease!


7 years ago

Ozone = O3
All smells eventually oxidize ( go away ).
Ozone Rapidly finishes the oxidation process of what smells.
or we would still be up to our arm pits in Dinosaur flatulations ( Farts ).
Ozone has a half life of about 30 minutes.
The circuit energizes normal diatomic oxygen into O3. . . .   A

whar rick says - wiki febreeze and it will tell you about the really cool technology behind enveloping smells in carbon-bubbles to neutralise the offensive odours.

ork's suggestion is more than what I needed to do to recover my old cantilever metal tool box. Since then I give it a once-a-year wd40 spray and it keeps well.

Clean it.
Smells come from "muck"


What works depends on the kind of smell.

For organic odors, my standard recommendation is an enzyme which chemically binds with the substance and keeps it from getting into the air. Check with your nearest large pet store; it's available under various names like "odor mute" and "kennel fresh". Major advantage is that it won't harm anything water won't harm.

If you're dealing with something which is all hard surfaces rather than fabrics, it, water and soap and (possibly) bleach -- in other words, removing the stink from the surface -- may be all you need. Of course if it's a rustable metal you'll then need to follow up by making sure it is thoroughly dried, and then consider giving it a coat of thin oil or WD40 to protect it from corrosion.

Removing anything that resembles fabric or foam will almost certainly help, since those may be acting as reservoirs for the scent.

Adsorbants such as baking soda will help catch what gets into the air, but you'll have to keep replacing them with fresh batches until the source runs out. Better to keep it out of the air in the first place.

A coat of varnish or paint may encapsulate the problem, if you can figure out which surfaces need that sealing. And again, this may help prevent rust. But don't try to paint over oil -- degrease the surface first.

Most other products mask the odor by presenting another odor, or in some cases by partially anesthetizing your sense of smell. That approach doesn't work as well and doesn't last.

Personally I'd start by washing it inside and out -- soak if necessary -- then bleach or enzyme, or bleach followed by enzyme (again may have to be a soak) -- dry thoroughly and wipe down with a thin coat of WD40. That's basically what I did to clean up an old mechanics' toolchest I rescued, though it was in better condition than your problem child.

Good luck.

Baking powder is infamous for absorbing smells.

Modern anti smell devices may just mask the odour - Apart from Fabreze or what every it is called your way - this fabric freshener really works by encapsulating the smell molecules.