How to get gross smells out of old furniture

2 days ago
Actually, the better title might be, "How do you get the 'dead' smell out of furniture?

But don't call the cops on me; this question came from the cops, a CSI friend of mine.

She wrote: "You can imagine that crime scene investigators like me get interesting questions. However, tonight's, though forensically sound, is more appropriate for my Atta Girls. Neighbor: "How do you get the smell of 'dead' out of furniture?" Seems a 78-year-old, sentimental chest of drawers in her garage became home to a decaying critter without her immediate knowledge. She's tried Fabreeze and bleach, which not only didn't work, but also warped a thin, wood packing crate her father used to craft the piece. Any suggestions?"

I gave my pal some suggestions for getting the stench out of old furniture and thrift store finds, which you can read on my blog, Atta Girl Says. But I also wanted to post the query here at Hometalk.

What are your solutions for removing gross from furniture? #Bestof2012 #springcleaning

To see more:

  • Rose McDonald
    Rose McDonald Joliet, IL
    Lysol, the liquid in the brown bottle with the red and yellow label, not the spray. Pour a small amount on a washcloth, dab the area of the smell, if you can find it. Let the washcloth sit on the stain for a few hours or overnight. Many years ago we had
    • Sherrie
      Sherrie Nixa, MO
      The only thing that gets rid of skunk smells!
  • Debra Housworth
    Debra Housworth Virginia Beach, VA
    I've tried several things (fabreeze) that worked temporarily, but didn't last. I've found two things that work very well. #1 is called OdorBan. I get it by the gallon at Sam's club in a concentrate and mix it in a spray bottle. It's great for about
  • Jill Morse
    Jill Morse North Ridgeville, OH
    What about Thompsons water sealer?
  • Henrietta  Retired-- Love Gardening
    Henrietta Retired-- Love... Williamsville, IL
    Need primer or clear sealer on all nonpainted surfaces.
  • Diane P
    Diane P Hilbert, WI
    I kept switching out crunched up newspaper until the smell was gone. Took a few months but the paper went to recycling after.
  • Lisa Kaplan Gordon
    Lisa Kaplan Gordon Mc Lean, VA
    Spray straight vodka on the wood. It takes out odors.
  • Gail sorensen
    Gail sorensen Council Bluffs, IA
    We had a chest freezer lose power for 4 days before we caught it. The smell of rotted meat was unbearable. Cleaned it with Clorox Put an open bag of charcoal in the bottom and shut the lid. After a couple of days the smell was almost gone. Put one more
  • Lori
    Lori Canada
    Activated charcoal. Must be ACTIVATED. Get a couple of lbs or so and spread it inside the piece on a newspaper and just leave it there for a week or so. Good luck.
  • Toni Hayward
    Toni Hayward Hillsboro, TX
    In Nursing Homes I've worked in they used a Pump spray bottle of a product called "Bye-Bye Odor". It is the Most Amazing stuff! Nice smell that disapates quickly & kills all the foul urine & BM smells! It even clears C-Diff BM odor & that is horrible,
  • Bea
    Bea Copemish, MI
    We've used ground coffee that we couldn't bear the awful taste of :-).
  • Susanne Johnson-Cruey
    Susanne Johnson-Cruey Lenoir City, TN
    Anyone know how to get the smell of cedar & moth balls out of cotton quilts? I have about 30+ quilts that that my Mother made that we ruined by the odor. I've tried washing with everything normal, including backing soda, to no avail.
  • Henrietta  Retired-- Love Gardening
    Henrietta Retired-- Love... Williamsville, IL
  • Rosalie chow
    rosalie chow San Francisco, CA
    I heard that Clorox Liquid Bleach with kill the mold on wood furniture. After cleaning with Clorox, then sand it down and retained. Bring out to air it out for a long time.
  • Dianne Anderson
    Dianne Anderson Timmonsville, SC
    There's nothing like fresh air, baking soda and sunshine to eliminate odors. If you can get the piece to a covered porch or barn, where it can get fresh air, put some baking soda in it and let it stay for a few days, I think that will eliminate the problem.
  • Philo Charmang
    Philo Charmang Pearland, TX
    No name brand shaving cream from the dollar store , apply a thick coat several times then wipe off and spray vinegar 3 parts to 1 of water and that should help with some of the odor. I asked a coroner (20+ years ago once how would he handle odors like
Atta Girl Amy