How do I get perfume odours from a large chest of drawers?

by Jean
I have a large Ethan Allen chest of drawers that has contact paper stuck to the bottom of all the drawers & it smells of old perfume. I have tried Martha Stewart's suggestion of vinegar & water in vented plastic tubs in each drawer but that did not work. Help!
  12 answers
  • Shari Shari on Jul 06, 2015
    I would try using a hair dryer to soften the contact paper glue so you can remove it. Once the contact paper is gone, the smell might be gone too. If not, spray or paint shellac on the inside of the drawers to seal in any remaining odors. Then, depending on what kind of shape the inside of the drawers are in, you might want to paint them for a fresh and clean appearance.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jul 06, 2015
    Shari has good suggestions. Shellac seals everything.
  • Trixie63 Trixie63 on Jul 06, 2015
    You might consider washing the chest with vodka. It removes odors, evaporates without raising the grain and kills any wayward critters. I buy the cheapest as gin is more my style for cocktails.
  • LIZ LIZ on Jul 06, 2015
    I was thinking coffee beans? That's what they use in stores to clear your nose when smelling things.
  • Lyn Therese Lyn Therese on Jul 06, 2015
    I use alot of bleach around the house and I was thinking if you take a couple of tablespoons of bleach, a squirt of liquid soap and hot water and sponge the inside a couple of times. Then wipe throughly. I have done this with any piece of furniture that I pick up or buy from rummages. It disinfects and cleans the grubbiest grime off. The trick is to do it quickly so you don't saturate the piece. Lightly sponge down item. It works.
  • Jean Jean on Jul 06, 2015
    Wow, all great ideas, thank you. I had been thinking the hairdryer on the contact paper may help, I'll give it a try. I'm new to this site & I'm loving it!!
  • Donna Brown Donna Brown on Jul 06, 2015
    How about baking soda, it removes odor's from your refrigerator put a box in and wait.....
  • Linda T Linda T on Jul 06, 2015
    Baking soda is very good at absorbing odors. Sprinkle in, close the drawers and clean out in a week or so. I would also crumple up newspapers and shut in the drawers along with the soda. Newspaper is very good to absorb odor and I crumple it up and put it in my son's camp trunk to remove the wet boy smell.
  • Teri Broberg Teri Broberg on Jul 07, 2015
    I have been dealing with the same problem since we moved my MIL to assisted living and moved her furniture here. I have been putting the dresser and the drawers out in the sun by day and charcoal briquets on a plate in the drawers at night. It took about 4 good sunny days to work. Now the dresser is in my bedroom, and I can't smell it any more. Time to start deodorizing the big china closet.
  • Mary Testin Mary Testin on Jul 07, 2015
    How about cedar blocks? They absorb odors...
  • Paula Vogel Paula Vogel on Jul 07, 2015
    Hot summer sun will help the drawers and lay down on the back and get the sun into the interior. PV
  • Teri Broberg Teri Broberg on Jul 08, 2015
    Yes, like Paula said, lay the cabinet on its side out in the sun. Also, I should have mentioned that I used a spray cleaner (Tropical Traditions - even cleans motor oil), then rinsed in straight white vinegar. If you are not going to paint it, I would dilute the vinegar because it will dull the finish. But use it straight on the inside. As for the baking soda, it is great stuff, but I suspect not strong enough for this job. Although you could try first. Also coffee beans. I think charcoal briquets are more absorbent than those. Btw, as long as you have it in the sun while you are cleaning it, you won't need to worry about that awful old wet wood smell that it might start emitting. If you have to bring it in because of rain, blow a fan on it to dry out. Yours is probably not old enough to worry about getting it wet.