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filmfann's avatar

How do you get a bad smell out of pine furniture?

Asked by filmfann (47234points) June 7th, 2013

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My son recently bought a town house, and the previous owner left a beautiful china cabinet behind, saying it was too big for his new place.
When we looked at the town house, we could immediately smell sewer gas coming from the bathroom. Once my son took possession, we reset the toilet, which was very loose, and was the source of the smell.
Yesterday, we moved the china cabinet from the town house, to my home. We will eventually move it up North.
This morning, while walking past the cabinet, I smelled the same swamp gas odor from the cabinet. Apparently, the wood absorbed the odor.
I want to clean this before moving into my other place. I certainly don’t want to make the new house smell bad.
Any ideas?

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11 Answers

ucme's avatar

Ooh, word scrambler!
A bad smell out of pine furniture…I got it, urine.

Seek's avatar


You should be able to get the smell out by wiping it down with a dilution of vinegar and water. If the smell is super-serious, and the finish on the furniture is good and hard, I’d go as far as half and half. If it’s older, a quarter vinegar to three-quarters water. Let it air dry.

marinelife's avatar

Put it put in the sunlight for a couple of days.

thorninmud's avatar

I once had to deal with a large donation of wooden sculptures that had been owned by a heavy smoker and reeked of absorbed smoke. I enclosed each one in a plastic bag with a spoonful of a commercial odor absorbent (example). After a week or so, the smell was completely gone.

In your case, maybe you could open the jar, put it in the cabinet, then wrap a cheap plastic painter’s tarp around the whole thing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s what I was thinking…..just let it air out. Maybe you could burn some incense in it? :)
I hesitate to put any kind of water-based liquid on good furniture. You have to dry it off right away or it will raise the grain.

Seek's avatar

^ (which is why I specified doing it only if the finish were intact. Newer polyurethane finishes keep the water from soaking into the wood, but they do tend to hold odors. Most biological odors can be removed with vinegar)

Dutchess_III's avatar

I use vinegar on laminate flooring and in my kitchen. And in my potato salad. :)

Cupcake's avatar

I put baking soda in an old dresser that was left outside in a garage (and smelled like it had been in a musty old garage for a long time) after thoroughly cleaning it.

Then I got impatient and put a dryer sheet in each drawer.

After a week I removed all and the dresser reeked of dryer sheet.

I cleaned it again (I don’t remember with what… maybe Murphy’s oil soap) and left it alone for awhile. It smells fine now.

redheaded1's avatar

I’d try using activated charcoal or those mesh bags of volcanic rock. You can get them at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Start with the charcoal or volcanic rock in the cabinets and drawers with the doors and drawer closed. That’ll get the inside stink out. Then for the outside make a ‘bag’ out of disposable plastic dropcloths and duct tape, and put the cabinet and charcoal or volcanic rock in there.

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