Mouldy/musty smell removal help!

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12 years 4 months ago #22002 by Robinsons Folly?
Hi, can anyone recommend a way of cleaning a pine cabinet with drawers that has got a distinct mouldy/musty smell. Everytime i walk into that corner of the room i smell it. Hubby of course can't and doesn't see what the problem is!! :D Wood is stained, not painted. Clean with a damp cloth? What chemicals/natural options could I try? Thanks!

Three Piggies, Four Chooky Babes, Randy the Roo, Hubby and Me. [:D]

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12 years 4 months ago #317716 by celt
I know baking soda is good for getting rid of smells.

1 kiwi husband, 14 year old boy girl twins. Gave up my beautiful 16 acres north of auckland for 1000m2 in central christchurch! Yikes. Plan to get as much produce out of that 1000m2 as possible.

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12 years 4 months ago #317719 by Pumpkingirl
I second baking soda (apply liberally though!), and vinegar (straight) is good too, if left to soak in the bottom of drawers, then wash with soap and water and leave to dry (and it really has to be dry).

Can you pull all the drawers out and let air get through it? The musty smell is caused by a mix of bacteria and fungi, so oxygen, light, and a liberal spray of vinegar on the framework inside would help too.

Left to fester, the smell will only get worse, and it will start to "infect" other things too, like the carpet or curtains.

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12 years 4 months ago #317771 by Hawkspur
Baking soda and vinegar work well to neutralise different sorts of odours. Baking soda, being alkaline/caustic/basic, is great for neutralising acidic smells (such as vomit) and vinegar, being acidic, is good for alkaline odours, (such as urine).

Apparently, the smelly chemicals from moulds and mildews are alcohols and ketones, which are both acidic to some degree, so baking powder would be the best to use to clean them out.

With mould and mildew odours the strategy is:
Kill (bleach if ok for the material or strong baking soda solution should do this) Clean & neutralise, Dry and Ventilate.
Apparently three days or so of very good ventilation (in the sun if possible) should be sufficient time to allow the off-gassing of any odours that have seeped into the wood or other material.

Hope that works!

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12 years 4 months ago #317921 by Toast
If none of the above works, you could try some vanilla essence (even the imitation stuff) in a small bowl nearby. It absorbs smells. I use it a lot but am not sure whether I've ever used it for mould/mildew smells.

Might also have to address the cause as well. Dehumidifier has done a great job in this house but not perfect.

Good luck. Be interested to hear how you get on.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Toast is the best food in the world
Whisky is the best drink in the world

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12 years 4 months ago #317999 by Robinsons Folly?
Thanks to everyone for their advice. I started on saturday with phase one of treatment of white vinegar and warm water wash, and sat the cabinet and the main drawer with the problem in the sun to dry. At the end of the day, the smell was definitely lessened. Next Phase will be to do a baking soda wash I think.

Toast, the cause was a window with bad condensation in our previous house. Cabinet sat in front of window. Didn't realise the mildew had got into the cabinet until I got out a velvet jewellery box, and it had mildew too!. Box gone in the bin, and since we've moved house, the mouldy window is gone too! Just need to finish off the smell and the bugs. Vanilla would be a nice touch I think!

Three Piggies, Four Chooky Babes, Randy the Roo, Hubby and Me. [:D]

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12 years 4 months ago #318004 by Xartep
Don't use bleach - there is a program on TV - some thing about my house is killing me? and the scientists on that said that bleach feeds moulds. Who knew??

Try oil of cloves instead.

Good info here Oil Of cloves

Soap wash then baking soda & vinegar rinse and sunlight to dry

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